Project Ideas

Feeling Fuzzy

 

Mohair’s popularity has exploded in the knitting community in the last handful of years, and fashion is focused on this trend again.  This trend speaks for itself: when you put on one of these sweaters you want to sink into its comfort and stay there indefinitely.  As great as those at the department store buys may be, they pale in comparison to anything you make by hand.  I remember having an epiphany a few years ago when I made my Mayu Pullover: Shibui’s Silk Cloud makes everything better.  It’s true – that fiddly and fuzzy lace-weight mohair yarn adds an irresistible drape and luxury to any knitted yarn fabric.

Silk Cloud is a no-brainer when you’re wanting to add that silky, luxurious halo to your knitted fabric.  Because it’s so lightweight, you can couple it with almost any yarn to enhance it.  Shibui has also just introduced Tweed Silk Cloud, which does all the same things as older sister but with a hint of tweed.  Tweed Silk Cloud is also a lace-weight yarn, so it can be easily coupled with other yarns to add more luxe texture.  Here’s a list of some of our other favorite fuzzy yarns (and some project ideas) that will help you nail this lasting trend.

Stargazer Brushed is first in mind since I just finished knitting a shop sample in this yarn.  This chunky yarn is made by blowing soft llama fibers into a nylon mesh core, the same construction you’ve seen in other favorites like Blue Sky Techno and Katia Cotton Merino.  It’s soft, warm, with a rich halo and lovely loft. 

I knit up Ankestrick’s Big Love cardigan, which was a really fun project that I completed in less than two weeks.  At first sight, Stargazer Brushed’s fabric looks like the Icelandic Lopi yarn that the pattern calls for, but it’s much softer and more luxe than Lopi.  Of course, Stargazer Brushed would be a beautiful yarn for the long (and pocketed) version of this pattern pattern, Great Love. 

Rug © Espace Tricot
Espace Tricot’s Rug – would be gorgeous in Stargazer Brushed (pattern by Junko Okamoto)

Junko Okamoto’s Rug is popular pattern with knitters.  Even though Espace Tricot’s version of this sweater doesn’t use this yarn, their version hints of fuzz and I couldn’t help seeing a cozy one knit up in Stargazer Brushed. 

Blue Sky Techo, bulky weight but light as air

 

Sarah’s Carbeth Cardigan (pattern by Kate Davies)

Blue Sky Techno is the first yarn (that I can think of) that used this technology of blowing lofty fibers through a mesh core – and this yarn is still does it so well.  Techno is a bulky yarn that knits up light as air.  Its super-soft fuzz comes to you courtesy of alpaca, merino and silk.  Churchmouse has released a number of patterns featuring this yarn including their new Studio Beret and the Earflap Hat  Sarah made her Carbeth Cardigan using Techno – with gorgeous results (as usual).

 Gedifra’s Metal Tweed is deceptively versatile.  Treat it like anything from a fingering-weight yarn to a DK-weight yarn.  Last year I held it on its own to knit up a Doocot pullover (pattern by Kate Davies), and I remember Sarah coupling it with some cashmere for a very warm, luxurious and textured hat.  Metal Tweed has a bunch of fibers in it giving it its light and fluffy metallic tweed texture. 

Mohair Bias Loop
looking forward to making a mohair bias loop using Gedifra’s Metal Tweed! (photo © Churchmouse Yarns & Tea)

New colors are coming shortly, and I’m looking forward to knitting up a large and lofty cowl with it.  I’m going to use the Mohair Bias Loop pattern and follow the pattern as written, using a seemingly large needle to get an open and light fabric. 

Icon Group
Trendsetter’s Icon

Trendsetter’s Icon is similar to Metal Tweed.  The yarn is a gorgeous jumble of fibers with itsy-bitsy sequins sewn into it.  There’s not a ton of sequins, just enough to make you question whether it has them in the first place.  Once again, it’s listed as a as a worsted-weight yarn, but it can be  held at a tighter gauge so it’s more like a DK-weight yarn.  One of our knitters has gorgeously coupled with with Malabrigo Rios to get the equivalent of a bulky yarn, and is going to knit up Watayuki.  This knitter’s swatch was gorgeous, and I loved how the fuzzy tweed of Icon played with a smooth, hand-dyed yarn like Rios. 

Loopy Mango’s Mohair So Soft is bright and happy, exceptionally soft and knits up quickly into fuzzy sweaters and accessories.  It sheds like the dickens, but there’s a pretty good way to deal with this. After you’ve finished your project, put it in the freezer overnight.  Take it out in the morning and shake it off.  The weight of those frozen fibers will cause the loose ones to break off more easily.  Keep your lint roller because it will still shed

Strathcona © Eyolive
A Strathcona knit up by Ravelry user @eyolive

, but I think its worth it to enjoy all of that gorgeous, fuzzy color.  Loopy Mango does a great job of putting user-friendly patterns out there to accompany their yarns.  They’ve just released their Rhinebeck Cardigan which can be knit in Mohair So Soft.  Also check out Tara Lynn Morrison’s Kinikin Cardigan and Strathacona sweater.  The cardigan was written for Mohair So Soft, and a number of knitters have knit up Strathacona (the pullover) in Loopy Mango’s mohair.  I particularly like these patterns because they’re seamless – and I think this yarn lends itself nicely to seamless construction. 

As mentioned above, Shibui’s Silk Cloud and Tweed Silk Cloud are favorites and obvious choices for adding some fuzz to your knitting.  Petite Knits patterns have become super popular in the last year, and most of her patterns require a lace-weight mohair doubled with a fingering-weight yarn.  Some of her popular patterns include the No Frills sweater and cardigan, the Oslo Sweater and the Copenhagen Cardigan.  All of these use that fingering + mohair formula.  I’ve already made two No Frills sweaters, and if I was going to do it again, I’d put together Tweed Silk Cloud with Baah’s La Jolla or Brooklyn Tweed’s Peerie.  I’m seriously considering knitting up Cumulus, a feminine v-neck by Petite Knits, but I want to mix up Loft and Tweed Silk Cloud for this one.

Churchmouse also has a ton of patterns that put Silk Cloud to beautiful use.  Perfect Square allows you to mix up colors at your discretion for a versatile accessory.  The Reversible Arm Warmers allow some color-play at a tighter gauge.  These are incredibly appealing to me with my Raynaud hands. 

Shellie Anderson’s Spectrum is an all-time favorite accessory that brilliantly puts Silk Cloud to use.  I love it knit up with Rain, but we’ve seen our knitters double up with other yarns like Pebble and Dune (now discontinued).  Basically, there are endless possibilities when it comes to this one.  Meanwhile, Jana Huck’s Toruk recently caught my eye: striking angles play beautiful with the silky halo of Silk Cloud.  Of course, this one would be equally beautiful in Tweed Silk Cloud.

When it comes to knitting with any of these yarns, I have a couple suggestions.  These fuzzy yarns tend to fill whatever empty space they are given.  You can really play with gauge for any of them.  Swatch with various needle sizes or push the limits on what you think is acceptable with gauge.  These yarns are more versatile than you might assume.  Most importantly, withhold judgement on your knitting until you’ve completed and blocked your finished project.  With any number of these yarns, I’ve question whether I’ve enjoyed working with the yarn or I felt that the fabric looked mediocre.  A nice bath and blocking brings out the true character of these pieces and really lets them shine.  Even my just-completed Big Love went from being rumpled to refined with a very simple wet block.  Stay the course with these special fibers, the outcome is always worth the journey!

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