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 washing and blocking something BIG
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Chatty Knitter

177 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2008 :  10:18:26 PM  Show Profile Send khoff a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've been working on the Kiki Mariko Rug from the new Mason-Dixon Knitting book. It's huge -- about 5 feet by 3 feet - knit with bulky Lanb's Pride in stranded colorwork. It's designed to be felted and used as a rug, but I've decided I don't want to felt it -- I'll just use it as a ridiculously thick and heavy and constantly shedding afghan. So my question is -- if I want to wash and block it without it felting, how should I do it? It's way too big for a sink, and if I put it in the washing machine, even just to swish it around without turning the machine on, I'm afraid it will get so saturated with water it will never dry. If I soak it and then run it through the spin cycle, will that cause felting? I don't even really need to block it, but I imagine it might need to be washed someday. Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks!

Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2008 :  10:56:01 PM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For large items I take them to a laundromat and pop them in the big front loaders.

Brought to you by the tongue in cheek-y monkey

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Permanent Resident

1438 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2008 :  12:14:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Spinning alone should not cause felting. If you don't need to block the item, I wouldn't do it. And I'd try to put the "someday" for washing in nice hot weather in a future summer. And my solution for handwashing big items is the bathtub!

Bye, Klara
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Chatty Knitter

177 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2008 :  12:06:54 PM  Show Profile Send khoff a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, everyone!
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Permanent Resident

1670 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2008 :  6:37:57 PM  Show Profile Send Mickey a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wash my (reg wool, mohair etc) blankets in the bathtub with Eucalan or other no-rinse wool wash (less hassle) and let them dry flat outdoors.
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New Pal

17 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2008 :  09:55:23 AM  Show Profile Send WendyE a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You are right to be concerned Lamb's Pride is a lofty yarn and would felt rather easily in most colors. But you should have no problems in the washer. You can run the water in, soak, and spin it out again, several times if you wish....make sure the water is a consistent temp, no warm wash and then cold rinse, and do not agitate mechanically. You could swish it around a bit, gently and slowly, with your hands or a long handled wooden spoon. Then make sure it's distributed evenly around the bin and spin. Don't walk away. You will most likely have to re-distribute it.

Felting is a result of agitation/compaction moisture and temp differences. You can certainly put in a bit of detergent suitable to the yarn used.

You may find it will felt somewhat with use over time. Keep wet feet off it if you don't really want that to happen.
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Posted - 12/13/2008 :  3:44:05 PM  Show Profile Send a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just made my son a VERY large wool, bulky weight afghan which was 4x6' in size. I had to wash it before giving it to him this Christmas, so I put it in the washer, 1/2 filled it with cool water and a little soft detergent, did NOT agitate, but I did hand swish it around. Then I spun it for about 1-2 minutes. Refilled the washer with same temp water, and did the same thing to rinse. I live in CA, so I was able to lay queen size sheets outside in the shade, and lay the wet (but not soaking wet) afghan on the sheets and block them into a perfect size. It mostly dried in one day - then I covered a spare bed with dry sheets and laid it on that for 2 days after which it was clean, dry, blocked and he will be thrilled that there is an afghan big enough for his tall body in the evenings! I had no idea how to do this, so it was all done with just knowing what NOT to do....The wool I used was very easy to felt, so if this works on the wool I should work on most any wool. Good luck and congrats on finishing such a big project! Nancy
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