Thick and thin felted yarn
Colour: Mango Tango
An experiment in producing a useful novelty yarn from singles. At first I was just wanting yarn for a baby beanie, which I envisaged as being very light and puffy.
In the first slide, you can see the spun singles. At this stage I realised that the yarn would be puffy all right, but would also most likely pill really badly.
So, of course, I decided to felt the yarn! Not only would this make it less likely to pill, but it would also help tame the twist in the singles yarn.
Using a solution of 1 tablespoon of pure soap flakes to a litre of near-boiling water, I made up a felting solution and dunked in the skein, then felted it by dropping it gently on the stainless steel bench for a very few minutes.
Next I wrung most of the soap solution out and spent about the same time untangling and separating the skein! The slubs (thick parts) tend to get together in the skein and form friendships that can be lasting if not halted!
I repeated the felting process, once again stopping to untangle the slubs, then decided that the yarn was felted enough for my purposes. Note this is soft felt, not fulled to any extent.
After a rinse in very hot and very cold (I used ice water from the fridge) water, the yarn was once again untangled, then spun in the washing machine on a spin cycle and hung to dry overnight.
When I wound the ball from the skein, there were still some slubs sticking together, but they came apart quite easily.
The next day I started knitting - using quite large needles, the baby beanie (see slide show above) took very little time.
Wouldn't you know it, I then decided to invent a new hat rather than follow a pattern. Starting from a granny square and then using a diagonal garter stitch, the style showcases the character of the yarn. The resulting hat is light, warm and very suitable for tramping as it compresses down to almost nothing.