A dog and his obsession with mohair.

Mar 24 2020


Years ago, one of my former students ( who passed away in Dec) gifted me with a big stash of pure mohair yarn from the 60's. It was blue, gold, white and pink pure mohair. That stash floated around in my studio for years till late 2018, when I needed something to occupy my hands watching TV during early winter. I found the mohair, started to knit the blue yarn, thinking of a blanket. It sort of started ransomly.

Now, back in the late 80's, my mom and I went to San Francisco for a business trip, and of course, we had to play tourist, go explore. Mom bought this mohair blue and white woven blanket, it wasn't cheap, and since then, it was my blanket to wrap around during cold months. So I thought, I'll make a even bigger blanket, a good 8 ft long by 6 ft wide, so that would be bigger than my San Francisco blanket. Actually, the company that made the blanket we bought is still in business, and I recently contacted them, saying how much I loved their blanket, and it's still being used, 30+ years later. The person who wrote back to me was the actual designer, who designed my blanket and he said he hopes it gives me another 30 years of wear. How cool was that?

Well, like any project that is NOT related to jewelrymaking or metalsmithing, I tend to go overboard. I realized the mohair yarn stash was not going to be enough to make a giant blanket. So I started buying vintage mohair yarn off Ebay, it HAS to be vintage mohair, no question about it. I have a thing for older stuff. Had enough peach mohair blend yarn to make one 8 ft by 2 ft panel which got finished first, even through I started on the blue yarn first. Interesting enough, the mohair/acrylic blend is easier to knit up, not tangle as much so it was much faster to knit.   Pure mohair is very, very hairy and tangles easily so you got to watch your yarn so it doesn't tangle or knot up, as it did, many times.

Now, here come the dog. Bosco is a funny dog, a very old soul in a small dog body. For some reason, he knows if you are not feeling well or in pain, so he's a pain therapy dog. Anyone that is in intense physical pain, he will park himself right next to you and comfort you. A friend of me who is skittish around dogs, was stunned that Bosco wanted to comfort her and she lives in such intense pain daily, it's amazing she can function. If I am not well or my mom sick, he will sit next to us and watch over us.  I once had Bosco in my lap for 4 hours when I was sick with bronchitis years ago.   Well, as I started to knit, Bosco became transfixed watching me knit, night after night, month after month. It soon became an obsession with him and he started to taking to laying on top of my panels, as I knit away. I would drape the panel over him and he was happy as a lark. He also took to burying his nose in my knitting, making sure his nose was covered. My mom and I would be consistently amused by him.

By the time I finished knitting the blue panel, which was 8 ft long by 2ft wide, I stitched the peach panel and blue panel together and started using it as a blanket. You would think Bosco thought it was just for him. My mom threw it in the washer and dryer, and the blue mohair actually shrunk a bit and got a bit felted, so it was thicker/denser. It's funny, the peach mohair/acrylic blend is lighter and thinner, while the pure blue mohair is thicker and chunker, and you can feel the difference.

I also started on a pure gold color mohair panel, which turned out to be a nightmare to knit, and I had to unravel the first panel I started and restart again. The second attempt turned out to be better. Everything was going along nicely for a long time, till I got to 5 ft, and alas, I started running out of yarn!   Oh dear, what do I do? I turned to Ebay, found a stash of 4 gold hanks and 2 white hanks ( term for one skein of yarn), same brand, same color. I bought it, and started adding white strips to the gold panel to extend my gold yarn stash.  By the time I reached 8ft, I still had a bit of gold yarn left.    So I had the gold panel washed/dried to felt it, before I stitched it to the blue panel.     I was going to do a while panel between the blue and the gold, but decided not to.   Bosco, of course had to lay on it every time I worked on it.

Anyways, I'm left with a luxuriously warm, extremely fuzzy/hairy blanket that Bosco adores and will snuggle up to every chance he gets.   I've been known to leave my knitting on the sofa to go get something and come back to find Bosco laying on my knitting, needles and all.  I'm like, really, Bosco?    He'll sit there with this dopey, contented, sleepy look on his face and just watch me knit away, sometimes for a good half hour..  Only took about 15 months to make this blanket and an one obsessed dog.    I also knitted another blanket, of many varieties of green yarns, which you can see above.   Here's the giant mohair blanket, complete with Bosco under it.   I sleep with it as well. I'm glad I made the blanket, even if it did make my hands ache.  I'll be using it for many years to come.   Now, what do I do with the assorted mohair yarns I got off Ebay?   I'll put it off till next fall. 

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