My poor Brambles!
I bought the Brooks Farm Four Play with the intent of making a dressy Brambles beret. I love the pattern; it's easy and fast; I've made it before out of Four Play.
Four Play knits like a dream but can be tricky to block, because it is 50% silk. It stretches like mad if it gets soaked. When I made the first one for my student, over a year ago, I sprayed the beret with water and then stretched it over a dinner plate to let dry. But working with white or off-white yarn often means a real cleaning is in order. I followed Brooks Farm's instructions and hand washed, using Eucalan. After soaking in the sink for 20 minutes, I squeezed the water out, rolled in a fat, fluffy towel, stamped on the towel, rolled in a dry fluffy towel-- and was left with this:
Something about a gazillion sizes too big for a human head. Frankly, I'm shocked because Four Play is not the first 50/50 wool/silk blend I've knitted; Zephyr by Jaggerspun is also 50% silk and 50% Merino wool; it most certainly knows how to behave itself when wet-blocked. Just ask my Evenstar shawl and Carefree sweater.
To deal with my soggy, sodden mess, I took a deep breath, threaded waste yarn through the ribbing and nudged the thing onto a dinner plate. I eased it on a towel and put it in the warmest room in the house. After 4 days of ignoring the mess I made, I had to do something. I reread the threads on Ravelry about Four Play, and decided to reblock, after carefully shrinking the beret in the dryer.
Sprayer in hand, I wetted the beret and put it in the dryer on low for 10 minutes. After 5 minutes, I checked- still damp, still huge. turned the dial to 15 minutes and walked away. Came back at the appointed time-- still huge but dry. Slept on it (no, not literally). Rearmed with sprayer, I rewetted the beret and put the dryer on next lowest setting. Fifteen minutes did not a thing, either to the damp or the size. I know the dryer works fine, because I dried my clothes on the lowest setting and even my cotton sweaters were dry within 20 minutes. Turned the dryer up a notch and checked after 5 minutes- nada.
Finally, I took a gulp and turned the temp up to atomic blast and left it there, thinking either it shrinks to where I can block and wear it, or I'll make another out of another yarn. After all, if I can't wash Four Play, what good will the garment be?
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
My poor Brambles!