Everybody needs an autumn 'knock-about' cardigan, right? I choose to knit a classic from Chic Knits -- Ribby Cardi. Knit in a worsted weight yarn from Elann -- Peruvian Highland. The knitting went fine, as expected. Bonne Marie Burns crafts excellent patterns, and this oldie but goodie from her line is no exception. My problems arose with my blocking of the finished product. I sent the sweater through the hand wash cycle of my front-loading washing machine -- cold water, no agitation, no other item in the load to provide any additional friction. And, in my defense, this is how I have laundered many other hand knit, and also store bought, knitwear in the several years I have had the machine. This time, not so good. Apparently Peruvian Highland yarn felts with great ease. Very nice if that's what you want -- sadly, I did not.
When the sweater emerged from its cycle it was about two sizes too small. So, not totally felted, just enough to make it not-my-size. Aggressive blocking (well, aggressive s t r e t c h i n g ) yielded something that looked a bit more me-sized, but not by much. I think I can still get away with wearing it around the house and yard, but I'm not sure it will show up anywhere else. Too bad, because I like the style. Lesson learned? Well, for sure I will be pre-treating swatches for anything else I knit, but I truly hate to give up the convenience of the machine for everything. Sigh.