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A skein of Rare Comfort
Rare Comfort knitted up
click each image to enlarge

Yarn Profile: Rare Comfort Kid Mohair

First Impressions
Jo Sharp has always been one of my favorite designers. For years, this Australian native focused her creative energies on garments knit using her Jo Sharp DK merino yarn.

Only recently has she expanded her repertoire (and her yarn label) to include different textures and fiber compositions. First there was Silkroad Aran, and now the featherlight Rare Comfort Kid Mohair.

Normally the nylon binder thread in brushed mohair yarns is fairly smooth and inconspicuous. But in Rare Comfort the binder thread was rapidly and tightly plied with the mohair/wool, giving the yarn a fine crimped look reminiscent of the natural curls in kid mohair locks.

Rare Comfort is currently available in 10 delicate earthy hues, while a multicolored version is available under the Rare Comfort Infusion label. For this review I used color 609, called Tranquil.

Knitting Up
Brushed mohair is a notorious trouble-maker for knitters, because the loose fibers tend to snag on the needles and cause the yarn to drag slightly, producing irregular stitches.

As with all brushed mohair, it's best to give the yarn a wide berth on the needles, making slightly more exaggerated movements to guarantee clean, snagless stitches.

After several getting-to-know-you rows I was up to speed and knitting comfortably with Rare Comfort, even glancing elsewhere and allowing my fingers to do most of the work.

Blocking / Washing
My swatches quickly absorbed their water and relaxed, especially in width. The color used for this review was too subtle for me to detect any fading or bleeding in the wash.

After a lukewarm wash and rinse in mild soap, I blotted my swatches with a towel, reshaped them as best I could, and waited for them to dry. They appeared flat and even, and there was no change in gauge whatsoever.

Wearing
Rare Comfort produces a slightly finer, more airy and transparent fabric than the likes of Classic Elite La Gran. (Translation: Wear something underneath your sweater!)

The 15% polyamide content does a good job of keeping the fabric intact under duress. Eventually the brushed fibers began to gather into large loose pills, which were easily disengaged. My swatches looked good for a remarkably long time.

From a touch perspective, the yarn is significantly softer than Classic Elite La Gran while not coming close to the delicate, silky softness of Rowan's Kidsilk Haze.

I suspect those with ultrasensitive skin may find it too rough around the neck, but Rare Comfort is otherwise reasonably suited for next-to-the-skin wear.

Conclusion
Although it can be a challenge to knit, I remain a steadfast fan of brushed mohair—and Jo Sharp's new incarnation of brushed mohair has done nothing to change this. Rare Comfort is fundamentally lightweight, the brushed fibers providing the illusion of loft while the fine core keeps the knitted material thin and fluid.

Jo Sharp provides solid pattern support for this yarn in several of her design collections, including her most recent release, Contemporary Knitting. The yarn is also flexible and forgiving enough to be taken offroad and into the patterns of your imagination.

A standard, unadorned medium-sized women's pullover requires 10 skeins, which brings in the bill just under the $80 mark—a good price for such quality fibers.

 
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