May 07, 2020
With so many popular patterns featuring mohair silk yarns held double with other yarns, we get a lot of questions about the different effects of holding mohair doubled.
So we decided to do some swatching using both semi-solid and variegated colourways in different combinations, to help create a bit of a 'floof guide'!
We broke our swatching into three categories:
It goes without saying that we all love the 'floof' and airy 'halo' effect that a mohair silk lace yarn brings to a project, but we also need to consider the additional warmth that comes from adding a mohair fibre, as well as the potential 'itch' factor some people experience.
If you haven't worn a mohair garment or accessory previously, we'd highly recommend tucking a knitted or crocheted mohair swatch up your sleeve or under your bra strap and see how it feels against your bare skin. For some people it doesn't cause any reaction at all, but for others it can cause irritation and it just isn't for them (in which case suri alpaca yarns are a good alternative for adding in the 'floof' factor).
Now back to the fun part...
When it comes to project planning - we can all easily spend countless hours browsing Ravelry patterns and projects, perusing yarns in our stash, visiting our favourite LYS and online yarn stores and dreaming up potential colour combinations.
But when it comes to planning mohair colour combinations, it can make some knitters and crocheters a little more nervous than usual.
We often hear people talk about how mohair yarn acts as a 'blending tool' to mute and tone done primary colourways, but with so many potential colour combinations, given the investment in hand-dyed yarns, it's important to have as good an idea as possible about the effect you will achieve from your proposed yarn combination, before setting off on your project.
Let's get swatching...
Firstly we selected our 'Tassie Pinot' semi-solid colourway on Barrington Merino Silk Lace, as our base yarn to pair with a variety of both semi-solid and variegated mohair silk lace yarns.
Tassie Pinot is a deep and rich burgundy-wine colourway - which can be seen knit on its own at both the start and end of the above swatch.
Next, working left to right, our mohair pairings and effects were:
Overall, it was the level of contrast between the two yarns which determined which yarn shone through the most out of the pairings. Because I used such a deep and rich base colour in 'Tassie Pinot' it negated any of the highlights and contrasts from the variegated mohair colourways from shining through. Had I used a lighter semi-solid base colourway, I suspect the effects might have been different.
Next up, I selected one of our lighter variegated colourways 'Funfetti' on Lola 4 Ply Sock as the base colourway. It can be seen knit on its own on the left hand side of this swatch. Funfetti is a pale blue colourway with fun speckles and splashes of Magnolia, Blue, Gold and Hot Pink.
In terms of mohair pairings, from left to right, we used:
All of these mohairs used allowed the variegated base colourway speckles to shine through to varying degrees; however I think it was 'Ash Tree' which was closest in colour value to 'Funfetti' and 'Tassie Pinot', at the opposite aspect on the value spectrum which allowed the speckles to shine the most.
Lastly I paired the same colourways together.
Louie & Lola Ash Tree is a variegated colourway featuring shades of silver, pale blue, navy and gold.
What this swatch and yarn cakes clearly demonstrate is also how differently the same colourway looks on different yarn bases, due to the different ways in which various fibres absorb dye.
I used the same dye recipe and identical dyeing techniques!
The base yarn is our Merino Singles, a 100% superwash merino roving style single ply yarn, on which colours appear rich and saturated.
In comparison, colourways often appear more muted and understated when dyed on the Mohair Silk Lace base (72% Kid Mohair / 28% Silk).
I found the pairing of the same colourway on the two different bases to be very successful in allowing the nuances and variations within the colourway to shine through, even though the mohair does lessen the vibrancy of the base colourway yarn to some extent.
I hope you have found my experiments interesting and that it may lead to more colour play and experimentation for your future projects!
Happy crafting & chat soon,