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 Superwash merino for shawls
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frenetic@charter.net
Permanent Resident

1386 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2009 :  08:19:49 AM  Show Profile Send frenetic@charter.net a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There are some lovely superwash merino yarns which I assume are for socks, but I am wondering how they block for shawls. I know some people have used them, but I am interested in finding out if certain patterns are possibly more suited for this type of yarn or not?
Sharon

NutmegOwl
Gabber Extraordinaire

576 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2009 :  08:57:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit NutmegOwl's Homepage Send NutmegOwl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One thing to beware in the glut of superwash merinos of all weights: your ends will NOT stay tied in. They find their way out of everything, whether lace or stockinette.

-----
Nutmeg Owl
Quaecumque sunt vera
http://www.owlwaysknitting.wordpress.com
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frenetic@charter.net
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1386 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2009 :  09:15:08 AM  Show Profile Send frenetic@charter.net a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That is good to know! Especially if the shawl/scarf is a gift--that is embarrassing to me and I fear people would think I did not do a good job
Sharon
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kdcrowley
Permanent Resident

USA
4773 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2009 :  09:32:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit kdcrowley's Homepage Send kdcrowley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I also notice that superwash does not block really well...it kind of springs back....so I don't do lace with it that will need lots of blocking.
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maribelaprn
Permanent Resident

USA
2033 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2009 :  6:13:51 PM  Show Profile Send maribelaprn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've made at least 50 shawls from superwash wool in everything from fingering weight to worsted weight. Probably more like 100. I've never had a problem with them blocking any differently from non-superwash wool nor have I had problems with ends becoming unwoven (I do not tie knots; I weave in the ends).

That's just my experience.
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Ceil
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USA
1702 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2009 :  08:20:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by maribelaprn

I've made at least 50 shawls from superwash wool in everything from fingering weight to worsted weight. Probably more like 100. I've never had a problem with them blocking any differently from non-superwash wool nor have I had problems with ends becoming unwoven (I do not tie knots; I weave in the ends).

That's just my experience.



I recommending darning the ends in instead of weaving them: Pass a sharp darning needle through the yarn plies in the stitches. They won't come out that way.

Ceil

Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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maribelaprn
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USA
2033 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2009 :  09:26:55 AM  Show Profile Send maribelaprn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Exactly what I do, Ceil. I never tie or knot ends. I should have described what I do, but I tend to think of the process as "weaving in" my ends.
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NutmegOwl
Gabber Extraordinaire

576 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2009 :  1:05:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit NutmegOwl's Homepage Send NutmegOwl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I assure you, I weave in and darn. They still come out.

-----
Nutmeg Owl
Quaecumque sunt vera
http://www.owlwaysknitting.wordpress.com
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arlinem
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
442 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2009 :  6:46:54 PM  Show Profile Send arlinem a Private Message  Reply with Quote
i halfway suspect that the results of whether or not ends would stay in depends on the yarn. i've had superwash socks felt on me right in my shoes and others not at all. i think it's just a matter of trial and error that will help you determine. so swatching would be absolutely necessary as well as washing and blocking as you would dress the shawl.
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susan@beeberrywoods.com
New Pal

10 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2009 :  03:12:48 AM  Show Profile Send susan@beeberrywoods.com a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I often use superwash sock yarn for shawls - but never the stuff with nylon in it. I make sure the ends are woven in well - 5 stitches in one direction, then 5 stitches back, washing and blocking before I cut off the excess. But I do that with regular wool anyway. Never had a problem with escaping ends. I prefer the heathered yarns or the LOOOOONG repeats like Jojoland or Treehouse (same thing?) to the yarns with short repeats of colors that don't blend easily as the pooling tends to be erratic as the shawl gets bigger. Really the same issue with rectangles as with triangle based shawls. I don't want color to take away from my lace work.

Susan - on MDI
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scarfitup
Chatty Knitter

191 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2009 :  04:09:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit scarfitup's Homepage Send scarfitup a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've never used superwash yarn for ANYTHING, so your comments are very helpful to me. Since my shawls are always combinations of lots of various yarn weights and textures, I've been wondering about superwash sock yarn for its myriad of colors and the striping effect. Since I intentionally leave the knots hanging out, are you saying that they will slip out too easily? I don't do lace, so perhaps it's not an issue for me, and I should just try it. What do you all think?

