Koigu Merino
Baruffa Maratona

Yarn Profile: Koigu Merino

First Impressions
Maie Landra does for this fingering-weight merino what Colinette does for bulky. Originally from Estonia but now residing in Canada, Landra and her family named this yarn and her company after her family farm back in Estonia.

The depth and variety of colors in these handpainted yarns is hard to describe, and even color cards don't do the 61 color varieties full justice. The fiber is fine merino, tightly spun into a springy two-ply yarn.

Knitting Up
Despite its finer gauge, Koigu Premium Merino knits up quickly and with no problems. The stitches appear even and consistent, which isn't always easy with fingering/light sportweight yarns.

Let me say, again, how stunning her handpainted colors are. While knitting it up I could see how the fiber absorbed more of the color -- or at least it gave that appearance -- at the juncture of the two plies. The overall effect is a tight yarn with a rippled look to it.

Blocking / Washing
Normally, such intensely colored hand-painted yarns release at least a hint of color. Yet with the Koigu I was surprised to see no bleeding or color fading whatsoever.

As with previous merinos we've reviewed (Jo Sharp in particular), the swatches softened and relaxed considerably after just the first wash. There was no change in gauge, but the stitches definitely lost their sharpness.

As I put them through the stress test, the swatch surfaces took on a layer of fuzz that made them appear slightly faded, although they in fact weren't. Only after significant rubbing did they begin to show signs of pilling, and even then it was still subtle.

Don't be put off by the finer gauge of this yarn. I'm a notorious bulk-aholic, but even I enjoyed working with this. It's easy to handle, presents no extra challenge, feels good in your hands, and the colors are so vibrant that they alleviate any boredom that could arise from having to knit many more stitches per inch.

If the color combinations are too wild for you—and they can be quite loud at times—Landra also offers 33 solid colors.

This yarn would make a fantastic scarf or socks for the beginner, because the colors will do all the work. Landra also offers several knitwear designs for this yarn, including a Toreador jacket that would provide an exquisite challenge for any intermediate or advanced knitter.

Reader Comments
"I knit my socks in Koigu on 1s or 0s. I don't consider myself a particularly loose knitter. I've found that these socks have worn like iron. I haven't developed any holes and I do machine wash and dry them (first time by mistake and then, after no problems, on purpose)." ahaydel, 11/2/02

"Love Koigu, beautiful yarn. Have made a sweater & 2 vests with it. BUT, made a beautiful pair of socks and after not too many wearings developed holes in the heels. Lesson learned: must reinforce heel w/some nylon content in future!!!" ruthieknits, 10/8/2001

"I used it for the second pair of socks I ever knit. While the shop recommended 2 needles, they didn't have them so I used three and they are fine. Would like to find 2s because then I think they would fit me as opposed to my boyfriend." wendalia, 11/30/00

"I used Koigu Painter's Palette to knit a pair of socks for my 18 year old daughter. I loved knitting with this yarn and would not hesitate to use it again. The hand was buttery and the colors were gorgeous, making the entire knitting experience truly enjoyable. I did not find any breaks, nubs or any other problems with the skeins. I knitted it at 7 st/in on US 2's. At this gauge, 2 skeins made a pair of large ladies socks that were soft, pliable yet firm and strong. In other words, just right!" gehling, 12/01/00

"Koigu PPPM is pretty much the finest yarn in the knitting world. Maie and Taiu's colors ARE the finest anywhere. If everyone else went out of business, and left only Koigu, I'd be happy. It's also the world's best yarn for crocheted garments. I have accidently machine washed one Koigu garment (don't go running out to do this to your Koigu) with no apparent harm!" KHMerrick, 12/07/00

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