View Full Version : I inherited an Afghan

06-01-2007, 11:50 AM
My grandmother knitted an afghan w/ wool and I inherited it upon her death. It's very old (something like 40 yrs) and is very itchy. It also has a very large hole in the center (probably 3 inch circle). My mom washed it unknowingly and it is a bit felted, which I think is what helps the hole stay on the smaller side. I'd like help figureing outhow to fix the hole and if I can do anything to soften the fabric. I make wool soakers for babies and know that the lanolizing can soften wool, but I really don't want that sticky feeling on a blanket.
Thanks! :thumbsup:

Jan in CA
06-01-2007, 12:54 PM
That's neat that you got the afghan. I think some of the old wools weren't as nice as some now. I'm not sure about fixing it, but I'm sure someone can help you out.

06-01-2007, 04:29 PM
I find soaking my wool with a bit of fabric softener helps.

06-01-2007, 04:57 PM
Hi sos!! Lucky you to have inherited a family treasure like that - doesn't happen as much anymore, excepting us knitters on here, of course ;)

I'm not sure you can change the essential scratchiness of old wool like that - the scales on the wool hairs are probably very large, thus contributing to it's itchy factor, and no amount of softener will likely tone it down to make it comfortable enough on the skin. Lucky for us nowadays, there's been a lot of breeding and mechanically/chemical modifications to wool yarn today to make it more comfortable for us (thank God, from a particularly sensitive individual).

How do you feel about modifying your afghan, so that it would be something useful and out in the open to be seen? instead of being hidden away in a closet, unseen b/c it's uncomfortable to use?

You could line one side with a coordinating (or not ;) flannel or fabric, so it'd be nice against the skin, and the original stitch pattern would still be seen on the other side. As far as the hole, how about making a "design element" such as sewing on a patch - shaped in whatever design you'd like, could be fabric, felted, etc. Like a felted petaled flower, edged w/a decorative embroidery stitch, that coordinates w/the fabric lining? Your imagination's the limit! You can also find a yarn the same color, and knit into the hole in the same stitch pattern - the tough part would be finding a yarn that would blend well enough to not be noticeable as a repair, in this instance.

It's up to you if you want to change your grandmother's afghan - some folks feel they are sacred and shouldn't be changed. I used to be one of them, but then I feel they would want them to be used, and as time passes, so does our needs, and changing them respectfully so they are still useful would be showing our appreciation.

Whew, that was wordy! Regardless, good for you for trying to find a way to use her afghan!! :cheering:

06-01-2007, 04:59 PM
BTW, after writing this last post - now I want to go find an afghan in need of some TLC, and do the mods I suggested ... :roflhard:

06-02-2007, 12:06 AM
How about sewing a soft cotton or silk lining to the back of the afghan? Use a print that harmonizes with the colors of the wool and make a matching applique to cover the hole.

You'll then have a reversible afghan with one side that's soft to the touch, and you'll also be stabilizing and strengthening the old wool.