A Bit About Floof - from Email April 18, 2020

Posted by Laura Jones on

Here we go! I will dive into the blog pool for a little swim :) For the moment I am going to recycle my subscriber emails for the most part, as I plan to talk about various bases for a little while. Who knows where it will go after that?

So I thought I'd start things off with KIDMOSILK LACE which is my (super)kid mohair/silk lace base ~ highly popular right now and a very interesting base to knit/crochet with.

Mohair fibre comes from Angora goats, an ancient breed originally from central Asia but now also raised mainly in the US, Australia/New Zealand and South Africa. They have long, silky locks, producing a lustrous fibre that is durable, light, insulating and moisture-wicking. The very first shearing is called "superkid" mohair and is the finest, softest locks the goat will produce. The second shearing is "kid" mohair and is also very fine and soft. Subsequent fleeces are "yearling", "fine adult" and "adult".

For the past two years, my KidMoSilk Lace base has been a 70/30 Kid Mohair/Silk blend - with 2 strands of silk holding together all the mohair fibre floof. There are still a number of listings remaining on that base. Recently my supplier switched to a 72/28 SuperKid Mohair/Silk blend, so you will see those intermingled and eventually becoming the only option. Both are gorgeous and totally interchangeable.

Mohair takes colour beautifully though it doesn't speckle distinctly. A twisted hank will look much more intensely coloured than the knit fabric.

Mohair makes an excellent accompanying yarn to hold together with another base (a technique prescribed in many recent patterns), or that you can easily substitute yourself in a pattern you like. Generally speaking, if you want to hold mohair lace with another base, go down about two sizes on the accompanying yarn. For instance, to substitute for a DK weight, hold together kidmosilk lace + fingering/light fingering. For a worsted or aran substitution hold together kidmosilk lace + sport or a heavy fingering and for sport hold together kidmosilk lace + fine lace/cobweb. I would definitely recommend swatching to be sure you obtain the right gauge, but it is a fun substitution and the effect is always interesting and unique.

mohair and merino sweater

Some lovely patterns on Ravelry using this approach: City Limits by Tanis Lavallee, Cruiser by Kristen Finlay, Love Note by Tin Can Knits and Kobuk by Caitlin Hunter

Another great technique that many patterns are using today with mohair silk lace is alternating it with other bases, generally in stripes, but sometimes in sections. I love this effect and am working on a little design right now! If you want to do your own substitution using this technique try it on a shawl pattern that has sections, and substitute kidmosilk lace in one or more sections; or, be adventurous and make your own sections.

mohair crooked kitchen yarn birds of a feather shawl

Some lovely patterns on Ravelry using this approach: Elton by Joji Locatelli, Birds of a Feather by Andrea Mowry, As If Tee by Shay Johnson, Gimme Some Mo' Pullover by Ashly Bishop, Sway by Anna Nikipirowicz and Diaphonous Raglan by Jessie Maed Designs

Regardless of how you choose to use it, your garment will be light, warm and floofy - not to mention eminently "pet-able"! Fortunately, the base is also pretty strong, so if you end up not loving your experimentation, it can handle frogging and re-use.

I have barely scratched the surface of the fun you can have with KidMoSilk Lace, there are so many beautiful patterns and ways to incorporate it - have a blast!

What I'm actively working on now (in other words, which WIPs are getting attention): a new kidmosilk lace/fingering hat design, Naveen by Kate Oates [loving it!] and sock 1 of a pair of toe-up afterthought heel socks (no pattern) ~ check out my project pages on Rav.

No FO's to share at the moment (must knit faster...)!