Wool and its properties; add elastic or not?

I have been knitting w/100% wool lately - the Christopher Sheep Farm kind. I love it to knit with - it smells kinda sheepy and it just feels so good.

Well, the thing is, it of course has no stretch. so when I made a watch hat/ribbed winter hat and then washed it, the ribs kinda washed out (if that makes any sense to anyone; it’s now really flat instead)

it LOOKS like a dumb hat, but if you wear it, it feels great and doesn’t look so bad.

BUT I guess I’m asking - what could I have done to make sure the ribs stayed ribbed. Does anyone out there knit with a strand of elastic when knitting with pure wool?

This is just a guess, but do u think that putting it in the dryer on air will help? The reason I am asking is bc it helped with some cotton yarn I was using this summer…of course, I’ve never done anything like this with wool & have no idea if it actually addresses your problem…but…what the hay… :wink:

thanks rebecca - yeah, I tried that too :frowning:

this is the first time I have knitted w/the pure wool into a real shape (I made fingerless gloves w/it and the ribbing isn’t as important and once I washed them they snugged back up nicely)

so did I do sometheing wrong? the same pattern I did in woolease and the ribs stayed ribbed.

What kind of rib are you doing? Is the entire hat ribbed, or just a band? The hats that I knit for Christmas presents all kept their rib after washing. I used a K2P2 rib, but just on the band. Altho, come to think of it, none were 100% wool - all natural fibers, but not pure wool.

the entire hat is ribbed.

maybe I washed it wrong…

thanks FG for your post

Time to knit another of the same pattern and see what I did wrong! :smiley:

Sounds like a yarn issue to me. Every wool I’ve come in contact with has kept its elasticity/springyness. Did the hat change size after washing?

I suppose it could be your gauge was too loose? Maybe the ribs settled in? Maybe next time, gently wash the hanks, dry and then knit with it.

I’m kind of grasping at straws here.

well, I did get the wool from a yard sale - I’ll try washing it first before knitting! thanks!

ps; Same pattern - here’s the normal hat (made with woolease) and the Dumb Donald hat (made w/pure wool) :rofling:

excuse the poor photo - I have bad light here in the house in the evenings!

It’s still cute looking to me.

I was working on a piece with ribbing that transitions to stockinette - the ribbing called for needles smaller than the stockinnette, which I think is usually because the ribbing is always wider than St st. But I was thinking that maybe you could try going down a needle size? The scientist in me wants to try all the different permutations in gauge swatches. :wink:

I am not an expert on this at all, but I want to share a message to you that my friend mentioned a few days ago. She had knit a sweater (100% wool) for me that had a few cables in it. When I was wearing it, she fussed over it a little bit. She felt that she should have blocked more. Then she said that she didn’t want to block it too much, otherwise the cables would have gone flat. Perhaps the same idea can be applied here.