Jill Draper’s Mohonk is one of the all-time great sweater yarns. We have loved it since we first laid eyes on it. Spun in the United States from the fleeces of domestic sheep, Mohonk is dyed by hand by Jill, in her studio in Kingston, New York.
Designed and made by a sweater knitter, Mohonk is a sweater knitter’s sweater yarn.
Mohonk is a lightweight yarn that, amazingly, can be substituted in patterns calling for bigger gauges and heavier yarns, as certified by MDK’s resident yarnitect, Jillian Moreno.
To me, it’s always nice to get a warm cozy fabric with less weight. I appreciate being able to wear a sweater indoors. I find lighter fabrics to have more drape and look better on me, somehow.
What To Knit With Mohonk?
One of the truly enjoyable challenges of yarn shop life is matching up patterns to our yarns. We’re always on the hunt for patterns for Mohonk, and thrilled when we find an intrepid knitter who has made the substitution leap of faith, and succeeded.
Here are four patterns that are a brilliant match for Mohonk. Enjoy, and please let us know if you have other patterns to show us.
It Goes Without Saying: the Easel Sweater
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Easel Sweater from our very own Field Guide No. 3: Wild Yarns.
Photo by Sara Remington for MDK Field Guide No. 3.
With a few skeins of Mohonk, and one crazy multi-color skein, you can join Mrs. Ann Shayne, who has finished three of them, in her mania for this simple pattern that lets you play with crazy colors and get a cozy, wearable sweater at the end.
Here’s a fresh new project for Mohonk. Cristina Shiffman substituted Mohonk for her own pattern, a delightful saddle-shouldered pullover called Mr. Boy (because it’s sized for men and boys).
Cristina’s nephew won Christmas this year.
This is the size medium, and took 5 skeins of Mohonk in the shade Charred Coal. is this a color photo or grayscale? with charred coal, it doesn’t matter.
For notes on Cristina’s slight tweaks to the fit for her nephew, see her project page.
I love this pattern and am thrilled to see Mohonk breathing new life into it. Way back when my Mr. Young Man was a Mr. Boy, he requested a charcoal gray sweater, and I made him a Mr. Boy.
Clearly, it’s time for a new one, in Mohonk, and quite a bit longer in the arms and body than the 2012 model, which is tucked away in a drawer, quietly sparking joy.
Caitlin Hunter’s Tecumseh was one of the tippy-top patterns of 2018. It’s a pullover with that loose, wavy fit that looks good on so many people.
We never thought of it for Mohonk until we spied Tara’s glorious green and gray Tecumseh on Ravelry. It makes it even more special that Tara chose Daughter of a Shepherd’s Hebridean + Zwartbles DK for the dark cross motifs. A match made in heaven, or across the Atlantic.
From the boundless imagination of Isabell Kraemer comes a beautiful garment, designed specifically for Mohonk, Santa Fe.
What do we even call this garment? Isabell calls it a shrug/bolero, but to me it’s looser, more cardigan-like than either of those two shapes. I’m calling it a snug. The texture and the versatility of the shape are the draw here. You can wear it upside-down!
Be sure to take a tour of Isabell’s magnificent test knitters’ versions, to get a sense of the possible variations in scale, fit, and styling, on a variety of bodies. I’m itching to cast on a Santa Fe, so I can leave it perpetually on the back of my desk chair. I’ll never be cold—or un-stylish—again!