so here we are - the end result of a chain of experiments. hand dyed with food colouring, spindle spun, crocheted, felted (ish). i was planning to spin a super-fluffy white yarn to trim the edges, but it fits madam perfectly now, any extra rows and it would be down over her eyes. i think she's finding it a little itchy, though she really likes it and wouldn't take it off for the first half hour.
the yardage was spot on, had just about enough left to do ties for the flaps but i won't bother as i like it well enough without. i adapted the interweave crochet pattern to fit my gauge and made the flaps wider and more tapered (decreased at both ends not just one). after i'd dyed and spun i read somewhere that cheviot doesn't felt easily and boy is that true! it's slightly tightened and fuzzed (and faded!) but hasn't really felted at all, despite a thorough hand-bashing plus full length 90Âº wash. it fit me just right before fulling and it's shrunk just enough to fit madam now.
this is a shame as i'd been relying on my large batch of 56s (i.e. the cheviot) for multi-purpose dying and felting experiments. it's not really soft enough for next to skin so not sure what i'll do with it now. actually i do, i'll keep dyeing and have a go at some baskets using the kitty bag technique for extra rigidity.
the colour fading was quite dramatic, which is useful to know. it happened in the machine, not the sink, so i guess if i had a felty fibre it wouldn't be such a problem. the yarn next to it shows what the edge trim and bottom of the earflaps looked like before the hot wash.