Can I fix a stretched sweater

I finished a sweater made from washable wool and put it in the washing machine on gentle. I didn’t think it would stretch, but it did. It’s a cardigan so the body doesn’t matter so much but the sleeves are too long. Is there anything I can do besides unknitting and reknitting the sleeves?

How am I supposed to wash washable wool? I really thought I could do this!

Superwash/washable wool usually stretches when wet, and when you put it in the dryer it will go back to its knit size. So rewet it and dry it in the dry.

Thank you! I didn’t realize it could go in the dryer.

Yes, washable means ‘able to be laundered like regular clothing’.

What are the washing/drying instructions that came with your yarn? I have some yarn with wool in it that says to machine wash but not put in the dryer.

Check the ballband on the yarn you used for washing and drying directions. Some do recommend drying flat.

They may say to dry flat, but if it stretches out when wet, it needs to be machine dried anyway.

This makes sense to me. I’m not experienced with wool, I have never used it much for anything…too many people around me are allergic…so this seems like a good opportunity to ask. Is shrinkage the only concern when putting wool, or at least washable wool, in the dryer?

I haven’t used washable wool yet except the acrylic wool blends. But having read a lot of ravelry threads about it, it only shrinks back to the knit size, not smaller. I find cotton the same - it stretches when being worn, but wash and dry will take it back to its finished measurements. For cotton I only leave it in until damp and finish drying flat, but for superwash you can leave it in a medium dryer until it’s dry.

I’ve used washable wool for socks and never had them shrink smaller than what they should in the dryer. I usually air dry them though and they don’t stretch. Socks are generally knit tighter to make them last longer though so your gauge may make a difference.

Thanks, Jan and Sue. It’s synthetic and wool sock yarn that I have that said not to put it in the dryer. I generally air dry anything I can, my dryer is very expensive to run and I actually prefer drying things on racks most of the time. That’s good to know about socks not shrinking, I’ve swatched and washed and dried in the dryer, just in case things do go in it, and hadn’t noticed any shrinkage.

Socks are different than sweaters or hats because of the gauge as Jan says; if it’s knit tight in the first place it won’t stretch out. A standard sweater gauge could though.

GG, I don’t remember every yarn, but most of them say lay flat even if they are superwash.

If your sweater is stretched I’d probably try it, although I might try a swatch first.

When you lay the sweater out to dry, don’t hang it over anything or it will stretch out. Lay flat, as the directions say, and you can push it around a bit so it’s not pulled out of shape anywhere. My grandmother used to gather the wrists of a sweater and baste them closed to keep the shape small as the sweater dried.

I did get it wet and it shrunk some. I like the way the body fits now so I’m just going to take the sleeves apart a few inches and shorten them. Thanks

I had to take some out to make them longer once. :teehee: