Koigu is a yarn that is collected by its aficionado’s. The collectors look for new colours in each yarn store that they visit and hoard them for that perfect project! It is also the first hand-dyed yarn that I worked with and still my favorite. Do I need to say more?
Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino – KPPPM. 100% Merino, 50grs, 160m, 175yds, handwash – Koigu Wool Designs.
Maie Landra is a painter who turned from painting canvases to painting yarn and each skien is her masterpiece. Working from her sheep farm in Ontario, Maie and now her family paint and dye the fabulous merino that is her signature yarn. They do dye a couple of other yarns, also beautiful, but Koigu is her first and best!
Koigu is 100% Merino. It has a high twist and sheen and the colours glow. It is almost as if each skien holds a light within. The high twist gives the yarn great stitch definition and Maie’s technique of only applying short lengths of colour keeps the yarn from pooling or from appearing stripey. Her techniques are time-consuming and for a very long time Koigu was one of the most sought after and hard to find hand-dyed yarns. There are over 300 colourways, each unique. Now that her daughter Taui and apprentice Richard Devrieze also can dye in her style the yarn, while still sought after, is a little easier to come by. Each hand-dyer brings his or her own colour sense to each batch of yarn. And as each batch of yarn is small the variations are endless, even within colourways- always buy enough of the batch you want to create your project!
Koigu knits to a traditional 4-ply or fingering gauge of 28sts per 4inches and can be used for any pattern that requires yarn of that gauge. Maie Landra has designed many patterns for Koigu over the years. She prefers a modular approach with many of her patterns as this allows the colours to move and show to best effect. This also means that you can combine many colours and collect many colours to achieve the best effect for each pattern. Maie’s patterns have appeared in Vogue Knitting and she has published a book, Knits from a Painter’s Palette that includes some of her most famous patterns, including the Charlotte’s Web Shawl – 5 different hanks of Koigu that move from colour to colour.
I must confess that most of my Koigu knitting to date, has been socks. Due to its lack of nylon Koigu is not the ideal yarn for socks, but they are so comfortable and warm, that I keep on making them. I knit my socks quite firmly and even without the nylon I usually get 2 or 3 seasons out of each pair. I have recently started to branch out into larger projects and I am enjoying every minute of the knitting and dreaming!
Koigu is a gorgeous hand-dyed yarn that comes in a multitude of colours. The style of dying minimizes or eliminates the problems of pooling and stripey bits that can come with some hand-dyes. The yarn has a great hand and a high lustre that enhances stitch definition. For most knitters Koigu’s greatest drawback is that it is a 4-ply and requires a small needle and more knitting to create a finished project. The effort is more than worth the final results!