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lisamartinez

Has anyone felted an afghan?

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I have seen a few granny square afghans at antique shops that I am SURE were put in washer and dryer by mistake and then "felted" I thought they really looked great!

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I was just filing some magazines away and came across the Fall 2007 Interweave Crochet issue. There's a three-page article, "All about Felting Crochet," by Amy Swenson from Alberta, Canada (so not "our" Amy S). :)

 

Swenson is the author of Not Your Mama's Felting (Wiley, 2007), which might be available at the public library or via library loan. If you can't get ahold of the magazine, the book would def. have the depth of info needed--and then some!--for your project.

 

DCM

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The only thing I would worry about is that in order for it to felt, it would have to be made of wool, and in my experience, wool = SCRATCHY! I like my afghans to be soft and cozy, a woolen afghan just doesn't conjure up the soft cozy image for me. I could be all wrong, there could be some wool out there that is soft, but I don't know what it is. I prefer RHSS for afghans because it wears like iron and gets softer and softer as time goes on without losing its body or shape, unlike Caron Simply Soft. But when it's new and just finished, even the RHSS can be a bit harsh next to the skin. I cannot imagine what real wool would feel like. Makes me itchy just to think about it! :lol

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kittyloverdeb

Wouldn't it be scratchy if it is felted?

Nope, some wool is so soft you'd think you were sleeping on a bed of fluff.

 

Ah, now see? I should have read ahead! :lol Just for giggles and grins, what ARE these soft wools called? Just for future reference. I don't know that I would make a felted afghan, but I'd love to make some other things and felt them and have them be nice and soft! :yes

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kittyloverdeb

Wouldn't it be scratchy if it is felted?

Nope, some wool is so soft you'd think you were sleeping on a bed of fluff.

 

Ah, now see? I should have read ahead! :lol Just for giggles and grins, what ARE these soft wools called?

 

I've recently purchased yarn at incredible discounts and/or gotten amazing deals (I'm sure I posted somewhere about it, but we're talking anywhere from 35% to 80% off retail), so I've been able to buy some fantastic yarns. They contain wool--some of them are even 100% wool--and I've just now put each one against my face as a test before listing it here.

 

 

These soft wools :c9 that I have are:

 

Sirdar's Indie (bulky weight) -- 51% wool, 49% acrylic

 

Frog Tree's Alpaca (sport weight) -- 100% alpaca wool

 

Cascade Yarns' 128 Superwash (bulky weight) -- 100% superwashed wool (superwashed yarns will not shrink or felt)

 

Cascade Yarns' Lana Grande (chunky) -- 100% Peruvian Highland wool

 

Rowan's Wool Cotton -- 50% merino, 50% cotton

 

Classic Elite Yarns' Alpaca Sox -- 60% alpaca, 20% merino, 20% nylon (for stretchiness--socks)

 

Plymouth Yarn's Yukon (chunky) -- 35% mohair, 35% wool, 30% acrylic

 

Brown Sheep Co.'s Lamb's Pride (bulky) -- 85% wool, 15% mohair

 

Crystal Palace's Merino Stripes (fingering) -- 90% merino, 10% acrylic

 

Crystal Palace's Chunky Mochi (chunky) -- 80% merino, 20% nylon

 

 

Wool yarns and wool blends available at the Joann's near my house are also fairly nice (but of course unless a yarn is 100% animal-source, it will not felt successfully). Here are the ones I have here right now:

 

Paton's Classic Wool (worsted weight) -- 100% wool

 

Lion Brand's Wool Ease (worsted weight) -- 80% acrylic, 20% wool (I like working with Wool Ease; it feels good as it goes through my fingers)

 

Lion Brand's Wool Ease Thick & Quick (chunky) -- 80% acrylic, 20% wool (a new yarn for me, but it feels good to my hands and face)

 

Stitch Nation's (dist. by Red Heart) Bamboo Ewe (called worsted weight, but seems more like DK to me) -- 55% bamboo, 45% wool

 

Stitch Nation's Full o' Sheep (worsted weight) -- 100% Peruvian Highland wool (not what I would call "soft" on the face, but maybe after felting its texture would change?)

 

These yarns are suitable for felting.

