Guest Post by Andra Asars, Berroco New England Sales Rep
With renewed interest in mohair blend yarns this year comes the uncertainty of what effect on the knit fabric a mohair will have when it’s stranded with another yarn.
Beautiful things happen when mohair gets in the mix. But if you’re curious about what kind of fabric it will make? The best answer is always to swatch, swatch, swatch.
Let’s address gauge first:
I’ve chosen Berroco Sesame Blue Poppy (7424) for this example. I have swatched a lot with Sesame and mohair for my Spencer sweater.
Sesame is a heavy worsted wool/acrylic blend yarn with lively stripes and tweed. Berroco Aerial is a lace weight, kid mohair/silk blend with about 290 yds/25g. (The yardage on 25g balls will be your key in determining the effect on your knit fabric.)
In the swatch on the left I cast on at the bottom with Sesame alone; then I added the Aerial first with navy, then lagoon, then birch (a ridge of garter denotes the color changes). It’s wonderful to see how the Aerial brings to Sesame a watercolor-like wash. The Sesame remains predominant; the Aerial dilutes the multicolor and lends a pleasing halo & softness to the knit fabric.
The swatch on the right is dramatically different. I’ve used the same blue Sesame to start but replaced the Aerial with a DK gauge kid mohair/silk blend; Lang Mohair Luxe. This mohair has about 200 yds/25g ball. That’s 30% less yards than the Aerial. Notice the dramatic difference in the knit fabric. No soft halo; the mohair dominates the Sesame. My gauge became much thicker, too; I jumped to a #9 needle. I’ve completely altered the knit fabric characteristics and gauge by switching up to a DK mohair.
Next, let’s look at color.
We’ll stick with the Sesame and Aerial held together. I chose a brown/grey Sesame (Breeze 7411) for a second color swatch test. On the right of the picture you’ll see the sesame alone, then I added Aerial in silver, tea rose, copper, charcoal, and basil. The Sesame dominates the fabric and the Aerial give a lovely shaded halo. The mohair color doesn’t need to match the primary yarn; often times the result is more special when the two yarns don’t match color.
I encourage you to experiment as I have done; combine extra yarns from your stash with different thicknesses of mohair. Discover which fabrics and color combinations appeal to you then apply to your favorite sweater shape.
About the Author: Andra Asars has been the Berroco Sales Representative in the New England states for over a quarter century. The LYS’s and knitters have benefited by her penchant for swatching. You can find Andra on Ravelry: roentgen.