A Most Noble Quest

Or something like that, anyway.

It has been a long time goal of mine to knit or crochet a swatch (at the very least) of every feltable yarn we carry in the store and see how well I can felt it by hand. So far I’ve gotten ahold of Cascade 220, Cascade 220 Fingering, Bartlett, Homestead Tweed, and Moonshine. So far all of them          — with the exception of the fingering weight –had to be aggressively put through my washing machine and didn’t take too well to hand felting. In fact, as a note to any of you who might be interested in felting with the Homestead Tweed, it does tend to lose some of the dye in the process (or at least, the burgundy color that I used did). Cascade 220 Fingering did hand felt, but it took a long time and wore out my hands pretty quickly.

I’ve also felted with Malabrigo Worsted and Rasta, but only for needle felting. Now, before you faint or shout “blasphemy!” , remember the mini paintings we felted at the store for the Christmas tree auction?

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Yup! Malabrigo.

There was one other yarn that I’ve been wet felting by hand that surprised me, and that’s the one I wanted to focus on today: Quince&Co. In particular, Chickadee.

Oh my goodness. Ooooh, my goodness. When knit on a US #2 instead of the #3-#5 that it recommends, this stuff felts like a dream!  With very little time, effort, and a lot of soap I was able to get these results.

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I’m sure if I had put in some more time, I’d be able to get it completely felted so the impressions of the stitches no longer remained, but this was a satisfying first attempt. Now, does it needle felt well (using a large gauged needle because this is already a densely felted object)?

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Yes, it does! Do I needle felt letters with roving well? No, no not at all. I think I’ll be sticking to the Malabrigo for that.

Written by Catherine Eason

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