To Iron Or Not To Iron

meowzerNovember 15, 2011

I am knitting a baby bunting using a pattern and instructions that are about 18 years old. I could not find the exact yarn recommended in the instructions, so a friend helped me choose an alternate, which ended up being Caron Simply Soft (100% acrylic).

Pattern directions say to press the pieces (back, left front, right front, sleeves, hood) before assembling. The Caron yarn band has the "Do Not Iron" symbol. The pattern is described as having "hexagonal shapes" or a "honeycomb" effect, if that makes any difference to your advice.

What would you do?

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anne_b

Your old pattern apparently used 'real' wool which can be pressed. But please heed Caron's band warning and DO NOT press/iron anything made with "Simply Soft" yarn. Your work will be limp, shiny and totally lifeless, and the honeycomb effect will be completely lost. Wet block instead. Dampen your pieces and pin them out to the shape you want, letting them dry COMPLETELY before you assemble.

Good luck with your project!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 4:56AM
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meowzer

Thank you, Anne. I've never wet blocked before, so here is a stupid question: How wet should it get? Lightly sprayed on the top surface? Completely soaked?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 9:13AM
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meowzer

P.S. The original recommended yarn was:

RED HEART 'Baby' pompadour, and
RED HEART 'Baby' traditional

Anyone know what the contents of those yarns were?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 9:18AM
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Vickey__MN

Red heart is acrylic, and I'm pretty sure it always has been. Blocking will do nothing on acrylic.

You can iron acrylic, but you have to be very carful

Pin it out to the correct shape on the ironing board (you could use a towel), then fill a good steam iron up with water and turn it to steam, hold the iron ABOVE the knitting a steam, let sit till dry.

A couple of things to think about:
A - don't touch the iron to the yarn - it will melt and make a mess.
B - the yarn should become much softer, that could be bad for you if you need the body/stiffness of the yarn.

Hope this helps.
Vickey

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 2:08PM
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meowzer

Thank you, Vickey, for your advice, and yes it was helpful. I will definitely be careful with the iron and maybe even start out with a hot wet towel over the top and see if that does anything.

OR, if I had been smart and done a gauge I could practice with it. Maybe I'll do a gauge when I'm done. ha ha!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 8:57PM
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acraftylady

You can still get the baby pomadour if this is the stuff you mean. It is acrylic and nice to work with. Mary

http://www.herrschners.com/product/Red+Heart+Baby+Econo+Yarn++Pompadour.aspx

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 3:14PM
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meowzer

Thanks, crafty. Although I'm about half way done now, I was very interested to read about the characteristics of the Red Heart Pompadour as it compares to Caron Simply Soft.

What are your thoughts about ironing?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 12:34PM
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acraftylady

I have never ironed a project so have no clue. Everything I do is in acrylic so have never worked with wool. I used to get the pomadour at Walmart but not sure if they still carry it or not. Mary

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 2:33PM
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sheilajoyce_gw

With acrylic yarn baby gifts, I wash them to remove the sizing and make them softer. I use the washing machine and mild detergent and fabric softener, and then throw it in the dryer. Wash it with other things of the same color and it will fluff up better than when washed alone. Simply Soft is so very soft when it has been washed, but you must use fabric softener to cut any static electricity. No need to iron it or do anything else to it.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 8:44PM
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meowzer

sheilajoyce, I have a stupid question for you. What is sizing?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 10:26AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

In case sheliajoyce is busy... Sizing is similar to a light starch. You can buy spray sizing in an aerosol can and it will help you put a crease in pants and shirts/blouses. Many new clothes come with sizing to keep them looking "crisp" and smooth, as you know they get floppier after you wash them.

-Babka

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 10:48PM
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sheilajoyce_gw

Babka is right. If you wash the stiff sizing off acrylic yarns, they get nice and soft.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 11:28PM
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meowzer

Thank you, Babka and sheilajoyce, for those explanations of sizing. I didn't know that was added to yarns.

Since it looks like I won't be ironing this yarn, I was considering blocking the pieces (according to Anne's or Vickey's directions), but then I wondered what would happen after it was machine washed. Would I be wasting my time with the blocking . . . ?

I will post pictures of my pieces later today along with the pattern's photo so you can see that the hexagonal shape of my work does not look quite like the photo.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 9:40AM
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meowzer

Here is a photo of the bunting that came with the instructions:

Here is a photo of my work of the back piece in all white:

The one with the instructions looks a bit smoother which emphasizes the hexagonal shapes. Mine is more puffy which obscures the shapes, and is why I was hoping there would be a way to smooth it out.

So, back to my question in my previous post . . . Would I be wasting my time to block the piece, only to have it lose the shape after washing?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 4:32PM
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Vickey__MN

You block after washing..blocking isn't a permanent thing. Wash, block..but don't hold your breath, acrylic doesn't block well.

Vickey-MN

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 9:34PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Oh is that adorable! Finish it, assemble it, machine wash and dry it. I love the honeycomb texture! That is what makes it look like a beautiful hand knit. It will be softer and more relaxed after washing/drying. So to answer your question...yes, you would be wasting your time.

-Babka

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 1:15AM
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meowzer

Thank you, ladies! I will take your very knowledgeable advice.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 8:15AM
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