I recently read about a method to test whether different yarns would work well together in a project. I have quite a few cones of wool yarns of varying weights, thicknesses, types, and blends, and thought it would be a good idea to see what happens to them after washing.
I cut off a little more than a yard of each yarn, and sorted them into four bundles by size. After folding each bundle in half to the length of the shortest piece, I cut the bundle in half. A knot at the cut end gave me a measuring point. I laid them all out on my striped tablecloth and cut them all the same length, again to the length of the shortest piece.
Leaving four of the bundles as my control groups, I washed the other four as I would if I was wet finishing a project.
After straightening out the washed bundles next to the control bundles, I was able to see the difference in shrinkage. I will now be able to make a more educated guess on which yarns will combine successfully.
Click on the photo for an enlarged view and more detail.
A striped wool blanket has been on my mind. I will avoid the yarns that shrunk the most, since I don't want a seersucker stripe!
I will keep my test and control bundles in my wool cupboard for future reference.