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 Using the "hand-wash" cycle
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crc532
New Pal

USA
25 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  06:07:20 AM  Show Profile Send crc532 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I must say that I would have put it in my hand wash cycle. I wash cashmere sweaters with great success, so I may have tried it. It is not the delicate cycle, but the hand wash cycle. It just seems to wet them and soak them a little, so that may be why I have had good results. Of course, I also may have been very disappointed with the outcome. Would I put lace in? probaby not, but I would try a scarf definitely.

quote:
Originally posted by hillstreetmama

Some washing machines, especially the new ones, have a delicate cycle called "hand-wash". Would you put your hand knits in there? One knitter did, then brought the results to the LYS and wanted her to stand behind her yarn....

Before I tell you what happened, weigh in with some opinions, please.

Jan




crc
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Lindakh
Chatty Knitter

USA
110 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  06:57:02 AM  Show Profile Send Lindakh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm surprised no one has mentioned going to the washing machine manufacturer. They're the one that labeled the cycle "hand wash". If the woman used this cycle and the results were *not* the same as if she had actually washed it by hand, she should take it up with them. I've had lots of luck when I've contacted "big" companies when their products have not performed to my satisfaction.

Linda
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cablequeen
New Pal

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  07:19:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit cablequeen's Homepage  Send cablequeen a Yahoo! Message Send cablequeen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have to be perfectly honest and say that I do in fact put my beautiful hand knit sweaters in my front loading Bosch washing machine. I decided to try with an old cream aran cardigan that had gone an awful colour through repeated dry cleaning, had nothing to lose, and it came out looking so lovely that I have continued to use the machine ever since. I also have an old sweater made in discontinued Rowan California cotton and that looks fabulous when washed in the machine too. I find this machine so gentle that I in fact had problems with felting until I worked out exactly what to do and now have complete success with that too.

Sally's Knitting Adventures
www.yarnblog.com
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northernnitter
New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  07:43:54 AM  Show Profile Send northernnitter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I do use the handwash cycle on my front loader for all my handknits and haven't had a problem. Not the gentle cycle, or the wool cycle, but the handwash cycle. When I first got the machine I tried the cycle out on an old wool sweater that I got at a thrift store, just to see what would happen.

I also felt things in the same machine with great success, so it goes without saying that caution is the word. I use the cold water setting, with little or no spinning depending on the item I'm washing. So far, so good. I wouldn't hold the LYS responsible though if I do end up ruining something. It's a gamble I take for convenience....here's hoping I don't pay the price.
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suzala
New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  08:18:03 AM  Show Profile Send suzala a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I must be crazy, but I put All of my hand washables, including cashmere into my top loader (without agitator in center)in a fine washables bag, in cold water. Everything has come out beautifully, including the Koigu socks that accidentally snuck into the dryer as well. I usually have a very full machine without a lot of room for movement -that might be helping the cause.
The yarn store is not responsible to refund anything. The manufacturer and the yarn store are required to stand behind their product based on product instructions. You would not expect Hoover to stand behind it's product if you used it to vacuum cement chunks.(call in the shop vac!)

My husband's rule is: "RTFM": Read the F-- in' Manual. I think that is true for yarn as well; Follow the directions or assume responsibility.
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pqpatch
Seriously Hooked

USA
617 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  08:19:23 AM  Show Profile  Visit pqpatch's Homepage Send pqpatch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In reference to the front load washers, yes they do felt. It may take a little longer, but I have felted in mine. It is still hot water and movement of the garment.
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janutah
New Pal

7 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  08:23:25 AM  Show Profile Send janutah a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you wouldn't go back to the yarn company, which no one has suggested, then why would you go back to the yarn shop and expect them to reward you for not following the instructions printed on the label? I think the knitter was on her own when she used the machine. If she didn't know her machine or yarn well enough before she threw the garment in the machine, then she should bear full responsibility for the outcome. After I've invested the time to make even a pair of socks, I just hand wash -- it's easy, pretty quick, and fool proof when it comes to maintaining handknits.

