Episode 66 – The Diamond Fibre

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Image Details: ‘Angora Goat’ by noricum, via Flickr.

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Intro

Hello and welcome to another rip-roaring episode of the Shinybees podcast. Today we have the return of Enablers’ Corner, some chat about mohair – the diamond fibre – and its properties, particularly in sock knitting. Following that, we round up with a rundown of the latest shipment from The Golden Skein and encourage you to try out three fabulous hand dyers.

Enablers’ Corner

As Autumn Falls is a great new 4-piece collection from Amanda B Collins. The full collection is available via Ravelry at ยฃ9.60, with the individual patterns at various prices according to complexity.

Emmer by Amanda B Collins. Image Copyright Amanda B Collins.

Emmer by Amanda B Collins. Image Copyright Amanda B Collins.

Bulgurwheat by Amanda B Collins. Image Copyright Amanda B Collins.

Bulgurwheat by Amanda B Collins. Image Copyright Amanda B Collins.

Bailey by Amanda B Collins. Image Copyright Amanda B Collins.

Bailey by Amanda B Collins. Image Copyright Amanda B Collins.

Slipthatch by Amanda B Collins. Image Copyright Amanda B Collins.

Slipthatch by Amanda B Collins. Image Copyright Amanda B Collins.

The Sock Surgery

Today we are exploring that much maligned fibre: mohair. South Africa accounts for 60% of all mohair production and it has some great properties which make is suitable as an alternative for nylon.

Mohair comes from Angora goats – not to be confused with Angora which comes from Angora rabbits.

So what? Why use mohair?

Its a great insulator, even when wet and is warmer than wool. It’s also lighter in weight than wool, making it good for performance garments where weight is an issue. Mohair has smooth fibres, making it comfortable next to the skin; if you’re sensitive to wool, mohair may be a good alternative.

The thin, smooth scales of mohair make it shrink resistant and it doesn’t felt. It’s also super durable and strong, with mohair being stronger than steel of the same diameter. These are particularly good properties to have when considering yarn for socks. A material that resists felting and is strong is always going to be better than one which felts easily, especially in socks that will take a battering.

Unlike steel, mohair stretches but springs back well, meaning there is less sagging when wearing.
It’s also non-flammable, which encouraged its use for children’s teddy bears as it is also less irritating than wool. You can find gorgeous teddy bears which are handmade in Ironbridge, Shropshire from mohair at Merrythought.

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Mohair is lustrous and shiny, and it takes and holds dye really well, meaning it doesn’t fade over time or wear.

It’s a great all round fibre to add into your yarns. Think about other projects you could benefit from these properties and consider giving it a try! Next episode I will have a collection of mohair blends for you to have a look at.

The Golden Skein

Here’s the latest shipment from The Golden Skein. The Power of 3 Club is the flagship offering at The Golden Skein. Three specially selected dyers from around the world are given the same inspiration photo upon which to draw when creating their colour ways in their own signature style. This gives a set of three related, yet totally unique colour ways, which are shrouded in mystery until the shiny golden parcels arrive all over the world.

DyeForYarn Merino Silk Fingering in 'Spouting Lava' from Autumn quarter 2015. Image Copyright The Golden Skein.

DyeForYarn Merino Silk Fingering in ‘Spouting Lava’ from Autumn quarter 2015. Image Copyright The Golden Skein.

The first dyers were Nicole and Cordula of DyeForYarn in Germany. Former scientists, they turned their hands to dyeing and produce a range of beautiful saturated colour ways on silk blends as well as wool blends. If you’re into your lace knitting, you’ll definitely find some gorgeous options to consider from their offering. There were two skeins of this available at time of recording which you can find here.

Cedar Hill Farm Yarns Journey 4ply in 'Poisoned Apple'. Image Copyright The Golden Skein.

Cedar Hill Farm Yarns Journey 4ply in ‘Poisoned Apple’. Image Copyright The Golden Skein.

Cedar Hill Farm Company is based in the United States, with all the yarns being dyed by owner, Keya Kuhn. She dyed her colour way onto her Journey base, a 100% superwash merino. Keya also keeps livestock at her farm.

Travelknitter Tanami 4ply in 'Stromboli'. Image Copyright The Golden Skein.

Travelknitter Tanami 4ply in ‘Stromboli’. Image Copyright The Golden Skein.

Larissa is the magician behind Travelknitter yarns, and I’ve extolled the virtues of her red yarns on several occasions on the podcast. You an find her dyeing in Walthamstow in East London. When she’s not got her hands in the dyepots, she’s travelling the country working as the p-hop co-ordinator.

All 3 yarns from the Lava quarter. Image Copyright The Golden Skein.

All 3 yarns from the Lava quarter. Image Copyright The Golden Skein.

And here you have all three yarns together, as supplied in the Power of 3 Club.

Come and join in the yarny fun over in The Golden Skein group on Ravelry.

Wrap-Up

I’m running a listener survey. Please go here and let me know what you’d like to see from the podcast!

Also, I’ve started a mailing list. You can sign up here and I’ll send you all the latest podcast news, along with the occasional comedy dog in knitwear.

That’s all from me this week. As always, thank you for listening. Feedback is always appreciated, and you can email me or message me via Ravelry or social media. If you enjoyed listening today, please consider leaving an iTunes review, to help others find the podcast too. Happy crafting!

4 comments on Episode 66 – The Diamond Fibre

  1. Wendy Morris says:

    Interesting re mohair. Can it be spun without the fluffiness? I can’t wear anything fluffy with long fibres alpaca which is supposed to be ok for people who don’t wear wool proved to be too tickly even combined with silk and merino. As there were long fibres coming out. Do you have any advice on this?

    1. Shinybees says:

      It can be spun less fluffy I am sure, but I will pass on your question to our mohair expert for answering on the podcast!

  2. Mitzi says:

    This was my first listen and I am so impressed! Very informative and fun! Thank you!

    1. Shinybees says:

      Thank you! Are you a knitter of mohair?

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