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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A young friend treated herself to a lovely jacket knitted in one of the Adriafil yarns. It is 75% wool and 25% acrylic. Then, in a hurry, she washed it at the wrong temperature and ended up with a felted jacket that is now a little too tight under the arms. The length is fine.
Any suggestions I can pass on to Megan will be received gratefully!
Thank you
Jean
 

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How I wish you could unfelt. I knitted a wool sweater for my husband years ago. He loves wool and I am allergic so knitting was a sacrifice on my part. He is worth it though. My brother was staying with me and decided to be helpful and washed the sweater. My daughter thought it was just swell and my husband still doesn't have a wool sweater. Hmmm - maybe for Christmas.
 

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I have heard of soaking a shrunken wool garment in warm water to which has been added epsom salts and then stretching it and laying it flat to dry. But I have never tried this to see if it actually works.

I spin my own wool and have machine washed my knitted garments, but always on the wool wash cycle, which is spin the drum a few times, sit and wait for some time, then spin the drum a few more times, and this goes on for the allotted time. The wash cycle for woolens is very gentle, but I can see a problem when men do the washing. They just do not understand.

If it is tight under the arms, how is the armhole length for fit? If that is OK and it is only the tightness under the arm you could try adding an under arm gusset for ease. Look up underarm gusset on the net. I just did a quick check in the principles of knitting and could not see a reference there. Elizabeth Zimmerman may have a reference.
 

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I have heard using hair conditioner in some water MAY help. Squeeze the water out of the garment then stretch the particular area, such as armhole as best you can. It wont stay streched on its own. Maybe you can put something in the armhole while it dries. Gosh,I'm not sure I am making myself clear but theres gotta be a way. good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for your replies. I think Megan will have to accept that she now has a felted jacket and will have to wear it over very thin tops. It's a great shame because the colours are beautiful and the design simple but elegant. Sorry no picture!
 

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Aslan said:
A young friend treated herself to a lovely jacket knitted in one of the Adriafil yarns. It is 75% wool and 25% acrylic. Then, in a hurry, she washed it at the wrong temperature and ended up with a felted jacket that is now a little too tight under the arms. The length is fine.
Any suggestions I can pass on to Megan will be received gratefully!
Thank you
Jean
Felting is permanent, unfortunately.
 

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I found a mohair blanket amongst my mother's belongings once that had been felted in the wash. I found a suggestion online that I followed - to wash with a hair conditioner - lots of it - and I did this and gently pulled it out into shape. It's not as ggod as new but now quite usable. I just used a cheap conditioner.
 

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I found a mohair blanket amongst my mother's belongings once that had been felted in the wash. I found a suggestion online that I followed - to wash with a hair conditioner - lots of it - and I did this and gently pulled it out into shape. It's not as good as new but now quite usable. I just used a cheap conditioner.
 

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....Unfelt...I'm afraid not. Ask my niece who forgot the washing instructions on 2 sweaters I knitted for her girls. There are now 2 teddy bears wearing these beautiful sweaters.

Hours and hours of work for teddy bears to wear. Sad!
 

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I have felted a couple items that ended smaller than I wanted. One was a felted bag and the other,a pair of mittens which were way too small. I thoroughly wet them again and was able to stretch them to a functional size. Since the problem area is limited, you might be able to stretch the area enough to make it more comfortable. It's worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you Grandma Gail,
I will pass on your suggestion to Megan and she can decide what she wants to do. I guess she will check washing machine temperatures a bit more carefully in future!!
 

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No, sorry. The 'scales' on the outer/cuticle layer were opened up - relaxed - in the warm-to-hot water (you only referred to it as the 'wrong temp' but it wouldn't matter: even continuous agitation alone in cool water will produce similar results) and allowed to rub against each other, entangling them with their 'neighbors'.
This agitation permanently allowed them to get very cozy together and locked them together; any change in water temperature cooled the scales down again to lay against the fiber shafts and sealed their fate forever....
Anything that you are able to do to stretch the areas apart again is actually just ripping apart the minute little fiber bonds.
Avoid all agitation when wet in the future!

If you'd like to use the machine to wash wool - and I always do as it's actually kinder on garments, do it this way.
I say 'kinder' because lifting a garment filled with water in and out of the container actually is more damaging because you're putting a lot of unnecessary stretching on the fibers while their filled with the weight of all of that water. One is also more prone to do some twisting of the garment, further stretching them.

