The final project for my batch of charity knitting was a pair of mittens for J., a three year-old boy. I started out by knitting the adorable Piggy Mittens. But then I had a two-fold late-night realization:
1. Mittens for a three year-old should be machine washable.
Maybe not if you know the family and you know they are fine with hand-washing knits. But as a random charity donation? No. Machine wash only. That family has enough to deal with, without the burden of hand-washing a toddler’s mittens.
2. I didn’t have any machine washable yarn.
Due to America’s lack of 24/7 emergency yarn stores (or at least a medical-style on-call/page system for yarn stores) I had to wait until the next day. I ran to the store and bought a skein of Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in Peacock Blue.
I dedicated the better part of Saturday to cranking out a pair of Sivia Harding’s Child’s Simple Striped Mittens (but without the stripe). Those Piggy Mittens were adorable, but there wasn’t time for all that fiddly stuff.
Amazingly enough, I finished these with enough time to wash and block them overnight, just in time for the Sunday deadline. There was even time to crochet a single chain mitten string (a judicious addition to a pair of mittens for a toddler).
In theory, you shouldn’t need to wash acrylic yarn when you finish knitting a project. In practice, I find that many acrylic yarns have a coating (called “sizing”) and your project is much nicer if you wash it. This is definitely true of Vanna’s Choice, which changes dramatically in the first wash.