No, this is not a new cross-breed! It is a story of blending wool and mohair to make felt. For those of you, like myself a few years ago, do not know the different types of fiber that can go into felt here is a short breakdown.
Wool comes from sheep. Mohair comes from Angora Goats. We usually call what we get from llamas and alpacas “Fiber” (not a part of this story). And then there are Angora Rabbits who produce – angora! Also not a part of this story.
Julie, a friend of mine with Karakul Sheep and Angora Goats (and, incidentally, Angora Rabbits!) asked me if I could make her some felt panels for her exhibitor area at the California State Fair which was last week for sheep and goats. Julie and I got together with her fiber – natural and dyed – and discussed design plans. It was a true collaboration.
I had not blended wool and mohair on the carder before so wasn’t sure how it was going to work out. We decided on three panels that would have a base of natural colored wool and mohair – cream/white. Then an ombre look for two panels which would have an edge of mohair only (black), a blend of mohair and wool in middle and all wool at other edge.
Here is the wool and mohair on the carder belt.
Here is a partially felted ombre panel. The challenge here is that the mohair alone is really heavier than the wool and kept dropping off the back of the carder and didn’t want to go onto the drum! With a little work, I got it to wind on.
Julie dyed both Karakul and mohair locks so we planned out how to use these but then Julie said just to use my own judgement. Perfect collaboration! I sorted both sets by color to get an idea of what I had to work with.
For one panel, I laid out stripes of Karakul color on one side of panel and added Mohair color to the other surface area.
And the finished panel.
And one of the finished ombres.
At the fair, Julie came up with a very creative way to use the panels.
Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without the help of the sheep and goats! Here are a couple of Julie’s Karakuls at the fair. Sorry, no goat photos.
And, as always, at home I appreciate the wool our Karakuls give us. It is very hot here right now so could only get good photos of Quentin but isn’t he beautiful?!
And no goats (or goat photos) here either! They are smarter than I am so sticking to sheep!