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AD6UY Blends

Yarns made from just wool can be wonderful; wool is incredible stuff. It can absorb a lot of water before it feels wet and it gives off heat while it does. The variety of sheep is amazing; Merino is soft enough for baby clothes and Scottish Blackface is tough enough to make carpeting.

But sometimes you want something just a little more special than plain wool. What else could you want? Silk, angora, mohair, quiviut, camel, cashmere, alpaca, llama: there are a lot of choices and this is just a list of animal fibers. Cotton, linen, hemp and ramie are also available. Personally I don't like spinning plant fibers as much as animal fibers. That's just me, try and see if you like them. I'm not too fond of knitting with plant fibers, either.

My preference for animal fibers has led me to experiment with wool blends. Tussah silk, from wild moths, is my favorite fiber to blend. It's not quite as fine as cultivated or bombyx silk; it is golden colored instead of white. Tussah is still silk and it is soft, lustrous and beautiful.

Either in its natural color or dyed, silk will make any yarn softer, assuming the wool is appropriate for the project. I doubt anything could make carpet wool soft enough to wear. Bright silk added to natural black wool looks like little pieces of rainbow in dark clouds.

For increasing warmth of yarns you can add quiviut, angora or cashmere. Those by themselves are much warmer than wool and a lot more expensive! Angora is the least costly of the three and it is rarely less than $5 per ounce. 15 to 30% angora adds incredible softness and warmth to a yarn. Add a little silk to that? Sure, why not?

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