I don’t think that I have kept many secrets about my favorites; in needles, notions, techniques or yarns.
When it comes to hand-dyed yarns in particular, Koigu Wool Designs, out of Ontario, has long been a favorite of mine. Over the years Taiu Landra and her company have added other weights and fibres to the collection of yarns that they create; this year they blew me away with the addition of Koigu Lace Merino.
The construction of the yarn is very similar to their original Koigu KPPPM. A soft, bouncy 2-ply with lots of body and a great knitting hand. Koigu Lace is about half the weight of the original Koigu – almost 300yds instead of the original 175yds, making it not quite a true “lace” weight. It is lighter than a 3-ply, fine enough to create the airy feel of lace yarns and OH!! how it knits!
The rounded plied construction gives this yarn fabulous stitch definition. Details are crisp and the stitches are very well-defined. Texture stands out and the fabric created is bouncy and giving; and it feels almost cotton smooth to the hand. Once blocked the fabric keeps its shape well and drapes like a dream.
Koigu Lace Merino has just gone to the top of my list for wool laceweights. I have just finished one project, started a second – Belle Fleur – and I am planning a third, one that combines Koigu and Koigu Lace. A knitters work is never done!
Remember the two weeks of exhilaration and exhaustion? Well, I was working on a shawl for Koigu Book # 6, working with the Koigu Lace. This was something of a “Dream Knit” – creating lace with one of my favorite yarns for publication. My vision exceeded my time frame and so I was frantically knitting, hence the exhilaration and exhaustion; just wait until you see the shawl.
I used mesh lace to “float” solid portions of knitting throughout the shawl. The shawl is oval and uses some unique construction techniques to make the oval shape. This moves the colours in interesting ways through the shawl. The colours and shapes blended to create a wonderful “Tapestry” of texture.
Designing lace for hand-dyed yarns can be challenging – it requires thought and careful planning. The wonderful colours of hand-dyed yarns can sometimes obscure the beautiful openwork patterns that lace knitting creates. But when designed with care the results can be spectacular and well worth the effort.
Many hand-dyers have started creating more tonal dyes. These are easier to knit lace with and the results are more predicable. Sometimes we need to know the results will be what we expect!
Koigu has kept true to its colour roots and created a palate of colours to please us all with a range that covers both dark and light, intense colouring and soft effects. Koigu Lace has about 6 tonals and 15 colourways in its introductory 21 colour palette.