Gill (at the Combe House Knitting Group) presented me with a wee paper bag containing a sample of mohair - lovely lovely mohair! She said the entire fleece is sitting in her shed - present from a neighbouring farmer - and it's in danger of being thrown on the compost unless I wanted to take it away. Did I? Do pigs fly? Do bears poo in the woods?
I couldn't wait (to be distracted) to wash it and spin it up. The entire fleece needs sorting - but I didn't bother with this tiny bit (about 50g) and just spun it fine. It was surprisingly free of VM and spun up beautifully - it will take dye fabulously well too, I'm sure. Looking at my bobbin full of lace weight single I decided it needed to become a boucle - mohair makes lovely little loops when plyed around a core and is ideal for boucle for this reason. Only one problem - I've never really made a boucle before. Chris Crisford gave me a quick demo once at Guild of SWD (Devon) meeting but that's the extent of my knowledge. OUt came Sarah Anderson's book of Yarn Designs - the bible! She recommends using an S spun core, plying the Z spun mohair around this in coils S direction, then using a Z spun binder in Z direction to ply the whole lot once more. Bit of a palaver but onwards and upwards...
I decided to use the John Arbon indigo dyed single I had sitting around, which I THOUGHT was S spun, as a core. Then, after loosely coiling the mohair - I would use some thin shetland Z spun single to bind it all. (One ring to bind - Lord of the Rings).
As I made my first attempt to coil the mohair my first problem arose - my core was actually Z spun after all. Not to be beaten, I decided to respin the core from Z to S (i.e. take the twist out and put it in again the opposite direction). This took longer than I thought. Am I mad? Evidently.
Then I found there was TOO MUCH twist when it came to coiling the mohair. Well - can't be defeated now by such a piddling thing so I put the john arbon single BACK through the wheel AGAIN and took some twist out.
This made coiling the mohair easy. However binding it all with the shetland handspun in Z direction was not easy and a slow business. IF I had to sell this stuff it would cost a FORTUNE! No wonder I don't see much handspun boucle around - especially 4ply like the stuff I've made. It DID look beautiful all knitted up in a swatch though - like astrakhan.
I'd show you a pic, but I can't load pics at the moment - ever since I crashed my Mac and the neighbour replaced the drive for me. Back up? Nope. Pah. Must remember to buy external hard drive to make back up. Must remember to buy hard drive etc etc.