On my never-ending quest to be comprehensive, I bring you Washalong, Part 2: The Dampening.
You didn’t seriously think I was going to embark on a Washalong without bringing you along for every thrilling step of the way, did you?
For those just joining us, the other day I shared the humbling reality of my handknits: bedraggled, begrubby, beflabby. I pulled out six favorite sweaters, then realized that washing all six of these sweaters at once was going to tax my old-ratty-beach-towel inventory. I decided to start with three and see how long I could stand this terrible idea.
Lifelong learner moment: I had not photographed a handknit in a bathtub before. Pro tip: keep your wet hand off the camera.
You can see the sky in this one, kind of arty and metaphorical. What does it all mean? Whoa.
What wool wash am I using? Why, it’s a big ol’ jug of Eucalan I bought at Craft South, and it’s going to last at least a decade at the rate I’m washing handknits.
Now. The photos you’re about to see resemble a low-budget diet pill ad, where the Before photos are terrible and the After photos are suspiciously well lit. Can’t do much about that except to say, Try our diet pills. They’re great!
Sweater No. 1: Kim Hargreaves’ Heather, from Rowan Yarns’ A Season’s Tale. Yarn: Rowan Kid Classic. Circa 2002.
Before: So sad a garment, so beat down that this thing has lost the will to warm. Oh, man, I can barely stand to look at this. Hey Heather, bless your heart. Hang on to the memories, honey.
After: Restored! Resurrected! A return to its original fluffiness and depth. O Heather! I thought we had lost you forever!
Sweater No. 2: Back Home in Vermont Sweater by Marjorie Moreau, from The Natural Knitter by Barbara Albright. Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed. Finished sometime in early Obama era.
Before: Stretched out, flat cables, all fit gone. Sadness. Dejection. This is the last day of summer, if the last day of summer were a sweater.
After: Snugged up, great dimensional cables, super satisfying.
Sweater No. 3: Knit Your Life sweater, a sweater that is a memoir of my life. Or something. Used the pattern above as the basic shape, then cabled randomly all over it. Yarn: Rowan Rowanspun. Finished 2013.
Before: Every cable a deflated balloon, worn down to the nub I tell you, the nub. Life can be so very exfoliating.
After: All that cabletastic energy restored. O joy! This sweater clearly took up Zumba or went on a girls’ trip to the beach.
If you’re looking for free new sweaters, just go wash your old ones. I can hardly express how delightful it is to wash your handknits.
Share your glory over on Instagram with #MDKwashalong. The mighty redemptive power of a good soak!