Yarn Review

We review a range of warm and cosy yarns in aran weight and above

There’s nothing like a handmade garment to keep you warm and cosy.  Whether knitted or crocheted, being able to envelope yourself or your loved ones in swathes of yarny goodness brings with it a certain satisfaction, that only another maker will understand.  Whilst the majority of us, might prefer to work with finer yarns for our sweaters, there is no denying the feeling you get when you wrap that superchunky cowl around your neck, or snuggle under the chunky patchwork throw on the sofa.

With a love of oversized, chunky knits, we’ve gathered together some of our favourite heavier weight yarns of the moment, in aran weight and above, because although we’re coming into the Spring here in Ireland soon, you can be sure most of us will be absolutely frozen watching the St. Patrick’s Day Parades in March.

Spectrum Fibre

Super Chunky

Shade Pictured Crocus
Fibre Content 80% Superwash Merino/20% Nylon
Ball Weight/Length 100g = 70m/77yds
Needle Size None Specified
Tension None specified

SpectrumFibre

Brighton based Briony is the creative colour wizard behind Spectrum Fibre. Relatively new to the indie dyed yarn scene, Briony has grown up around fibre.  Inspired by her mums love of natural dyeing, spinning and weaving, it has always been in her blood.  The catalyst to setting Briony off on her hand dyed path, came about via a trip to an independent yarn shop in Chicago. There Briony met two amazing ladies who introduced her to the world of vibrant hand dyed and hand spun yarns – the rest as they say, is history.

Spectrum Fibre Super Chunky yarn is simply gorgeous.  The wool/nylon blend with its loose twist, is super soft and squishy, none of which is lost with the dyeing process. Briony’s love of colour really packs a punch and she uses a variety of techniques to create each colourway. Crocus, the colour we’ve knitted, is a riot of fresh greens combined with flecks of yellow, red and purple.  The colour is lovely and saturated and beautifully random. Our swatch has a lovely warm handle, even stitches and springs straight back into shape. We used 8mm needles and the finished fabric has a tension of 2.5 stitches x 3.5 rows to 1″/25cm, which results in a a lovely smooth knit that isn’t too bulky or rigid.

Folkestone Harbour Yarn

Chunky

Shade Pictured Steely Grey
Fibre Content 100% Wool
Ball Weight/Length 50g = 50m/54yds
Needle Size None Specified
Tension None specified

FolkestoneHarbourYarns

While on the hunt for yarns to include in our Warm and Cosy issue, we stumbled upon Folkestone Harbour Yarn.  You might have seen Lora gush over the gradient set she bought on episode nine of our podcast?

Folkestone Harbour Yarns comes from dyer extraordinaire Suzi who, with the help of her feline supervisor, Herman Cat, creates hand dyed yarns and accessories (just in case you’re wondering, Herman supervises from a distance).

We love the tonal effect of the 100% Chunky Wool, which, while not the softest yarn in our review, has knitted up beautifully. It has a lovely texture to it and will hold its shape for years to come. The Folkestone Harbour Chunky yarn is a little more substantial than a standard chunky and would work well knitted to a looser tension.  A proper woolly wool (we know what we mean), it would be ideal for outerwear: kackets, jumpers and cardigans. Can you imagine how lovely a pair of slippers knitted in it would look and your feet would be so toasty.

Debbie Bliss C+B

Odin

Shade Pictured 03 Metal
Fibre Content 75% Wool/25% Nylon
Ball Weight/Length 100g = 85m/92yds
Needle Size 10mm
Tension 11 stitches x 15 rows

DesignerYarns

The knitting brand C+B Yarns is an offshoot of Debbie Bliss and creates yarns and designs that are aimed specifically towards the younger knitter, with a view to encourage and introduce them to the craft. Odin, one of the yarns under the C+B umbrella, is super chunky and is available in 16 contemporary colours. The wool/acrylic blend yarn knits up with a suggested tension of 11 stitches to 15 rows, which produces a slightly less dense finished fabric than many other super chunky yarns available at present.

The light spun, roving type yarn has knitted up evenly, with great stitch definition. The fabric is surprisingly light for such a thick yarn and has a lovely drape to it.  It’s soft, warm and ideal for quick knits. Have a look at the Designer Yarns website to see the range of fun, fashionable designs for women’s sweaters, accessories and homewares, designed specifically for it.

