"I'll have a blue Christmas" was the title of my last post and I'd no sooner published it than I discovered that my beautiful blue and cream afghan had turned completely BLUE.
I followed the pattern directions which said to wash this lovely denim cotton afghan in HOT water. (Apparently this is necessary to achieve shrinkage or your afghan will look like a string vest).
I took no other precautions against the color running. Utter madness I know and I've no defence except that was all the pattern said and I was rushing to get this thing done. Of course, as you can imagine, the blue ran into the cream and the lovely bright crisp cream squares became a sickening shade of greyish blue.
I went into panic mode immediately. I emailed my BKF, I called my mother, I posted a yelp for help on Ravelry's forums, I emailed the yarn company and the designer who created the pattern, I wailed at the pattern book.
Someone suggested I try Shout it out Color Magnet Sheets so I ran to the grocery store (several blocks on icy streets with snow pelting down and the wind in my face and a stitch in my side). Standing in line nearly killed me. I was waving the box around hoping someone would notice that I was clearly in the midst of a laundry emergency and speed things up. Total apathy.
I ran all the way home and washed the afghan again -- no noticeable change. I tossed in half the box of sheets and ran it through one more time. Still blue.
My mother said that, as far as she knew, it was unfixable. When your mother doesn't have a solution, it's really bad. My husband came home and I did the only thing left to do, I bawled like a baby.
He was most sympathetic, he had absolutely no idea how to reverse the color run, but he did have some fresh perspective. He assured me the afghan was not RUINED, that it was a different look than before but that it was still very beautiful. I almost bought into that.
But then a knitter replied suggesting Oxi stain remover stating it had worked to correct her daughter's tragedy when her boyfriend had inadvertently washed a red and white quilt -- the white got white again and the red stayed red. It sounded ever so hopeful.
It was too late (I was too worn out) to go out to the store right then and there so I let the afghan air dry until morning.
I washed it this afternoon after liberally applying the Oxi to each cream square. That was a LOT of Oxi so I had to rinse it 3 times to get rid of all the detergent. The cream squares were still tinted blue -- "ice" is the color my husband calls them because he is a good man and because he has to live with me and furthermore, spend 10 hours in the car with me while we take the afghan to the recipient.
He is right that it is still a beautiful piece of work -- a different "look" than I had expected, but not a bad one.
The designer emailed me today too and said that the afghan is "supposed" to get that lovely worn, faded, denim look to it and that I got exactly the result I should have. Small comfort that, really, when I had expected something else altogether.
Fortunately, I suppose, the recipient never saw it in it's pre-washed state so I hope she will love it for what it is now.
This one, I'm affectionately calling, "BLUE".
Cream square now "pale ice blue"