Filed Under (Dyeing, Spinning) by jennyk on 05-04-2004

Each year, Kennet Valley Guild holds a skein competition. This year, we were given an ounce of washed mohair locks and asked to combine them with an equal amount of something else and bring the finished skein to the next month’s meeting.

I haven’t had much experience with mohair as I find commercial mohair yarn too scratchy (yes, even kid mohair/silk blends). I considered doing something wild (leaving it as locks and letting the curls hang out of the yarn, or adding in feathers, perhaps), but as usual I left it too late, so I decided play safe.

I blended the mohair with Blue Faced Leicester (my favourite wool breed) on a drumcarder, split the batts into pieces and dyed them separately and then recombined them on the drumcarder, Deb Menz style. The picture top left is the dyed sections. The one below it is after one pass through the carder. I was disappointed with how quickly the colours were blending (I think because there was so little of each colour so the layers were very thin) but I still needed to do another pass to get the batt even enough to spin easily.

I was pleasantly surprised by how it actually spun up. It wasn’t as bright as I’d intended but the combination of the shine of the mohair and the subtle colours reminds me of the splitting of light by a thin oil film on water. No, it didn’t win, but it got enough compliments to make me happy. :-)