So yesterday Mr Kiwi and I decided we needed to wash baby laundry. We have a bin dedicated to burp cloths, clothes, receiving blankets, etc that is separate from the cloth diapers. Pretty self explanatory, right? Well, through some miscommunication between Mr Kiwi and I as to what is a "soaker" (things I knit) and what is a "diaper cover" (non-knit things), the little white soaker managed to make it into this laundry bin. I knew it had been placed in there (I think I asked 10 times where it was before doing the laundry) but for some reason it kept escaping me to take it out before washing the clothes. I didn't remember it was in there until everything was thrown in the dryer. Of course this wasn't helped by the fact that almost all baby clothes we have are white. Why do they do that? Babies are messy; why is white, the color that just about every stain will show up on, the most prevalent in baby outfits? So of course, the white soaker blended in with all the other white clothing.
All knitters should be cringing about now. Soakers are made from 100% wool to give them the high absorbency that they are used for. 100% wool when stuck in a washer which has heat + agitation and then in a dryer that also has heat + agitation, and yes, even in a front loading HE washer... will felt. I figured the damage was done, and I might as well fish it out at the end of the cycle.
Sure enough, it had felted. Not nearly as bad as I had expected it to, but the fabric was denser and it was a bit smaller than it had been before going in. I brought it into the house to show Mr Kiwi what had happened and to explain the difference in terminology and where things belong. Covers get washed with the diapers. Soakers are knit and get washed by hand. They don't go in the bin with clothes or diapers, and must have a designated area somewhere else. This is what happens to machine washed soakers.
We looked at the soaker for a minute, and looked at the 6lb baby, then back at the soaker. One of us got the bright idea to see if it still fits, since everything we have is huge on her. We pick her up, go to the changing table, and stuff her (gently of course) into the newly felted soaker. Surprise, surprise, it fits better now than it did before. Previously, it was huge and bulky, but now it fits like it should. This of course won't last long, but it is nice to know that A. we now have at least 1 thing that fits her properly, and B. the soaker is not a complete loss.