Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My washing machine hates me

I'd been working on a cardigan with some deep red Matchmaker DK. The yarn had haunted my stash for a while. Once upon a time it was my First Knitted Sweater. It had turned out badly (surprise surprise). I frogged it and re-balled and it had sat waiting for a decent project for over a year. At first it was destined to a jumper like this, but as Matchmaker is 100% wool I worried about getting an itchy chest and tried to find a non-sweater use for it.

I designed a cardigan/ shrug and it worked. Really well. Bright red and covered in large cables - how very this season. I didn't blog about it because it was going so well I thought I'd submit the pattern.

Anyone who read the post's title can probably guess what's coming. I carefully set to a minimum spin cycle. But the machine decided otherwise, and spun the thing so hard it felted. Felted machine washable wool. I didn't know one COULD felt Matchmaker, in fact I've tried and failed to before.

If I'd wanted the felting, it did do it beautifully. There is something pretty cool about a felted cable. My flatmate got me to try blocking it into a shape that might be wearable, but it wouldn't work. The design required elasticity.

Grump grump grump.

I would stomp around while grumping but when I tried this I stomped into the washing machine and scraped my leg so bad it bled. I told you that thing hates me.

I do have a plan to save the fabric into something beautiful, functional and generally happy though. News of this will follow.


Veronique said...

Aack! Evil washing machine!
You must be absolutely crushed that it ate your design :( I know I would be.

michellenyc said...

maybe you could cut out the larger panels and sew it together into a really nice handbag or a small backpack or somthing?

the cables do look really lovely

Amy said...

Michelle beat me to my suggestion - handbag.

Ohhhh! So terrible, though. I'd be crying, kicking, and screaming at fate.

Jessica / Fig & Plum said...

ugh! something similar happened to me at the laundromat this weekend. perfidious machines!

Anonymous said...


When you are calm enough to look at it againg this could become a nice bag...

kath said...

Oh no!

That's horrible, I'm sure you can use the fabric for something else though. Felted cables are lovely

Wibbo said...

I'd get in touch with Jaeger and complain! After all, it's supposed to be machine washable and Jaeger should replace the yarn if it doesn't do what it says on the label. I've machine washed blankets made from this yarn several times and they haven't felted.

tilly said...


I'm glad you ended on a positive note though, can't wait to see what you make!

scarletprincess said...

It's not as stupid as my felting aggravation... I put my felted bag for my sister's b'day in with some new bath mats as I had no jeans that needed washing... I ended up with chenille fibre melted into and all over the felted bag :( Oh it'll be a while before it looks remotely nice.

gleek said...

oh no!!!! this is a tragedy :( especially since it was something you designed. damn washing machines! they simply cannot be trusted. it's all handwashing for me from here on out.

Jenny said...

Cabled felted bag, cabled felted bag, cabled felted bag! I know it might seem horrible to think of it not being what it was designed to be, but... cabled felted bag, cabled felted bag, cabled felted bag!

Really, it'd be beautiful and useful.

The color is lovely by the way.

lisa said...

Handknits + Washing Machines = Felting Woes. It's an equation to remember... I'll bet the shrug was cute though - do you have any pre-felted shots?

Philippa said...

That's just what I thought as I was reading your post! Felted fabric can be cut and sewn... I was going to suggest a cushion, but I look forward to seeing what genius project you come up with.

suze said...

forget writing to the yarn company - you should complain about a washing machine that spins when you told it not to!

you poor thing. hope you make something nice out of it though.

Eclair said...

Poor you! Drink wine, eat chocolate, make sleeves into two felted baguette bags. Drink more. Congratulate yourself on having one new bag for you and one more for the Christmas gift list!

It's a lovely colour. I bet it was a gorgeous shrug. Oh, poor you!

Julie said...

Those machines have a mind of their own. :) I think you could make a nice bag out of the fabric. It's a lovely color.

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