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View Full Version : Can you felt alpaca? Should I use a different yarn? (water bottle cozy)


aylaanne
06-04-2007, 01:14 AM
Would you want to? I have a skein of chunky baby alpaca, and I have a 1qt water bottle that desperately needs a cozy (I take it everywhere, it's sweating and it's hard to attach to things). I'm thinking of knitting a cozy for this water bottle out of my skein of alpaca, because I only have the one skein and I got it on sale so I doubt I could get more of the same dye lot. Since the bottle is sweating, I am imagining that with use, the cozy will self-felt. Am I smoking crack? Should I do this with some acrylic-wool blend I have in my stash? The alpaca is SO much nicer to knit with and will be so much more friendly for carrying around, I should think.

Thoughts? Opinions? Curses?:shrug:

Susan P.
06-04-2007, 01:17 AM
You can only felt with 100% wool or alpaca etc (as far as I'm aware) tho I must admit I would reserve, even a skein, for a highlight on a scarf etc rather than a bottle cosy but that's entirely your choice of course :-) You would need to felt it as per usual felting techniques as you need hot water and agitation to felt.

aylaanne
06-04-2007, 01:37 AM
You're right, I should really reserve the alpaca, but I figured it'd be more absorbent than anything else I have. I forgot about the cotton/silk blend I have laying around. I know this makes it seem like all my stash yarn is expensive, but truly it isn't. It's just that because summer is coming, I really don't want something that's going to be hot and scratchy to the touch, since I'll be touching it often (I drink upwards of 1.5 gallons of water a DAY). It also needs to be absorbent, so that the sweat from the bottle stops getting all over everything.

So now the question is, should I continue with my ONLY skein of alpaca, knowing I can NEVER get more in this color/weight/dyelot, or should I go with the cotton, which is a luxury cotton to be sure, but one I loved knitting with?

SabrinaJL
06-04-2007, 02:00 AM
You can only felt with 100% wool or alpaca etc (as far as I'm aware)

Patons SWS felts like crazy and it's 70% wool, 30% soy.

Ingrid
06-04-2007, 08:00 AM
Alpaca felts, though less stiffly than wool. I imagine that cotton would stretch when it got wet all the time, ya think?

If you want an alpaca cozy, I say go for it. At least you'll get to feel it all the time. I made a hat out of alpaca for my grandson and it got softer and softer throughout the winter.

marykz
06-04-2007, 11:10 AM
what kind of pattern are you using for the bottle cozy? I'm an iced tea fanatic and it has to be COLD so the bottles (my refillable plastic ones) sweat like crazy and I hate it....

jeanius80
06-04-2007, 12:48 PM
i say use the alpaca!:heart: you get to knit with great, soft yarn, then use it everyday! to me, that is better than a hat you can only wear when its cold enough. you can keep using your bottle cosy even in the winter with hot beverages to keep from touching too hot cups :happydance:

beckyrhae
06-04-2007, 01:13 PM
yes alpaca felts nicely... its "woolier" than just your normal wool.

This is a booga bag I made with Noro and ultra alpaca.

I picked up around the booga and made an i-cord detail with the ultra alpaca... I love it.

The alpaca felted much tighter than the noro so keep an eye on it when you felt it.

aylaanne
06-04-2007, 05:08 PM
Alpaca felts, though less stiffly than wool. I imagine that cotton would stretch when it got wet all the time, ya think?

If you want an alpaca cozy, I say go for it. At least you'll get to feel it all the time. I made a hat out of alpaca for my grandson and it got softer and softer throughout the winter.

Thanks Ingrid. What happened to the sheep? I missed you. For the record, I'm not planning on felting it really tightly, more like a loose felt just to close up any holes and make it fit the bottle better.

what kind of pattern are you using for the bottle cozy? I'm an iced tea fanatic and it has to be COLD so the bottles (my refillable plastic ones) sweat like crazy and I hate it....

I have an oddly shaped bottle, it's really more of a pitcher. I got it at the grocery store, and it's a rubbermaid:
http://www.rubbermaid.com/rubbermaid/images/product/3092_sm.jpg
My cap is white, though (I like the red one better). Anyways, since it has a mostly rectangular base, I was figuring I'd do a more booga-bag type thing. I'm using 10 US needles and as I said, the yarn is bulky (Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky, gotten on Clearance at WEBS for some ridiculously low price) and I only have 108 yards of it. I'm getting about 3st to the inch. Since I'm going to felt it, I'm doing a garter stitch base of 15st x however many rows, and then I'll pick up stitches around the rectangle and knit in the round. I don't have enough for a swatch so I'm going to knit and felt and hope it works. :pray:

Thanks everyone for your input! If anyone has any other suggestions let me know!

feministmama
06-04-2007, 05:55 PM
a booga for your bottle! How cute is that! I say go for it.

Susan P.
06-04-2007, 08:02 PM
i found it interesting to know that the mixed yarn with soy felted like mad. Acrylics don't felt do they.. So it really comes down to all natural fibers felting I think.

My mother made a cosy for her water bottle but it is out of..hmm..like parachute silk but slightly quilted (so silk front and back with something in between)..with a draw strong top. In a way it feels like a doona cover tho not anywhere near as thick. It's useful because the silk washes well and dries oh so quickly!

syndactylus
06-04-2007, 10:11 PM
debbie bliss alpaca silk made one of the prettiest felted things I've ever seen. can't remember the pattern or I'd try to find the picture.

but when I got some frog tree alpaca wet it started falling apart.

but yours sounds stronger.

aylaanne
06-05-2007, 06:01 PM
Well, the cozy is made. And it's felted. And I put it out on my deck to dry in the sunlight, and it started raining. :wall:

All-knit projects are perfect when watching Law & Order Reruns all night. Amazing. I think I only did about 4 hours total of knitting and it was all done while multi-tasking (I work nights and most of my job is sitting around and waiting). I even frogged the thing once because I didn't like how many stitches I'd picked up.

It's drying right now (again) inside on my dishrack. I'm using the bottle itself to shape it, and I think that's going well. It felted BEAUTIFULLY. Now, I have to decide if I want to use the excess (!) yarn to make an I-cord tie for it, or if I want to just use ribbon like I originally planned. Hopefully it will be dry by tomorrow so I can use the water bottle again. I will post before, during, and after felting pictures when it's done done.

Thanks so much for everyone's input!