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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Same Pattern - Different Yarn - Two Beautiful Purses

I posted earlier about how enamored I am of this purse pattern, pictured below, offered by Rachels Crochet on Etsy

I've made two so far. A grey one and one in pink & orange. I know what you're thinking. Pink & orange?!? You should've seen the look on my Mom's face when I told her my plan. She has excellent taste so, normally, that look would stop me -- but I knew it would be beautiful. And it is!
The point of this post, however, is to talk about the end result when using different yarn. The grey purse was made using Patons Classic Wool in two shades of grey. The pink purse was made using Patons Roving. Both are 100% wool. For both purses, I held one strand of yarn.

Patons Classic Wool is a worsted weight yarn (weight #4.) While Patons Roving is a bulky yarn (weight #5.) The picture below shows the two different types of yarn (but in different colors, because I haven't replenished my grey or pink yet.)
Classic Wool on the left and Roving on the right. See the difference?
Since they are different weights, I used different hooks for each purse. I used an I hook for the grey purse and moved up to a J for the pink. 

If you've ever used Classic Wool, you'll know it feels a little scratchy -- as wool can do. Once it is washed, however, it becomes so soft. Depending on where you stop in the felting process, you can keep the soft feel or let the item felt a bit more to shrink the item and make it stiffer. The grey was the first I made with this pattern, so I opted to stop when the purse was a certain size. I was less concerned about stiffness. 

As a result the grey purse is soooo soft! I honestly had to put the finished purse away because I kept touching it. The trade off for all that softness is the grey purse does not hold the pleat as well as I would have liked. To help it along, I put a couple of stitches in the pleat to hold it together. I think it looks fantastic! A lovely shape, nice pleat and a soft as a kitten purse?! Yes please!

The pink purse, which was made with Roving, I love for a whole different set of reasons. The roving, which is bulkier, felted down to more of a material feel. It's not as soft as it was in the wrapper, but look at how it holds its shape! You can see the difference in the pictures below.

See the difference?
The pink purse feels more like you would expect a felted purse to feel. It has a lovely texture to it and it feels substantial. The grey purse feels soft and cuddly and makes me want to put it in my lap and pet it all the live long day.

I don't like one more than the other. They're just different. 

I will continue to make this purse and I will make it with both types of yarn. I may try to felt a little longer with the Classic Wool or, perhaps, use two strands to bulk it up a bit. I will also make others in the same fashion as the grey & revel in the softness. 

What is your experience felting? Do some brands felt differently than others? Do you like one "type" of felt more than the others? I would be interested to hear your experiences.

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