I've Got Rhythm (new Mohair and Alpaca yarns & 5 tips for using them!)

Five years ago, when I didn't knit and hadn't thought about writing more than a shopping list, I couldn't have imagined I'd be sitting here writing a blog that other people read, or that I'd be working on 'secret' knitting designs. Yet that is exactly the position I find myself in. It's fun and exciting, but also a little frustrating not to be able to show you what I'm working on - after all, that's how this blog started. So I have another plan. A distraction which I think might work, because if you're here, (a) you probably really like yarn and (b) you might enjoy tips on working with specific types of yarn...


As you know, I've been collaborating with Scheepjes on several projects this year, and my latest design uses their brand new Rhythm* yarn. It was launched just a few days ago, but I was sent some to work on my design ideas - hence the secrecy. It's not yet listed on all stockist websites but should be any day now, so I'll take this opportunity to tell you about it. NB: The yarn was supplied by Scheepjes for my design projects, but all opinions are my own and completely honest. 


Scheepjes Rhythm is part of the luxury 'white label' collection and features alpaca and mohair lace weight yarns in glorious hues. Yes that's right, two different yarns - each shade is available in both the mohair and the alpaca blend so you can combine them together, mix and match, or use them separately to create all sorts of different light soft fabrics. They are sold in individual 25g balls and each is a whopping 200m. (I've tried to show you quite how light and soft they are in the photos.)


THE DETAILS: 
  • COMPOSITION: 80% Alpaca, 20% Extra Fine Wool / 70% Mohair, 30% Microfibre 
  • EASY START: The yarns come with 'easy start' centre-pull tabs which means that they do not roll around, and it's easy to find the end, even with the very fine mohair which likes to stick to itself. 
  • USAGE: Knit or crochet with the individual yarns, held double, or hold the mohair double with with other yarns to give a soft light finish, using larger needles (I tried this with Stone Washed and loved the results).
  • NEEDLE / HOOK SIZE: The "recommended" needle/ hook size is 2-2.5mm but this shouldn't limit you. The mohair in particular works well on much bigger needles. I'm using 3.5mm for the alpaca and 4mm for the mohair to achieve the fabric I want, but swatched on 4.5mm and 5mm needles and all would have worked well. 
  • WASHING: Handwash at 30C and dry flat.
  • BLOCKING: Wet blocking is very effective on these 'woolly' yarns. For best results, pin to size and spray with room-temperature water, then allow them to completely dry (naturally) before unpinning. 


FIVE TIPS FOR USING THESE YARNS:
  • TIP #1: As it likes to stick to itself, undoing (frogging) your work can be incredibly frustrating (I don't really want to say any more about it!) so if you're doing anything which could go wrong, I'd highly recommend using stitch markers, lifelines, and careful counting. Especially when knitting lace patterns - it will be worth the extra effort, trust me! 
  • TIP #2: The positive side of this, is that if you drop a mohair stitch, or accidentally pull your needles out of your knitting (lightweight yarn and long circular needles - it was bound to happen!), the stitches just sit there waiting for you to notice them and pick them back up again. 
  • TIP #3: Using larger needles, the stitches can look a little uneven while knitting, but don't worry, it sorts itself out after blocking.
  • TIP #4: For the mohair, I much prefer working with metal needles - the bamboo needles I tried swatching with caused far too much 'drag' and would have driven me crazy for lacy stitch patterns. Using metal needles, the yarn glides really well and my knitting is much more smooth and efficient. This is precisely why every 'serious' knitter needs a good selection of different types of needles. 
  • TIP #5: For lace / openwork patterns, it's advisable to also consider the needle points you are using. If the needles are too rounded, it'll be harder to pick up and manipulate the tiny stitches.

That's all from me for today - I'm off to finish knitting my sample (there may be a few sneaky peeks to follow, on Instagram). I have already come up with another project which will use a lot more colours, but I'll tell you about that another day.

*Affiliate. Rhythm Mohair and Alpaca are available in the UK from Wool Warehouse and Deramores and internationally from other Scheepjes stockists.  

6 comments

  1. They're so gorgeous! The colours are amazing. I've never tried mohair. I don't think I have patience. Plus, I'm not sure I could wear whatever came out of it for the itchiness... I know, I know, but I struggle with Alpaca, too. Although I have thought about pairing it with a different yarn before. I love the 'halo' you get from it.

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    1. I know, right! Amazing colours! I have to tell you these are both super duper soft, and actually the mohair on 4 - 5mm needles, doesn't take very long to knit up - might be worth a try as they are only little 25g balls - you could make a little something to try.... xxx

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  2. Oh, this yarn looks divine! So curious what you will come up with!

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    1. At this point, I have rather a lot of ideas!!!!! :D

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  3. Wow! You've dived into yarn and won the knit Olympics with flair and natural aptitude. I've been a family knitter all my life, starting with little clothes for my baby sister when I was ten. Your advanced skills with such fine yarns are amazing.

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    1. You are far too kind! My mum and nan were constantly knitting when I was little but I really wasn't interested until my 30s when I was "stuck" at home with pre-schoolers. I often think how much less stressful my pre-motherhood career would have been if I'd been a knitter... and how much I could have made while travelling all over the place for meetings!

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