I bought a few skeins of wool for a child’s sweater and noticed only afterwards that it is called “felting wool.” I wasn’t planning on felting it. Does that matter? If I simply hand wash and air dry the sweater will it still be ok?
Its gonna felt not matter what. If you hand wash it it will just felt more slowly. You could try hand washing it in cold water and then air drying it and that should significantly slow the process…but, even with sweaters that I bought at the store, they always start to felt over time if they are 100% wool.
All wool will felt IF you agitate it and have temperature changes in the water. I think if you just hand wash it carefully - soak rather than swish it - and keep the wash and rinse waters the same temp, then lay flat to dry it should be fine. It may felt a little over time, but by then the child may have outgrown it anyway.
though “superwash” or “washable” wool will felt much, much, much slower under most circumstances.
I’d go up one size on my needles. Knit a swatch, wash it & see how much it tightens up.
I can knit with it wool, but can’t wear it. My friends that have made wool clothing say it felts a bit under the arms, at the neck, wrists… any place that gets friction.
As to your question…the only thing I’ve noticed about the wool they call felting wool is that it tends to be less soft, but that can vary by brand of course.
I don’t believe there is any difference…look at the label and see what the “ingredients” are. Is it 100% wool or a blend of other fibers?
Wool is wool is wool. Of course there are different grades and levels of softness, etc., but, yes, if you handwash it properly, it should be fine.