 

Maybe making a 6" x 6" square with a Paton's Classic Wool (coupon at Joann's; if you're not on their mailing list, get added to it--I had three coupons to use day before yesterday what with the special mailing and the flyer in last Sunday's newspaper) and then felting it would give you an idea of how the texture changes when 100% wool yarn is felted.

 

Wool from different breeds of sheep will give different lengths of staple, which is why so many of the more pricey LYS yarns specify "Merino" or "Peruvian Highland" wool; these sheep have longer than usual wool, so it spins up a smoother, softer yarn.

 

Something else to try, if you can find an LYS that carries it, would be a small ball of organic wool yarn: no dyes or finishes. This is also sometimes referred to as "bare" or even "naked" wool yarn. That way, you would find out for sure whether it's really the wool or the treatments/additives that feel "scratchy" to you.

 

I make this suggestion because, in my case, the culprit turned out to be fabric finishes.

 

Although I can sew clothing and period costumes very well, I was never able to make myself a much-coveted wool blazer, historical or contemporary. As soon as I laid out the pattern and began to cut the fabric, all You Know What ;) broke loose on my hands and arms and then, of course, my face because I would've brushed my hair out of my eyes.... I finally gave up on the wool blazer. But I later took up needlepoint (a suitable "lady's" pastime for some of those costumed affairs) after purposefully rubbing my hands, arms, and even :eek face with Paternayan needlepoint yarn in the shop before registering for a class (a while back...).

 

Nothing happened. I still wasn't convinced, but went ahead with the class. Six weeks later, nothing had happened. Same story with wool and wool-blend yarn in crochet and knitting. It was only fabric that did the horrible allergy/scratchy/itchy thing to me. I could no longer blame the innocent sheep.

 

DCM

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Wow, DogCatMom, thanks SO MUCH for going to all the trouble of listing those yarns!! That was no easy task and it's much appreciated! :yes

 

Unfortunately, living in small-town south Texas there IS no LYS within about a hundred miles, and the only two stores that carry yarn of ANY kind are WalMart (a very meager selection compared to the pre-reduction of the crafts department selection) and Dollar Tree (usually only some strange kind of yarn like eyelash or ladder or something similar). My yarn buying is basically restricted to online. I've been DYING to try the Hobby Lobby ILTY and ILTCotton but the nearest Hobby Lobby is an hour away, and being disabled and not having a drivers license is a TOTAL bummer in this case.

 

I will have to write down the yarns you have mentioned and keep the list near my computer so that when I'm browsing around on Ebay I can have it as a handy dandy reference guide. I have been lucky in getting some really different yarns in mixed lot packages on Ebay, the only problem being there is usually only one, maybe two skeins of each type in those boxes, there's never enough to really do a project with. I am hoping one day to be able to hitch a ride to Houston with someone to see if I can find anything interesting up there. The only problem is WHO? I go to Houston once a month for my neurologist appointment, but I go on a medical transport bus that takes a group of us to the hospital district, drops us off, and picks us up when we're done and takes us home. The most I can hope for there as far as a side trip is a stop at a fast food place if we all gang up and start yelling that we're hungry! :lol The chances of getting them to stop at a yarn store, well, let's just say they're not good. :lol

 

How I WISH someone from Matagorda County would join Crochetville! If I knew someone fairly local who crocheted I would save my money up and I would happily pay for a tank of gas and lunch for a ride to the Lake Jackson Hobby Lobby! Heck, I'd even buy them some yarn! :yes

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Wow, DogCatMom, thanks SO MUCH for going to all the trouble of listing those yarns!! That was no easy task and it's much appreciated! :yes

 

Unfortunately, living in small-town south Texas there IS no LYS within about a hundred miles, and the only two stores that carry yarn of ANY kind are WalMart (a very meager selection compared to the pre-reduction of the crafts department selection) and Dollar Tree (usually only some strange kind of yarn like eyelash or ladder or something similar). My yarn buying is basically restricted to online. I've been DYING to try the Hobby Lobby ILTY and ILTCotton but the nearest Hobby Lobby is an hour away, and being disabled and not having a drivers license is a TOTAL bummer in this case.

 

I will have to write down the yarns you have mentioned and keep the list near my computer so that when I'm browsing around on Ebay I can have it as a handy dandy reference guide. ....

