Wool that won't felt?

Okay, this did not make sense to me. I'm knitting the Uncle Argyle Scarf from "Son of Stitch 'n' Bitch." Both my yarns are 100% Merino wool. I haven't had to move to a second skein of the grey yarn yet, so I don't know how that will do with felting, but my green yarn (Mission Falls 1824 Wool) will not felt to save my life. I frayed and wetted and rubbed so many times it was ridiculous, but never even ALMOST felted. It says it's 100% Merino Superwash. Does the Superwash part of it make a difference? I've never had a problem felting Merino before, so I was kind of surprised. Any insight???


purlyman's picture

Hey YugiDean, I think the whole idea behind Superwash is that it's washable and will not felt. That's my understanding, anyway.


scottly's picture

ditto, most wool sock yarn is made this way.

grandcarriage's picture

Yes...the fact that it's superwash means that it's be treated to NOT felt....although, this is the first time I've ever heard of it being done so successfully that you have no success. What you can do (I'm assuming you're trying to do a felt (spit) join). cut a ply on each yarn end about every inch and a half, untwist the ply (I do this by rolling it against my thigh opposite the plying direction)... let the two untwisted yarns roll back up around each other...the ply memory with twist them back together, and because you "feathered" the ply ends, it won't be a very bulky join.

YugiDean's picture

OH, okay. DOH! I'm still learning! At least this is not a felted project. LOL

"Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread." --Richard Wright


Blankie's picture

I'm not sure of the exact chemical or process, but it basically closes up the scales on the wool fiber so that they won't interlock (as is required to make felt).

Funny that you just happened to pick the one yarn that won't do what you want it to do... most people have the opposite problem and end up with their favorite handknit sweater 5 sizes too small because it went through the washer... Merino especially like to felt.

Hope it doesn't ruin your project plans.

ManMadeKnits's picture

Aww, that's kinda funny. At least you didn't do what you did in my imagination, which is chuck the whole scarf in the wash and try to felt it, only to find that certain diamonds felted while others didn't.

"The only sin is mediocrity." --Martha Graham

Asbjörn's picture

At least this was a learning experience in two ways: You now know that superwash doesn't felt and you also have an idea of how much abuse 1824 wool can take.