Friday, August 18, 2006

Koigu, or yarn porn





There are many categories of yarn in a sock knitter’s stash. Some are tried and true work horses that you are forever turning to out of habit. They are dependable, trustworthy, a known quantity. For me, Opal and Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Multi fit this bill. I know exactly what I’m going to get when I cast on one of these two yarns, and I am never disappointed. I have many, many skeins on hand at a time and have no qualms about giving a skein or two away, either. Then there are those skeins that have yet to capture your imagination, and you can’t really say why. They are just there, in your stash. Taking up space. Waiting to be knitted. For me these would be your Meilenweits, your Regias and your Plymouth Sockottas. I’m sure they are phenomenal and produce a perfectly acceptable sock. I just haven’t bothered to actually give them the time of day, although I have many, many skeins in my stash. Another distinct category is that of the exotic specialty sock yarn. Maybe it’s a yarn that your LYS doesn’t carry and that you have to travel a distance to obtain. Perhaps it’s somewhat unusual and so you use it sparingly. For me Mountain Colors Bearfoot and Claudia’s Hand Painted are in this category. They are a little bit foreign and thus have an air of mystery about them.But they are still a known quantity.

And then there’s Koigu.

For so long this yarn has been something akin to the Holy Grail. None of my LYSs carry it. Until recently I never seemed to be in the right place at the right time to get it. All that has now changed. Now I have it and I cannot live without it.(See above picture for most recent addition to my stash). I even keep it in its own little special VIP section of my stash, cordoned off from the more pedestrian skeins. It’s become a fetish object. Sometimes I just want to pet it. I was afraid to knit it for fear of damaging its most perfect form. But now I have almost completed a sock (pictured above) in it and it’s just as I feared: it's absolutely divine and thus controlling my mind. It’s all I think about and I can’t stop. Help. me. please.
But, why? What's all the fuss about? Please, someone explain to me, what is it about it that makes it so darn appealing? Is it the colorways? The way it’s wound? The scarcity? The hype? Help me to name it and understand its power, then maybe I can break free…

6 comments:

Karen said...

I don't know . . . I just don't know the reasons why this all is . . . but I agree with you 100%. I was feeling unworthy to knit my Koigu too - but now that I started, it's all I want to do. I'm going on a yarn crawl tomorrow - the first store we're hitting always has a huge assortment of Koigu (and their web-site said they just got a new shipment of colors) . . . I fear I may blow my $$ for the whole day on Koigu at our first stop!! LOL

Melissa said...

That sock is freaking gorgeous!

Lone Knitter said...

Say, what colorway is your Koigu sock? It's absolutely stunning! After reading your post, I've been searching the web for Koigu yarn. I must have some!

p.s. There is no bauble in my immediate future, but my boyfriend is beginning to understand how to translate my hints that I do want a bauble.

amanda cathleen said...

I don't know why Koigu has such a calling. Maybe its the colors, the great hand, or how lovely it looks knit up. Good luck breaking the call of Koigu ; )

Divine Ladi said...

I wish I can explain it to you. I have the same addiction to it. It's just so...so..well, you know. Maybe it's the colors or the way it looks when it's knitted, or the feel of it. Okay, I feel like I'm having impure thoughts. lol. I'm picturing Homer SImpson drooling and saying "hmmm Koigu." lol

Susan said...

I think it is the squishiness of the yarn - sproingy and the intensity of the colors. Kind of glowy too. But I have only knit up one pair of socks (my first sockweight yarn pair) in Koigu. For me, that yarn is best for scarves and shawls. Ditto for Cherry Tree Hill. But maybe that will change.

Move to the Twin Cities - Koigu can be had here.