>> Friday, January 7, 2011
that if you're going to accidentally scoop up a wool and cashmere blend sweater and put it into the washer, it's going to be your absolute favorite, cozy, fits-you-perfectly sweater.
And of course Murphy's Law demands that if said comfy, wonderful sweater gets machine washed, it must also go unnoticed as it is tossed into the hot dryer- to come out sized perfectly for your preschooler. *grumble*
Thank goodness for the internet! I did a search for restretching shrunken sweaters and the method I tried seems to have worked. Mostly.
I soaked the sweater in my bathroom sink. Warm water- NOT HOT! with about 1/3 of a cup of hair conditioner. I made sure the conditioner diluted and didn't ball up in the water before I put the sweater in. Next, I gently squeezed the sweater to work the softened water through it then I left it for about 30 minutes. I repeated my squeezing technique then drained the water from the sink. I didn't rinse the conditioner out- everything I read said to leave it for now.
Next I lifted the sweater over the sink and making a "C" shape with my hand, placed my four fingers on one side of the sweater and my thumb on the other side and gently pushed the water out as I slide from top to bottom- don't wring, this can really misshape the sweater!-
Finally I laid it out on a thick towel and rolled it up to absorb the excess water, then immediately switched to a new, dry towel and laid it flat to dry. As I laid it out, I gently pushed it into shape and stretched the length and width. I didn't get it to the exact length I wanted on my first shot, I didn't want to pull too hard and ruin the knit. I came back every hour or so and stretched it a little more until I finally got it to the approximate size I wanted.
It has been drying on my bathroom counter now for 36 hours. Once it's totally dry, I am supposed to put it into my washer again (GASP!) but on the wool cycle and use proper wool cleaning detergent and then lay it flat to dry again. I can tell already that the weave is not quite as loose as it was originally, but the felting it underwent in the washer and dryer is definitely lessened significantly.
I am just happy to be able to wear it again!
Have you ever shrunk a favorite garment? Did you toss it out or did you manage to stretch it again? What technique did you use?
Oh! PS- a pleasant upside is that my bathroom smells quite lovely with the hair conditioner sweater in there, lol!