As I wrote in my previous post, I’d bought some gorgeous West Yorkshire Spinners wool recently to knit a shawl and a hat for my friend. The wool is very soft, but being a 100% sheep wool, it has these tiny fuzzy hair, which made me wonder if it would be comfortable to wear it around the neck, next to skin? Well, to find out I designed an almost scientific experiment (alright, not exactly, there’s no control trial and the sample is too small, but let’s say it’s enough for my home-based, yarny science) 😉
First I soaked one skein really well in Eucalan, which I love not only for its softening properties, but also because it’s no-rinse, which is great when you need to hand wash knitted clothes. I was a little worried that the wool would get tangled, but nothing like that happened.
Then I dried it flat – to my surprise it didn’t take too long, and the next morning the wool was dry and beautiful again, with the silvery, delicate sheen.
Did it change anything? Not really – the wool is pretty much the same as before the wash. It was already soft, and it still is (maybe a little more, as it opened up the twist of the fibres a little), but the fuzz is still there of course. So to find out how it feels worn in direct contact with the skin, I decided to test it on myself. I wrapped my one washed skein around my neck and left it there for about an hour. I didn’t take any photos and I’m rather happy that I was home alone at that time 😉
The result? It does feel a little itchy at first, for a few seconds, and then it gets just fine. There is an ocassional itchy feeling from time to time but it lasts very short and isn’t overly annoying. It’s also super warm, and I think if I manage to knit it well, it’s going to be a great accessory for cold winter days. The only thing that still worries me is that my friend has some allergic problems, although I’ve never heard her complain specifically about wool, and she’s a crocheter and makes felted items, so she deals with it a lot.
So in the end the conclusion is: yes, I’m knitting the shawl and hat set. And I’m probably going to buy this wool again sometime in the future because I really see a gorgeous cardigan made out of it in my imagination!
Apart from decision making, these days are intense with work. It seems like each year I get more and more strict deadlines, so there’s not much time for crochet or knitting. I do knit of course, but it seems to take much more time than usually, and it’s just a simple scarf that doesn’t require much attention. However to take short breaks, I keep searching for crochet patterns, as I have this lingering need to crochet a bed spread. I found a few, ideas, one for a large, cotton, vintage bed spread, and another one for a colourful patchwork blanket. I need to remember that next time I go yarn shopping!
I’m curious if other crafty people usually wash their yarn before knitting or crocheting with it. It’s the first time ever I’ve done it but sometimes when I read descriptions of Ravelry projects, people mention it, so maybe it’s more common then I thought? Any yarn washing stories from you?