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Topic: my white cotton/wool wedding sweater turned off-white when I blocked it  (Read 1424 times)
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lisascenic
« on: September 28, 2005 07:19:52 PM »

I'm in the midst of knitting a sweater/jacket for a friend to wear at her wedding.  Other than the fact that I feel like I'm knitting dental floss with toothpicks, things are going well.

Until today.

I had blocked the back of the sweater a few days back -- just sloshed it around in the sink, and set it to air dry on a clean towel.  Anyway, it had been looking sort of off-white to me, but I just thought "it must be the light in this room."  But today, I had this piece in the knitting bag with the two fronts of the sweater, and the formerly white back is in fact distinctly off white.  It no longer matches the other parts of the sweater.

Since this is going to be worn at a wedding, this is a serious problem.  I need my white back!

I know this isn't a dye lot issue, since I'm knitting off cones of yarn, and am still on my first cone. 

My water does not have high iron content.

I don't want to bleach the crap out of this garment.

WHAT'S A KNITTER TO DO?Huh?
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2005 09:33:41 PM »

That's terrible!  The only white I've ever worked with is from Lamb's Pride and it's never done this. 

How about hydrogen peroxide?  I'm not sure, but I'd think it might be gentler than bleach.  Oh, or lemon juice? 
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lisascenic
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2005 11:46:58 PM »

Actually. this yarn is by the same manufacturer as Lamb's Pride.  I'm going to give them a call tomorrow.  Let's hope that someone at Brown Sheep Company has a moment to talk me through this perplexing dilemma.

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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2005 06:35:57 AM »

(Are you using Cotton Fine?  I found 6 skiens of it at the Goodwill for $1 a piece and bought them all, but haven't used it before.  Aside from the color problems how do you feel about it?  I sure hope BSC can help you out.)
« Last Edit: September 29, 2005 08:48:13 AM by Lothruin » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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lisascenic
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2005 08:23:12 AM »

Yes, this  is the Cotton Fine. 

This yarn is small.  Progress is slow, which is a bit stressful for me since I'm knitting on a deadline.  I'm a rather loose knitter, and I'm knitting on #1 needles.  Not for the faint of heart, or impatient!

I like the yarn.  It isn't plied very tightly, so you've got to watch out for splitting the stitches.  You get very crisp stitch definition, and once you wash it, it plumps up a bit, and gets very soft.  I think  that the wool content adds a lot to the yarn.  When I've knit with 100% plant fiber, it always seemed a bit like knitting with cardboard.  You can't feel any appreciable "sproing" in the yarn -- it doesn't stretch at all -- but it isn't as hard on my hands as knitting with linen was. 

I think that Brown Sheep yarns are one of the best bargains around, but you really scored!

I hope I get a helpful and sympathetic person on the phone at Brown Sheep (there actually is a Mister Brown)!
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linzogonzerelli
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2005 09:16:23 AM »

Try Clorox 2 (or the generic) its more gentle, whatever you do DON'T USE CHLORINE BLEACH!!!!
It will make the sweater fragile (yarn breakage AGHH!) and it will yellow down the road.

Any word from the yarn company?
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lisascenic
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2005 11:17:15 AM »

Well.  I just learned a painful lesson.  It seems that if you place wet cotton in sunlight, even a few hours, it will darken.  Our cotton clothes don't darken in the sun, I'm told, because we don't tend to wear wet clothes.

I've been advised to try a laundry soap with "color safe whitener" and if that doesn't work, I'm going to try a dilute bleach solution, followed by a vinegar rinse.  Bleach is bad for plant fibers, but theoretically, the acid in the vinegar will counteract the base of the bleach.

uuuuuuuuugh.....this is so painful!!!!
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2005 11:33:19 AM »

I'm really curious to see what your project looks like, and what it should look like when finished. I hope the whitening turns out well for you!
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lisascenic
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2005 09:06:02 PM »

Okay, now I may have really messed this project up.  I tried Clorox 2, and then Clorox 2 with added bleach, and i think the thing actually looks worse.

Somehow, I'm the only person on the planet who didn't know that bleach can turn wool yellow, and this fiber is 20% wool. I think that my household water must be highly chlorinated, and that must have started this problem.  Everything I've read on the internet tonight says that yellowing due to using bleach on wool cannot be removed.

Trying not to burst into tears.

I'm supposed to have a fitting with my friend the bride tomorrow......
« Last Edit: September 30, 2005 12:01:25 AM by lisascenic » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2005 06:54:32 AM »

Well, it probably won't make you feel any better, but I didn't know about wet cotton in the sun OR about bleach turning wool yellow.  I've just never really had much in the way of white wool and cotton I guess, and my drying table is in the basement.  But this might save a lot of other people from the same problems.  I wish that it hadn't happened to you, though.
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