Bulky is back! Mega-Scarves are en vogue again. Quick projects are in everyone's project que! So I thought I'd take a moment and tell you about the heavier yarns available at Darn Yarn.
First, if you aren't familiar with the shop's layout, we're organized by yarn weight - not the grams or ounces, but the thickness of the yarn. We try to use the Craft Yarn Council's guidelines, where 0 = lace weight and as the numbers get larger, the thickness, or weight, of the yarn also increases. According to these guidelines, worsted weight is a 4. Currently the Council's guidelines go up to 7. We have 0 - 6 (some of our roving might count as a 7, but I'm not a fan of working with roving as yarn, unless you're thrumming, regardless of how popular it seems to be right now). Because the shop is organized by these yarn weights, most of our yarns in the 5 or 6 category are in the first room, the room with the register.
Let's start with 5 - Bulky, or Chunky - this is the weight in which most of our heavier yarns fall. And quite frankly, it's a favorite weight of mine - not so heavy that the finished item is inches thick, but still bulky, burly, warm and snuggly. In addition to the brands listed below, we also have a small selection of bulky yarns from independent hand dyers.
American Lamb (Made in America Yarns) - 100% US merino; slight texture / waves/ boucle effect of yarn creates a great stitch; retro colors; 3.5 oz / 146 yds.
Cestari Bulky 3-ply - 3 plies of merino wool; unique, subdued kettle dyed colors; 3.5 oz / 70 yds.
Florafil (Made in America Yarns) - This cotton yarn is wrapped with nylon, making it a 97 cotton / 3 nylon yarn with texture; the colors are all named after flowers and are bright, often variegated, and summery; 3.5 oz / 125 yds.
Lamb's Pride Bulky (Brown Sheep) - A single ply bulky yarn; 85 wool / 15 mohair; the mohair gives it just enough of a halo to make it different; a favorite for diaper covers; 4 oz / 125 yds (also available in worsted)
Lamb's Pride Superwash Bulky (Brown Sheep) - Unlike the other Lamb's Pride Bulky, this one is plied; 100% washable wool; limited colors in stock; 3.5 oz / 110 yds. Currently 40% off (in stock only)!
Mauch Chunky (Kraemer) - Single ply 100% wool yarn; limited colors in stock; 3.5 oz / 120 yds. Currently 30% off (in stock only)!
Nature Spun Bulky (Brown Sheep) - 100% moth-proofed wool; 3 ply; available in the same colors as their worsted weight version, which is a customer favorite; currently we don't have many colors available, however, colors may be ordered if you need more hanks than available or a color that is not in stock, as they take up a lot of space, and we don't generally stock more than 2 or three of a color; 7 oz / 155 yds.
Shepherd's Shades (Brown Sheep) - My new favorite yarn! 100% mothproof wool; 6 ply, making it extremely squishy in it's finished piece; available in an amazing palette of blendable colors, making it a great choice for projects that call for gradients, contrasting colors, or have a monochromatic pattern worked into their design; felts beautifully; 3.5 oz/ 131 yds.
Sisa (Mirasol) - Fair Trade yarn made in Peru; 60 wool/ 40 alpaca; chain plied and "blooms" when blocked. 50g / 137 yds; available in a number of deep jewel tones and neutrals.
Sulka (Mirasol) - Fair Trade yarn made in Peru; 60 wool/ 20 alpaca / 20 silk; single ply with amazing sheen, thanks to the silk; many of the colors will play tricks on you and change in different lighting; 50g / 54 yds.
Supreme (Wendy) - 100% mercerized cotton! 100g/ 90 yds. Currently 30% off (in stock only)!
We have fewer yarns in the Super Bulky category, but there are a few.
Bear Creek (Kraemer) - This loose wool single plied yarn is wrapped with nylon, 99 wool / 1 nylon; it's available in many more colors than we have in stock; 7 oz/ 130 yds.
Burly Spun (Brown Sheep) - 100% wool; single ply; a customer favorite; 8 oz / 132 yds.
Lariat (Imperial) - This 2 ply yarn looks like wool rope, but unlike rope, it's very squishy; 4 oz / 60 yds.
Perfection Super Bulky (Kraemer) - This is a super bulky version of their popular Perfection line; machine washable; 70 acrylic / 30 wool; 5.25 oz / 90 yds.
Ushya (Mirasol) - Fair Trade yarn made in Peru that is chain plied; 98 wool / 2 polyamide; 3.52 oz / 114 yds.
I hope you noticed the yardage of these yarns, because while it is true that bulky yarns work up fast, there often isn't much yardage in a ball or skein - so if you project is larger than a scarf or hat, you will likely need more than a skein or two. Also, just because they work up fast, doesn't mean they are necessarily easier to work with; the larger needle or hook sizes required to get nice stitches can sometimes be more difficult to work with if you have problems with arthritis or muscle cramps.
But don't let that stop you from experimenting with these yarns! I've made cowls with Florafil, Shepherd's Shades, and Ushya; bags with Lamb's Pride (Felted) and Florafil; sweaters with American Lamb, Lamb's Pride Superwash, and Sisa; hats and scarves with just about all of them; and currently have a few in project bags.