Here’s what it’s like to knit with Yak Wool from Darn Good Yarn
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Like the Gumball yarn, the Yak Wool was also put up in a hank. As I did with the Gumball, I used two chairs to slip each end of the hank over. The Yak Wool was actually easier to wind into a ball than the Gumball. I was a little surprised because I expected it to be like sheep’s wool, which has a tendency to stick to itself.
Knitting a Turquoise Yak
Speaking of sheep’s wool, I found the Yak Wool pleasantly wooly in texture while knitting. Have you ever visited a farm animal exhibit at a fair, or a petting zoo, and petted the sheep there? If so, you’ll find almost exactly that texture in Yak Wool. It has that same sort of springy, fuzzy feel to it.
I’m not sure if Yak Wool is quite as stretchy as sheep’s wool, but it had quite a bit of give to it. Like I did with the Gumball yarn, I knitted my Yak Wool swatch with ribbing, and it handled the ribbing quite well — even better than did the Gumball, not surprising since wool is a more naturally flexible fiber than is silk.
While I knitted my swatch, I considered what project I might use with the Yak Wool. I originally considered making a cowl, but after rubbing the swatch across my neck a few times, I decided it was a bit too scratchy to be worn against the skin. So a skinny scarf was also out. I didn’t think mitts would work either. I considered a hat, but I was afraid I would run out of yarn.
Using Ravelry’s pattern browser, I found several boot cuff patterns using less than 150 yards of bulky weight yarn. Eureka! I’ve been wanting to knit boot cuffs for ages, especially since I tend to buy second-hand boots in dull colors.
Unlike Gumball yarn, Yak Wool is the perfect yarn to use for a textured pattern. It shows stitch definition beautifully. While you can certainly use it in any kind of stitch pattern you might like, it will really shine when you use it for cables or any other kind of twisted or slipped stitches.
This is the pattern I used. I love this “honeycomb” pattern. I thought it would be a fun way to show off the yarn, especially in bright, cheery turquoise.
Admittedly, I did have to alter the pattern a bit (by making the last “honeycombs” a little shorter and by knitting fewer rounds of ribbing at the end). That’s because even though I chose a pattern that didn’t seem like it would use much yarn, I still used up the entire skein. In fact I ran out while I was binding off! Fortunately, I found another turquoise yarn I own that is very similar in color, and I finished binding off with that. (That will be the edge that goes inside my boots!)
I love how these turned out! The beautiful turquoise color and that delightful wooly texture looks absolutely wonderful in this stitch pattern. They really brighten up my dull boots, and with any luck we’ll have a nice cold Oklahoma winter (those do happen, sometimes), and my cuffs will help keep my legs warm.
I would absolutely buy both of these yarns again. I’d love to use a hank or two of Gumball yarn to make a cowl or shawl, and I think Yak Wool would make the world’s toastiest hat. I’d like to try some of Darn Good Yarn’s other offerings as well. I came really close to trying one of their banana fiber yarns — how fun would it be to try knitting with banana fiber? Their other recycled silk yarns look fascinating, too. And their hemp yarn sounds like a great cotton or linen alternative.
Are you looking for a new yarn experience and want to support a fantastic company with a laudable mission? If so, I highly recommend giving Darn Good Yarn a try! You can order Yak Wool here, Gumball Recycled Silk here, or any of the Darn Good Yarn lines here.