felting and pattern questions

How do I know if the yarn I have will felt? How exactly do you felt?

Also, I have a pattern that is confusing to me. I know how to do a long tail cast on. I know how to pick up stitches, but this combination seems confusing to me. It is done on 2 circular, so when it says 2nd needle, it means the second set (I think)

Using long-tail cast on, CO 35 (40) sts.
K 1 row, turn; with 2nd needle pick up and knit into the CO loops 35 (40) times. 70 (80) sts total, evenly divided onto two needles.


albert's picture

As to felting, if your yarn is normal wool (not superwash) it will felt. Different types of wool will felt more or less easily. Knit a swatch and rub it with soap and warm water as you would a wash cloth. Keep working it until it felts to the degree that you desire.

Plant fibers will not felt, i.e cotton, linen. Nor will synthetics felt. Measure your swatch before doing your felting experiment to see how the dimensions change.

Silk will not felt, but silk/wool blends will felt. Other wool blends will also felt to one degree or other, depending on the percentage of wool in the mix.

Experiment and have fun!

Pinecone's picture

Here's an article on Knitty I found informative:


chipsir's picture

Albert....you covered it all, I am continually amazed at the knowledge and the willingness to share on this site!!!!!!!! It should be recommended for a noteable prize (the site I mean) Albert you are a tremndous font of knowledge, thanks.

gardenguy42's picture

The cast on you refer to allows you to knit circularly on a small number of stitches with circular needles instead of using double point needles.

You are knitting twice into each cast on stitch -- once in the top loop on the first pass with the first needle and again in the bottom loops of the same stitches with the second needle. This type of knitting requires you to change needles every time you complete a row to maintain the circular knitting with a closed seam at the cast on.

You can also use the figure 8 or Magic Loop cast on to achieve the same result.

Another method is to cast on twice as many stitches (70 in your case) and divide them between the 2 needles and join when you change needles. This leaves an open seam -- not good for a sock toe but good for top down socks.

Here are a couple of videos to demonstrate. The first one shows all the techniques:




Good luck!

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi