Spinning Tuesdays: Mohair and Tunis

This week I’ve spun adult Mohair and American Tunis from Deb Robson’s list of Must Spins.


Dirty and clean fleece, worsted and semi woolen spin

Mohair is everywhere, blended into lots of commercial yarns for a little shine and a little fuzzy halo.

I’ve never worked with adult mohair by itself before. The locks took 3 washings with Power Scour before they were clean and shiny.

I combed the locks and boy are they tough! I never really understood how a spinner could bend or break combs before and now I do. I overloaded my combs on my first go round and ended up taking almost half off, rather than tug and fight with it. Once I used a smaller amount, the locks combed beautifully and I was able to spin right from the combs.

Worsted and semi woolen yarns and swatches

I spun a fine-ish worsted yarn. I discovered just how little twist mohair needs. A portion of my yarn came out wiry from over twist. I spun a second sample long draw and it came out shiny, thick and wonderfully hairy. I’m not sure I would use 100% adult mohair for a garment, but I’m not done considering yet.

Two fun facts about Mohair from The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook:

  1. An adult mohair goat can grow 2 cm of fiber in a month
  2. Mohair goats are shorn twice a year



Dirty and clean fleeces, woolen yarn and swatch

Another spingy down-like fiber. It felt and behaved similarly to the Clun Forest fiber. I made a mistake and overwashed my first batch (2 rounds with Power Scour) and it felt a little dried out. I washed a second sample with just one round of Power Scour and it felt much better. I really don’t like taking out all of the lanolin, I just don’t like how it feels to spin.


Woolen Tunis yarn and swatch

I opted to make this springy fiber springier. I drum carded the the fiber, pulled it into roving and spun long draw. There were a few lumps and bumps, but it happily took as much air as I wanted to put into it.

The yarn was round for a 2-ply and elastic. Another fiber I would use again. I would use it for a garment, not completely against skin, but it didn’t prickle my neck or wrists.

Two fun facts about Tunis from The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook:

  1. Tunis are raised primarily for their meat
  2. George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson all had Tunis sheep

Thanks to Beth Smith of The Spinning Loft for providing the fibers for this week.


Here’s another way that this spinning project is changing my fiber brain. I can’t keep my hands off of fleece. Now when I got to a shop or show I go straight for the fleece, the gorgeous dyed and prepped fiber now come second. I poke and prod, wash a lock, consult the book if it’s handy. I haven’t started buying lots of whole fleeces, but I have a feeling that’s coming.


Checking in with my other spinning:

I’ve been spinning for this project and for a Knittyspin project, just work. I love spinning but I was feeling a little bleh about my spinning. I hadn’t realized how much I needed some just fun spinning until this weekend. I fell on some gorgeous Abstract Fiber and spun 8oz in two days. It was wonderful. I haven’t plied yet. I’ll show you next week.

Note to self : All work and no play makes Jillian a crabby spinner.

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Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com

9 thoughts on “Spinning Tuesdays: Mohair and Tunis

  1. Heather

    Dear Jillian,

    I just want you to know how much I enjoy Tuesdays now. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the blog other days but I look forward to Tuesdays. I am not a great spinner but you inspire me. Thanks for showing us so many great fibers I am being encouraged to go outside my comfort zone. It is like having someone to spin with every week.

  2. Rachael

    I love the look of that mohair! I am trying to figure out what to make with several couldn’t-resist mohair skeins that don’t aggravate my sensitive skin.

  3. Elizabeth M.

    I don’t know how to spin and don’t really feel the urge to try, but I really look forward to reading the Tuesday blog. I feel like I’ve learned so much in the past several weeks. Thanks!

  4. Lori

    Met a shepherd this morning that raises both Tunis and Jacobs, here in central Ohio. He was a customer who happened to mention something about shearing his sheep, and I flipped back that it was both awfully late and awfully wet to be shearing now. Interesting conversation followed. He raises them for meat. The wool is an extra.

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