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Old 11-09-2010, 12:34 PM   #1
aqueous18
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Washing
Should I just hand wash everything I knit? And tell everyone to hand wash the gifts I make them? I tried tossing in a really simple sweater I made for my dog in the washer under gentle. I let it air dry, but the thing was just destroyed. Does the quality of yarn have anything to do with it too? It was just a bulky acrylic...
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:19 PM   #2
kmaclean
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I tend not to give gifts that will require handwashing ... in my world, "hand wash only" translates to "I will never, ever wear this". Personally, I don't buy items that require handwashing because I know I will not handwash it, so I don't expect anyone I give a knitted gift to handwash either.

If the yarn you've used is machine washable (check out the label before buying) then it shouldn't be a problem. Be sure that you have woven in all loose ends to ensure that nothing unravels. Personally, I do the following to try to protect my knitted projects as much as possible during washing:

1) I wash the item alone or with a few other small items that are similar (this means don't put it in with heavy/rough items, such as jeans, etc.);

2) I only use the "delicate" cycle on my machine;

3) I usually place the item in one of those laundry bags that you can get for delicate items (a zippered pillowcase will do the same thing) to further protect it.

Hopefully you'll find some of that helpful, as I'm not sure exactly what happened during your last washing experience! If you didn't do one of these things and think it might have helped, then I would give it another go and see if you get a better result next time!
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:59 PM   #3
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In what way was it 'destroyed'? A bulky acrylic should have stood up to machine washing, maybe you should have put it in the dryer. Some yarns that are meant to be in the dryer will stretch out if just washed and laid flat. You could wet that one again and dry it to see if it helps.
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:12 AM   #4
Mike
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I wash everything in the machine, either handwash or delicate setting if they're not machine washable. Drying is where it gets picky. The only time I handwash is if I don't have enough wool to bother with the machine, wool doesn't get the dryer.
Acrylics go through the washer and dryer with everything else.
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:55 PM   #5
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The fabric was the thing that was destroyed the most. It was all ratted and stringy. It was only a two piece sweater and the seam (mattress stitch) was halfway pulled apart. The yarn said it was machine washable!
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
The yarn said it was machine washable!
It is, but if your seam pulled apart, then either you pulled it too tight and it broke, or the ends weren't secured in enough. Or if it was washed with heavy clothes, they could have beat it to death in the machine.
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:32 AM   #7
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Knitted items are not usually so dirty that they require a long wash in the machine. I learned early on that it's best to soak the item in the machine with whatever detergent you use for about 15-20 minutes, skip the agitation cycle, drain the water, rinse by adding water, let stand for a few minutes, drain water. Repeat as needed to get rid of suds. By not using an agitation cycle pilling and stressing of the object is reduced considerably. Works especially well with baby blankets and afghans.

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