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Thread: How to deliberately shrink wool

  1. #1

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    Default How to deliberately shrink wool

    I few years ago I knitted a mohair cardigan/shrug thing, it's beautiful but waaay too large. I realised halfway through but was committed then. I wore it a few times but don't now, so I was thinking maybe I can deliberately shrink it in the wash and then I might wear it again.

    Do I just put it in a hot wash?

    It's not going to be a major issue if it shrinks irregularly as it is really 'free form' anyway, and seeing as I don't wear it, nothing will really be lost.

    Any thoughts?


  2. #2

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    Default Re: How to deliberately shrink wool

    If the wash is too hot it will felt and be kid size. I would try a warm wash first and go from there. Maybe 40c?

  3. #3

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    Default Re: How to deliberately shrink wool

    You can just put it in a hot wash BUT it will probably shrink and harden and not stay lovely and soft.
    I would be inclined to unravel and re-knit or if you have any wool left over knit a small square (like the tension test ones you do before using a pattern) and experiment with shrinking that and drying it before you try the whole garment.
    Mohair can be made into felt so I would be worried you'll get a felt effect if you try to just heat shrink.
    Good luck.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: How to deliberately shrink wool

    Oh fair enough thanks. I am dumb at these types of things lol.

    Will go with warm and see what happens. I do manage to shrink things accidentally all the time so I should be good at it

  5. #5

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    Default Re: How to deliberately shrink wool

    It will felt if you hot wash it. (You can hot wash wool without felting if you're very careful to raise and lower the temperature extremely slowly.)
    If you have no other use for the cardy, then give it a go, I guess.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: How to deliberately shrink wool

    Give it a go and if you felt it you can convert it to kids toys

  7. #7

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    Default Re: How to deliberately shrink wool

    if it felts too much you can make really cool arm warmers out of them... google arm warmers from recycled jumpers!

  8. #8

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    Default Re: How to deliberately shrink wool

    Ok warm wash did nothing! Except leave a ton of wool fibres in my machine
    Not sure whether to go the hot or leave it....

  9. #9

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    Default Re: How to deliberately shrink wool

    If you're not wearing it anyway I say risk the hot wash!

  10. #10

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    Default Re: How to deliberately shrink wool

    Do a boiling wash... have you got 90c option?

  11. #11

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    Default Re: How to deliberately shrink wool

    Option A

    1. Eat lots of Nutella.
    2. Get fatter.
    3. Magical fit!


    Option B

    1. Give me jumper.
    2. Ask me to wash.
    3. Accidental shrinkage

  12. #12

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    Default Re: How to deliberately shrink wool

    Argggh, hot wash didn't shrink it!
    I think the thermostat on our hot water thing isn't up high due to having a small child, so maybe the heat wasn't hot enough.
    Only have an old washing machine with cold/warm/hot settings.
    It's also getting a bit roughed up now from the washes, had it on wool setting but I have a top loader and it must be too rough, I hating there was a dropped stitch which is now opening up.
    Might have to give up and pull out the wool in the hope I get time to knit it again one day.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: How to deliberately shrink wool

    Quote Originally Posted by Saffy View Post
    Argggh, hot wash didn't shrink it!
    I think the thermostat on our hot water thing isn't up high due to having a small child, so maybe the heat wasn't hot enough.
    Only have an old washing machine with cold/warm/hot settings.
    It's also getting a bit roughed up now from the washes, had it on wool setting but I have a top loader and it must be too rough, I hating there was a dropped stitch which is now opening up.
    Might have to give up and pull out the wool in the hope I get time to knit it again one day.
    Typical that you want to actually shrink it and it does not work!!!

  14. #14

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    Default Re: How to deliberately shrink wool

    I know!! I think it's bigger lol, it's a very loose knit so maybe that's the problem.

    Meanwhile I just got a jacket back from the dry cleaners that I am positive has shrunk grr

  15. #15

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    Default Re: How to deliberately shrink wool

    Maybe you should send it to the dry cleaners

  16. #16

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    Default Re: How to deliberately shrink wool

    I shrunk a wool jumper of DHs once... It now fits DSD.... She's 12.

    It washed okay in the hot washing machine... But didn't survive the dryer...
    Do you, or someone you know, have a dryer....

  17. #17

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    Default Re: How to deliberately shrink wool

    Ps. Put it in a bra bag to stop the stitch from pulling out further....

  18. #18

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    Default Re: How to deliberately shrink wool

    Quote Originally Posted by Saffy View Post
    I know!! I think it's bigger lol, it's a very loose knit so maybe that's the problem.

    Meanwhile I just got a jacket back from the dry cleaners that I am positive has shrunk grr

    Oh my!!! hahaha!

    I think unravel and start again, if you don't have a front loader it is probably going to ruin the fabric from all of this washing!

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