Here is Ruby in her sporty new sweater
The house has heat now, but it’s still a little chilly outside. I finished knitting Ruby’s new sweater last week and tried it on her before I’d gotten around to blocking it (for you non-knitters, blocking is what you do when a new item is finished and all assembled; it involves getting it wet and doing the final shaping and letting it dry very slowly – if you don’t do it, the sweater will get stretchy & misshapen quite quickly) and of course it got all baggy and kind of, well, chewed up on one edge. I let her wear it for a little too long. It was also not exactly the right shape or size, but it was a good first draft. Anyway, after I took it off, she chewed on it again and hid it under some towels that were about to go into the wash.
In hot water. With extra-strong detergent.
Ever made felt? To do it on purpose, you knit a garment (or purse, or potholder, or whatever item) about 20% or so larger than it needs to be, and then you wash it in hot water with harsh soap and agitate it a lot. You can make it shrink more or less by agitating it longer or repeating the process. But generally it’s the same process you’d use to wash, say, filthy towels you’d been using to wipe mud off the dog’s feet for a week or so.
Usually when felting happens by accident you end up turning your favorite sweater into a lovely placemat or potholder, and it’s very sad. In this case, however, the item was much improved: it shrunk the bagginess out of the sweater and also kind of sealed off the chewed up parts so that they are a) more or less invisible and b) not going to unravel further.
Anyway, I’m going to try again with the shaping, but I’m definitely going to make it larger and then felt it. I plenty left of that grey handspun dog hair-lambswool yarn I used. She seems to like this one very much, in any case. I think the grey turtleneck is a good look for her. And there’s way less static than the pink flamingo fleece sweater generates.