Yarn has no give

A co-worker gave me some wool yarn off her family’s sheep farm (it’s about 20 yrs old) and I was going to make her some fingerless mitts with it, but it has no give and I’m not sure it’s going to work. Any thoughts ? Can I use a yarn that has no give to make something that needs to be somewhat elastic?

The only part that needs some elastic in the fingerless mitts would be a cuff and if you knit 2x2 ribbing that should work. Why don’t you cast on with it and see how it works. Also, if you knit it tightly the sts won’t have a lot of stretch to them either, so you might use a little larger needle.

I’ve actually knit a couple of inches with it and they just don’t seem right…or at least they don’t seem to be turning out as my last pair did. The yarn seems to stick to itself and is just yuck…I feel as though I am knitting with twine. I would really like to make the mitts for her out of her yarn if there is a way to make it work, but right now I am not loving it.

You might try washing it in a high lanolin wool soap and possibly try using a hair conditioner in the rinse to see if it softens it up. You could also try crocheting with it, or using a lace pattern for your mitts, or using a pattern that calls for a cotton yarn (another low elasticity yarn).

Is there any possibility of using a [B]2nd strand of another yarn along with it?[/B]
You know…a laceweight or fingering wt yarn, whichever is thinnest. I always get them mixed up.

Perhaps another strand of yarn held together with the stubborn yarn will ‘tame the beast’!