The sign in the shop is a good idea; I expect to see them popping up in shops everywhere as young knitters try to shortcut and use a machine for everything. Being old school, I'm just grateful for a machine that doesn't have a wringer!
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helenavc
New Pal

Mexico
1 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  08:27:21 AM  Show Profile Send helenavc a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello everyone!
I very much enjoy the forums and the many different points of view on the same topic, it's the first time I post.
I think handling any fiber in a different way than the one suggested by the maker is at your own risk. I can understand how frustrating and annoying it can be to find out your hand made garment ends up unusable, but, there is a reason for the instructions on the label of any wearable.
I don't think the LYS has any responsibility on this, however, I do understand the way of keeping things friendly with a costumer, and learning from the mistake by making a public announcement on the consequences of handling a fiber in a different way.
Once I tossed a 100% wool sweater, bought one, into the washer (not intentionally) and it felted 3 sizes down: unusable. Another time I took a 100% wool sweater to the dry cleaning and they felted it (their machine had a water leak), and they were very responsible and payed for the sweater the amount I asked for.

Greetings from sunny Mexico
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NancyP
New Pal

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  09:03:02 AM  Show Profile Send NancyP a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Very interesting topic. GFTC makes excellent points and has very sound response. Must be a shop owner or has worked in retail! I have two washing machines -- one for regular clothing and one for felting. The clothing machine is a front loader with a handwash cycle. I use it occasionally for garments that call for gentle cycle.
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Karin Skacel
New Pal

10 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  09:35:38 AM  Show Profile Send Karin Skacel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would never put a hand knitted "hand wash" garment into a washing machine on any cyle. The yarn manufacturers make concerted efforts to give the right recommendations on the label. If it is listed as a hand wash, there is a reason. Many yarns are manufactured in Europe where there are front loading washing machines.So even it says you can wash in a machine on "wool" or "delicate" cyle, I would not do it, as our top loaders (and front loaders for the few that have them), have much stronger cycles. Wool that is not a superwash, will felt or shrink when aggitated. It doesn't matter if the water is ice cold or hot - it will shrink or felt. Hand washing uses the least amount of aggitation to clean a garment. For pure wool sweaters that are not a superwash, if there are no spots on them, I would hang them outside for a few hours and simply air them out.
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crazedquilter
New Pal

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  10:42:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit crazedquilter's Homepage Send crazedquilter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I absolutely would not expect the LYS to refund the money. I'd have tested with something smaller and less important, and certainly not with multiple handknits. Felting just as much involves water temperature/temperature change to "shock" the fiber as well as agitation and there is no way something being tumbled is not getting at least some agitation.

If the LYS refunds her money I suspect it is simply because she spends a fair amount of money there regularly and they want to keep her business. I doubt they'd be doing it as they think they *should* refund it because it didn't hold up in a washer.

Another poster recommended contacting the washing machine company. I think that's a better approach but I suspect if one went and read the machine's manual, it would tell you to proceed with caution.

I base most of my fashion taste on what doesn't itch.
-Gilda Radner
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hayseede
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  12:59:12 PM  Show Profile Send hayseede a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No, personally as a knitter I would never use a washing machine for my handknits except for washable sock yarns or acrylics.

Case in point: I knitted my sister a beautiful Clapotis shawl in Lorna's Laces, the Lion&Lamb 50/50 silk and wool. She has a brand new front loader with an option for "Hand Wash". She washed it. She now has a tightly-knit scarf of no recognizable pattern, about a quarter of the original size, and all the beautiful sheen is gone.

It's totally ruined IMO. I wouldn't even bother wearing it, it would would go right into the Goodwill bag. Never mind that I told her neverto put it in the washing machine...never mind I said I would always wash and block it for her.... I made it extra big with three skeins so she could really wrap up and be cozy. The cost of the yarn (33 bucks per) and the time spent knitting it were not inconsiderable.

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Woodstocker
New Pal

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  1:02:53 PM  Show Profile Send Woodstocker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hand wash means just that...hand wash! It is not a problem with the yarn, but a problem with the machine's manufacturer.

Woodstocker
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natrs_410@hotmail.com
New Pal

5 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  2:26:41 PM  Show Profile Send natrs_410@hotmail.com a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I only wash machine washable yarns in the washer- gentle cycle. Well, with one exception- a hat made from Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride bulky (not superwash)- it was white/natural in color and I was told that white yarns don't felt- it didn't/hasn't. It was a little bit big, and I was hoping that it would shrink a little, but not noticeably.