Sirdar

Aura

Shade Pictured 132 Maya
Fibre Content 80% Acrylic/20% Wool
Ball Weight/Length 100g = 138m/151yds
Needle Size 6½mm
Tension 14 stitches x 19 rows

Sirdar.co.uk

We were quite surprised to discover the new yarn Aura from Sirdar has such a high acrylic content. We were convinced that the softly spun texture of the yarn was a wool/viscose blend. With eight beautiful colours to choose from Aura is a supersoft chunky weight yarn with a beautiful, soft coloured effect.

The slight roving texture to Aura results in a velvet-like feel to the finished fabric and the wispy, gentle halo adds a luminescent quality to the colours.  The phased colour effect is gentle and appears as you knit, with one colour transitioning seamlessly into the next.

Rooster

Almerino Aran

Shade Pictured 318 Coral
Fibre Content 50% Baby Alpaca/50% Merino Wool
Ball Weight/Length 50g = 94m/103yds
Needle Size 4.5 – 5.5mm
Tension 19 stitches x 23 rows

Roosteryarns.com

With its fifty/fifty blend of baby alpaca and merino wool, Roosters Almerino Aran is super scrumptious.  The yarn is a pleasure to work with and knits to produce a soft luxurious fabric with a subtle halo.

With 26 colourways currently available, it would make a great yarn for colourwork and whether knitted or crocheted, Almerino Aran is perfect for everyone in your family.

Stylecraft

Swift Knit Tweed

Shade Pictured 311 Twill
Fibre Content 80% Premium Acrylic/20% Wool
Ball Weight/Length 100g = 57m/62yds
Needle Size 10mm
Tension 9 stitches x 12 rows

Stylecraft-yarns.co.uk

Stylecraft’s original Swift Knit yarn is incredibly successful. This superchunky yarn, in a wide range of colours, represents great value for money.  Swift Knit Tweed is the exact same product, but with a flecked tweed look that is right on trend.

Swift Knit Tweed is currently available in five different shades. Two strands of yarn have been plied together, one in a solid and the other with a gentle shifting colour change to create a tweedy effect. Despite its robust appearance, due to its high acrylic content, Swift Knit Tweed is incredibly light. It’s an ideal yarn for a speedy knit or crochet accessories and quick sweaters, all of which will have a lovely soft handle.

When knitted up the finished fabric is warm and cosy with a lovely texture to it.  The colours appear quite mottled and there is no pooling.

Manos del Uruguay

Wool Classica

Shade Pictured CW6422 Bucchus
Fibre Content 100% Wool
Ball Weight/Length 100g = 126m/138yds
Needle Size 5 – 6mm
Tension 14 – 18 stitches

Roosteryarns.com

Wool Classica is a handspun, kettle dyed chunky yarn. Slub style, with a rustic appearance, it’s an ideal yarn for designs that will allow the beauty of the yarn to show through. Wool Classica is available in a palette of 28 variegated and multi tonal hues and is an ideal choice for felted projects.

Once knitted the fabric has a lovely textured handle to it that is warm and surprisingly soft. There is a delicate halo and subtle sheen from the Corridale wool  that enhance the beauty of the dye.  It’s a lovely classic yarn and every sale goes to help women in cooperatives throughout the countryside of Uruguay.

Louisa Harding

Pitturissimo

Shade Pictured 208 Woolf
Fibre Content 75% Wool/25% Viscose
Ball Weight/Length 100g = 150m/164yds
Needle Size 5 – 6 mm
Tension 16 – 18 stitches x 22 – 24 rows

DesignerYarns

Piturissimo is a heavier weight version of Louisa Harding’s popular Pittura yarn. An aran weight wool/bamboo blend, Piturissimo is a soft spun yarn, with a slight thick and thin texture to it.  Think slub yarn, but then wind it back considerably.

The wool and bamboo fibres both take the dye up differently, which creates a lovely total effect.  Add the delicate sheen from the bamboo and the overall effect is one of luxury.

There are eight shades in the current range, all of which have been inspired by the influential Bloomsbury Group of the 1920s.  Each shade is variegated with short colour changes that blend well when knitted and create an even look without pooling.

Knitted up, the fabric is warm and soft enough to be worn next to even the most delicate of skin. It’s elegant with a little drape and there is a subtle halo resting above the stitches, which are neat and butt up gently besides each other.

Louisa Harding has released several patterns to support the Piturissimo yarn, details of which can be found on the Designer Yarns website.

