We’re getting closer. I’ve been dyeing up combed top and I pulled out some mohair roving too. This mohair is really silky and shiny. It would be a great addition to an art batt. Or you could blend it in with other fibers. So far I have a lot of semi-solid colors and I’ve got a few variegated pans going too. Here’s what it looks like:
These are a minimum of 5 oz. Some are even 6 oz. They sell for $20 each with shipping! Get your’s here.
This year one business goal was to widen out my farm yarn line. I have lots of choices in the Worsted weight yarn. I have Synergy: the marled yarn that looks hand spun. I have LiViLy that is from my fine wool Cormo Sheep. I have Trasna made from the long lustrous fleeces of my BFL Cormo Hybrid sheep. I have Fingals which is from my pure bred BFL sheep. That’s a lot of yarn in one single weight.
So this year, I wanted to add a fingering and a sport weight to my wool yarns. I also wanted to replenish my yearling mohair that is a fingering weight yarn. And I have a LOT of PolyPay wool that I bought from a shepherd in Virginia. I really want it to be a bulky yarn.
So yesterday I unboxed my yarn shipment from the mill. And I was sooooo happy.
I have a beautiful fingering weight wool from the hybrids. there are over 400 yards in a 4 oz skein.
I have a lovely sport weight yarn with the cormo wool that has over 300 yards in a skein.
The yearling mohair came back perfectly matching the previous run.
The polypay did not come back as bulky. It came back as worsted. But it is lovely. The wool “tells” us how it wants to be spun. And it really didn’t want to be bulky.
Time to get to the dye pots and see how these babies do. I usually don’t list my farm yarns in it’s natural form. But if you see something you really need, just shoot me an email.
I need a warm and really sturdy sweater for this winter. The yarn I’m using is Cacao that I made into a 3 ply so that it is more of a bulky weight. I tried, believe me I tried to get the half brioche stitch correct in the raglan areas. I finally gave up and did a PKP rib there. Because this is going to be a outside sweater and barn sweater, I’ll probably make it longer than the pattern suggests. We’ll see how it goes.
What are you knitting this winter? Reply here or on Facebook and Instagram to let me know.
I’m asked at every show what a particular colorway will look like when it is knit or crochet. There isn’t a simple answer. Even if I did a swatch for every base and every colorway I have made, when you use that yarn, it will look different than the sample.
It all depends on the number of stitches. A yarn that will stripe in a sock of 62 stitches will might have sections of pooling and striping in a shawl where the stitches are constantly changing row by row.
Here is a good example. Both mitts were knit from the same skein. The smaller mitt on the right has bigger areas where the deeper blues and greens will pool and stripe. The larger mitt is less dramatic as the areas of deeper blue and green are more spread out and therefore have a more subtle look. There is only a difference of 12 stitches between the two mitts.
These two mitts are the samples for my new mitt kitts. The yarn is my 2 ply mohair yarn from our animals. It is lofty and has a nice halo that you can actually brush to make it even more pronounced. The kitt includes the yarn and pattern for a mere $15. It is a fast gift for the holidays. These will be available during the Holiday Fiber Art Studio Tour on December 7th and 8th. Find out the details here. And I will be adding these to my online store in Monday’s update. Check back here to find them.
Interested in Mohair or Wool roving? Well we have you covered. Find it in our online store.
Mohair is an incredible fiber: strong, brilliant, resilient, warm, breathable and renewable. It does do better when it is blended with another fiber. Mohair in yarn can add a nice halo or fuzziness to the yarn. It also gives off it’s brilliant shine and luster. But by itself it can be a bit heavy. In the wrong kind of garment or the wrong kind of stitch it can be too slinky to keep the structure you intended. Many other writers have said that mohair has elasticity. It may have some, but it does not have the memory that wool has. Once it has stretched out, it is nearly impossible to get it back. You see, mohair wants to stretch out to its original somewhat straight shape.
When I design a yarn for my mohair, I go two routes. I make a 100% mohair that is tightly spun and a little less tightly plied. That way the mohair is stabilized, the sheen is apparent and the hand (the way it feels) is soft. I only use kid or yearling fleeces for this kind of yarn. This yarn is great for garments or accessories that call for drape, like a shawl or a scarf.
For a great tapestry yarn, I have my adult mohair spun in a fingering weight that is pretty tightly spun. This fine yarn will do well for tapestry weavers who want to blend colors for shading. Because it is a singles yarn, there are no ply shadows and the luster shines through. It is a very strong and durable yarn as well.
My blended yarns are designed in two veins as well. One yarn I blend uses adult mohair as a substitute for nylon in sock yarn. Adult mohair is lends it’s strength and durability to the fingering weight yarn. This sock yarn is totally renewable and natural without using man-made materials.
The second way I blend uses kid mohair with my crimpy, squishy Cormo or BFL fleeces to make lovely worsted weight yarn. The mohair gives a little halo and some shine to the wool. This yarn is fantastic to use for sweaters, hats, and mittens. It shows off beautiful lace patterns and your cables will pop out from the background stitches. We currently have many colorways of Fingal and Fernham in the shop.
If you are local, you can see our yarns in person at the Homespun Yarn Party Sunday 3/22 from 12-5pm in the Savage Mill Ballroom. Click here for more information.
What mohair blends do you have in your stash?
Mohair is such a favorite of mine. Of course, I would love it since I have a fiber flock of angora goats with lots of mohair on the hoof, so to speak. According to Clara Parkes’ book, The Knitter’s Book of Yarn, “Goats with silken hair” were referenced in the 14th century BC, but the angora goats that we know of today were domesticated near Ankara, Turkey in the 13th century AD. She writes that the word “mohair” is a variation of the Arabic word mukhayar, which means “to choose”. Perhaps because the European buyers were always “choosing” it.
Mohair grows very quickly, approximately 1 inch per month. Therefore the goats need to be sheared every 6 months or so. The staple length is long compared to many wool staples. The fibers themselves are long and hairlike, with large flat scales. This means that the fibers become highly reflective and full of luster.
Because of these characteristics, mohair takes dye beautifully. As a dyer I can achieve clear, saturated color that is very shiny. Like wool, mohair puts itself out if it is set on fire. It is very warm and insulating as well. It is very strong so it is used for textiles that get a lot of wear, like upholstery.
Kid mohair is the softest mohair. As the animal ages, the fibers grow thicker and stronger. Mohair can be classified as kid for 2-3 shearings usually. In some very good breeding lines, kid mohair classification can go on many years.
I have also had 100% mohair made into yarns. A single ply that can be used for tapestry weaving although recently many knitters have been buying these mini skeins for doll clothes or to create gradient cowls or scarves.
A 2 ply that is sport weight that can be used for outerwear garments or nice strong warps for woolen blankets. I also love using 100% mohair roving with my new spinning students, since it is very easy to draft and makes a nice yarn for a beginner spinner.
During this month, I’ll be sharing what I know about mohair, its blends, fancy yarns and patterns in which mohair can shine. Have you used mohair in your knitting, crocheting, weaving or spinning? Please share in the comments.