Fill the machine with cool-ish water and put in your choice of cleaning solution. Swish around well to distribute before putting in the garments.
Push the garments down into the water to soak; don't over-crowd them - about 4 medium women's sweaters is maximum per load.
Soak for up to 30 min depending on their soil level.
Place the sleeves (belts, hoods and other parts) of each sweater all in the same spot so they don't stretch out in the machine cylinder when spinning out the water.
CAREFULLY turn the machine's dial to SPIN only: avoid all agitation places on the dial!!
Choose a spin cycle which DOES NOT HAVE EXTRA WATER SPRAYING ON THE LOAD, either.

Spin out the wash water. Remove the garments - and notice that they will be much drier than you could ever have gotten them by pressing them in towels! (and no pile of soggy towels to wash & dry, either... )

Fill the machine with THE SAME temperature water to rinse the garments.
Again push the garments down into the water to submerge, swirling them around a little bit so the washing agent gets rinsed out.
Allow to soak for about 5 mins.

Again turn the dial to SPIN ONLY, keeping the sleeves placed up against the bodies of the sweaters.
Remove the garments while you refill the machine and repeat the number of rinse cycles you'll need - UNTIL you no longer see soap bubbles appearing in the discharging water in the laundry tub. Then you'll know that you've gotten the garments squeaky-clean!
It's your choice if you put a very small SMALL amount of vinegar or conditioner into the final rinse. I personally don't as I feel it's better to leave the fibers perfectly clean. My machine washing method is very easy and very gentle on my sweaters!
 

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rkr said:
No, sorry. The 'scales' on the outer/cuticle layer were opened up - relaxed - in the warm-to-hot water (you only referred to it as the 'wrong temp' but it wouldn't matter: even continuous agitation alone in cool water will produce similar results) and allowed to rub against each other, entangling them with their 'neighbors'.
This agitation permanently allowed them to get very cozy together and locked them together; any change in water temperature cooled the scales down again to lay against the fiber shafts and sealed their fate forever....
Anything that you are able to do to stretch the areas apart again is actually just ripping apart the minute little fiber bonds.
Avoid all agitation when wet in the future!

If you'd like to use the machine to wash wool - and I always do as it's actually kinder on garments, do it this way.
I say 'kinder' because lifting a garment filled with water in and out of the container actually is more damaging because you're putting a lot of unnecessary stretching on the fibers while their filled with the weight of all of that water. One is also more prone to do some twisting of the garment, further stretching them.

Fill the machine with cool-ish water and put in your choice of cleaning solution. Swish around well to distribute before putting in the garments.
Push the garments down into the water to soak; don't over-crowd them - about 4 medium women's sweaters is maximum per load.
Soak for up to 30 min depending on their soil level.
Place the sleeves (belts, hoods and other parts) of each sweater all in the same spot so they don't stretch out in the machine cylinder when spinning out the water.
CAREFULLY turn the machine's dial to SPIN only: avoid all agitation places on the dial!!
Choose a spin cycle which DOES NOT HAVE EXTRA WATER SPRAYING ON THE LOAD, either.

Spin out the wash water. Remove the garments - and notice that they will be much drier than you could ever have gotten them by pressing them in towels! (and no pile of soggy towels to wash & dry, either... )

Fill the machine with THE SAME temperature water to rinse the garments.
Again push the garments down into the water to submerge, swirling them around a little bit so the washing agent gets rinsed out.
Allow to soak for about 5 mins.

Again turn the dial to SPIN ONLY, keeping the sleeves placed up against the bodies of the sweaters.
Remove the garments while you refill the machine and repeat the number of rinse cycles you'll need - UNTIL you no longer see soap bubbles appearing in the discharging water in the laundry tub. Then you'll know that you've gotten the garments squeaky-clean!
It's your choice if you put a very small SMALL amount of vinegar or conditioner into the final rinse. I personally don't as I feel it's better to leave the fibers perfectly clean. My machine washing method is very easy and very gentle on my sweaters!
These instructions are for a top loading machine. Unfortunately, they will not work if you have a front loading washing machine. You cannot open the door when the machine is filled with water, for obvious reasons. Not all programmes will allow you to cancel them once the programme has begun. My machine has a wool wash cycle. The drum spins for a few seconds, very gently, then rests for several minutes. It repeats this action several times. I cannot select a short cycle with the wool wash cycle, but I can select the water temperature, and the rpm of the spin cycle. I choose the lowest rpm setting.

