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I have a wonderful O’Connells Shetland sweater. Over the years and a little weight loss have made it to big to wear primarily the waist is to loose/sloppy. Anyone have any successful experience doing this? I’ve read spraying it down with hot water and then into a hot dryer with monitoring it every 5 minuets or so will do the trick. Any advice?


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It’s always a tricky thing, trying to shrink a sweater.

Regardless of the suggested methods, the entire process is highly unpredictable.

Is the sweater really that much bigger on you now? Any chance you can layer it?

I suppose you could try to do it and hope for a good outcome. I would definitely put the sweater in a garment bag, though, during the drying process.
 

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"How to Shrink a Shetland Sweater"

Shrinking a sweater made of natural materials is incredibly easy, and Shetland wool is one of the easiest most successful sweaters to shrink.

There are two methods that are 100% guaranteed to work. Both are followed by a surefire step that will result in a well fitting sweater.

METHOD 1

Wash the sweater in hot water with Woolite, or any other laundry detergent. Then after a medium speed spin cycle place it into the drier, with or without a garment bag. Dry it on the hottest setting for an extended period of time, until completely desiccated.

Remove the sweater from the drier, and either place in the trash bin, or in the fireplace and ignite it.

Method 2

Send the sweater to a reputable dry cleaner. After cleaning, donate it to the charity of your choice, or acquaintance it will fit.

Final common stage for a perfect fit

Go to a B&M store and buy a new replacement sweater that you will love.
 

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Swils, you have disappointed me. When I first read the title you gave this thread—“How to Shrink a Shetland Sweater”—I thought you were going to announce a sequel to the 1965 Annette Funicello movie “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini.”

But all seriousness aside (thank you, Steve Allen), does your sweater really look that bad on your smaller body? A little looseness at the waist of a sweater is OK.
 

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I lost about 80 pounds. I'm going to try the spray with hot water method with 5 minute increments and hope for the best.
Eighty pounds? Congratulations! That's more than I was expecting, based on your initial post. Well, if you are swimming in the sweater, go ahead and try shrinking it, but be prepared to sacrifice it. Kind of like attempting an experimental medical procedure on a mouse-the poor animal might die, but at least the researchers will learn something. (Before you do anything, see if you can finagle a grant from the federal government.)
 

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Success story!

Mine was not a Shettie, but rather a crocheted wool cardigan from the folks at, well...Folk.

Outerwear Hairstyle Tartan Dress shirt Product
Outerwear Arm White Product Dress shirt


(The pictures aren't mine; they're the exact sweater as found via google search.)

When this was available @5 years ago, I fell in love with the photos--if not the prohibitive retail price--of this navy blue cardigan with festive collar. When they went on clearance sale on the UK websites, I guesstimated my size to be a #5 (XL) as it appeared the marque runs slightly slim and I pounced.

The cardigan arrived in a week or two, and I'd guesstimated wrong.

Very wrong.

The style to me was so beautiful that I wasn't sure if I wanted to wear it or eat it, but sadly, the #5 felt nearly two sizes too large. The proportions were so far off that it wasn't even a consideration to wear a bulky shirt underneath. Looked obscene. As these things seem to go when buying on clearance, all the online European retailers were completely sold out by the time my #5 hit the front stoop.

I didn't bother sinking $25 into return shipping to London, and it languished in a drawer for 5 years...UP UNTIL THIS MORNING!

With so many "do this...no no do THAT...no, do not waste your time even thinking about trying to shrink a wool sweater" horror stories on the internet, I'd been putting it off until it was damn-the-torpedoes time this morning. I laid it flat on a towel, spritzed it inside & out with hot water via a plant mister, blotted it with said towel, and then tossed it in the dryer on extra delicate for 6 minutes.

When I took the erstwhile gigantic sweater out of the dryer after 6 minutes--voilá--it fit as if it had been custom-made for me. Though it was still slightly damp I did not risk putting it in the dryer any longer; I left it on a dry towel all day while I was at work.

Trying it on now I am thrilled! It fits me perfectly and there isn't even a hint of "felting," whereby the wool turns into something akin to steel wool for scrubbing pots.

I don't know if I got lucky with this or what, but it couldn't have worked out any better!
 
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