I think I’ve figured out what I like about holding mohair along with another yarn (cough, or at least one of the things…it would be silly to pretend there’s only one). It gives you a much wider range of practical gauges. Let me explain.
The base yarn here is Seven Sisters Arts Meridian, which is a lovely classic sock yarn. Smooth, merino/nylon mix, 400something yards in a skein. Delightful stuff. Knit it up at 8-9 stitches to the inch and you’ll have marvelous socks. Go more to that 7-8 stitches per inch range and you’ll have a delightful fabric for fingerless mitts or lightweight hats.
But…with the mohair held alongside there, I’m getting 5 stitches to the inch and it’s a gorgeous fabric.
If I did 5 stitches per inch with just the base yarn by itself, it would be so loose it would look almost a bit sloppy. Like the stitches wouldn’t be held firmly enough in place and they’d shift around and get snagged and the fabric would just be much more open than I actually want. (This is in NO WAY a criticism of the yarn itself, it’s just that sock yarn, knit that loosely, makes a fabric that is very very open. It’s a grand yarn and it’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to do…it’s just generally supposed to be knit at more than 5 stitches per inch if you want a solid fabric).
But…but you sneak the mohair in there, and all of a sudden the halo on the mohair gives each stitch just a bit more heft. You don’t have big open spaces between your stitches. And the fuzzy little tendrils lock together and give the fabric a tiny bit more structure and stability.
The result is a fabric that behaves like a more densely knit fabric, but still crumples and drapes and moves like a wafty, floaty, whisper light bit of nonsense. And that’s really rather lovely!