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Thursday, December 9, 2004


A most marhvelous thing has happened.
Actually, two marvelous things have happened!

The Shazam Aran Cardi Fronts are done! They and their brother Back are resting comfortably BLOCKING on the ChicKnits Blocking Rug. It appears they are the same sizes. All is well!

BUT what’s even better is that a miracle has happened.

Last night, I just couldn’t constrain myself. I wasn’t going to wait for the sleeves to get the party started. I decided to block the pieces I had by throwing them into the washer with a couple of dirty sweaters I was cleaning. My usual way to wash woolens is to fill my washer with warm water on the gentle cycle. I add a couple of drops of Dawn Dishsoap (just basic liquid soap, ma’am). I swish the water to dissolve the soap, then add the knits, pushing them into the water to make sure they don’t just float.

No mechanical agitation has taken place thus far.

Now, on the Gentle Cycle, I let the washer agitate for 5 counts. Then I turn it off and let it soak. I come back after about 10 minutes and agitate for 5 more counts, then drain the tub, spin the knits, fill to rinse, and repeat my 5 counts.

The difference last night was that I added to the Rinse Water: one cap of Infusium 23/ mixed with 2 caps of Tresemme – both Hair Conditioners, as suggested by many who wrote when I initially bemoaned my Stiff Yarn Problem…

When I put my hands on my freshly washed pieces to take them out of the washer, I almost fainted. THEY WERE SOFT, fluffy even.

Now I had been BUGGED for, ahem, years now with the nature of this yarn. It was dense. It was DRY! It was tight. It was like a BOARD. I would knit on it on the #66 and it would flap around and spank me until I was ready to scream.


Cut to Theme Music – OPEN Episode #1:
Yarn History Detectives
This stuff was just saturated in Spinning Oil! As I understand it, this oil is used on fiber to tame it during the spinning process (people – is this half right?). Age the oil on the yarn for a couple of years (maybe 3 – who really knows when it was made?) and you get: HARDENING OF THE ARTERIES!

Even though this yarn was already made into a sweater, washed the same way as above, frogged, re-skeined, washed again and then re-knit, it was never really soaked and washed COMPLETELY. Now, the yarn has been released from the PRISON of it’s commercial beginnings and can become –

OK, you get the picture.

Now all I have to do is frog the earlier sweater’s sleeves to get enough yarn to finish the whole piece…

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