Have you ever been into a store in winter, picked up a fantastically soft cardigan from the rack, only to see the price tag and think, ‘That’s a whole HEAP of cash!’? Chances are, that super soft cardigan or sweater was made with mohair. But what if we told you that you could have your own version of this luxe garment? In your favorite colorway and with a much softer hit to your wallet. All you need to do is make your own! Want the lowdown on working with mohair yarn? Then read on!
When we think of wool, we automatically think of sheep’s wool. But with mohair yarn, we’re talking goats, not sheep. And not just any goat; Angora goats, particularly kid (young) goats, are renowned for their silky, glossy fur.
As you can imagine, there are significantly more sheep frolicking around the planet then Angora goats and this scarcity makes itself very apparent when you see the price tag of a ball of mohair yarn. Of course, everything we use from the animal world should be considered precious, but the hair of an Angora goat certainly falls under the heading ‘extra precious’. So, before you break out those special balls of fluffy delight, it would be helpful to know a little bit more about mohair yarn. And, that’s what we’re here for!
Different types of mohair yarn
Mohair yarn is considered the crème de la crème of natural fibers. And with good reason. It has a wonderful glossy appearance and doesn’t lose its sheen after it’s been dyed. And mohair is incredibly lightweight, but at the same time, insulates really well and is great at regulating heat.
As you explore what mohair yarn is on offer, you’ll come across a whole plethora of options with all sorts of textures and other qualities. That’s because, typically, mohair is combined with another material. Whether it's wool—sheep, merino, alpaca or camel—, polyamide, polyester, acrylic or silk. A big reason for mixing mohair with these other fibers is to make the use of mohair yarn more sustainable. And of course, what fiber is used affects not only the look and feel of the yarn, but also the price point. For example, a ball of mohair mixed with acrylic and polyamide (like the Rico Fashion Big Mohair) falls in a somewhat cheaper price bracket than a ball of mohair with silk, like the Lana Grossa Silkhair.
We've recently added some delicious balls of mohair to our (digital) shelves! For example, Katia 50 Mohair Shades. Mini balls weighing just 20 grams but with a yardage of no less than 200 meters! Mix and match and treat yourself to a luxurious new cardigan or ultra-soft scarf. Other new mohair must-haves you won't want to miss are Katia Ingenua Moda, Lana Grossa Silkhair Haze Dégradé, and Yarn and Colors Elegant.
The other major difference you’ll notice, in addition to the fibers used and the price, is the length of the hairs of the thread. Katia Ingenua and Lana Grossa Brigitte no. 3, for example, have a long-haired thread, while Lana Grossa Silkhair has a more short-haired thread.
If you’d like to know more about all the mohair yarn in our assortment, you can explore the whole collection here!
Working with mohair yarn
Knitting and crocheting with mohair yarn is an altogether different experience to working with, say, cotton or sheep’s wool. When working with this fine yarn from the Angora goat, it’s worth keeping the following points in mind:
- Always make sure you insert cleanly and pull up the yarn carefully to avoid splitting or damaging the yarn;
- If you need to frog (unravel) your project, do so carefully, one stitch at a time. Don’t pull on the yarn, otherwise the hairs will get all tangled up in knots.
- Mohair yarn tends to itch. So, before starting a project with it, hold up the yarn against your skin to test with your skin will tolerate the mohair. Mohair sweaters and cardigans look utterly fabulous and deliciously cozy, but the party’s over if you end up scratching all day long.
- Choose the correct sized needles or hook for your yarn and project. Make sure that you go for smooth tools that won’t catch on the yarn as you work. Check any handmade or wooden hooks/needles or ones with joins between the needle tips and cables or hook shaft and handles. You're looking for any areas where the thin thread could get snagged. You’ll definitely want to avoid those!
Projects with mohair yarn
Now that you know more about the yarn itself and the dos and don’ts of knitting and crocheting with mohair yarn, it’s just to choose your new mohair project! This luxurious yarn is ideal more making sweaters, cardigans and scarves.
Why not go for the Ingenua cardigan or Ingenua sweater? Either of these beautiful, loose-fitting designs would make a stylish and super cozy addition to your winter wardrobe. The Katia Ingenua yarn, a blend of mohair, merino and polyamide, comes in over 40 pastel and bright colors. So, pick your favorite and grab one of these free knitting patterns to make your own.
If you’d prefer something a bit more playful, then the colorful Ingenua Moda Cardigan (available as a complete kit or separate download pattern) is exactly what you’re looking for. This exclusive design is wonderfully airy, but at the same time, deliciously warm. Add to this the cheerful colors, and what you’ve got is a fantastic cardigan that's perfect for cool summer evenings as well as winter. Katia Ingenua Moda comes in 8 lush colorways, each with imaginative names, like Fairytale and Candy Crush, that are sure to inspire your creativity.
Would you prefer a simpler design for your first foray into the world of mohair? Then check out the free knitting pattern for this gorgeous oversized Ingenua scarf. It’s super soft and warm, perfect for fall and winter. And the colorful stripes will brighten up even the dreariest day. It would look great with jeans and a leather jacket or winter coat. And knitting it is a breeze, even for beginner knitters. You won’t regret it!
Looking after mohair clothing
Mohair clothing should be washed with care. To preserve the qualities of the garment, it’s really important that you follow the washing instructions on the label. And remember, mohair doesn’t need to be washed after every wear. Thanks to the smoothness of the fiber, shaking your sweater out is usually more than enough to remove most dust and dirt. Is it starting to smell? Then hang your mohair piece up in the fresh air, or even just on a hanger in the bathroom, to air it out. If you’ve spilled something on your mohair sweater, then a wash is unavoidable. Do so by hand or using a special wool / cold wash cycle in your machine. Once it’s clean, lay it out flat over a drying rack to dry.
What project will you make with mohair yarn? Share your creations with us via Facebook or Instagram using #yarnplaza. We’d love to see what you’re making!