A Cautionary Tale

Who would like to hear a cautionary tale?

It’s called ‘don’t ever wash a piece of crochet you’ve just finished when you’re too tired to think straight’.

Oh yes. You can see where this is going, right?

So if you remember, I had a set of twenty 6″ squares that I rejected from my latest blanket as not fitting the overall scheme. I ripped apart one of those, to estimate total yarn usage for that blanket, but that left me with nineteen. Okay, I thought. Sixteen squares, in a four-by-four pattern, will make a nice little baby blanket. Waste not, want not.

I joined them all together using the flat braid join, which is a lacier join and added a little extra to the size of the finished blanket. Then I worked a border, very simple, just single crochet and chains, to make a nice lacy mesh type border. Nice and wide to add a few more inches onto the end result. Not my favourite blanket ever, but it was nice enough. Somebody would like it.

Whenever I make a blanket with Stylecraft Special DK, I don’t block individual squares, but I do wash and gentle tumble dry the finished object, which works very effectively as a blocking method. 30 degree cycle in the washing machine, with some fabric softener, and then a gentle tumble dry, and finish it off over a radiator or in the airing cupboard. I’ve never had any problems with this before. Not ever.

I washed the blanket on Sunday evening, and bunged it into the tumble dryer while I was very distracted by the fact that one of my chickens had escaped out of the chicken yard and was AWOL (long story – she turned up the next day, very indignant that she couldn’t get back in with the others and having clearly spent the night safely up a tree somewhere!). If there was a problem with the blanket after the wash, I didn’t notice it – being, as I say, very distracted by the errant chicken, and also frankly rather knackered. which seems to be my perpetual state of being at the moment.

When I got it out of the tumble dryer, though…oh yes. Then I noticed a problem.

This is what the squares looked like when I’d finished crocheting them:

6 inch square - 10-04

Aaaand this is what the squares looked like after a wash and dry:

P1020293

Yeah. Bit of a difference, as you can see.

It’s kind of got a nice drape to it, but…..yeah. I must have, in my tiredness, put the blanket in the wash on the wrong cycle.

Do not try this at home, kids. Do not wash crocheted blankets when you’re knackered. It does not end well.

All I can say is that I’m lucky it was ‘only’ a ‘use stuff up’ blanket, not a design I’d been working on for weeks or months!! As it is, it’s not even fit for a charity shop. I think it’s just going to have to go into the bin. Honestly, I think these squares were just doomed from the start. It’s not a bad square in itself, but sometimes a project, or part of a project, is just…..doomed.

Sigh. I mean, it could be worse, but still. Ugh. I wish I knew what I’d actually done, just to make sure it never happens again! It must have been too hot. It’s never happened before and I’m sure, with due diligence, it will never happen again. But it’s certainly a cautionary tale. Never again will I put a blanket in to wash when I’m exhausted and trying to find a missing chicken in the dark.

And nor, I’m sure, will any of you!


9 thoughts on “A Cautionary Tale

  1. Aah Catherine I can feel how fed up a and disappointed you may be. Seems like the blankie got prematurely aged – I have an acrylic granny square blanket my Mom made for my daughter who is now 44 and keep it for love as it’s stretched over countless washes. DON’T bin it – it can still cover someone with love. All those handmade stitches – too good to waste. Think of somewhere it will be cherished.
    Love to you and your chickens 🤣 I used to have bantams in SA – they can lead you a dance. So endearing too. Ruth

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  2. There are so many people who don’t have enough who would be awed to have something so pretty! Honestly. Give it to a charity and it will be treasured by the recipient!! Truly, if necessary, consider it recycling if you need to.

    The stitching is beautiful!! The pattern is worth your efforts!

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  3. I agree with all that Ruth has said above (including about ‘chooks”!); please, at least, give it to charity where someone really is going to love this still-pretty-blanket.
    Life is often difficult, isn’t it? I hope a good patch is around the corner.

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  4. I made a beautful acrylic throw for my Mum when she was in the Care Home where they wash EVERYTHING at 60o. It ended up mush worse than that. I second sending it to the charity shop or give it to a little girl with dolls. I call this a Learning Opportunity! (we all weep with you)

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