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February 24, 2009

Another good-bye

Before I forget, I want to thank everyone who chimed in with their thoughts about Koigu. You were incredibly informative, both factually and anecdotally, and I feel like I have exponentially increased my knowledge of... this yarn. Sounds weird and perhaps a bit obsessive, I'll admit :). I was going to quote some of you in this post, but the breadth of information you provided was overwhelming, and I know I'd quickly find myself writing a novel ;). Instead, I invite the curious to explore the comments: some amazing stuff.

I know the color of the yarn is accurate because I actually am that pale.

I'm not entirely sure what comment should accompany this photo. Positive? Negative?

Koigu is undeniably beautiful, and has blossomed into gorgeous projects in the hands of dozens of knitters. If you glance through the comments to my last post, there are tons of examples. Furthermore, some knitters say that their Koigu socks wear like iron, feel wonderful, and are a joy all around.

But other commenters agreed with my realization that the yarn itself is twisted very tightly, doesn't have a lot of give, and can hurt our bodies if knit at a dense tension. Like me, they noticed that Koigu needs to be knit on slightly larger needles. And for these reasons, at least for some of us, it is not a good choice for knitting socks.

The two trains of thought are not mutually exclusive, of course. There are many knitters who are happy to use Koigu for lace and baby items, but not for socks. And I think I am going to fall into this category.

Perhaps this is my longwinded way of saying good-bye to the Child's French Sock. It's gorgeous, but the Koigu isn't working for me. My body aches, the fabric is dense and stiff, and yet the sock is coming out very big. I will try using the Koigu again, certainly, but with larger needles and for a different type of project. Maybe the lovely Purl Beret?

In the meantime, I needed some instant sock happy, so I cast on a new pair this Sunday. I'll show the project to you next time, and I think you'll see some familiar elements ;).

Posted by Kathy on February 24, 2009 10:02 PM


I have to put in a good word for the Purl Beret. It's a great hat!

I sadly came to this realization over a year ago. I love the colors but I'm not really in love with it for socks.

Koigu makes lovely Endpaper mitts.

I have made socks from Koigu KPPPM. It got really fuzzy. I think it's how you wear the socks. They rub against jeans legs and shoes and there you go. Fluffy appendages hanging here and there. I almost feel as though I have to shave them!

It's beautiful yarn, but I think lace socks would lose their lacy-ness and you'd be less than pleased with them.

One thing - they are insanely soft.

I also love this yarn but not for a lace sock. I made this sock- it is the pattern that makes the sock dense, I tried 3 differant yarns and ended up using Happy Feet by Plymouth and they all had the same result-dense fabric. Try another sock pattern

Yes! Purl Beret is a perfect match for Koigu - I bet it will be lovely in your color....

Thank heavens you're not quitting blogging! Which was totally what I thought from that title. Gave me the vapors, it did (especially since another favorite blogger DID hang up the keyboard today).

A friend of a friend said the following to me:
"Always use the right tool for the job. Good tools make hard work easier, bad tools make easy work harder."

The same would apply to yarn.

Late to the party on this one. Koigu is far from my favorite sock yarn. It regularly has worn out and required darning on the husband-socks for which I've used it. I consider it a sport-weight and knit it on size 2 DPNs, when I knit true fingering weight sock yarn on US size 1's.

I used Koigu for a set of fingerless mitts for my sister, and they turned out very nicely and she loves them. Rav link.

Most of my knitting friends dis-recommended it for socks (oddly enough, on the grounds that it is pilly and doesn't wear well), saying it worked better for hats and other accessories.

I've never knit socks with Koigu. Actually, I haven't knit much with Koigu. But I love, Love my Koigu Anemoi mittens.

It's too bad your hand really don't enjoy that yarn.
That sock is so pretty!

Life's too short to work with yarn you don't love. Good for you for just ripping and moving on. It'll find it's place in some other project some day.

I think that yarn would make a lovely contrast color for the selbu modern hat!

Childs french sock pattern is from where??? I LOVE it! I am so sorry to hear you are frogging it although I understand- it is so lovely!!! I have big feet , what size sock are you knitting that it is coming out to big for your size ? feet.

I have made three of the purl berets, two of them with Koigu and one with Shibui. It is a lovely pattern with both yarns.

I got a lot of good information out of the Koigu discussion. I actually have 2 skeins in my stash that I bought for a hat. The yarn is so pretty that I regretted not getting enough for socks too. However, based on everyone's comments, I will definately knit the hat and see how I like it before I invest in any more (kind of expensive) for socks. Thanks for the good conversation.

Now, what shall I do with all this Plymouth Alpaca Grande?

I hate koigu for socks. it's just not as nice as other yarns for this purpose, that said it has amazing colors & I think you need to knit a thermas out of it ;)

So sad that they are so big. They are lovely and the color is gorgeous.

Very pretty socks. I'm not usually a "solid color person", but the pattern of those socks is gorgeous. I never mind socks that are too big because I use them to wear over other socks when I'm wearing two pair for warmth.

Familiar elements. Does that mean more Shepherd Sock? I love seeing all of the socks you make with the gorgeous colors of LL.

I was waiting to see what you and your readers had to say about this before I voiced/shared my opinion. I have tried both Koigu and the Louet that is spun similarly and didn't like them for socks. I never even got to how they feel or wear - I just didn't like the fabric I was getting. I have cheerfully knit it into other things and loved it but for socks I am happier with yarns that give me a nice fabric at 9-10 spi.

The Purl beret--yes! I made one in Koigu and it turned out perfectly, I get tons o'compliments on that one:)

I love that yarn/pattern combo but if it isn't fun to knit then you might as well say goodbye to it and hello to the purl beret!

I've used Koigu for socks. Once. They are literally the only socks I didn't bother to reheel even once.

Mind you, I lurve the colors and the softness. I have Koigu still in the stash. But I knit those sock on size 0 needles so they took forever. And then they got holes right away. I have seen that people knit them on larger needles, but then I think they would wear out even faster. Ho hum. I'm saving mine for a Charlotte's Web or some such. And I have the Endpaper Mitts in my queue. Or Sally Melville's gauntlets.

Koigu, in my mind, is best for

collecting and not using
(the skeins are objets d'art, fun to play with and arrange on the floor)

crocheting into a scarf
(i used a single variegated skein for small granny squares, joined them, and added a picot edge all around. i'm thrilled with this use of this unique yarn and plan to continue in this vein)

The Purl Beret is great! You can knit it on a flight to europe, and will finish in time for touchdown. And you need only one ball of Koigu with about a foot left over.

The Purl Beret is great! You can knit it on a flight to europe, and will finish in time for touchdown. And you need only one ball of Koigu with about a foot left over.

Knew for me the Koigu would not work as socks (it's that wool thing. you understand). But they made up into beautiful gauntlets.

I used their handpainted variagated stuff and found my wool varied in thickness, was not tightly wound and I often would pierce the yarn strands with my needles. Will try Koigu again, but I was not a total convert.

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