Never (Ever Wever) Wash It
December 9, 2009
The Blogger’s Canon of Ethics states that if a blogger shares her marvels and blessings: the intricate lacework that catches the sun just so, the well-scrubbed children heading off to do their charity work, the homemade biscuits cooling on a vintage plate, the tiny terriers romping on windswept beach–well then, the blogger is duty-bound to publicize a few of the things that aren’t working out quite so well. If you’re going to blab your prouds, blab your sorries. In the spirit of living up to my ethical obligation to confess wrongdoing, I give you:
This matted tangle, composed of highly compressed wool and kid mohair of the finest quality, for which I paid full price, used to be on its way to being a Best Friend cardigan by Twinkle. You will recall that I was making this for Carrie when we were at Rhinebeck. Last weekend I decided to git r’ done. All that was needed was a quick wash n’ block to see if I could get the thing to expand a little before sewing a few short n’ chunky seams, putting it on my girl and snapping some self-satisfied photos in an idyllic setting.
I was cocky. I had been having great success using my little Euro-washer, a front loader that uses about a half-cup of water per load, on the “handwash” cycle, to soak my knitting and spin most of the water out before blocking. I had just done it the day before with my Red Scarf 2009. No more tedious soaking-in-sink (requiring removal of dishes), followed by rolling things up in towels to squeeze out the water. The gentle washing machine would barely jostle it, in cool, harmless water, and spin it to damp-dry perfection.
It didn’t work out that way. It came out of the washer so boardy that even if I sew it up for a much smaller girl, it’s just not what comes to mind when one thinks of “garment, human”. I’m trying to console myself thinking about what a sturdy little jacket it will make for Olive. Warm enough for picturesque romping in snowdrifts! Mohair is her favorite fiber (next to Number 2 pencils)! I can make trivets out of the leftovers! Still, not a very satisfying conclusion. When you’re knitting a dog sweater, you want to know that early on.
Red Scarf 2009, done and blocked (using aforesaid washing machine, prior to The Mishap). I highly recommend not skipping the blocking stage for a mistake rib scarf like this. It really opens up and looks a lot more interesting when it’s blocked. Off it goes, with a gifty or 2, to the Red Scarf Project. (If it’s getting too late for you to knit a scarf by December 15, it’s not too late to send them a giftcard, or other collegiate goodies, to tuck in their care packages for college students who have aged out of foster care.)
On a quick round-trip to Washington, D.C. last week, my knitting matched the pavement as I waited for the Bolt Bus back to New York. (This is the Noro log cabin I started in a fever last summer. I’m still knitting on it. God’s perfect bus knitting, just not very newsworthy.)
Looked up from my knitting to see this.