If you hand wash the woolen garment you can do as I do and set a plastic basket with holes in the bottom and sides in the laundry trough. This is a similar basket to the ones used in Supermarket for use when you do not need a trolley. When you wish to take the garment out of the water you just lift the basket and the water drains out. There is no stress on the garment as it is resting in the basket. I then GENTLY press the water out of the garment with my hands, I do this whilst the garment is still in the basket. You could then place it in a laundry bag or pillow slip and gently spin it on a reduced rpm and short spin cycle. I do not bother to do this. I lay the garment on a towel and roll it into a sausage shape and press it gently then lay it flat and leave to dry. I leave it in the towel but if the towel is very damp or wet because you have not pressed enough water out when it was in the basket you could gently lay it on a dry towel and leave to dry. It is amazing how much water the towel will syphon out of the garment. Micro fibre towels are excellent for this purpose. This is the way housewives washed woolen and delicate garments before washing machines became a household necessity. Yes, some of us can remember doing the laundry with a wash copper, cement troughs and a hand wringer. And we are not that old either.

And I speak from decades of experience when I say I strongly disagree with you about getting the garment drier than using the towel methods. There is only one towel per garment, so not a heap of soggy towels. It will only need to be hung on the Hills Hoist to dry, it is not dirty, it has only had damp garments laid inside, it has not been used to dry a dirty body, for heavens sake.

Just another tip most modern housewives do not seem to know. I air my bath towels in the sun on the Hills Hoist after you shower or at least daily. Keeps them fresh, dry and sweet smelling. No need to grab a clean towel every time you shower, and no heap of damp towels in the bathroom. If it is raining and I cannot use the outside Hills Hoist I hand the towels on the line under the patio, or even run them through the last 10-15 minutes of the cool cycle in the dryer.
 

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Of course, Martha - I totally forgot to say that this was a top loader... In a way this is an 'old-fashioned' machine. My machines (washer & dryer) are made by Maytag and are real 'work-horses'—they're at least 35 years old, only the second ones of my 49 yr marriage and have never needed a bit of service. Maytags open on the front panel so assess to working on them —should they need it—is a breeze. My DIL & DD both have newer front loader which don't have cycles which stop.
In that case, I have told them to work much like you do, get two matching baskets (we have smallish rigid plastic laundry baskets as you describe) setting a garment or two between into one basket and set the other basket into the first one.

Now the garments can be "hand-washed' in a laundry tub, changing the waters for washing and rinsing as many times as needed and they never need to lift a water-filled garment. pressing the top basket against the bottom one while out of the water drains the water out of the garment(s) quite efficiently.
I use this method to wash raw fleeces, too, in preparation for hand- and drum-carding them.

While they are in-between washes and rinses, you can change it/their positions in the bottom basket to make certain they're getting clean or to protect items like buttons or things like that. And again, dunking the basket into rinse water and resting it there for a bit until no more bubbles appear when your hand swishes in the water will assure clean fibers.

I'd not heard of a Hills Hoist (at least not here in the Northern Hemisphere) and Googled it. I had a big grin when I recognized the old familiar outdoor, 4 - 6 armed 'umbrella' drying racks that are still seen and sold here, though more ppl have just run regular clotheslines from house to a tree or their garage or other structure if they want to dry their clothes outdoors. (Remember getting hollered at by Mom or Grandma for even touching the clothesline poles that held the lines up mid-way?)
These space-savers were more popular here when the housing boom was in effect in the late 40s, 50s and 60s for returning vets and the suburban lots in the new subdivisions outside of the cities were springing up everywhere; land-per-house was allotted on the small side and these rotating laundry lines were very popular because they saved space. I remember many at the houses of families I baby-sat for.

Sorry if you misinterpreted my heap of soggy towels; many people tend to wash all of their cold weather sweaters and other woolens all at once, before storing them away before the warm weather arrives. This is what I meant by having a pile of soggy towels; it would take one per item, and usually more than one item would be worked on in a session, being more time-efficient that way.
 

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I knit and felt hats and have been able to stretch them by putting them in hot water and while warm and wet, stretching them over an object such as an overturned plastic flower pot or bowl and leaving them to dry there. I have also stretched felted slippers while warm and wet and left them over a shoe to dry. Not sure how this would apply to a sweater. Maybe you can find something. It is not easy to do!
 

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gin-red said:
I knit and felt hats and have been able to stretch them by putting them in hot water and while warm and wet, stretching them over an object such as an overturned plastic flower pot or bowl and leaving them to dry there. I have also stretched felted slippers while warm and wet and left them over a shoe to dry. Not sure how this would apply to a sweater. Maybe you can find something. It is not easy to do!
Exactly. Though in this case it may just be giving the item a final shape to the finished garment.
In trying to enlarge something which was once the correct size and was fulled accidentally, you've got to break apart the strands which have bonded to each other in new places. I suppose it's really a combat between the number of new permanent bonds which have formed within the mass and one's strength! {BG!}
 
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