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 Using the "hand-wash" cycle
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hillstreetmama
Permanent Resident

USA
3448 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2009 :  2:46:17 PM  Show Profile Send hillstreetmama a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some washing machines, especially the new ones, have a delicate cycle called "hand-wash". Would you put your hand knits in there? One knitter did, then brought the results to the LYS and wanted her to stand behind her yarn....

Before I tell you what happened, weigh in with some opinions, please.

Jan

agnesgooch
Gabber Extraordinaire

573 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2009 :  3:11:11 PM  Show Profile Send agnesgooch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I live in an apartment, so I used the coin-operated machines. If I had a machine that had a "hand-wash" cycle, I still would not put a garment made of "hand-wash only" yarn in a machine. Just my opinion.
Cathy

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24181181@N07/
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KathyR
Permanent Resident

New Zealand
2969 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2009 :  3:13:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit KathyR's Homepage Send KathyR a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The only handknits I have ever entrusted to the washing machine (new or otherwise) are socks knitted from machine washable yarn. Even if my handknits were made with similar yarn I doubt that I would be able to just throw them in there and let the machine do the work.

That being said, I do spin the water out with the machine. I have also used the machine as the container on more than one occasion when I have had a number of large men's jerseys to wash. When doing this I have ensured that no agitation was able to take place once the items had been placed in the machine.

KathyR

If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.
My Blog
http://www.flickr.com/groups/kr_members/ (Roselea Fibres)
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anderknit
Permanent Resident

USA
2600 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2009 :  3:19:10 PM  Show Profile Send anderknit a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think that the delicate hand-wash cycle may or may not be ok (depending on fiber, garment construction, etc), and I do not think the LYS should stand behind the yarn if the person actually tries it and gets bad results. Here's my rationale: No matter how delicate a cycle there is on a machine, it still involves some agitation and some spinning. I have a new front loader (no agitator), and I know that I machine wash my hand-wash items at my own risk.

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.' "
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dschmidt
Permanent Resident

3962 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2009 :  4:25:28 PM  Show Profile Send dschmidt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have the hand wash cycle and I don't use it for wool knits except socks and an old superwash afghan.

Donna in VA

The Honor Roll? It's easier here than in school. Scroll up to "Want to Make Betty Happy?" and be an Honor Roll member.
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watcher
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
449 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2009 :  6:35:01 PM  Show Profile Send watcher a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I do wash my hand-knit socks (superwash wool, superwash wool/nylon, or superwash wool/cotton/nylon - mostly; there are a few pairs in Panda cotton - in my house, socks eventually end up in the washer, so I don't buy handwash only yarn for socks!) in my washing machine, in a lingerie bag with my regular laundry (cool water, short cycle, usually). I also have washed the sweaters knit from Cotton Ease (one of mine, and 2 of Younger Son's) with my regular laundry (same cool water, short cycle). Usually, lay flat to dry. I've not had a problem with those items.

For other yarns, I'd be inclined to knit a swatch and run it through a wash cycle or two, measure it, look at it, and see if it affected the item, before I ever put a whole garment in the washer...and I'd likely only do that with yarn labeled "machine washable" and not all of those, either - some of them are tougher than others! I don't think I'd ever machine wash a shawl or a yarn labeled hand-wash (even if there was a "hand-wash" cycle on my washer)...

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Calamintha
Permanent Resident

USA
2886 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2009 :  6:43:20 PM  Show Profile Send Calamintha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My washer has a hand wash cycle. I once put a shawl in that the cat had barfed all over. It came out felted. I was surprised because not only did I use the hand wash cycle but it's also a front loading washer which I had heard (apparently in error) would not felt yarn.
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lacylaine
Seriously Hooked

USA
989 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2009 :  7:08:35 PM  Show Profile Send lacylaine a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's actually a tough question. Knowing what I do, after years and years of knitting, I certainly wouldn't trust any machine with hand-wash yarn. But I have often washed hand-wash CLOTHES on the gentle cycle (which is all my older machine has). They have always turned out great. So, I can see where a new knitter might not understand how yarn actually works under different situations.

Melanie

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

FO 2009: small market/shower bag; gray watch cap; magic square potholder; five dish cloths, including two new patterns




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LJ
Permanent Resident

USA
1939 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2009 :  7:10:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit LJ's Homepage Send LJ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If the yarn label said hand wash, then I would use human hands to wash it. A washing machine is a machine not human hands.

I have soaked my wools in the machine and used a few seconds of spin to get the heavy water out. At no time did it agitate.

Silk and alpaca .. I would never let those fibers near a machine.

Linda in Va


My Blog: http://wallisknits.blogspot.com
My Patterns: http://www.eweknitkits.com
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kbshee
Permanent Resident

USA
4165 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2009 :  8:54:28 PM  Show Profile Send kbshee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a front loader and use the hand wash for all my hand knits without any problem. It doesn't have blades.

kim in oregon
http://kbshee.blogspot.com
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2009 :  04:35:40 AM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It is the agitation that gets to your knits in addition to the water temperature. I use the hand wash cycle but I do it my way. I agitate slightly just to mix the soapy water throughout, then stop the agitation and let them soak, then slightly agitate and spin out the water and repeat with the rinse water. I've never had a problem doing it this way but I doubt if I want even the slight agitation of a gentle cycle on my knits.

fran

http://martianmischief.blogspot.com/
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anderknit
Permanent Resident

USA
2600 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2009 :  07:06:42 AM  Show Profile Send anderknit a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm so proud of my non-knitting husband! I raised this question at the dinner table last night - both of my daughters are knitters - and he chimed in, "She should wash a swatch!" How cool was that?

