Decoding the mysterious yarn care symbols

A little bit of humor to start the day…. 🙂  I need some actually….my dog decided to play “Who’s the Boss” with the neighbor dog and the results were a bit nasty.  Neither dog was injured (minus some minor scratches) but it is a reminder to me that our dog is a real WIP and we have to just keep on with her training !

This little cartoon also brings me into what I wanted to blog about today and that is yarn/fabric care symbols.  Most yarn manufacturers these days are really good with decoding the secret symbols for you.  However even in this day and age I have come across some yarns that do not do the translation for you.

It is hard to believe that in this day and age where people have to spell out the obvious (such as “warning this coffee is hot” ), that you will just find the mystery symbols with no explanation.  I have seen it though (not with major manufacturers but sometimes with minor or lesser known ones).  It is good to know what these symbols mean.

In other cases, the secret decoding is on the inside of the label.  This is all well and good if you are buying it and can look inside.  However if you are looking for a yarn that you can just wash and dry or whatever and 1) don’t know the symbols and 2) can’t look on the inside (well can’t do it without the store clerk giving you the most evil eye 😉 ) then you just have to know what they are.

To seasoned crochers and knitters…these symbols are no doubt obvious.  To the beginner they are some kind of unknown foreign language.  I always try to think of the things that baffled me when I was starting out and this (along with yarn weights..sigh…another story in itself) was one of them.  I knew they had to do with washing and stuff but what exactly did they mean???  When I found out, I tell you it was like a big revelation…as if I had just learned a foreign language.

Well once again, fortunately for the internet, you can easily find the translations to these symbols.  The Laundry Guide to Common Care Symbols spells all of this out for you.  They even have a downloadable PDF file that you can download and keep/print for your reference.  Cool eh?

I like this a lot because ,well, I would not want to buy a yarn that was hand wash only/dry clean only or something to make, say, a child’s garment.  Perhaps you know more tolerant mothers, but all the ones I know would probably kill me if I gave their child a sweater like that.. (unless it was an ultra special occasion usage item but even then..hmm I dunno……..)

So there you have it…the mysterious symbols do not have to be a mystery anymore!
Happy hooking my fellow wool lovers !

My sigOff The Hook Crochet and Design


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