Devil in the Dryer ?

9-1Gone for over a month-and I come back with such silliness. That’s fine, I need a break from the serious stuff !

In a way , this is still a serious matter. My niece, who has MS, is about to become a mother. The baby, a little boy, is due to arrive on July 11. There was a baby shower in early April. I had crocheted a beautiful multicolored afghan in fluffy yarn for the baby. The afternoon before the shower, as is my custom, I decided to wash and dry the afghan. I have a dog and a cat and I just think it is courteous to wash the gift item, so it will be free of animal hair. Also, fabric softener lends a nice scent.

Now I’ve done many, many baby blankets with this fluffy yarn, washed them with no problem. The yarn label states “machine washable and dryable”. But that evening in April, I removed the afghan from the dryer and was stunned. First, it had stretched to about one and a half times its correct size. As a result of this, all the stitches were loose and stringy-looking. Then the beautiful colors had lost their intensity because they were so spread apart. It looked dingy. The yarn, which normally is nubby and irregular in a cozy way, turned wispy and ragged. I was so upset!

Luckily, I had stopped at a local shop and picked up a few little extras for the baby earlier that day. Those became my main gift at the shower. I wrote a note to my niece explaining what had happened. And I said another afghan would be forthcoming.

I really wanted to do the same pattern, but decided I should choose a different one- but using the same normally lovely yarn. I had to order some more yarn. A week later it arrived and I was anxious to get started.  But then I became very ill and my arms ached so much, I was not able to do a darn thing! After three weeks, I felt better  and I finally was able to start the blanket. I completed it in three days; I was very pleased with how it turned out.

So again, I decided to wash the blanket. I actually prayed as I placed it in my washer on the “delicate” cycle with lukewarm water. I left out the fabric softener. Later I held my breath as I removed the blanket from the washer. It looked just fine! I was so happy. I put it in the dryer with a big fluffy towel to help prevent any pilling. And I added a fabric softener sheet……and I think that was my mistake.

Twenty minutes later, I pulled out another raggy, beat-up afghan. My heart sank. I was beside myself. I could have cried, but I also was angry. It had to have been either the fabric softener sheet or the dryer itself. As I said earlier, I’ve washed this yarn before – without a problem. I’ve used fabric softener every time. So, maybe it was just the dryer…..I am tempted to call it the demonic dryer. Found the perfect picture to illustrate this-haha. I’d show you pictures of the two hideous afghans, but I think most people would have a hard time believing they were ever pretty.

So now I have started again. Same yarn,different pattern. I’ve actually chuckled seeing reviews of the yarn stating “washes and dries like a dream”. More like a nightmare!!! I find the possibility of facing the same dryer experience scary. But maybe the third time will be the charm. And hey, it’s a Mystical number!   My niece is waiting, probably thinking she will get nothing from me. I am so irked that my lack of a gift comes across as discourtesy, when really it has been completely demoralizing for me. Plus there is the fact of all the work involved, going down the drain. Yes, it is work I love to do , but work nonetheless!

Say a prayer for me!

“Patience gains all things”- Teresa de Ávila