This weekend I finally remembered to throw my Denim swatch in the washer (and, for good measure, dryer):
Like denim, it appears to have faded a bit, but the shrinkage is pretty much nonexistant. I’m not sure if this failure to shrink is because a) the yarn does not actually shrink b) I knit the swatch pretty tightly to start with so it just didn’t have room to shrink (assuming a principal similar to felting applies), or c) more aggressive washing than I am used to subjecting my clothing to is required to produce shrinking–I wash pretty much everything on a cold wash with low agitation.
I am quite happy with the density and appearance of the washed swatch, so I’m not too upset about the non-shrinking. I’m not in a huge hurry to get started though, so I’ll probably let the swatch ride along for a few more rounds of laundry just to double check this shrinking business.