Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the advice. The good news is that as it air dried it loosened up a bit. I am going to soak it this weekend and see if that helps as well. And from now on I will always ask before washing. I do know she is new to knitting and this is one of the first things she's made, so maybe she wasn't aware the thread couldn't go in the washer either.
Thanks again for your help.