My craft life has filled up with different experiments recently. It all started two years ago when I suddenly came across overlay and tapestry crochet. I started to experiment with different stitches, colors and shapes. And I’ve also started to work with different fibres. Alpaca and mohair* are among them. Well, of course I did crochet with alpaca before (not so many times as this yarn is not the cheapest) and I even tried mohair once. But my projects were very rare.
As you probably know, I am a member of Scheepjes bloggers group and sometimes I get samples of newly released yarn for my crochet projects. There was a new luxury Rhythm line launched in November - consisting of alpaca and mohair in identical colors. And as a proud member of the group I also got a box full of fluffy, silky yarn - to have a look and to test.
My first impression was – wow! I LOVE it! It you are fan of mohair and alpaca, you will understand me. I felt like I want to dive into the box and stay there forever. This yarn is so soft and silky, and it is not scratchy at all.
Brief Information about Alpaca Rhythm and Mohair Rhythm:
- Both Alpaca Rhythm and Mohair Rhythm come in balls 25g / 200m. They are classified as Laceweight and have an Easy Start center pull-tab.
- Fiber Content: Alpaca Rhythm (80% Alpaca, 20% Extra Fine Wool), Mohair Rhythm (70% Mohair, 30% Microfiber)
- Recommended needle/hook size: 2-2.5mm. But this is not a limitation, of course. You can choose bigger size of needles and hook to obtain an open, transparent effect. You can also use both yarns one- or double stranded (or even combine alpaca and mohair together) for a more dense fabric. The possibilities are endless.
- Both yarns can be used for knitting and crochet. Finished projects should be wet blocked by pinning to size and spraying with room temperature water and allowed to dry completely and naturally before unpinning.
- Care Instructions: Hand wash at 30*C and dry flat; lightly iron with a cool iron.
- Alpaca Rhythm and Mohair Rhythm are both available in 20 identical rich and vivid colours (so far). And each colour is named after a different dance form. :)
- Both Alpaca Rhythm and Mohair Rhythm are available for purchase at Scheepjes (NL), Deramores* and WoolWarehouse*(international shipping), or at Paradise Fibers* (US).
And here are my own experience with both Alpaca Rhythm and Mohair Rhythm.
When I first saw it, I became very strong in my wish to create something beautiful. I got one ball of each color and made this selection for a future project.
I searched internet for inspiration and decided to make a crocheted shawl with granny squares. What I would recommend is to always make a gauge swatch before you start working on a project. Both Alpaca and Mohair can be worked with different sizes of needles as hooks, as was mentioned above. And everything depends on the effect you would like to get. It took me some time to adjust the gauge, I changed several hooks… and suddenly thought I really want a knitted project instead of a crocheted. So I ripped everything (and ripping mohair – is a pain, so please, keep it in mind) and started over again.
So far I will not tell you what I am busy with, let’s keep a bit of mystery ;-) but I can show you a small sneak peek. I wanted to get a structured fabric with alternation of dense and transparent, “airy” parts. So I worked with 2 strands of alpaca and then 1 strand of mohair. The effect is great! I like it.
Though both yarns are coming in small balls, the yardage is very good. So a couple of balls should be enough for a big project. My fabric weights almost nothing, it is light like a feather. It is so wonderfully fluffy and it already feels like it will be very warm!
Who knows, maybe I should join the fan club of mohair and alpaca lovers?..
Being a journalist in my past life, I felt that I need to make a small research to find all the facts about mohair and alpaca and to understand this fibre better.
Did you know that the history of mohair and angora goats is an ancient one? It is said that they are one of the most ancient fiber sources known to man. Unbelievable: Biblical references to goat hair date to approximately 3,500 years.
Alpaca is a specialty fiber which is “stronger than mohair, finer than cashmere, smoother than silk, softer than cotton, warmer than goose down, and better-breathing than thermal knits. Along with that, alpacas themselves possess some pretty remarkable personality traits”. There are some interesting facts about alpaca that you probably didn’t know and would like to check.
Mohair is firm and resistant to dust and moisture. Being so thin it is very warm at the same time and holds the shape very well. Mohair is a silky fiber and (compared to wool) it does not have the proliferation microscopic scales and is therefore much less scratchy irritant. In fact mohair very closely approximates human hair on the surface, being very smooth. Both durable and resilient, mohair is known for its high luster and sheen. And thanks to that it got the nickname the “Diamond Fiber”.
Today mohair and alpaca are widely used for clothing, blankets, scarves and fiber crafts.
I will show you more sneak peeks of my new project in next posts, so, please, stay tuned not to miss anything!
UPDATE: My Blue Feather sweater is finished and you can find a tutorial HERE.
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