a tale of two yarns

It’s Knitting & Crochet Blog Week! I surely needed a kick in the blogging pants much like many other of my erstwhile knitbloggers, so I thought I’d join in the fun. Day 1, March 28, asks us to tell A Tale of Two Yarns. It’d be easy to honestly say that the yarns I most want to talk about are always the ones I just worked with, from the awesome feel and colors of Alisha Goes Around to the Manos Rittenhouse I used for the first time in January. But if I were to specify two yarns that I like to go back to time and again …

Oh, Koigu.


I remember when I was still a newbie knitblogger (six years ago!) and I first learned about Koigu. I remember there being discussions on blogs (we were all pretty much newbies back then) about how to¬†pronounce¬†the name (scroll to about midway down the page or search on “pronounce” and you’ll see someone asking about it, back in 2005). (It’s pronounced the way most people instinctively say it, from what I’ve observed: koi-goo.)

the new purl

I remember seeing those tightly coiled skeins—before then, I’d mostly bought yarn that came in center-pull balls—and realizing that I needed a contraption to form my own yarn cakes. But I didn’t know that the swift and the ball winder were separate parts, so I happily bought a ball winder and then discovered to my dismay that I needed a whole OTHER purchase to make it effective.

Anastasia Socks

I remember my first pair of Koigu socks, too—how could I forget? My Anastasias, which became my first “real” knitting pattern. It’s a simple eyelet spiral but loads and loads of people have taken advantage of the free pattern.

In the ensuing years I’ve bought my fair share of Koigu skeins. Always KPM or KPPPM; I love the idea of a simple stockinette sock, or a baby garment, or anything else that Koigu can become. I love its tightly wound state, the sort of “bite” that the stitches have. It’s both defined and soft.


That pile of skeins pictured above? The assembly that I know you’re salivating over? That bounty is my highly protected stash of partial Koigu skeins, a gift from a friend for my birthday years ago, which has been augmented by gifts from Taiu Landra herself, now a friend. I am saving it for something special—somehow I feel I’m still not “ready” to use it yet.


Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmalabrigo. Say it with me. Malabrigo. Mal. a. BRIGO. It rolls off the tongue! (Koigu does, too.) I’m still relatively new to Malabrigo, but given my experiences working with it, and the fun I have saying it, well, I’m going back for more, for sure.

mitts for kaitlyn

Thing is, I’ve knit with yarns like Malabrigo before, so I wasn’t expecting to be blown away when I started the mittens for Kaitlyn last year. But man, the buttery texture of that yarn as I was knitting with it! I wanted more more more. So I bought more. I have a pair of socks-in-progress for my mom using Malabrigo sock—and it was so nice to work with, well (you see where this is going): I bought more. Little by little I’ve been adding Malabrigo to my stash. Small quantities at a time, but it’s there, waiting.

318.mitts for nanny

I crocheted with it to make hand warmers for my grandmother, and it was my first experience crocheting with a luxury fiber to make something to be worn—most of my crocheted items are amigurumi, worked in sturdy, reliable worsted-weights. It won’t be the last time. That is to say, there will definitely be more.

9 Responses to a tale of two yarns

  1. Ashley says:

    Honestly after all the yarns I’ve knit with, if you told me I could only have one ever I think it would be Koigu.

  2. Caro says:

    I think it’s probably time for me to return to some koigu now that I’m a better knitter. I loved it before, but then somehow it went out of fashion for me as I tried other stuff. I pledge to make something out of Koigu this year!

  3. Specs says:

    Koigu! I totally forgot about it’s existence otherwise I would have written a blog post for today full of love for KPPPM. It even has *several* lovely colorways that are nothing but black, grey, blue, and white!

  4. Mags says:

    Whenever I go to visit the US, Mal and Koigu are the two yarns I invariably hunt down. They’re so hard to get here, but I guess that preserves their “special-ness”.

  5. miko says:

    i remember when you were making those Malabrigo mitts! they sure are nice.

    and my Koigu – all of it just seems to be waiting for a perfect project.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *