Mohair, mo’ problems

Suzie Blackman
Saturday, 14 February 2009
Forget the 80s

Forget the 80s

If you’ve seen my patterns you’ll know that I’m quite fond of mohair. However, I’m banishing it from my stash, maybe forever!

Warning: mohair can be used for evil

Warning: mohair can be used for evil

Over the last few weeks I’ve knitted a lot of mohair, which has been followed by itchy, puffy eyes and sneezing. Skin irritations to mohair and wool are common, and after a bit of research I discovered that my reaction is not unusual either. In fact many people suffer quite severe problems from knitting mohair, cashmere and even wool. Common symptoms include wheezing, hives, sneezing and itchy eyes.

I’ve decided to finish my current project but sell all mohair in my stash so I can have a break from it. Take a look at my Ravelry trade page or contact me for a list if you’d like to pick up a bargain. Of course, you’ll be helping with my stash-busting mission too!

To make myself feel better about the situation, here are five reasons why mohair is not warm and fuzzy but, in fact, evil:

  1. It sheds all over everything
  2. It is near impossible to rip a mohair cast-on edge
  3. It’s a pain to wash
  4. The good stuff is expensive, the cheap stuff is scratchy
  5. As illustrated, it was responsible for terrible crimes against knitting in the 80s

The author

Suzie Blackman

The dyer, designer, photographer, creative technologist and maker-of-things behind It's a Stitch Up. She lives in East London in a home filled with colour, fluff and house plants.


  1. LotusMonkey says:

    Oh you make me smile with your comments! Frogging mohair IS such a bother. Still, I LOVE mohair; love, love, love, love, LOVE mohair. Keep your fingering weight mohairs to tame slippery or scratchy yarns (do double stranded knitting with them). And I’ll check out your stash, although, since I live in the States, it would probably not be a good idea for me to buy more mohair…. Also, maybe your stash is not such a bad thing. Think of it as saving different textured paints for your palette of knit designs….

    And most of the sweaters in the 80’s look repellent to me nowadays. Why did they ALL have to bubble in the torso and then cling to the hips? Why were they all so unshaped (if you forget about the American footballer-sized shoulder pads)? Were they all designed to counter the enormity of the 80’s BIG HAIR coiffure? ;-)

    • Suzie says:

      ha! you’re so right about the hair! The triangular silhouette looks so bizarre these days. The girl in the light blue monstrosity looks like she could have given Stallone a run for his money in Over the Top.

  2. Wendy says:

    I still have my big batwing sleeve shawl collared 80s mohair jacket. Similar to the one on the left but without the coloured stripes. I agree with you on the shedding and ripping but I have never had problems with washing. Off to check out your destash…

  3. Sara says:

    i hear you on the mohair. i keep reading about how wonderful mohair fleeces are and i get so easily swayed, and then i remember every mohair yarn experience i’ve ever had and recoil. mohair is da debil.

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