Sunday, November 4, 2012

TUNISIAN CROCHETED BEDSPREAD: How NOT to clean it

This is the story of how NOT to wash a large hand-crocheted project in one's washer, when all the yarn type/content is not known:
partially re-blocked after 'felting'
How it came out of the machine, before blocking attemps
Trying to pull/stretch the felting out somewhat - first efforts not so good
Story:  In the Spring of 1981, I finished an almost 9 year project for a Bedspread, Dual-King size, Tunisian Crochet - aka: Afghan stitch, covered in detailed Cross Stitch using more than 200 colors of yarn. Nice. I was happy with the outcome and satisfied with my efforts. It was a gift to my DMIL. She and Dad used it on their dual-king bed as a spread for several years. After they passed, the 'afghan' went to my DD Laura who stored it in various ways for about 10 years, 5 of which were in my garage under less than perfect circumstances.  So, naturally it required cleaning. No local cleaners would guarantee the outcome. I cut some bits off of the gold fringe and did the "match test" to determine what kind of yarn it is: natural/wool, or acrylic/mix. It passed the test and told me with a hardened nub that it was indeed washable yarn -- the GOLD was! My mistake, I did not test ALL the yarn. I should have. Great Grandma bought all the yarn, all I did was make it and that was so long ago, I couldn't remember any details. Anyway, long story short. . . don't let anyone tell you that you cannot FELT wool in a front loading washer b/c I am here with the results that it is indeed possible!
"blocked" afghan drying under sheets to keep my Kitty off!
A huge thank you to a new neighbor and sweet friend Marge, who came to my house late last night  to help me - these things never seem to happen in the afternoon! And we proceeded to try and "pull it out" to some kind of shape. Only somewhat successful, but way better than what we started with. I'm going to steam the gold strips after the afghan is all dry and try to coax the extra back into itself. May work, may not. I figure if all else fails, I can remove the 8 gold strips, make new strips, crochet them back in place. This afghan will never again be what it once was, but it has been saved to a certain extent. I'm grateful my mistake didn't turn into unrepairable disaster.
Good news: somewhat successful - gold strips can always be remade/replaced
Thank you for listening to my rant and sad song. Normally I try to keep my blog happy and up-beat because that is usually how I feel, but if I "own up" to my boo-boo and share what happened when I tried to wash this afghan, it might save someone else the grief and disappointment that I am experiencing. So. . . with all this behind me for now. . . Until next time, I am going to go sew on a DJ block; I'd like to console myself with some pie, but that's not gonna happen! lol.  What are YOU going to do today?

Quilty Hugs,

6 comments:

Pat from Florida said...

Oh Cyn! This is such a sad saga, and exactly why I love homemade. If this was store bought, you'd toss it. Handmade is sooooo much more valuable! Personally, I wouldn't replace a thing. Use it as is; it looks pretty good. Consider that it's this way because it was loved into this condition.

Me, finished up donation blocks and then made some lotto blocks. Big block work -- nothing too hard.

thethimbleroom said...

What a terrible thing to happen! Thank heavens you have a helpful neighbor, and that the afghan is saved to some degree! Actually, I agree with the previous comment: I wouldn't replace a single thing.

Emily Breclaw said...

Dear Cyn,

So sorry for your ordeal. I HATE it when things like that happen. such a beautiful piece, and it does still look good!
Hoping today is a much better day for you!!

sending big commiserating hugs your way!

Frummie said...

Dear Cyn,

You poor baby! If you just can't live with it, send it to me. I love all orphans.

Hugs Sweetie,

thethimbleroom said...

Hello again! :) I've been told that I’m a ‘No Reply’ blogger when I comment on blogspot blogs, but don’t know how to change it! (I’m probably just not bright enough to figure it out!! lol)

Thanks for stopping by!

LuAnn said...

Oh Cyn what a lot of extra work you've gone through. It's a beautiful piece and hopefully you will be happy with it. And, me..I've started yet another crochet project: a simple shell afghan. Hope you are having a good day.