Relax! It is possible to unshrink a sweater that someone (not you, of course) popped into the dryer and is now small enough for little Bruiser to wear.
And pretty much all you'll need to do is help your sweater fibers relax, too, with a little help from baby shampoo worked gently into the fibers while washing it by hand.
The most time consuming part: Pinning, stretching and pinning again, to gently return your sweater to its original size as it dries. These 5 laundry tips will help you resize that sweater so that it once again fits.
Start the resizing process by soaking the sweater in a sink or bucket full of warm water and about two tablespoons baby shampoo.
About 15 minutes should allow enough time for the shampoo to relax the sweater's fibers enough so that you may begin the letting-out process.
Remove the sweater from the soapy water. Rinse in cool water to remove the baby shampoo from the fabric. Gently press or squeeze remaining moisture and soap from the fabric.
Don't wring - this can further damage and even break the fibers you're trying to stretch.
Follow your rinse and squeezing routine with a rolling of the sweater in a clean, dry towel to remove any lingering water.
It's important the sweater fibers contain as little moisture as possible when you begin the resizing process.
Pin the sweater to a cork board, stretching the neck, arms, and sides as taut as possible without damaging the fibers. Let it be for at least an hour.
Return to re-stretch and re-pin your sweater every few hours.
It will take several stretching and re-pinning sessions to unshrink your sweater an ease it back to its original size.
But if you adore that angora, cotton, silk, cashmere or wool sweater, you'll be delighted with the results. You'll be glad you took the time to pin, pin, and pin again.
Next time, make sure you know whether to wash sweaters in hot, warm, or cold water and how to dry them so that you won't need to unshrink again. (But the good news is: You can if you need to!)