Wendy

Merino Chunky

Shade Pictured 2486
Fibre Content 100%  Superwash Merino Wool
Ball Weight/Length 50g = 165m/171yds
Needle Size 6.5mm
Tension 14 stitches x 20 rows

Tbramsden.co.uk

Made from 100% Australian pure Merino wool, from non-mulesed sheep, Wendy’s Merino Chunky is a classic yarn.  The knitted fabric is smooth, light and bouncy, with beautiful stitch definition. Its plied construction gives the luxury Merino a little extra strength, which will extend its durability and ensure cables show up better.

Merino Chunky is soft enough for everyone to wear and is perfect for knitting and crochet. It’s an ideal yarn choice for most garments and accessories. Eighteen colourways are currently available, including vintage tones and more vibrant shades. The quality of the yarn is confirmed by the consumer; Merino Chunky has been one of Wendy’s classic yarns for several years now.

Sublime

Lola

Shade Pictured 551 Paloma
Fibre Content 100% Extra Fine Merino Wool
Ball Weight/Length 100g = 63m/69yds
Needle Size 12mm
Tension 8 stitches x 11 rows

Sublimeyarns.com

A luxury super chunky yarn, Lola from Sublime has been spun from extra fine Merino wool in Italy. With a recommended needle size of 12mm it might surprise you to see how light Lola is when knitted up. Two softly spun strands have been loosely plied together to create a super soft yarn, ideal for creating extra special garments.

The First Sublime Lola Book (703) contains 21 designs for women and the home, which allow the classic beauty of the yarn to shine through.  Each complements the 12 gorgeous colours currently available, which include, neutrals, soft pastels and bold fashion shades.

Mrs Moon

Plump Superchunky

Shade Pictured Marshmallow
Fibre Content 80% Superfine Sustainable Merino/20% Baby Alpaca
Ball Weight/Length 100g = 70m/77yds
Needle Size 10mm
Tension 10 stitches x 12.5 rows

MrsMoon.co.uk

Where to begin…..

Plump Superchunky is one of the softest, squishiest, yarns we’ve ever seen. Think floating on fluffy clouds, or the explosion of goose down after an extremely expensive pillow fight and even then you’re probably not close enough.

Made from the highest quality, sustainable superfine Merino and baby alpaca, Plump is beautiful to work with and we barely even noticed how large our needles were. The lightly spun, roving type yarn knitted up much more evenly than we had anticipated. The uniformity of the stitches and light halo create a fabric so soft you’d happily wrap a naked baby up in it (ok, so maybe pop a nappy on it just in case).

There is a subtle sheen which only serves to enhance the luxurious look of your finished garment. There are currently 18 candy coloured shades available in the range, all of which interplay with each other perfectly.

As a luxury yarn, we’re not suggesting you should knit your everyday cardigan in it; use Plump Superchunky to make that special jumper, super snuggly cowl or cosy baby blanket.  Something special with love in every stitch.

DY Choice

Chunky with Wool

Shade Pictured DYCW909
Fibre Content 75% Polyacryl/25% Wool
Ball Weight/Length 100g = 130m/142yds
Needle Size 6mm
Tension 12 stitches x 16 rows

DesignerYarns

An easy-care yarn, Chunky with Wool is a good basic yarn, suitable for knitting and crochet.  Available in sixteen shades, with a range of pattern support for men, women and children, Chunky with Wool is a reasonably priced yarn that looks good when knitted up and will wear well.

A plied yarn, the finished fabric is smooth and has very little of the shine that you sometimes notice on yarn with a high acrylic content.  The yarn is machine washable, making it an ideal choice for children’s clothes and blankets.  The addition of the 25% wool fibre, ensures the garments, will be warm and cosy.

The Fibre Company

Tundra

Shade Pictured Silver Wolf
Fibre Content 60% Babyy Alpaca/30% Merino Wool/10% Silk
Ball Weight/Length 100g = 110m/120yds
Needle Size 10 – 8mm
Tension 12 – 14 stitches x 16 rows

TheFibreCo.com

Tundra from The Fibre Company was a last-minute addition to this issue’s yarn reviews, but it was too lovely not to include.  This yarn was a dream to work with, flowing easily through fingers. It’s a 2-ply chunky weight yarn in a luxurious fibre combination. It creates a warm, bouncy fabric that has a gentle drape to it. We love the alpaca halo and delicate silky sheen and can envisage cosying up under a oversized wrap knitted in Tundra.

The slight tonal effect to the colour of the yarn adds interest to your knitting and would give cables and all-over stitch patterns much more depth. Alternating two hanks would be advisable so as to avoid any obvious colour change, but with 16 beautiful shades to choose from, your first problem will be trying to decide which one to knit with.