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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I bought a huuuge spool of bulky wool but it is not soft at all. Any suggestions? Will Eulacan be enough? I tried fbric softener twice and that did nothing to it really. Thanks for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have waaay tooo much to consider felting and it,s so lovely with its bumps here and there I would have liked to make a ton of scarfs just in stockinette stitch, the wool making its own relief, but it,s itchy!!! Sad,sad,sad!
 

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Hello, fstknitter. Noticed this reply to question about rough wool. Real fisherman yarn is simply the wool that has been spun into yarn without removing the natural lanolin, which is an oil, and makes the garment water repellant. This kind of yarn usually is not at all rough, and one would not want to launder a garment made from it to the point of removing the natural lanolin.

I have no idea what other substance might be used as a water repellant on wool, but if it makes good quality wool yarn rough, I simply would not use it for a garment unless it is a kind of garment that is expected to receive really rough use, and the feel (or "hand" as textile people call it) would not matter that much. Spending a lot of time making a garment of inferior wool, or any yarn that is not the ideal for the project seems a great waste of time and skill. Just saying.....
I once helped to start up a small sweater factory that made sweaters for sail boaters, using the best natural yarn for these sweaters which were expected to be worn in salt water spray in a small sail boat. That yarn actually would make the hands feel softer as it was used, if hand-knitted. Those sweaters were knit on Passap knitting machines. My job was to learn how to teach the young Vietnamese ladies who worked there to use a machine that would actually crochet the raglan shoulder seams and the side seams together. The sweaters were beautiful. The yarn was top quality, very appropriate for that use.

Just wanted to share this for what it is worth.
fstknitter said:
Depends on the yarn. Some of the fisherman yarn is supposed to be water repellant and stays rough no matter what you do until the repellant component washes out
 

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I have a large quantity of Lopi wool that is quite scratchy. I have intentions to make an Icelandic vest with it, but whether I do that or something else, it will be a design that doesn't rest directly on the skin. You might consider that when looking for a pattern.
 

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How about bags/purses. There are some really beautiful patterns out there that will show off your yarn but you don't have to worry about it being rough on the skin. (will probably work out really well if it also waterproof as some have suggested it's the lanolin still in the raw fibre)
 

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Mrs. Mac said:
Hello, fstknitter. Noticed this reply to question about rough wool. Real fisherman yarn is simply the wool that has been spun into yarn without removing the natural lanolin, which is an oil, and makes the garment water repellant. This kind of yarn usually is not at all rough, and one would not want to launder a garment made from it to the point of removing the natural lanolin.

I have no idea what other substance might be used as a water repellant on wool, but if it makes good quality wool yarn rough, I simply would not use it for a garment unless it is a kind of garment that is expected to receive really rough use, and the feel (or "hand" as textile people call it) would not matter that much. Spending a lot of time making a garment of inferior wool, or any yarn that is not the ideal for the project seems a great waste of time and skill.
Just saying.....

I once helped to start up a small sweater factory that made sweaters for sail boaters, using the best natural yarn for these sweaters which were expected to be worn in salt water spray in a small sail boat. That yarn actually would make the hands feel softer as it was used, if hand-knitted. Those sweaters were knit on Passap knitting machines. My job was to learn how to teach the young Vietnamese ladies who worked there to use a machine that would actually crochet the raglan shoulder seams and the side seams together. The sweaters were beautiful. The yarn was top quality, very appropriate for that use.

Just wanted to share this for what it is worth.
fstknitter said:
Depends on the yarn. Some of the fisherman yarn is supposed to be water repellant and stays rough no matter what you do until the repellant component washes out
Thanks for the info
 

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Agreed, it would have to be used for something not directly on the skin. Keep in mind that it may also be rough on your fingers when knitting it if you're hand knitting. Some claim hair conditioner works better than Euclan for softening, I've never used Euclan so I can't make that comparison.

I have made large socks out of not-so-soft wool with the explicit instructions that they are house slippers and MUST be worn OVER the recipient's regular socks. There are several ways to add a lining of a different fiber (or even a fabric) to a knitted hat. Vests would work since they're not directly on the skin. There are some nice patterns these days for felted notebook computer bags.
 

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The "softness" (or lack of) of a wool depends on both the breed of the sheep it came from and the quality of the fleece. Some sheep are raised for their coarse wool and then again there simply is "poor quality" wool. No amount of conditioner is going to change the material you have. The old saying "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" applies here.

You might get a great deal on a bolt of burlap but if you are looking for fabric for a wedding dress, burlap just isn't going to work.

Consider items that are not garments. Floor mats for in front of a door, table mats, felted baskets etc.. If a yarn feels terribly coarse when you purchase it, not much you can do after the fact, other than return it.
 
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