Here is Pup helping me take some mug shots of my newly finished handspun Featherweight Cardi-before I ruined it.
As soon as it came off the needles I tried it on and it fit perfectly but it needed blocking to get all that handspun to settle down. This was a fleece that I had washed by the lock, dyed and spun myself. I was heavily invested in this year long project that started with last year's Tour de Fleece.
I gave it a gentle squeeze and rolled it gently in a towel to get out any extra water.
So far, so good.
I started to carefully pat it out on the drying screen when I noticed it was beginning to grow....
....and grow. I slipped it on and to my horror realized I now had a very floppy handspun bathrobe. It was huge. Ginormous, in fact. Those sleeves that ended so prettily at my elbow were now all the way down to my wrist. I saw a year's worth of work going down the drain. I was not happy.
After a little research I discovered that it is not unusual for Merino to behave this way. I really needed to wash it after swatching so I could make adjustments and of course, I didn't. Instead I did it after the fact just to make myself feel even worse.
Look at that difference. Almost two inches of extra width and that's over this very short distance. I am not sure how I would have proceeded even if I had known this. How do you make allowances for a thing like this? What I do know is that I have a shed full of Merino that I just don't trust anymore.
The final chapter in this sad tale involves the washer for a failed attempt at some shrinkage but there was no happy ending. It seemed to grow even wider while at the same time shrinking in length. Since there was too much work involved to just trash it, I'm now looking for a felting project that I can use it for. I'm really in the mood to cut it up for repurposing-if not just to work out some frustration.