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Old 07-29-2005, 12:06 PM   #1
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Question about Merino Wool
My dh loves his orange hat so much, that he now wants me to knit him a black one. This time, though, he wants wool for the warmth. I don't like wool because of its scratchiness but I've seen you all talking about Merino being soft. So, is it REALLY softer than plain old wool and what if he gets this hat wet by mistake.. is it going to felt or something? How should he care for it?
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Old 07-29-2005, 12:17 PM   #2
rebecca
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If you google around you can find 'superwash or washable' wool. But, I use WOTA from Knitpicks as my usual worsted wt yarn and it is VERY SOFT. Their Merino Style is dk wt and super soft!!!
As far as it getting wet; wool will suck water in, it's very absorbent...what u have to do is then handle it with care. Never wring the water out of wool as it may cause a bit of felting or pilling. I always hand wash in cold water with a gentle detergent or baby shampoo (it is hair) and then to get the water out I put a towel down & place (let's say scarf) the scarf on the towel and roll it in the towel and sqeeze as I'm rolling to squeeze the water out; now this will have to be done a couple of times & then lie flat to dry.
It's really and truly not itchy...now I have bought wool yarn that I wasn't familiar with that was very itchy!! Just look around and you may find superwash wool or yarn that is 75% wool and 25% nylon or something, like sock yarn often is and you won't have to worry with washing it! Lorna's Laces has a lot of washable yarn and it's all yummy. Have fun :D
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Old 07-29-2005, 12:19 PM   #3
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thanks for the great info, Rebecca!
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Old 07-29-2005, 12:21 PM   #4
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U r welcome; I just googles 'superwash worsted wool yarn' and came up with all sorts of yarn... :D
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Old 07-29-2005, 12:31 PM   #5
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Merino wool is regular 100% wool, however it comes from a Merino sheep whose fleece is very fine and soft, hence the buttery softness of merino wool. If you want next to the skin softness, merino is the way to go.

Also, FYI... you can wash wool in cold, warm or even hot water. The temperature is not what felts wool, but rather agitation and rapid temperature changes. IE: If you wash in warm water, rinse in warm water as well. And always, be it cold, or hot water, never agitate your wool.

Wool can absorb up to 30% of it's own weight in water, and get this... still feel warm and dry. That is why wool is so perfect for fisherman sweaters. Those Irish are little McSmartypants.
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Old 07-29-2005, 12:37 PM   #6
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OHHHH... okay! All this time I've been freaking out about using pure wool for fear it will get wet. Okay so NOW I get it!
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Old 07-29-2005, 12:51 PM   #7
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A word of warning... wash in hot ONLY if you have a difficult stain to remove. It's not advised for everyday washing.

Also, wool is pure animal hair. When it gets wet, it will emit a slight sheepy smell (think the smell of a petting zoo, but a mild scent), which is the lanolin on the fiber. When dry, it is not noticable. The more processed the yarn (making it washable, dying, etc), the less lanolin is left, and less smell. However, the lanolin is what gives it much of it's waterproof and warming qualities. It's a toss up. Personally, I like unprocessed wool.
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Old 07-29-2005, 01:29 PM   #8
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Dumb question
Originally Posted by rebecca
I use WOTA from Knitpicks as my usual worsted wt yarn and it is VERY SOFT. :D
Okay, I am still relatively new at this stuff, so I just have to ask. . .
What is "WOTA"? I have been able to figure out most of your abbreviations, but that one still escapes me.

I also assume "DH" is husband, though I don't know what the D stands for. I have figured out the "LYS" is local yarn store.
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Old 07-29-2005, 01:33 PM   #9
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WOTA is wool of the andes, from www.knitpicks.com:)
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Old 07-29-2005, 01:39 PM   #10
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Re: Dumb question
Originally Posted by dallaswinn
I also assume "DH" is husband, though I don't know what the D stands for. I have figured out the "LYS" is local yarn store.
lol...we have had this discussion before. most use it for dear or darling but there are times when other "D" words are more appropriate ya know! :D
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