Done! That hat made from that yarn

“Oh, dear.”  I muttered to myself as I read over the care instructions on the yarn label for my Noro a la mode.  I had seen the symbols but not understood what they meant.  There was much I had assumed about this yarn already, and I was about to be outsmarted by it yet again.145px-Nicht_waschen.svg

I had assumed that this little innocuous symbol meant “Do not machine wash.”  But do you know what it really means?  It means, do not wash at all under any circumstances or we will come claim your first born and leave you with a ruined hat.  Read also as “Dry Clean Only.”

I looked back at the fibers in the yarn.  I knew it was a blend.  65% Wool, ok.  25% Mohair, ok.  10% Polyamide, what’s that?

As the google search results would teach me, polyamide is a blend of nylon.  And nylon does not like getting wet.  Most anything made with more than 10% polyamide should be sent to the dry cleaners.

I started to look up this specific yarn at various detailers.  I was satisfied to see it was discontinued by so many dealers. What shocked me though was to see they all had different thoughts on how to wash the yarn.  Half said send to dry cleaners; half said to hand wash.

I kept on reading, and learned that if I were to hand-wash this at home, I should use only very cold water.

Now this is where my husband comes into play.  He’s been by my side through quite a few of these knitting mis-adventures, and it seems he’s learned a lot more through them than me.

“Why don’t you knit a a little block and wash it to see what happens?”  I can’t believe I got the “should have swatched” lecture from a non-knitter.

Wanting to use up every last scrap of yarn so it doesn’t re-enter my stash, I had already decided to make a pom-pom with all of the remaining yarn.  Stubborn as I am, I wasn’t going to spare any of this for a swatch.  It was going to get washed, and what happens happens.

“You know,” he continued.  “You shouldn’t buy your yarn pre-wound in a ball.  When it’s in a skein, you can check out its ply for consistency and look for all the debris in it.  You’ll get to see the yarn for what it really is.”

He’s pretty smart, right?  We’re married for fourteen years today, and I think I’ll keep him around indefinitely.

So, tossing all the conventional wisdom about swatching out the window (because I only know one person who actually swatches for hats), I threw the hat into a cold soak and left it to dry.

I measured the gauge pre-blocking for posterity:

  • 13 stitches x 12 rows in colorwork pattern on US 7 needles;
  • 13 stitches x 15 rows in 2×2 ribbing on US 5 needles.

Then I measured the gauge post-blocking for posterity:

  • 13 stitches x 12 rows in colorwork pattern on US 7 needles;
  • 13 stitches x 15 rows in 2×2 ribbing on US 5 needles.

The overall length of the hat remained roughly 12″.

All that worrying for naught.


A bit of loose fiber came free during the wash, and I was able to pick out a bit more of the vegetative matter.  I think the hat will be wearable.  I do have to admit it feels soft.  Also, as a bonus, some of the color work evened out so it doesn’t look as sloppy.  And if you fold up the brim… it looks even less worse.

Have I learned my lessons for the next time?  I certainly hope so.

Lastly, I have 26 grams of the green and 6 grams of the light blue left which I think is roughly 65 yards.  Which… might… be enough… for… a wee baby hat.


4 responses to “Done! That hat made from that yarn

    • I felt like I could have shaved it down a little more, but I was worried there might not be any pom left at the rate I was trimming it. Sometimes it’s better to just be done!


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