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 We're off to Tajikistan!

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Clara Posted - 04/18/2012 : 5:58:15 PM
I'm a huge fan of armchair travel. Knitting with yarns from faraway places adds a whole new dimension to the notion of armchair travel... a kind of armchair knitting. Which doesn't quite sound right, but hopefully you get what I mean.

Wild Fibers magazine recently had an article about a new project happening in Tajikistan. They're trying to revive (or keep from totally disappearing) their mohair industry, which collapsed with the fall of the Soviet Union. More interesting yet is the fact that the mohair industry began with the Soviets, and they imported angora goats from TEXAS. Go figure.

At any rate, I recently got my hands on a skein of the very yarn described in that article. It's now available in the U.S. from an equally interesting new company. Here's the full scoop.

Clara
Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher
4   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Danemom Posted - 04/23/2012 : 10:15:22 AM
I am a native Texan with an avid interest in fibers grown in this state which has a history of being a leading producer of both wool and mohair. The article in Wildfibers mentioned the urgent need to promote and subsidize mohair production during World War I for military uniforms. What the article did not mention was that prior to wartime production, mohair from Texas was used for upholstery fabric for railway cars for many years.

Unfortunately, fewer and fewer Texas ranchers are raising fiber animals. It is both difficult and expensive to have fiber animals sheared. Many ranchers have converted to raising sheep and goats for meat rather than fiber. Predators are increasingly a problem for the ranchers as you may have read in the article. A young woman who is a member of the church I attend, is from the area around Fort Stockton, Texas. She informed me that most ranchers in that area, including her parents, used to raise primarily Rambouillet sheep, but most have converted to Dorpers, a hair sheep raised for its meat. With our extreme drought last year, many ranchers sold off their herds because the drought and subsequent wildfires destroyed the forage. We will have to have several years of normal or above normal amounts of rainfall to repair the damage of the last year.
robinstephanie Posted - 04/22/2012 : 12:15:31 PM
Just read the article. I love natural yarns, and this sounds wonderful. Clara, like Chingachgook, I'm curious if you have an opinion on what the white flecks were: scurf? fiber? something else? I guess if it's scurf it wouldn't necessarily be present in every skein.

Does anyone have an opinion on how this yarn would work in Shelia January's Optic Waves Shawl? I've been wanting to try it, but Brooks Farm no longer sells their Primero yarn and I don't know what to substitute. Mohair magic is two-ply, and so was the Primero, I think...

[edited to add] Cloth Roads does not list the yarn on their website. The Adventure Yarns page says, "The 2010 invetory of Mohair Magic yarn has sold out! We are currently processing 2011 kid mohair clip. The first batches of yarn will be available for sale in spring 2012. In 2012 we also plan to introduce 100% cashgora yarn made in Badakhshan, Tajikistan." So I will check back later.

The photos on the Adventure Yarns website, of the spinners, farmers, goats, knitters, and scenery, are superb.

Robinsteph

Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
chingachgook Posted - 04/20/2012 : 09:28:24 AM
This sounds like a new, different experience for a shawl!

I can't really tell from the pop-up picture--are those white flecks fiber? or scurf-ish?

Thanks for all the info in this review. I enjoyed reading it!
Julknits Posted - 04/19/2012 : 09:36:57 AM
I love Wild Fibers magazine! So many interesting stories. I learn something new & enjoy "traveling" the world with each issue! Thanks for telling us about Cloth Roads. i heartily endorse their efforts to support women's cooperatives. This will be another organization to keep in touch with!

Julia Grace

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