Thanks, and happy knitting!
Louise

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Boogie
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USA
3073 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2009 :  04:16:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit Boogie's Homepage Send Boogie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I made a Forest Canopy Shawl using my own Supernova sock yarn that has superwash Merino with 10% nylon. It blocked really well and I wore it all around Rhinebeck a couple of years ago. I would absolutely make another one.

amy
http://www.spunkyeclectic.com/wp
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peggymchoe
Warming Up

63 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2009 :  05:31:37 AM  Show Profile Send peggymchoe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've done one lace shawl in 100% superwash and it is the only one that has sort of 'unblocked' itself. I thought perhaps I was too impatient and unpinned it too soon when it was still a bit damp, but now I think it was the superwash at fault, since the unblocking occurred weeks after blocking and slowly, over time.
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MeezerMom
Warming Up

USA
83 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2009 :  07:10:48 AM  Show Profile Send MeezerMom a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm wearing my Seraphim Shawl (Mimknits) that I made in Blue Moon Socks that Rock lightweight (superwash merino, no nylon). It blocked beautifully, the ends have stayed in (and I didn't do the needle weaving, but thank you, I will next time, because I like the idea better!). I wear Seraphim a lot, it was an enjoyable knit and the "pooling" didn't happen. Before I made this shawl, I used a 100% superwash merino by Zen Yarn Garden for Knitspot's Star of Evening. I worried about the blocking on that one, and Judy Becker and I took on the challenge of knitting lace swatches and blocking them to see if there was bounce-back. Neither of us had much if any...but we did ONLY use 100% merino superwash yarns. No nylon.

My 2 cents worth! :)

http://www.knitnana.blogspot.com
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>^..^<
You can't have too many cats, yarn, fabric, or sewing machines!
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kathfemme
New Pal

4 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2009 :  09:58:25 AM  Show Profile Send kathfemme a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've had wool that is not superwash unblock itself, although that will never keep me from using it. I've all the superwash shawls I've made behave beautifully, and I have never had any trouble with it. Also I use a Russian join for about 4 inches on each side, which probably couldn't work itself out in the lifetime of my great-great-grandchildren. (I'm just that paranoid.) Use the yarn that calls to you. Good luck!
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honestabby
Warming Up

85 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2009 :  10:06:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit honestabby's Homepage Send honestabby a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I knit a shawl with a superwash merino/nylon blend and while it was very pretty, the shawl did not hold its blocking well.

My blog: http://bittenbyknittin.com
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chingachgook
New Pal

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2009 :  1:35:30 PM  Show Profile Send chingachgook a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is an interesting topic!
I have knit one laceweight shawl from my handspun Superwash merino, 2-ply balanced, rather tightly spun and plied. The Superwash process loosens or straightens the fiber's crimp somewhat, but a merino wool will never block out like Shetland or superfine angora, because of that crimp. It blocks beautifully for merino, however. And, any blocked knit of any breed will relax (unstretch) somewhat over time because of ambient moisture and handling.
The shawl was a gift, so it needed to be washable by hands other than mine, so I tried the Superwash. I was very pleased with it, and the Superwash process has an additional benefit of seeming to m*thproof the wool. I have never had a m*th attack any of the Superwash socks I have, or the shawl.
All that being said, I'll knit several more shawls with purchased superfine yarns before I'll spin the miles necessary to knit what I want from a shawl again. I do m*thproof my yarns before knitting, though, as those beasties make too good a living here at the base of the mountains.
And Superwash or not, nylon added or not, those socks just don't wear like a lower micron count wool breed.

Nancy
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cadoganlm@comcast.net
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2009 :  1:38:24 PM  Show Profile Send cadoganlm@comcast.net a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I love making shawls, especially lace shawls, out of superwash merino yarns. The shawls block nicely, the yarn is easy to knit up, AND the cleaning/maintenance of the shawl is very easy. As a gift, the recipient can block with a steam iron after the shawl air dries.

I typically wash the shawl with hair shampoo and rinse the shawl with hair conditioner. The shawl smells nice, is very soft and blocks wonderfully.

Linda
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Katie 2847
New Pal

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2009 :  4:28:49 PM  Show Profile Send Katie 2847 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For those who do not like any sewing of ends, you can use Wooly Nylon which can be bought in fabric stores. Its primary use is for rolled edges such might see on napkins. It will adhere the yarn fibers and there keep them pulled in especially if you work with Chenille.
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dctauctions62@aol.com


Posts

Posted - 05/20/2009 :  10:10:08 AM  Show Profile Send dctauctions62@aol.com a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I used Pagewood Farm Denali for a small Laminaria, and it worked beautifully. I haven't had any trouble with the ends working out, or the blocking disappearing. There are pictures on my Ravelry page (rav name dctfibers).
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PamelaA3
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
476 Posts

Posted - 06/03/2009 :  12:23:47 PM  Show Profile Send PamelaA3 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
this is all very interesting. I am wondering if anyone has tried to steam the shawl after it is blocked and dried, before pulling out the pins. Would that kill the nylon like it would acrylic and keep it from bouncing back? Just a thought. I have never used machine wash wool but thought it would be nice to be able to give a lace item and not have to worry about blocking.

Pam
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