Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Washing yarn

Have you ever had to wash your yarn? Yes, I did say "yarn." Not "finished project."

Before I share the details, we already know that you should never put anything but knitting and knitting supplies in your knitting bag. We’ve all done it sometime or another - carried around something that should never have been in the bag with the knitting. However the next time you are tempted to downsize to one bag for all your travel-about needs, please think about this:

Last Friday I came upstairs from the shop and discovered there was something leaking from my knitting bag. I didn't think there was anything leakable in the bag. I carefully pulled out each item in the bag. First my almost finished entrelac hat, which was fine and free of any liquid substances.

Then another project - the soon to be revealed Noro Silk Garden Sock project, again free of any liquid substances. I was starting to feel less panicked at this point.

The next thing I reached for was sticky. It was the remainder of the ball of Noro Silk Garden from my entrelac hat. And it was more than just sticky, it was saturated. By this point I realized that the maple syrup I brought to work for my coffee had taken it upon itself to explore my knitting bag on the drive in to the shop. Even though I’d removed it immediately when I got to the shop, that short trip from Burlington to Essex Junction was enough time for it to have a wild party in my little bag. BUMMER!

I had used two balls of the Noro Silk Garden yarn in my entrelac hat (it really only takes one!)because I wanted to choose the colors that appeared in my hat. The second ball was still in my bag and there was quite a lot of it left. It was so sticky, it looked like a lost cause. Throw it away? No! Never! I cannot waste yarn! (Some of you may know this feeling.) I had to do something to save it!

So I ran the water in the sink and got ready to do a little yarn washing. :) This was pretty easy for a silk-wool blend, but did I mention that there were also two balls of fluffy, gorgeous, unused, Adriafil Carezza angora that had also been sitting in the syrup puddle in my knitting bag?

I could have thrown them out. That is probably what a sane knitter would do, but I just couldn’t do it. I hadn’t even taken the ball bands off these. So wash it I did, very gently in warm water, without agitating it because I didn’t want it to felt. Poor angora yarn, it looked like a little wad of wet rabbit hair, nothing like yarn at all! I put it in a plastic bag to go home, and when I got there I used my umbrella swift to unwind the angora very carefully into a loose skein so it could dry. It worked! The yarn is back to a fluffy wonderful ball waiting to be knit into a hat. But what a lot to go through!

Repeat after me, "I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, put anything to endanger my knitting into my knitting bag!"


Jane said...

You are never too old to learn!

choo choo knits said...

poor shawn...what an adventure! i bet that maple syrup is in a time out now :o)