For those who have been reading along for a while, you may remember that this March I did a few experiments in felting, which I vaguely planned to continue someday. Well, that day is finally here!
In the earlier experiments, I knit two equal sized squares each of 100% wool yarn and a wool/alpaca blend. 1 square of each went into the hot wash. They shrank differently. Here again are the photos of that experiment:
And the new subject – 100% alpaca
The new yarn is Knit Picks Andean Treasure – sport weight 100% baby alpaca (I had to take the picture on a different background, as the alpaca sample sort of fades into the gray table.) And I wish this had feel-o-vision so you could feel how soft and kitteny and silky the alpaca samples are – even the felted one!
In original post, the wool shrank more than the blend. So I guessed that the alpaca would shrink less than the either the blend or the wool. As it turns out, I guessed mostly correctly, though not entirely. Here are the results:
- The wool sample started out 7″ high x 7 “wide and shrank to 3.5″ high x 5” wide
= 50% of the original height and 71.4% of the width.
- The wool/alpaca blend went from 6.5″ high x 7″ wide to 4″ high x 5.75″ wide
= 61% of the original height and 82.1% of the width.
- The alpaca sample went from 6.5″ high x 6.25″ wide to 4.5″ high x 5″ wide
= 69.2% of the original height and 80% of the width.
So while the alpaca definitely shrank the least in height, the blend shrank the least in width, at least by a little bit. These results are certainly not the end of the possible felting experiments. There are lots of other yarns made of these fibers, which will likely felt/shrink differently. Also there are plenty of other fibers and blends to test out. So there may be more curious felting at some point in the future.
I’m not sure what, if anything, I will do with this information. I may take up felting to make bags or similar. Or maybe not. But it’s interesting anyway!