To a knitter one of the greatest thrills is holding and stroking a skein or ball of yarn. And of course while you pat, fondle and assess its texture, you are thinking, … what can I make with it, and which pattern would this look best in?!
As Isabelle told you last week she got her fleeces back from the mill transformed into rovings and skeins of beautiful yarn. As with all of her yarns she has the mohair blended with wool to give the yarn memory and other fine qualities. (To learn more about mohair, its properties, the exceptional way it takes up dye and for some ideas on how to craft using it please checkout our posts The Diamond Fibre Part I and Part II.) This year Isabelle has tried a couple of new fibres in her blends. There is a sock yarn with nylon, and (oh luxury!) a yarn with silk added to the mohair and wool!
I so wish there were a way I could send you all a feel of these fabulous yarns! Since that is still impossible I’ll do my best to describe them to you.
As you can imagine I was delighted when I got to dive into the bag of new skeins, and couldn’t wait to cast on a project to try at least one out! (While envisioning things to make with All the others!) These are the yarns I was treated too:
I have a confession, … out of all of Isabelle’s gorgeous mohair yarns the brushed and especially the super brushed are my absolute favourites! Words simply cannot describe how soft this yarn is. I was reluctant to wind a skein of my own, petting it was, … wonderful. This is a lusciously soft light worsted weight yarn that can be worked on smaller needles to produce a luxurious, dense soft fabric. Or work it on larger needles allowing it to bloom after washing and you will have a fluffy traditional mohair (almost angora in texture) piece. No matter what you make using it you are sure to adore its cuddly next-to-the-skin softness. Last year I made the Thinking Of You Too hat with a super brushed mohair (on the smaller needle size it bearly bloomed but is silky soft), and I’m looking forward to finding new projects to use it in this year.
This slightly different yarn has fantastic yardage. It will lend itself to a wide variety of projects. It is either a heavy fingering or light sports weight, and will work well in many different garments. We were thinking of people who aren’t very fond of the fluffier aspects of mohair but love its strength and lustre when we had this yarn made, so it has a firm twist and no halo. It does not bloom after washing. It will work beautifully for elaborate, lacy or beaded projects as it allows for excellent stitch definition. And it Looks lovely in simple patterns too, try it in your favourite pair of socks for comfortable, durable footwear that wears well!
Interested to see what it would be like after it had been knitted and blocked (since this was a new experiment for us) I cast on the La Parisienne Beret and knitted a modified Petite version of this elegant design by Melissa Burke of Apiary Knits. The pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn which this isn’t (obviously) so I dropped down a needle size for both the ribbing and the body of the hat. I got a light airy fabric, and an adorable hat that looks perfect in this smaller size, … just right to keep your hair in place on a breezy autumn day. So if you’ve been holding back, worried about mohair being too fuzzy a fibre for you we hope you’ll give this a try, we’re sure you will be as smitten as we are!
Two luxury fibres in One glorious Yarn! Silk adds its sheen, strength and wonderful texture to mohair’s lustre and softness creating a rich yarn with a new-born-kitten-soft texture! It has a minimal halo, just enough to be deliciously soft. The silk should absorb dyes a little differently from the mohair and wool so anyone looking for a yarn that will give truly outstanding results when hand-painted will want to try this one. And even in its undyed natural ivory it is simply beautiful.
The perfect mohair blend fingering/sock yarn. Silky soft with minimal halo this will work up into wonderful garments you’ll look forward to wrapping around you come autumn’s crisp and winter’s snowy days. Perfect for a wide variety of projects; enjoy knitting this up into socks, scarves, hats and lacy shawls.
Thick smooth and rich, use this softly spun yarn to knit heavy weight, cosy and/or deeply textured projects. If you are looking for The perfect project to use this yarn in I’d suggest taking a look at Anne Hanson’s Knit Spot. She has a wide selection of wonderful patterns (including heavier garments and Gorgeous blankets) that would compliment this yarn. Many of her projects have richly textured stitch motifs that would truly let this yarn shine.
This is a soft yarn similar in texture to Belles Bouclettes 60/40 mohair/wool blend yarn (for anyone lucky enough to have touched or worked with it). It has a minimal halo, blooms a very little when washed and works into a soft fabric with good stitch definition. While not as velvety soft as some other yarns it is still next-to-the-skin-soft and can be made into a wonderful variety of projects. You might want to look at the Forza Scarf and Filigree Lace Ensemble on our Fibre Inspirations page for an idea of how this will look when knitted. Those were made with the 60/40 yarn I mentioned but I am fairly confident that this will look and feel very similar when knitted and blocked .
A fantastic sock yarn! This has all the beauty of mohair and wool, along with the added strength of nylon. It has a slight halo and is likely to bloom a little after washing. It will work into lovely garments, look good in lacy projects, and of course make divinely cosy comfy socks!
Kid lace, 80/20 ( kid mohair/wool ), 2 ply, 558 yds/105 gram skein
This yarn is velvety soft with a very delicate halo. It has good yardage and will look outstanding in a wide range of project types. I suspect it will only bloom a little after washing but I haven’t had a chance to work with it yet so I’m not positive about that. It should have nice stitch definition and make exquisitely lovely lace shawls and scarves, really special!
We are sorry that it isn’t our best photographic models, … wish it showed off its finer qualities in these pictures. We’ll be working to remove the vegetation that is still caught in it (you can be confident our yarns are Minimally processed!), but they truly are small pieces of plant matter that flick off easily as you work so don’t let them stop you from enjoying a fabulous yarn experience!
We’ve been working hard to put together a new feature that will be launched on Canada Day (July 1st), and getting all of our new products online. I’ve made two new soaps (they will also be online on Wednesday, Canada Day) so as so often happens it has been very busy and I haven’t had the time I wanted to spend with my knitting needles. You can be sure that once things have settled down I’ll be experimenting more with pattern matches for these beauties and I look forward to sharing the results with you. Since I haven’t made final pattern choices it would be great to know what your favourites are and which designers you usually go to for inspiration. And of course we always love hearing about what you’ve made using yarns from Les Belles Bouclettes!