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NYcarrie 10-25-2006 10:22 AM

What's the difference btwn knitting yarn and felting yarn?

I'm shopping online for my first Malabrigo (my LYS doesn't carry it), and I see some of it is listed as wool knitting yarn and some of it as knitting felting yarn.

Is knitting yarn only for knitting and felting yarn only for felting? Or can knit with felting yarn and felt with knitting yarn?

So confused.... Thanks in advance! The people here are always so helpful.


knitqueen 10-25-2006 10:25 AM

I've never heard that difference before. Anything that is 100% natural fiber, like 100% wool or 100% alpaca and things like that (no cottons, no synthetics, no synthetic blends or superwash wool) will felt but you can also knit things with those yarns that are not meant for felting.

Calamintha 10-25-2006 01:06 PM

Although all natural fibers should felt to some extent some felt better than others. Also many white or light pastel colors may not felt well because some bleach has been added to lighten the color. So it's possible that they are just recommending the yarns that they know will felt well for felting.

The other thing is that there is something called "Needle Felting" that is done with unspun yarn or roving so it's possible that they sell some fiber for that. Some yarn companies do. You want to check carefully because if you are intending to knit something and felt it you don't want to get unspun roving.

Brvfan 10-25-2006 02:52 PM

To felt or not
Felting yarns are natural fibers. Those that do not felt are usually superwash types where something has been added to keep the fibers from changing. You can use felting yarns to make anything you would make with a superwash but you must wash in cold water and lay flat to dry. Lots of sock yarns are superwash so they hold up in the washing machine on warm and dry very well. I have a pair of socks knit from Opal sock yarn and I have even thrown them in with the towels and dryed them on hot and they come out great. The best yarn I have felted with is O-Wool Classic. I like the fact that the stitch definition is still there. Gee, this makes me want to go felt something---off to the washing machine.


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