Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I love this yarn and my needles!

The yarn-you can see the fuzzy mohair in it. I couldn't get a good picture of my 3 row progress.

I cast on for my shawl. I am using Rowan Cocoon yarn. It is made with 80% wool and 20% mohair. What is Mohair you ask? Well here is a description of it:

"Angora goats produce a very beautiful, luxurious and incredibly durable fibre called mohair. It is one of the warmest natural fibres known and one of the most versatile. Angora goats took their name from Ankara, an ancient Turkish city where they originated. Although the goats were farmed for their fibre from early times it was not until the 16th century that export of the goats was permitted. The first exports were to France and Spain. They later spread to many countries, reaching the Americas in 1849 and Australia in early 1900s. South Africa currently produces more than 60 percent of the total world production of mohair. Australian production totals approximately 250,000 kg. World production is 5 million kg per year.

It is a wool-like textile fibre ie it is a protein fibre. It has a smooth cuticular scale pattern on the surface that imparts lustre and it has low felting capacity. This scale is different to the wool fibre scale and consequently is not 'itchy'. The mohair is generally shorn from the animals twice a year. The mohair grows rapidly at about 2 cm per month. The fibres range from 23 microns in mean diameter at the first shearing to as much as 38 microns in older animals. The wide range of uses of mohair fibre is a result of the range of diameter of the fibre produced. Mohair from young goats (kid mohair) is used in knitwear, from intermediate age it is used in suiting materials, and the stronger 'fine hair' types are used in coating and rug manufacture."

I love how this yarn feels! Soft, warm, squishy. I needed to concentrate when I was casting on because there is not a lot of twist to the fibers so it's harder to see where the stitches are. One blends into the next. But after the cast on row, things got better. There are little white hairs-from the mohair that sheds as you knit.

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