Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Favorite Yarns for Felting Projects

I personally prefer a heavier bag, so I almost always double strand, except for the self striping yarn. If you can find a bulky yarn that's not too expensive you don't have to double strand. Lamb's Pride Bulky is great. It has 125 yards a skein, so it's actually cheaper than using two strands of the worsted weight Lamb's Pride at 190 yards a skein. It's harder to find in as many colors, though.

One way to use Kureyon without double stranding it, to keep the great stripes, is to use it in a slip stitch or stranded design with one of the solid yarns. I've knitted it with Paton's Classic Wool and Elann Peruvian wool and they felt together wonderfully. I haven't tried felting the Karaoke yarn from SWTC. It feels so good knitted that I'd rather keep it as it is. I'm going to try some entrelac with it, though. The Paton's SWS is a Karaoke knockoff, with more wool and less soysilk. It felts wonderfully, but it comes in limited colors.

Personal Faves:
a. Elann Peruvian Aran alpaca/wool (good sub for Jamieson's heathered Arans, but not as many colors)
b. Elann Peruvian wool
c. Knit Picks wool of the Andes
d. Paton's Classic Wool (limited color range, easy to find, often on sale, new striping colors)
e. Plymouth Galway (good price, harder to find, but has self striping and heathers, more selection)
f. Lamb's Pride Worsted
g. Noro Kureyon (just for the wonderful striping colors)
h. Cascade 220 comes in so many colors that it is a great choice for the exotic colored bags, or the bag where you need 5 shades of one color. It's more expensive than the others for standard colors, though.
i. Jamieson's heathered Arans, many colors, but expensive

Caron's Felt It is a lighter bulky yarn, and it's multicolored. I used it doubled and the hat came out great, with very mushed together colors. I tried to keep the stripes together when I double stranded but they would not stay together. It also comes in limited colors, not all of which are great.

I personally have never used Lopi, because the Icelandic wool bothers me. It felts great stranded with multicolored mohair, though. Other worsted weight yarns also felt wonderfully stranded with a multicolored mohair. I have a knitting friend who can tolerate knitting with Lopi and mohair, and she has made wonderful felted bags using them together.

I just finished two entrelac bags which I felted. My very first entrelac! One was in Kureyon, and it is lighter weight than the bag I made from two strands of the Elann Peruvian Aran. I believe that Aran weight is slightly heavier than the US version worsted weight. Bulky weight yarn is heavier than Aran. Last year I used Berroco Hip Hop with double stranded Cascade 220 for a bubble bag (Pursenalities) and was disappointed with the result. The Cascade was fine, it was the expensive Hip Hop that lost color and felted strangely. It's a thick/thin yarn.

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