Back in February of last year I decided to knit my hubby an argyle jumper. Not a normal argyle jumper but an Erratic Argyle Jumper.
I sent away for 100% alpaca yarn (which cost me an arm and a leg, but he is worth it), and then began knitting the jumper in the beginning of March (2010).
This jumper was black with a blue and gold argyle pattern on it which required me to use intarsia to knit it. Have a ever mentioned how much I dislike knitting argyle!!!
I knitted the front upto the armhole quite quickly and then the argyle pattern began….I took a deep breath and began knitting the intarsia. After around 6 rows I got fed up of the yarn getting tangled up, so put it down and carried on knitting on something else.
I sporadically knitted on the jumper until Christmas 2010 was approaching and I told hubby that I would get it finished for him for Christmas. Christmas morning came and there was no jumper under the tree!!! I explained to hubby that I had had many orders to complete so didn’t get as much time as I needed to work on it but promised I would have it for his birthday in April.
Yes, you guessed it, April came and went and the jumper hadn’t been finished. Hubby would bring up the subject of the jumper every now and then and I would reply that it was going great.
I finally finished the jumper at the end of last month, but there was a problem..it was too big!! I had knitted a gauge swatch, done all the measurements and calculations and it should have been the perfect fit, but it wasn’t. The 34″ jumper actually measured 50″!!!
I handwashed the jumper and it didn’t shrink, so I dried it and had a think…the only option I had was either to unravel all of the jumper and begin again or to try and shrink it. I knew the tumble dryer would felt it so I chose the option of machine washing it.
I delicately placed it into a mesh bag and sealed it. I then put it in the machine and set it to the wool wash with minimum spin cycle and cool wash. The jumper came out and looked a bit smaller, I laid it out to dry and measured it, 44″, still 10″ too big. I let it dry whilst I pondered what to do.
The jumper had washed perfectly and wasn’t felted or anything like that so I decided to put it back in the washing machine once it was dry and put it again on a wool/cool wash with minimum spin cycle, not forgetting the mesh bag to make sure it didn’t get out of shape.
That day I had been busy and didn’t think about the jumper in the machine until it was 5 o’clock, so I went to the washing machine and looked in…I was shocked when I put my hand in to grab the bag, it was quite solid..not very solid, but quite solid. I held my breath and pulled the bag out and gently unzipped it and took the jumper out.
As soon as I felt the jumper I knew it had all gone wrong, it had felted. Not a soft, snuggly felt but a quite stiff felt which would have made the jumper stand up on its own…I sat on the floor crying and shaking. It is fair to say I was distraught..Hubby and I tried to block the jumper out and it actually measured what it needed to be, but was much too stiff. I kidded myself and said it would be fine once dried.
A few days later the jumper had dried and I had asked some knitting friends whether they knew what I could do to soften the jumper so that I could save it. Someone mentioned soaking it in fabric conditioner. This sounded a good idea, so that is what I did, and just to make sure it would stretch a bit and be softer I hung it on the line to dry.
I am afraid to say it did not help, the jumper is ruined and I am still grieving over it. It has taken me a week to get myself together enough to photograph the jumper as I had hid it at the bottom of a pile of yarn.
This is the jumper I am left with…