Mohair Harvest

So, a few days after the goats were sheared, I am deep into the mohair processing. A combination of the boys having grown and a much more thorough shearing generated easily twice as much fleece as I was able to harvest last year.  I am more experienced as well, and am working through it with a lot more confidence this time.

20170415_094815I have already cleaned it all, a five- or six-step process, and air dried it in the sunshine and overnight in a warm room. Last night, I began pulling the locks apart and teasing out the bits of embedded hay and pine shavings. It was rather comical because there was so much static electricity that I’d collect a handful of loose hair and vegetable matter and try to drop it on the ground but it would stick to my fingers even as I shook it and transferred it from hand to hand.  The most effective solution was to wipe it onto my jeans where it stuck to me like a fuzzy halo. I am less than a quarter of the way through it after a couple hours of work.

Before I can spin the mohair, it must be “carded”.  I accomplished this using two pin-style dog brushes and I learned through trial and error that taking time for this step made spinning so much easier. My husband watched me spend hours and hours manually picking through the piles last fall and vowed that he would buy me a carding machine the next time. This is a bit of an extravagance, but it is now on order and I think I will sing his praises for being so kind to me, by the time I  am done.

20170411_085125I have taken my beginning knitter lessons now, and have really been enjoying it. I am using up the last of my store of hand-spun yarn so that I can start fresh this fall. I took a break from this to knit a little outfit for my tiny granddaughter, Eleanor, who was born on Sunday. (Whoopee!) Is this cute, or what? I bought washable yarn since it will surely need laundering every hour it is worn. My mohair creations won’t be as forgiving so I don’t think I’ll make children’s clothes with it.

I have found that I really like knitting. I have trouble putting it down once I get started because I want to see what the next row will look like. We’re going on a short trip into Chicago today and I will take my latest project on the train with me to keep my hands busy. It’s nice to have a portable project.

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About bluestempond

Hobby farmer living at Bluestem Pond in Michigan.
This entry was posted in Farm Animals, Fiber crafts and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Mohair Harvest

  1. Kim Gorman says:

    Congratulations on your new granddaughter! What a blessing. The sweater set is beautiful.

  2. Patsy Porco says:

    Shearing, carding, spinning … wow. I am so impressed with your patience and ability. I have a few questions: what kind of wool is mohair? Does it come from a certain kind of sheep? Also, how long did it take you to learn to knit and then actually make adorable clothing? I know a few beginning knitters and they all seem to make long purple things that don’t serve any purpose. If it’s possible to reach your level in six months or so, I’m going to learn. Thanks for inspiring me. I love your blog.

  3. bluestempond says:

    Thank you! So, mohair is the fleece that comes from an angora goat, like my two. I didn’t know that before I began this new adventure, either. I knitted a little as a child but consider myself a beginner. I guess that I’m pretty good at following directions.😄

  4. Barb Knowles says:

    I LOVE this post!! I buy wool locally from a llama and sheep farmer. Of course, I get the yarn-needed-for-little-kids at the chain craft store near us. I always have about 3 knitting projects going but they are almost all scarves or baby blankets (by that I mean doll or stuffed animal blankets). I can knit complicated-ish stuff, but I have such a short attention span that Ii stick to the easy projects.
    Congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter! A lovely name and the set is awesome.
    Also, the mohair process sounds fascinating and I laughed out loud reading about the static. And then you spin it!
    Your awesomeness knows no bounds. Do you sell the wool?

  5. bluestempond says:

    I am patient with my mistakes and love to learn new skills. I haven’t gotten good enough at spinning, but once I begin to make good consistent yarn, I’d like to sell it through the local yarn shop. The owner expressed a wish for some local products.

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