Tuesday, June 12, 2007

GAAA - Jay Campbell Square ... and how do you wash your handknits?

Francesca said I was a brave woman trusting the washing machine with my handknits ... really? The fact is last year, I ruined an expensive sweater (100% alpaca store-bought) of Husband's by handwashing it! It was machine knit but the alpaca yarn was extremely thin ... very much like lace weight. The label said handwash or dry clean ... so I tried handwashing it myself. After the sweater was dried, I discovered there were places where the yarn broke. It was my fault ... I should have brought it to the cleaner ... the alpaca was just too delicate. I might have ruined it while handling it when wet ... the weight of a wet sweater would be 10 times heavier than dry. I couldn't bring myself to tell him and he didn't ask ... maybe he didn't remember he had such a sweater, or he knew in his heart its fate and this is just one more incident showing things are not safe around me! LOL!

This year, I did a lot better. All the sweaters were safely washed and shapes retained. Basically, I just used the tub of the washing machine (a top loader) for soaking and rinsing the sweaters. After enough water was let into the tub, I stopped the machine and let the sweaters soak in soapy or clean water for 10 minutes. After rinsing, I turned on the machine again to drain the water, put the sweaters into laundry mesh bags, turn to the spin setting and let it spin for 5 minutes, stopping the machine to check every one minute or so. Before laying them flat to dry, I did a final squeeze with a dry towel.

There are still a couple of sweaters needed to be dry-cleaned. I am going to experiment the Dryel Home Kit.

Now, the GAAA square. I have just finished the 20th square. The Jay Campbell Square is another one knit in the round ... and it is one that demands some serious hardcore blocking:
Its similarity in shape to a hat freaked me out a bit at the beginning! Luckily, once again, trustworthy wet blocking did its magic:
Just 4 more to go!

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