Last week I set about photographing some projects that need fixing, and proceeded to make some headway. One of the projects was a little pair of toe socks that I needed to revise and make normal kiddie socks.
For inquiring minds, the yarn is Spud and Chloe Fine, a wool and silk blend.
I finished up a manshawl for a friend of the family whose father just was admitted to a nursing home. Since I know firsthand how the laundry is done at such establishments, I wanted to be sure it would launder adequately. So I bit the bullet and found some Plymouth Yarn Encore, a 75/25 acrylic/wool blend. At first the high percentage of stockinette was a problem as it curled right up, but I applied a couple techniques to counteract it. First, I tried killing the acrylic by steaming it, but it didn't seem to "kill" too obviously. I think that is a testament to the wool content. However, the steaming relaxed the curling and seemed to add a bit of soft touch to the fabric. Still not convinced that the edges would not fold over, I doubled up the rather abundant length and added borders at the new ends, finishing it off with a single crochet to bind the layers together. I took pictures at different stages to examine the effects of washing and drying the yarn.
|Steamed the first time|
|Machine washed delicate, dried on low setting at laundromat|
|closeup after wash and dry|
|after a quick steam the second time around, all ready to go!|
|Before, it stood on its own.|
My conclusion is that I would use Encore again for gifts that I am pretty sure would need machine washability. It feels respectable and seems to hold its appearance fairly well. I feel very justified in my disdain for classic Red Heart, though. That said, I am a new convert to the magic of steam blocking; it captures some of the thrill I associate with lace blocking, and can even work wonders with the most awful acrylic.
|After agressive steaming the brim uncurled with very little prompting |
and the fabric is drapier. It even looks like a hat.
As my time with you today draws to a close, my thoughts go out to you a little differently than usual. Keep your head down, knit with ferocity, and may you find those bits of hope and beauty to keep you going.