Thursday, November 17, 2011

Biggo Yarn Review

Biggo in Wonderland Heather
Rating: **** 4 stars  (out of 5)
Knit Picks Biggo
Content: 50% Superwash Merino Wool, 50% Nylon
Weight: Bulky weight
Yardage: 110 yards
Grams: 100 gram hank
Care: Machine Wash, Tumble dry low
Knitting Gauge: 3 – 3.75 sts = 1"
Recommended Needle Size: US 10/6mm – 11/8mm needles
Crochet Gauge: 8 – 11 sc = 4''
Recommended Hook Size: K/6.5mm – M/9mm hooks
Number of Colors: 12
Price: $8.49

Manufacturer’s Description: This super soft blend of superwash merino and nylon is plied together into a light and lofty 2-ply yarn, making Biggo the perfect choice for easy care garments and accessories. The bulky gauge will have your projects flying off your needles and hooks in no time at all! Biggo is also well suited for cozy, oversized sweaters without the time commitment of finer weight yarns. Bulky, comfy and versatile – Biggo will have you longing for chunky knits all year long.

Biggo Review
The important part first: I love it. I’m weird with bulky yarns. Some of them are just too heavy, thick, and awkward to work with. Biggo wan’t any of these things to me. Yes, it’s a large gauge yarn, but it was still light and lofty. Ever have the feeling with bulky yarn that you might actually be knitting with rope? (Lion Brand Thick & Quick anyone?) Biggo doesn’t give you this impression at all. I agree wholeheartedly with Knit Picks description of their product. It’s definitely produces a great chunky knitted fabric.

When I received my first skein of Biggo in the mail I couldn’t stop hugging it. I don’t know if my enthusiastic squishing of the yarn tangled up the hank, or if it was already a little tangled, but when I opened it up to put on the swift I had to work for a minute to get it straightened out to wind. It wasn’t hard to do, I was just a little confused at first trying to open the hank up into a smooth loop. While winding the yarn it broke once. This can be frustrating, especially with thicker yarn since knots and woven ends are more obvious in your finished project at larger gauges. 

My second skein of Biggo had absolutely no problems. No tangles and no breaks. I also didn’t use it as a teddy bear before winding it up. So, will the slight tangling and break in the first skein keep me from using this yarn again? Absolutely not! I’ve had much more expensive yarn break on me way more times. To me the way the yarn feels and knits up outweighs any problems I had. 

Bum-Diddy Hat
Knitting With Biggo
Knitting with Biggo is a little like what knitting with a cloud must be like. Maybe it’s a lack of experience with bulky yarns (because there *must* be another lofty bulky yarn out there), but I’ve never used a yarn that was this weight and had this much loft to it. 

I’m currently lusting after a cozy pullover knit from Biggo. Actually, I kind of want a sweater in every color this yarn comes in. For once a yarn line where I like more of the available colors than I don’t like! That amazes me a little. Maybe it’s because they’re heathers and not just flat colors. At any rate, there’s 12 colors in all. 3 blues (Calypso Heather, Wonderland Heather, and Sapphire Heather), brown (Reindeer Heather), a dark green (Forest Heather), pale green (Green Tea Heather), pale gray (Dove Heather), a grayish black (Asphalt Heather), 2 pinks (Dogwood Heather and Carnelian Heather), and 2 purples (Duchess Heather and Haze Heather). The color Haze is calling me particularly hard. A purple Haze sweater, how cool would that be?

If you like large gauge, quick knit projects then I’d recommend trying out this yarn. It would make great hats, mittens, scarves, afghans, pillows, sweaters, and slippers. For a single skein project try the Bum-Diddy hat, available for $2.99 from Knit Picks

Fiddle Knits Patterns Using Biggo
Bum-Diddy Hat

*The yarn in this review was received complimentary from the manufacturer for test knitting & designing purposes. Reviewer was not otherwise paid, contracted, or obligated to review the yarn or product in this review. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Introducing Polka!

Polka yarn from Fiddle Knits Fibers
There's a new yarn on the block and it's called Polka! This 2-ply superwash merino yarn is bouncy and full of life. I searched for a while looking for a fingering weight yarn with this texture and I'm so happy to have found it. The photo to the right is a closeup shot of an undyed skein of Polka. See the twist?

Because Polka is 100% merino it takes color incredibly well. Right now it's my favorite yarn to dye. As soon as possible I plan on designing something using a single skein (400 yards). Fingering weight yarns need single skein projects. It's just simply not possible to resist the temptation to buy/use hand dyed sock yarns and I, for one, don't like knitting socks. (Every time I say that I feel a little ashamed...) This means that I need other projects that can put the beauty of hand dyed fingering weight yarns to use. Shawlettes, cowls, gloves, mittens, hats, and fingerless mitts are some of my favorite things to knit and design. Polka will shortly be used for one or more of these designs. Can't wait!

Take a look at some of the colors available in Polka now:

Lady Grey (inspired by the tea) is a pale grey with orange, yellow, and lilac scattered throughout. This color is part of my new "Sip & Knit" colorway collection.
Lady Grey 
Red Rooibos, also from the Sip & Knit collection, ranges from light to dark reds and browns. I dyed this colorway after seeing a pile of loose red rooibos tea leaves.

Red Rooibos

For now Red Rooibos and lady Grey are both only available on Polka yarn. However, either colorway can be dyed to order on a different Fiddle Knits base yarn. Please keep in mind when making requests that hand dyed yarns will vary between each batch. That's the beauty!