I've machine washed swatches of thrift store yarn to get an idea of fiber content. I've found that a yarn that does not felt might not survive in good condition- it shrinks, gets distorted, etc.
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French Knitter
New Pal

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  3:01:07 PM  Show Profile Send French Knitter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When knitting with lace-weight yarns I always launder by hand. That said, since I make a swatch before beginning the project I launder the swatch as I think I'd link to launder the finished item. Usually this meaning placing the swatch in a lingerie bag and using the wool wash setting on my machine. If there's mohair, angora or anything else that's very fuzzy about the yarn it's always hand wash. So there's no easy answer.
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cedarstrings
New Pal

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  3:02:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit cedarstrings's Homepage Send cedarstrings a Private Message  Reply with Quote
More years ago than I care to count, when I was a teenager, my mother had a marvelous GE washing machine with a "mini basket" for unmentionables. This was a small tub that fit over the agitator, and basically moved back and forth (without the agitator wings) as water flowed into the machine for wash and rinse cycles. Believe me, I got spoiled as it did a marvelous job on the unmentionables, sweaters, hand knit scarves, and even a small afghan. I haven't seen washer with this feature for at least 40 years, but I would stand in line to buy the first one.

I like the suggestion for the LYS ... a small display consisting of what happens when you wash it properly, and what happens when you don't. Perhaps a couple of customers would like to donate some of the mishaps that occur when the dry cleaners don't properly handle your fine hand knits, as well. In fact, I have a couple of FOs which DD has outgrown that I'd be willing to sacrifice to create such a display.

BTW, I am amazed that the knitter asked the yarn retailer to be responsible. If the LYS refunded for the yarn, I hope the knitter is one of those $100 a month shoppers.
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busygirl
Permanent Resident

New Zealand
1673 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  3:58:24 PM  Show Profile Send busygirl a Private Message  Reply with Quote

My washing machine is a top loader and has a special cycle for woollens and delicate items.I wash all my handknits which are made from machine washable, 100% wool yarns, in my washing machine and they always come out looking as good as new.
I am a firm believer in reading labels, and should the label advise hand washing only, then that is what I would do, rather than spoil the garment.

Leslie


My Pics
http://www.flickr.com/photos/busygirl/
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knitting knonna
New Pal

Australia
4 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  5:21:29 PM  Show Profile Send knitting knonna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Why isn't this knitter sending the ruined garment to the manufacturers of the yarn? (I suspect because she knows they wouldn't be sympathetic). If the LYS owner felt like replacing the yarn (and I don't think she should, unless she told the lady to machine wash the garment!) she would need to be careful to stress that it was a goodwill gesture only and she was not admitting liability. Gosh, who'd be a LYS owner??!!!
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kwicz
New Pal

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  5:42:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit kwicz's Homepage Send kwicz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would never have thought of asking for a refund in that situation! Doesn't everybody make a swatch and wash it first? I have a top-loading machine, and its delicate cycle has no agitation at all but some things have still come out fulled a bit. Then there are the socks I knit out of a yarn labeled "recommended for felting" and washed on a high agitation cycle, that didn't change at all! Since I dislike hand washing, I do wash a lot of things in the washer that are labeled hand wash, but not without a little testing first. Unless I'm ready to give that sweater to my niece, of course.

My experience with my mom's front-load washing machine has been that it is just as likely to cause felting as my top loader, even using the delicate cycle. More if extended spin is used, for some reason.
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lacylaine
Seriously Hooked

USA
989 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  8:02:32 PM  Show Profile Send lacylaine a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think that there are a lot of people out there like Hayseede's sister, who truly believe that hand wash = machine hand wash. Or may they believe everything they read.

On a similar note to previous posts, I often buy "dry clean only" sweaters at Goodwill for $3.49 - $5.99. Knowing what I do about fibers, I'm not the least bit afraid to hand wash these bargains. However, if I ever did ruin one I certainly wouldn't go running back to Goodwill, demanding a refund!

Melanie

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

FO 2009: small market/shower bag; gray watch cap; magic square potholder; five dish cloths, including two new patterns




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