 

How I WISH someone from Matagorda County would join Crochetville! If I knew someone fairly local who crocheted I would save my money up and I would happily pay for a tank of gas and lunch for a ride to the Lake Jackson Hobby Lobby! Heck, I'd even buy them some yarn! :yes

 

1) Thanks are appreciated. Yes, it took long enough to copy the info off of the ball bands that Crochetville dumped me out of logged-in status and I had to re-log-on (?) to post the info. I may have missed a couple of yarns; if I find that I have, I'll add them.

 

2) Online yarn buying: last night, just to check on something, I performed a Google search on the phrase "discount knitting yarns." I've learned that simply putting "discount yarns" in will get a bunch of harsh craft-type yarns. Bleah. My search led me to some discount sites I hadn't known about previously. The two I always recommend to folks are http://smileys.com and http://bargainyarns.com. Each of these lists the brands and lines so that you can match them to my list or other lists. I haven't bought anything from eBay.

 

3) Have you looked for fellow crocheters in Matagordo County here on the "Looking for..." section? Craigslist might be another possibility, since your email address is/can be protected.

 

Not driving and being in a more or less rural setting is very difficult in our country. Do you work on crochet on the medical bus run? That strikes me as a possibility for finding at least *one* fellow crocheter; who knows?

 

Best wishes.

 

DCM

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Here is some general "felting info:" http://www.freepatterns.com/content/content.html?content_id=462 The most important thing to read in that article is about making sure to crochet loosely before felting. If you use a normal G or H with worsted weight yarn, after felting you will have such a dense result they call it plywood! So -- use a VERY large hook and big loose stitches. If I was going to felt an afghan, I would consider felting individual squares and then sewing them together before a final short wash to sort of hide the stitches. The reason being, it is difficult to get a consistent result in such a large piece like a whole afghan. But you could put large 12-24 inch squares in zippered pillow cases and felt them. Once they are felted down to the size you want, then assemble your afghan and then a final, quick hot rinse/wash should help hide the stitching. I just think it would be very difficult to get a nice even result if you felt the whole afghan at one time.

 

ADD ON: Went back and read through some of the replies and see this idea was considered and discarded. I still am not sure why it would not work but since I have not done it myself, I'd recommend trying a small test first. Just crochet a couple of squares, felt them down to desired size, sew them together, and then a final hot wash to hide the stitching. Might even want to include a pillow case of just the yarn you are using so it is shrunk down at the same rate as the squares. That way when you use it to sew the squares together, all of the fibers will have gone through the same number of processes. OR.... you could use some non=felting type yarn to attach so that it actually shows as part of your result. Could be a cute addition to a pattern if done in squares.

 

Also -- remember not to use the Washable Wools to felt -- they will not felt! I know common sense probably tells most people this! :D Maybe I am the only one who needed that reminder! ;)

Edited by DebraKay

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1) Thanks are appreciated. Yes, it took long enough to copy the info off of the ball bands that Crochetville dumped me out of logged-in status and I had to re-log-on (?) to post the info. I may have missed a couple of yarns; if I find that I have, I'll add them.

 

2) Online yarn buying: last night, just to check on something, I performed a Google search on the phrase "discount knitting yarns." I've learned that simply putting "discount yarns" in will get a bunch of harsh craft-type yarns. Bleah. My search led me to some discount sites I hadn't known about previously. The two I always recommend to folks are http://smileys.com and http://bargainyarns.com. Each of these lists the brands and lines so that you can match them to my list or other lists. I haven't bought anything from eBay.

 

3) Have you looked for fellow crocheters in Matagordo County here on the "Looking for..." section? Craigslist might be another possibility, since your email address is/can be protected.

 

Not driving and being in a more or less rural setting is very difficult in our country. Do you work on crochet on the medical bus run? That strikes me as a possibility for finding at least *one* fellow crocheter; who knows?

 

Best wishes.

 

DCM

 

I ALWAYS take my crochet with me on the med bus trip. I get on the bus looking like I'm going for a week, because I am the type of person who can't just take a skein or two with me, I have to take ALL of the yarn for whatever project it is with me! :lol

 

As far as meeting any fellow crocheters on the trips, when I board the bus with my yarn bag everyone wants to see what I'm "knitting" this month! <sigh> They're sweet people, though, so I gently correct them and tell them that it's crochet, I show them my progress, and I just sit and crochet until we get to Methodist Hospital. It's doubtful that there would be any potential crochet buddies, but I suppose one never knows. :)

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