Archive for April 16th, 2007

The pattern for Monika is now up.


You can download it here:

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Today I decided to have a play around with some kid mohair. It was not an entirely successful venture.

I had never spun mohair before (although I’ve bought lots of it in the past as I’m a complete sucker for its beautiful curly colours!) and I launched in armed with mum’s advice: ‘keep the drafting triangle nice and wide’. Perhaps some further advice would have been a good idea!

I started out with a handful of the curls I’d bought at Wingham on Skip North. The fibre was very clumpy and almost matted in places (you can see it in the photo below) and I spent quite a bit of time teasing it out with my fingers and seperating out the curls into fluffy clouds. Quite a lot of dust and vegetable matter fell out while I did that. I also noticed that there were lots of different lengths of fibres in different clumps, some as short as 1 inch. I suspect this particular sample bag could be described as ‘off-cuts’, I will be checking more carefully if I buy a large amount.

I set the wheel ratio to medium-low as I knew I would be drafting slowly, and started off. The fibre didn’t draw out particularly evenly and there were plenty of fuzzy bits (well it’s supposed to be fuzzy isn’t it?). By the end of my handful I was becoming rather sick of it and it did. not. like. being plied off the Nostepinne. Think singles drifting apart at random and the whole lot falling of the NP about halfway through :-(

To cut a long story short, I did end up with a small amount of rather pretty 2-ply:


And I will be putting a lot more effort into preparation before spinning pure mohair again.

Part two of the mohair experiment involved some blending (as I was a bit scared of it in its naked state by this point). I carded (yes, apparantly carding produces much friendlier mohair than the teased-out-with-the-fingers variety) some pink and then layered it on the handcards with merino top.

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They blended beautifully and subsequently spun and plied (at a medium-high ratio) with ridiculous ease into what I think is a rather nice yarn. It has a heathery look due to the different colours of the two fibres, and it has a lovely fuzzy halo caused by the mohair while still retaining most of the merino softness. I wasn’t taking myself seriously enough to actually measure the composition but I’d say the mohair was roughly 30%. I can see myself doing a bit more of this.


To summarise:

- Mohair on its own is much harder to spin, and pricklier and courser in the finished yarn than when blended with merino

- Carding is necessary to get mohair that I can work with

- Pink and green are apparantly still my favourite colours to spin!


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