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.' "
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2009 :  07:21:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wash all knits in my front loader machine on Fine/Delicate or Woolens at 85F including store bought fine gauge cashmere sweaters and my handknits. On my machine those cycles limit the spinning.

I can think of 2 mishaps in 10 years. One, a store sweater that was my fault. Second, a dog sweater knit from Malabrigo worsted. The Malabrigo washed beautifully except that it went, in perfect proportion, from a size that fits an 18lb dog to a size for a 10lb dog. I'll never use Malabrigo again because, well, I don't feel the love.

In answer to the question about the yarn store:

If it is a regular customer I would give her a general store credit and then, for future protection, post a gently worded sign in a pretty font stating that machine wash is not hand wash and the store can't be responsible.

If it is not a regular customer I would do the same but probably be annoyed, although I would keep my attitude hidden.

Respect the customer for being honest. She could easily have said that it happened in the sink and never mentioned the machine. Customers bring back clothing all the time swearing "it never went in the dryer" or "my kid was just walking along and the pants ripped in the knees" and get a full refund.




GFTC of NYC
my knitting photos on Flickr or Ravelry
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lacylaine
Seriously Hooked

USA
989 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2009 :  4:32:15 PM  Show Profile Send lacylaine a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Jan, when are you going to put us out of our misery? Or has the story actually ended yet?

Thanks! Melanie

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

FO 2009: small market/shower bag; gray watch cap; magic square potholder; five dish cloths, including two new patterns




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mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2009 :  8:27:00 PM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Only in a front-loader. I machine wash almost everything, but in cold water. I would not do a full refund because labels state "hand wash" or "machine wash - delicate cycle" so it's not like the customer was not warned.

The customer's atttitude would also play a big part in deciding what to do. If it was a regular, or someone who was polite about it, I might offer a reimbursement of the exact same yarn(same amount) used to make the item *provided* I got to keep and display the original item that was ruined, with a "this might happen to you" notice.

Brought to you by the tongue in cheek-y monkey
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hillstreetmama
Permanent Resident

USA
3448 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2009 :  6:10:33 PM  Show Profile Send hillstreetmama a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sorry I didn't come back and finish the story! I've worked every day and been gone every evening this week. (Found out today I'm having foot surgery in two weeks - must find crutches!)

The washer was evidently a front loader, and she washed 3 garments. One was a wool/silk blend that came out okay. One was a jacket/cardigan out of Brown Sheep Burly Spun and it "looks" lightly felted, though it evidently still fits, and has some stretch. The third was a gorgeous sweater out of 100% wool that felted way beyond use. It could be cut up and made into a bag, but there is absolutely no give left to the fabric.

I don't know yet what the LYSO is going to do for the knitter, but I will pass on your suggestions, and love the idea of the "gently worded" sign. The moral of the story is: SWATCH!

Jan
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Roxbarb2
New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  05:03:24 AM  Show Profile Send Roxbarb2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Any time you don't follow directions, you are taking a chance. There are certainly hand knit items that come through the washer with no problem, but not all. I don't think the LYS is any way responsible because someone chose to ignore the yarn label.

Rox
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linda-gail
Permanent Resident

USA
1052 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  05:14:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit linda-gail's Homepage Send linda-gail a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I do machine wash some knitted items in the hand-knit cycle on my machine - at my own risk and only after washing a swatch that way. I would never think of requesting a refund from my LYS becasue I had put a hand wash item in the washer, no matter the cycle. Laundering is my responsibility.

A fellow knitter had made a very nice afgahn with expensive 100% wool. She was afraid to wash it for fear of felting it so she took it to her dry cleaner. They felted it and would not even refund the charge for cleaning, never mind the cost of the yarn!

I think I would suggest a partial credit towards replacing the yarn if the LYS owner is willing. The knitter did not actually follow the care instructions, and the LYS owner didn't make the yarn or label it.


Linda, knitting and now spinning away in MD
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edonnell
New Pal

8 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  05:36:18 AM  Show Profile Send edonnell a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think if one puts "hand wash only" fibre into a washing machine, that you are putting faith in the washing machine manufacturer over the yarn company. And I bet the machine manufacturer never tested their prototype machines on hand knits.
No machine has a cycle as short as a few careful hand done swishes.

The yarn company has said how the yarn should be washed and if someone second guesses them and loses, well, bad call. But not their fault.
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mary_massirer@baylor.edu
New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  05:43:42 AM  Show Profile Send mary_massirer@baylor.edu a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The LYS should not be responsible for the knitter's wrong guess. Too many people fail to take responsibility for their own actions, and this seems to be one of them. The "gently worded" sign should get the LYS off the hook for future incidents. Mary
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joycet
Warming Up

USA
76 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2009 :  06:05:15 AM  Show Profile Send joycet a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is a really interesting topic. Personally, I never use the washer for knit items unless the label specifically says machine washable, no matter that the washer has a "hand wash" cycle. Machines are just not as gentle. I do use the washer to spin out excess water.
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