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  • A Moment on Mohair

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:

  • Pairing a Semi-Solid Base Yarn with Various Mohair Silk Lace Yarns
  • Pairing a Variegated Base Yarn with Various Mohair Silk Lace Yarns
  • Pairing a Variegated Base Yarn with a matching Variegated Mohair Silk Lace Yarn

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...

1. Pairing a Semi-Solid Base Yarn with Various Mohair Silk Lace Yarns

 

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:

  • Louie & Lola Warm Hug Mohair Silk Lace - a mid-toned variegated berry colourway with highlights of navy and speckles of plum, hot pink and mustard. The result is a lightening of the 'Tassie Pinot' base colour, however not much of the 'Warm Hug' speckles and colour variation are apparent when held with the deeper 'Tassie Pinot' colourway.
  • A brown semi-solid mohair I had in stash - it added a deeper chocolate tone to the base colourway.
  • Louie & Lola Tassie Pinot Mohair Silk Lace - the same colourway deepened the richness and vibrancy of the main semi-solid colourway.
  • Louie & Lola Russet Mohair Silk Lace - a rust-brown orange semi-solid colourway.  It lent a bright orange vibrancy, which shone over the Tassie Pinot base colour, due to the significant contrast in colour hue and value.
  • Louie & Lola New Year Mohair Silk Lace - a pale pink colourway featuring speckles of pink bronze, burgundy and chocolate. Interestingly, whilst this added a 'brighter/lighter' pink effect, none of the speckles or variation from the mohair colourway were visible when held with 'Tassie Pinot'.

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.  

2. Pairing a Variegated Base Yarn with Various Mohair Silk Lace Yarns

 

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:

  • Louie & Lola Early Morning Mohair Silk Lace - a light grey tonal base with occasional speckles of navy and rust - It lightened and toned down the Funfetti colourway, adding a silver hue, whilst still allowing many of the speckles and colours of the base colourway to shine through.
  • Louie & Lola New Year Mohair Silk Lace - a pale pink colourway featuring speckles of pink bronze, burgundy and chocolate.  This colourway lended an overall 'pink' effect to the pairing.  Whilst toning down the Funfetti colourway, it did still allow some of the Funfetti speckles and contrasts to remain visible.
  • Louie & Lola Ash Tree Mohair Silk Lace - a variegated colourway featuring shades of silver, pale blue, navy and gold. This had a similar effect as 'Early Morning', but being closer in colour value to 'Funfetti', it allowed more of the base speckles to shine through.  Some of Ash Tree's speckles are also apparent.
  • Louie & Lola Tassie Pinot Mohair Silk Lace - the deep and rich burgundy-wine colourway which we used as our base colour on the first swatch has been used as the mohair here to quite interesting effect. Due to the high level contrast in colour value between the paler Funfetti and deep/rich Tassie Pinot, the Funfetti speckles all shine through the burgundy halo.

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.

3. Pairing a Variegated Base Yarn with a matching Variegated Mohair Silk Lace Yarn

 

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,

Karina





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