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Wet Coast Wools Podcast Episode 61: The one with the Intermission

October 24, 2018

Wet Coast Wools Podcast Episode 61: The one with the Intermission

Episode 61: The one with the intermission 
Thursday, October 24th, 2018

Welcome to all our returning viewers, and to those who are joining us for the first time!

Our show notes can be found in the drop down section on YouTube, and on Ravelry. Comments and questions can be left in either place.

Glenda - Glenda on Ravelry, glendamcdonald on instagram 
Kelsey - fiddlebach and Kzipknits on Ravelry and Instagram 
Wet Coast Wools - WetCoastWools on all the things

WIPS (Works in Progress) (apparently, we’re changing things up a bit today!)


  • Christmas socks with Coal - last year’s Mally 6-Ply Xmas sock yarn, combined with Patons Kroy Sockin Gentry Grey. I had 66g left from Mike’s socks, so I wanted to make my own pair, and am stretching it with the Kroy.

  • Granny Square Blanket with Diamond Luxury Tradition. Based on Baby Blanket by Becky Skuse. 80 squares total, different amounts in each colour.

  • I am working on Cowichan-Style Sweaters for myself and Mike. I made my flat swatches (Lopi for me, Sea Fusion for Mike) and I made a chart in excel - now we have to plot out our designs so I can start knitting. I also need to do swatches in the round (hats, probably!) to check my in the round gauge for the sleeves. Forgot to bring these to show, sorry!


FOs (Finished Objects)

Glenda: Wearing - il grande favorito, by Isabel Kraemer, knit in Cascade 220 Heathers in a slightly smaller gauge.

Kelsey: Wearing - Serena Shadow Shawl knit in Dragonfly Dyewerx Sparkle Sock in Zombies Like Turkey Too, and Indigo Moonrand) Pure Luxury in True North Green

Know Your Wool: Mohair (this is a long one, sorry!)

  • Mohair comes from the domestic goat species Capra hircus, which was developed from the Bezoar Ibex, a wild goat species that still exists. Goats were first domesticated in Iran, and then spread to the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Goats provide fibre, milk, and meat, and can live in a wide range of terrains, which makes them really versatile for humans. Any goat can produce Cashmere, but only Angora goats can produce mohair. Female Angora goats are between 70 and 110 pounds, and males are 180 to 225 pounds, reaching their full size after 5 years.

  • Angora goats are originally from Ankara, in Turkey, which used to be known as Angora - they are documented in Ankara from about 1500 BCE. Charles the 5th was said to have brought them to Europe in 1554 CE; they were sent as gifts to South Africa in 1838, and North America in 1849. The South African Mohair website states that they received 12 rams and one ewe as a gift, but all the rams were neutered to prevent them from breeding; but the ewe was pregnant, so they were able to develop breeding stock anyway.

  • Mohair goats are not hardy animals - they are susceptible to parasites, and they don’t do well in cold, wet weather. They are mostly raised in warmer climates - Turkey, Texas, and South Africa are the largest producers of Mohair fibre. In these climates, a mohair goat grows about 2cm of fibre every month throughout the year - this is quite hard on the goats, so they are usually shorn twice a year to keep the fleece from getting too heavy. The average adult fleece is about 5.3 pounds per shearing (data from the Oklahoma State University website).

  • Mohair fleece is very curly - it grows in waves and ringlets. The softest fibre comes from very young animals; the fibre grows more coarse with age, and males have coarser fibre than females. The fibre is classed as kid mohair (low 20s to 30 microns), yearling mohair (30 to 34 microns), or adult mohair(32 up to 39 or higher), although the terms relate to the fineness of the particular fibre, not the age of the animal it came from. Unless specified as kid mohair, knitting yarns tend to use adult mohair in the range of 37 to 39 microns. Most mohair fibre is now bred to be white (as with sheep) but you can sometimes find coloured mohair that is cream, light brown, grey, or black. Staple length is usually 3-6 inches; kid mohair will have shorter staples. The longest staple comes from goats raised in Turkey, where the goats are only shorn once a year.

  • The scales on mohair fibres are smoother, thinner, and larger than those on wool, which gives it increased shine, and a resistance to felting. There is no crimp in the fibre, but it does have waves. Mohair is also very elastic, which allows it to be quite drapey (or droopy, if you’re not careful!)

  • Mohair fabrics resist creasing and tend not to hold dirt. The fibres can absorb moisture while still remaining warm (like wool), and the slick fibres are naturally water repellent. That said, mohair can be damaged easily during processing. If you happen to be washing a goat fleece (which can apparently stink!), don’t soak your mohair for too long, or in water that is very hot- this can damage the luster, and extreme treatment could make it a little brittle. The Fleece & Fibre Sourcebookrecommends temperatures below 60C/102F. Same goes for knitted fabric - hand wash in cool water, and don’t leave it soaking for hours on end. Do not put it into a hot dryer - you can use the fluff cycle on low, or no heat.

  • Mohair in yarn can either be sleek or fluffy. You can brush the fibres with a hairbrush to make them more fluffy, or fluff them in a dryer with very low (or no) heat. Knit or weave the fibre loosely to allow more of the halo to come out; you will also see blends of wool and mohair where the mohair is very sleek and shiny, and softens with use. Mohair is very hard-wearing, and is great in socks - look for wool/mohair blends as a nylon-free alternative for sock knitting (just be aware that they make very warm socks!).


Just a reminder that there is a master list in the Ravelry group which lists the episodes that contain ‘Know your Wool’ segments.

Store News

We have Christmas sock yarn in store! 
Cascade Heritage Wave in Holidaze 
and Rellana Christmas print in Metallic or Regular. 
Kelsey has also dyed up some micro-striping holiday colours, in her K-Zip Knits Scottsdale Sport collection.

Our Cowichan-A-Long started October 15th! 
The KAL runs from October 15th to December 31st, 2018. 
Bulky or Super-Bulky Cowichan-Inspired knits can be counted: sweaters/coats, hats, mittens, slippers. They need to have colourwork, they should be in bulky or super-bulky weight (aran at a stretch), and you get bonus points for using Canadian Wool.

Yarn Suggestions: Custom Woolen Mills Prairie Sea Fusion or Custom Woolen Mills Lopi, Briggs & Little Country Roving, or similar.

Patterns: White buffalo-esque vintage patterns; Jane Richmond’s West Coast Cardigan; Andrea Rangel’s Dude Collection; anything from Sylvia Olsen’s book.

If you want to make a more traditional version, look for Priscilla Gibson-Roberts’ books Salish Sweaters (out of print) or the chapter on Cowichan-Style sweaters from Knitting in the Old Way, which was reprinted in 2005 (there is also a kindle edition)

Projects need to be less than 50% finished by Oct. 15th.

Entries are based on weight of the project:

  • 1 to 250g (1/2 pound or less) - one entry

  • 250g to 455g (½-1 pound) - two entries

  • More than 455g/1 pound - 3 entries

Bonus entry if you use Canadian Wool! 
Projects must be finished by December 31st at midnight.