felting handspun yarn
I would love any suggestions about felting 100% handspun wool yarn, just the yarn, not knitted or crocheted.
I have a small sheep flock that I raise for fiber, purebred Romneys, and Columbia sheep. I love using my handspun wool when weaving rugs. I've just spun up a bunch of my wool into bulky 2 ply yarn. I now want to felt it, as yarn, to use for weft in my rug weavings.
I'm thinking about maybe skeining and tyeing it loosely, putting the yarn into a net bag, and then putting it into the washing machine to felt it? The thought of all that hand spinning ending up in a felted pile does have me worried tho'!
Again, I'd truly appreciate any input.
I think you'll end up with a fully felted skein - all matted together.
However, it may depend on water temperature and agitation. You may be lucky. The only way to find out for sure is to try it!
The only way I can think to felt the yarn so that it stays looking like yarn so you can use it for weft, is to get yourself a big work table and cover it with small-bubble bubble-wrap. Take your yarn and lay it on the bubble-wrap in a straight line then make a small u-turn at the end and come back across the bubble-wrap to the other side, make a small u-turn, etc - like the pattern of the heating element in an old electric blanket.
Then spray the yarn with soapy water, cover with another piece of bubble wrap and roll the whole thing up tightly. Roll it until the yarn felts.
There's probably someone out there with a much better idea - I hope so for your sake!
Last edited by lyn; 01-24-2012 at 01:37 PM.
RE: felting handspun yarn
Thanks so much for your reply lyn! Your idea is a good one and makes a lot of sense. I will definitely try that option in Spring. I live in North Idaho, USA which is right up against the Canadian border so our winter weather limits outdoor crafting actitivies.
As you mentioned, experimenting is the only way to truly find out. I tried 4 alternate hot~cold washes in the sink, agitating the yarn by hand. After wrapping in a towel to absorb excess moisture I pulled the strands apart which was'nt all that hard. I was TRULY amazed at how the yarn came out (love how fiber has a way of surprising you every once in a while!) I ended up with slightly felted, very soft "loopy" yarn~I couldn't of spun it that well if I tried. I used hand combs instead of cards, my Romney fleeces average 6-7" long and I wonder if that made a difference.
I've posted a photo of the yarn before and after felting.
I'm delighted with the resulting yarn. So much so that the heck with using it for rug weft, it would be beautiful woven or knit into a shawl or scarf
Still would like to know of a method of felting just yarn, this is just one of those wonderful fiber bobbles along the way!
Last edited by flocktender; 01-25-2012 at 04:48 PM.
The other thing you could try is laying out the yarn as Lyn said but do it on a a bed sheet. Fold it, roll it up tightly, get it all wet in the sink, squeeze most of the water out and then put the bundle in the dryer with the heat off. let it thump around in the dryer for a while. Not to much of a cost if the heat is off. I would let it soak in the sink for a while to make sure it's wet right to the middle. Roll it in a towel to soak up extra water after letting it drain.
You got a good result there. Whatever happens, you seem to be enjoying yourself so it's all good. Happy experimenting!