It’s time for another installation of Swatch Talk! In this new series, I feature different yarns from time to time and share my thoughts about it, my swatch process and ideas for projects that I think work well for it (if you’d like to check out my previous Swatch Talk posts, click here).In this post I’m featuring Sandnes Garn’s Tynn Silk Mohair, and specifically how I used it as a double-strand with worsted-weight. I was recently experimenting with this and thought I’d share my experience and thoughts on the process!
Double-stranding with lace-weight mohair has been all the rage in the knitting world for several years now. And it can be a fun way to play around with texture and color. I talked more about double-stranding in this post if you are new to this concept and would like to check it out!
Tynn Silk Mohair is lace-weight and is 57% mohair, 15% wool and 28% silk. Lace-weight is as thin as you go with yarn, so if you were to knit with it by itself, it would create a very open, airy fabric. Because it’s so thin, when you knit it with another thicker yarn, it doesn’t do a whole lot to change the gauge but what it does do is add a little fluff, texture and color dimension to the fabric. And because of this extra “fluff”, it’s ideal when knitting with a yarn at a looser gauge because the fluff helps to fill in the gaps of the loose fabric and gives it a bit more body.
Let’s look at the yarn & swatches
First, let me tell you what my goal was with these swatches. I wanted to use a worsted-weight yarn but I wanted a looser gauge of around 3.75-4 stitches per inch (a gauge more commonly achieved with a heavier aran-weight yarn). A worsted-weight yarn can definitely knit up at that type of gauge so long as you go up in needle size, but it means the fabric will be a bit looser. So this becomes a great opportunity for mohair! I thought by double-stranding a worsted yarn with the Tynn Silk Mohair I could give the looser fabric a bit more body and it could also provide more visual interest to the fabric.
I tried 2 different worsted-weight yarns. The first was Alpakka Ull (also by Sandnes Garn) in a similar green shade and the second was Lanas by Berroco in a yellow/gold shade. For both I used a US 10 needle (typically I would knit these yarns on a US 7-8, but to get a gauge closer to 4 sttiches per inch I knew I would need to go up a size or two).
Mohair + Alpakka Ull
Here is the swatch of the Alpakka Ull with the mohair. It’s quite subtle isn’t it? Since the Alpakka Ull is 65% alpaca, it already has a little bit of fluff to it, so the mohair fluff doesn’t add a ton of texture but you can see a little bit of the color contrast.
Probably the best way to see it is to compare it with a swatch of Alpakka Ull without the mohair – see the below photo of the 2 swatches side by side:
It’s subtle, but you can see the color difference. The mohair is a brighter green and so the swatch with it has a bit of a brighter tone to it. And although it may be hard to see in the photo, the mohair swatch has more body and the little bit of extra fluff did fill in some of the looseness in the fabric.
Mohair + Lanas
Since Alpakka Ull was a similar color and had some alpaca in it, I thought it would be interesting to show a different comparison – a 100% wool yarn in a totally different color. So I did a swatch with Berroco Lanas. In this swatch you can really see the marled color affect:
And below is a side by side comparison of this yarn, with and without the mohair:
This is a great example to show how choosing a different color mohair can add more color depth and variation. And similar to the Alpakka Ull example, although hard to see in the photo, the mohair fluff definitely added some body to the fabric and filled in some of the looseness in the fabric.
My Overall Thoughts
I love the idea of using lace-weight mohair with a worsted-weight in order to create a fabric suitable for aran-weight projects. Aran-weight yarn can sometimes be harder to find, or may feel a bit too heavy and not provide the right amount of drape you’re looking for. But by using a lace-weight mohair with regular worsted-weight and knitting them on a larger needle (like a US 10), you get the gauge of an aran-weight but a bit more drape. Plus, you get the added bonus of playing around with color combos and adding a bit of color dimension to your piece.
Project ideas for these yarns
Interested in working with Tynn Silk Mohair (or another similar lace-weight mohair) with a worsted-weight? Here are some of my projects that call for aran-weight where this combo would work well for: