I knitted a childs jumper for a relative using aran weight acrylic yarn. It took less than the 400g ball and gave the ball band for washing instructions so no longer have that to give you any more info. It was given back to me with the neck band cut with scissors because they said it was too tight (someone I've crossed off my 'to knit' list). Anyway I've salvaged what I could and would have enough to make another garment. The problem is that the yarn I've salvaged feels stretched compared to what was left on the original ball. Any suggestions on how I could restore it? Not a major issue because I can re-use it on smaller charity knit items, but knitting on a budget, it would be nice if I could use it again.
I would wind into skeins (not balls) and wash it. Tie the skein with waste yarn in several places so it won't become a ravelled mess. Roll skeins in a towel to remove excess moisture and hang to dry. If nothing else, it will get the kinks out and make for pleasanter reknitting.
I have washed yarn the same way. I lay the skeins on a towel to dry ((after rolling in another towel). That way the yarn does not stretch. Most of the kinks come out of the yarn. Before using again though, I wind into a ball.
I agree with Joy Marshall...definitely wash the yarn by soaking in lukewarm water. BUT - acrylic that has been washed needs to be dried in a dryer to really regain lost shape. I'm thinking that if you carefully tie your skein in at least 6 or 7 places you should be able to toss it into a warm not hot dryer IF YOU TIE IT INTO A PILLOW CASE OR USE A MESH SWEATER BAG. Without that, you'd have a mess on your hands that wouldn't be worth it to repurpose this yarn.
One more thing to check before you spend a serious chunk of time on this yarn: examine it carefully and see if you can tell if the yarn has been IRONED with a hot iron. Acrylics that have been ironed rarely, if ever, reurn to their original shape. If you can't tell for sure, knit a small swatch from your fresh unused yarn, iron it gently then unravel & compare to the unraveled jumper yarn.
Hope this helps!😄
Thanks for your advice everyone. I'll wind it into skeins and soak in warm water. I don't have a dryer so I'll lay it out on a towel to dry. The chances are it hasn't been ironed (as far as I know everything I've knitted for her children have never been worn thats why she's off my knit list) so the kinks may well come out.
Thanks again for your advice everyone. I've done as suggested and the yarn is now drying. Looks as if it will be as good as new and my dear neighbour will have plenty of items for her church sale to raise funds for charity