As you know I am not a big “superwash” wool fan. But I did some thinking … My friend Christina said that superwash wool has had the scales removed, this makes it possible to put the garment directly into the washing machine and will, hopefully, avoid shrinkage. She recommended to me go down 2 needles sizes, may be in even three. I chose to make my brother Jared Flood’s “Turn a Square” hat using superwash wool. The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn and US size 7 needles (4.5 mm). The pattern was very clear in stating that the gauge was very important so choose needles that would get you 20 stitches in 4 inches. So I knitted up a swatch on US size 5 (3.75 mm) and then I soaked it in water, removed the water by blotting and then left it to dry. Then I measured the swatch. I did this because of Christina’s advice: superwash wool has no scales; therefore, it will grow because the wool’s scales are what grips the yarn together and therefore holds it shape. So with no scales, there will be growth. Her advice paid off, and the swatch came out to be 20 stitches to 4 inches, and 24 rows to 4 inches.
I chose red for the hat to embrace our new surroundings and I knew that he would like that idea. Plus, bright orange (in honor of Queen’s Day in Holland) on my brother’s very tall body might just be too a little too much ...
The Martini Knitter