Friday, January 9, 2009

Tantrums, Rabbits, and Cashmere

I took my four-year-old daughter to pick up my two-year-old son from daycare today. She threw herself on the floor because she did not get to open the door first on the way out. I finally had to pick her up and carry her out; she continued to lie on the street. My son wanted to ride her toddler bicycle "by myself, Mama." Anna was fine with that because she got to sit in Andor's stroller. So I am pushing a stroller with my right hand and trying to steer my son on a much-too-big bicycle with my left. Every time I steer him away from the street he yells "No Mama! No pull! Push in back!" How do you explain to a two-year-old that he cannot steer by himself? That we made it home was a minor miracle. When we got to our gate, an empathetic neighbor looked at me and said, "That looks hard!" It was. :-)

In the meantime I have a cold that I cannot shake. Every time I think it's gone it reappears again. I've been wanting to visit knitting shops all this week, but instead I had to stay home and rest :-(. At least I made some appointments for next week. I'll be visiting Seaport Yarns on Lower Broadway on Tuesday and The Yarn Company on the Upper West Side on Wednesday. So far I am very excited about how welcoming everyone has been. I'll be posting the results in February. For now I'm still hooked on yarns, so let's continue:

Angora (rabbit):

ruby-eyed English Angora Rabbit (can you see the ruby eyes?)

Angora is probably the softest yarn on the market. Colors can look like they mix where they touch each other because the hair is so soft. I would not recommend it for lace patterns because the yarn is so fuzzy you won’t see the holes that make up the lace, but cables can look very pretty, though. Angora often pills a lot, and the yarn can break when it is pulled too hard. The individual hairs that make the yarn are not very long and sometimes untwist. It is best used when knitted with loose stitches; however, the knitting needle size should correspond to the thickness of the yarn. Don’t use this yarn for your first project. It is not as durable or as forgiving as cotton or wool when unraveled.

Chiengora (dog--from the French "chien"):

Chiengora is very unusual. It is yarn made out of dog hair. Collies, Sheepdogs, Afghans, Chow Chows, Lhasa Apsos, and Poodles are among the dog breeds used for chiengora yarn. I have not knitted with this yarn, but I assume it has the same attributes as angora. So wait and do not use this for your first project.

Cashmere (cashmere goat):

Cashmere is a very luxurious yarn--very soft, smooth, and not fuzzy like mohair or angora. Cashmere is often spun very thin, so it is perfect for mittens or socks (in combination with another very thin strand of wool to run along for support, especially in the heels). Cashmere can also be used for sweaters, linings, hats, gloves, and baby clothes—but be cautious as it does not like to be washed frequently). Cashmere is expensive and very delicate. Do not use this for your first project.

Angora can be a nightmare to knit with or a pleasure. If you don't get it from the right company, you might end up working with strands that break all the time. It's a yarn that Malabrigo does rather well. I'll research this over the next week or so and post another company if I find one. What can I say, I just love Malabrigo


If you want Chiengora from your own dog, try
I personally have never worked with Chiengora. My assumption is, that longer haired dogs like Collies make very good chiengora, which would have the same attributes as angora, but be less distructible because the hair is longer and can hold together better.

3 comments:

knitsational said...

Doghair, now that is unusual! Too bad my dog has awefully course wirey hair, I'd love to try that.

Estela said...

super mom!
I imagine angora yarn is soft, that angora rabbit is adorable. I want one.

kiddlebug said...

Love your story. It makes my life feel normal. :)