Mohair is my first fiber love. It’s sheen, softness, and durability have always led me back to it as my fiber of choice. I was lucky enough to grow up learning to knit on this beautiful fluff.
Yet, mohair isn’t commonly seen in the knitter world – it’s a rarer fiber, with fewer knitting patterns available. I’ve always wondered why. As my mom always remarks it’s “an overlooked fiber, blended too often.” There just doesn’t seem to be a good reason for it’s neglect!
To be fair, our preference for mohair here at Kindred Yarn Co. is because we raise Angora goats. (Angora goats produce mohair. Angora rabbits produce angora.) Let’s just say we’re smitten both with mohair and the goats. So, today I want to walk you through the qualities and uses of mohair yarn so you can incorporate the diamond fiber into your knitting repertoire.
Angora goats were originally domesticated in Turkey and become known both for the quality and quantity of the fiber they produced and their wonderful personalities. Exceptionally docile and friendly, Angora goats often served as both production animals and family pets. Sheared twice a year, ideally producing a fleece of at least 6 inches in length, Angora goats produce a lot of fiber for their size.
A Few Reasons Why Mohair Rocks
- Sheen: Mohair glistens. It has a certain shine to it that makes for incredible finished projects. This is because the fiber has a high luster – it catches and bounces the light off wonderfully.
- The Halo Effect: As a mohair project ages, the fiber gains softness and begins to loosen a bit from the ply of the yarn. This creates a soft halo around a finished project. It makes scarves and cowls extra cuddly. It’s definitely my favorite quality of mohair.
- Drape: This fiber drapes wonderfully. Lace knitters, you’ll love this stuff.
- Softness: Kid mohair is remarkably soft. In general, adult mohair is fairly soft. On occasion, you may find mohair from an older animal or with kemp that makes the fiber rougher than usual. Scratchier skeins are the exception to the rule – most of what you’ll find is a delight.
- Color: Mohair is available in a variety of natural colors including white, red, brown, black, and grey. If you avoid dyed yarns or like to opt for a more natural look, this is definitely your fiber. Few breeds of sheep can boast such a rainbow.
- Dye Absorbent: On the other hand, if you love to dye your own yarn, you’ve got to get some mohair. Mohair absorbs dye well and maintains a vibrant shade.
- Durable + Fire Retardant: Mohair is durable. According to many online resources, 100% mohair will stretch a bit. I attribute this factor to commercial processing. With handspun varieties, I’ve never had a problem with growth. It’s fire retardant qualities are an extra bonus. You know, just in case you want to knit a jump suit for race care driving.
What to Knit With Mohair
Mohair is fantastic for lace projects and anything you wear close to the skin like hats, mittens, and scarves. It’s a joy to spin and knit. Give this seriously wonderful fluff a try.
Want to get some ideas? Check out my Marvelous Mohair Pintrest board! I’ve included ideas for working with mohair, resources for finding some, and patterns that would work great with mohair.
Have you ever knit with mohair? What did you make? If not, what project sounds good to you?
Leave your answer in the comments! I can’t wait to here about your projects.