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There are many yarns out there that are machine washable. I think that’s great, because it means an easier time cleaning the item. It just makes practical sense. But, honestly, I’m petrified of machine washing my hand knits or crocheted items- even when the yarn is machine washable. I don’t know why I have this irrational fear. I just put so much time into the things I make, and I’ve got this nightmarish thought of it all being ruined during one 30 minute wash cycle.
I have machine washed a couple of items, but I generally spend the entire time with my stomach in a knot, praying it comes out ok. One time, I machine washed a hat, and since the yarn said it could take it, I put it on low in the dryer. (Actually, the hat was the Diamant Tam.) When I checked on it in the dryer, I completely freaked out. The twisted stitches forming the design on the tam had completely disappeared! The background looked completely different! I was already hyperventilating when I realized that the hat was actually fine- it had just flipped inside out. Besides feeling like an idiot, I decided that hand washing items, even if they were made from machine washable yarn, was a better choice, if for no other reason than my blood pressure.
What about you? Do you always hand wash? Only use the washing machine? Do you have a washing knits disaster story?