Large blanket in non-machine washable wool?

Hey guys! I’m hoping you all can give me good advice. I’m wanting to start Barbara Walker’s Learn to Knit Afghan, which is a really large endeavor, and requires a ton of yarn.

I have been considering making it out of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, which is quite cost effective and I’ve liked for other, smaller things. However, the idea of having a hand-wash only huuuge blanket sounds frightening.

The other yarn I am considering is Berroco Vintage, for the washability,but that will cost twice as much. (I don’t consider Berroco to be expensive, but it really adds up when the yardage gets into the thousands…) I’ve considered superwashed wool, but I don’t really like how stretchy it is.

I wouldn’t worry about having to wash it, except that I have kids! Stuff happens and everything that enters my house has a high chance of being part of a disaster.

How would one go about washing such a large thing of 100 percent wool? Do you think it would be worth springing for a blend instead?

I’d soak it in the washing machine, spin cycle to get rid of the excess water, then lay it out to dry. I knit for a group that only takes animal fibers and several people use this method to wash large and large numbers of items. And we use a lot of WOTA.

You could check out the WOTA superwash to see if it is a stretchy issue for you. (I’ve never noticed superwash wools being stretchy in comparison to regular, but most of the things I might make with it are off to the charity I knit for and I’m not using them on a regular basis. I mostly don’t use them because I can’t spit splice with them and then I have 20 ends to weave in after making a sweater!)

Little Knits has lots of colors of Berroco Vintage for $6.80 right now, which puts it in the same price range as the WOTA superwash (many colors on sale for $3.20/50 grams at the moment).

I think it would be worth it to spring for a blend. IMO ease of care is important when you have kids or pets.

You can filter for washable on Knitpicks. I came up with this. If you see one you like you can do some research on Ravelry to see how others say it washes, etc. BTW… WOTA comes in a bulky superwash, that can be machine washed and dried, too.

http://www.knitpicks.com/Yarns/Superwash_Yarn_Washable_Yarn__L300164.html