Friday, July 31, 2015

Softer Baby Cardigans

My softened-up sweaters drying on my dining room table. 
The top one is made with Red Heart Super Saver in 
pink camo. The sweater on the bottom is made with a 
sport weight baby yarn I had in my stash. The more the 
sweaters dried,the softer they felt. And they smelled 
so clean and fresh!
I'm always learning something new. If you do not subscribe to any YouTube crochet channels, I encourage you to do so. That said, it takes time to sift through to find quality content but it is well worth the effort. A month or so ago, I got a notification about a video posted on Clare's channel, Bobwilson123, about how to soften scratchy yarn. I had no idea that scratchy yarn could be made to feel soft like other yarns. This was big news to me. I am a fan of Red Heart Super Saver. Love the colors. Love working with it. Love the durability. Love the easy care. Love the price. But . . . I hesitated to use it for baby sweaters because it wasn't as smooth to the touch as other yarns. After watching Clare's video, I did some additional research and found Emi's tutorial on her channel, Hectanooga1. Both tutorials utilized shampoo and conditioner.

I decided to use a similar process but use my washing machine and fragrance free fabric softener instead of shampoo and conditioner. I washed the garments in the machine, with a small amount of detergent on delicate. Then I soaked the 100% acrylic sweaters separately in warm baths of water and 1/3 cup of fabric softener in large bowls. I periodically gently swirled the sweaters in the softener solution and made sure they stayed submerged in the liquid. After 2 hours, I drained the softener water, squeezed out the excess, and put the sweaters right back in the washing machine. I put fabric softener in the dispenser cup then ran the garments through a regular delicate cycle without detergent. I tossed them in the dryer with two fragrance free dryer sheets and a dry white bath towel on the low touch-up cycle for 7 minutes. Still slightly damp, I let the sweaters finish drying flat on a towel. The texture of both sweaters improved significantly and were soft enough for an infant. I'm glad I went through this process prior to adding buttons. I may need to increase my button size slightly to account for the change in the yarn and how that loosened up my button holes a bit. I will definitely try the shampoo and conditioner method on my next set of sweaters but I also like the idea of using common fragrance free laundry products.

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