It is such cool knitting store. If you are ever in the area, or online, check them out.
While there, I purchased some yarn from a Japanese textile factory. I had hoped to find some of the Habu textiles yarn while visiting Japan - but as life would have it, I found it in Portland!
Darcy Cameron, owner of Knit/Purl, recommended I purchase the [Habu item # A-33, 2/48 merino wool cone, color 40, 100% wool, 2241 yards in 3 oz] and [Habu item # A-21, 1/20 silk stainless B yarn (thread really), color 4, 69% silk, 31% stainless, 281 yards in .5 oz] - knit them on a US #10 needle, then felt it for an interesting light felted material. She said that the silk-wrapped stainless steel thead provides body to the yarn, and holds it shape when pressed. Indeed, it does.
When knitting a swatch, I went with Darcy's recommendation and used a US size 10 needle. I knit in garter stitch pattern (knit every row), randomly adding cast off of 2, 3, and 4 stitches with a cast on of 2,3, and 4 stitches on the next row. The penny is to show you how tiny the thread is...it's hard to see when knitting!
I felted the swatch by hand, and it felted almost instantly. I lost just a little width, but probably more than 1/2 the height. I love the "cobweb" effect. The hand is wonderful. The following is a closeup. The result is really a fine look, with cool organic edges.
This is destined to become the cobweb wrap. Now, to designing it!
(note: color is not accurate. The yarn is a mossy/grey/green and the silk/steel is a grey color.)