The new yarn is on the needles, and the cat basket is in progress…
Wow this yarn is even better than I expected. It’s bigger and thicker than the yarn I used for the original baskets. And it knits up fine using the needles I already have. So I don’t have to order a load more knitting needles to be custom-made in bigger sizes.
I have amended my pattern slightly to accommodate the thicker yarn. I was a bit worried that I hadn’t maintained an even thickness and twist on all of it. After all, the wet felting was a bit of an experiment. But working the yarn, it doesn’t seem to matter. There is enough twist and felting to give it a bit of structure. In fact, I think it performs even better than the old yarn.
It’s easier to get a flatter base.
It’s softer, less like rope. More like a big, squishy soft strand.
It’s got that characteristic, fleecy scent.
The stitches are massive, with loads more visual impact.
And….the cats love it.
It’s not finished yet, Monty.
Today I wet felted the whole batch of texel wool roving, to make my own version of giant yarn. If it works, the cat baskets are back on. This is a very exciting prospect for me, and worth the effort.
And it took quite a bit of effort too, transforming this
and hanging it out to dry.
Three and a half kilos of wet wool is really heavy, as I found when I lugged it down the stairs and into the garden. It drips a lot, so that was the best place for it.
It took me about 4 hours to process the whole batch, including a couple of false starts and working out the best approach. There is nothing online that shows you how to do this (believe me, I looked!) So it was a matter of trial and error. I can see how my technique improved as I went along. I needed to achieve an even thickness of yarn whilst not disrupting the fibres too much. From about halfway through, I was happy with the result.
The new yarn is a lot thicker than the yarn I used before, so I will need to re-write my patterns and possibly use larger doublepins than the set I have now. Giant wooden knitting needles are easily available, as are giant circulars, but giant doublepins are rare so will probably need to be custom-made….
I’m very excited about getting my new yarn onto some needles soon! Watch this space…