Sunday, 1 February 2015

Throwing out the gauntlets or how not to wash wool

Hat, cowl and gauntlet ensemble in merino and silk
For a while I have been meaning to blog about this merino/silk ensemble I made last winter. I seem to recall adapting the patterns and all 3 were knitted in the round. I think the hat was based on a Ravelry pattern but as I have forgotten my password and username and locked myself out of that website I can't check.

The hat almost but didn't quite work, though I was delighted to find such a close colour match in this beautiful handmade ceramic button. I think it would have been perfect but I didn't quite make it tall enough for my long thin head.
Hat band with handmade button
The yarn is beautifully soft and warm - Manos Silk blend - I recommend it and would definitely use it again. The variegated colour way means it co-ordinates with quite a few outfits.
Manos Silk Blend 30% silk 70% merino
More often than not I don't really like the end results of my knitting, which might be because I am so much better at it in my imagination. So it was an unexpected delight to make something I actually liked and would wear. I have worn the cowl and gauntlets many many times over the last year, so much so I feel I have really experienced the practical rewards of knitting for a change...

....which is just as well given last week's wash cycle disaster or I would have cried.... 

Behold 2 gauntlets. The one on the left was washed at 40 degrees on the wool wash cycle. Let's call that the CONTROL. The one on the right was washed at 30 degrees on the synthetics cycle. Apparently it is not the water temperature that matters but the amount of agitation in the wash cycle. The CONTROL gauntlet still fits perfectly. The tiny gauntlet does not. 

The sheepish perpetrator of this mishap tried to pitch this to me as a scientific phenomenon of wondrous intrigue . He had invented felt and the secret is agitation. We had both learned some useful lessons. 
Tiny felt gauntlet
Gauntlets - wool wash and synthetic wash

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