Yak Yarn and Other Fun Things

yak groupEvery time I walk past the Bijou Basin booth at different markets, it catches my eye. When I was at TNNA, my friend Marly (who also designed that Sweetheart Tunic that I like so much out of Bijou Basin Yak Bamboo) raved about this yarn, so this time I didn’t just walk by – I stopped in to chat. After learning more about it and handling the luscious yarn, I ordered it for us.

yakbabyYak yarn – do you know anything about it? It’s considered one of the most luxurious yarns around. It’s warmer than wool and extremely durable. It’s completely odorless (no wet wool odor when you wash it – I liked that), doesn’t shed, and is hypo-allergenic and non-irritating, as it contains no animal oils or residues. Yaks produce two different kinds of hair. The outer hair is the guard hair, which is longer, courser and stronger. These are carded, spun and braided into ropes and halters, or woven into durable rugs and bags. The second hair is the DSC03395undercoat, or “down hair”. The yaks produce this in the wintertime and it is an incredible insulator. This down is what they use to make yak yarn. Are you wondering how they collect it? The yaks get combed in the spring. And the Bijou Basin people say that the yaks like to be combed! (What a job to put on a resume – “Yak Comber”.) The fact that this is collected in the spring by hand, makes this one of the rarer luxury yarns, which is reflected in the price. It’s not going to be for everyone, but I know that some of you will jump on it and will love it. Personally, I’m looking forward to having an incredibly warm pair of socks out of it. I knit this first sock out of the Tibetan Dream Sock Yarn, which is made from 85% Yak and 15% nylon for strength and elasticity. (The pattern is Elongated Corded Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks. I did 56 stitches on a size 1 needle. Plenty of yarn in 1 skein for my size 11 socks.) We have added in three of their yarn lines and patterns to go with them, to begin with. Photos used from the Bijou Basin website with permission.

DSC03392In other news, today is Elf Lori’s first day. She looks happy about that, doesn’t she? We’re glad to have her here! And did you catch tonight’s update? Besides the Bijou Basin, we also added:

* Needle Food (new indie dyer from New Zealand)
* Fiberphile (new Merino /Cashmere/ Nylon base)
* Kollage Luscious (wool-free, just cotton and nylon)
* Alpaca With a Twist Baby (5 new colors for us)
* String Theory (Caper and Blue Stocking)
* Dream in Color (Smooshy and Classy re-stocks)
* Numma Numma (The Special).

* Kollage square needles (in circs and DPN’s)
*  Various knitting accessories
*  Patterns (some new, some re-stocks) from: Knitspot, Samantha Roshak, and Knitting Pure and Simple.

Remember last week when I said we were buried in yarn deliveries? There was so much that we had to save some of it for next week. That just gives you more to look forward to!

(Look – Loopy made the Fetching Tags Blog. Now that he has been featured on someone else’s blog, he thinks he’s famous. He’ll be hard to live with tomorrow. Sometimes he gets The Big Head.)

Sheri whothinksbabyyaksarereallycute


  1. I succumbed to the yarn in September. I finished the two color cabled hat right before Christmas and plan on making the matching fingerless mitts with the leftovers. Although I will likely make the hands dark rather than white. It’s so very warm and soft.

  2. I love Little Loopy’s tag. Maybe you can sell it at the shop for us? And he is right to be Big Headed, he is in the living room of half the population of America, he travels everywhere and gets treated like a king, best food, sightseeing, tours, first class hotels…and he knows he is famous. Even my husband that can not see the difference between DPN and circulars knows who is Little Loopy.
    Great update today, I love the yak yarn and keep thinking about it….. Thank you for everything.

  3. I have knitted with Yak yarn and it is delightful. My husband has a lovely pair o Yak socks, which he reserves for the coldest days. He loves them.

  4. I did a test knit for a friend of mine with the Bijoux Basin yak yarn, and it was reeeeally nice. I definitely recommend that people give it a try!

  5. YAK COMBER!!!! Something else to add to my list of things I need to do so I can add them to my resume. It’ll go somewhere around sheep shearer and puppeteer. Just don’t tell BFF Liz. She gets upset every time something gets added to that list. 😉 Meanwhile, in honor of my Kevin Spacey fandom, I may need to get some of that yak yarn. To tide me over until I can get to Tibet and learn to comb one.

    Welcome, Lori!!!

  6. Yay! Lori will make an excellent elf. I can’t wait to see you both in a few months!

    In honor of Lori’s new ‘elf status’, we may have to upgrade our room…. do they have a penthouse suite at the Sheraton? LOL!

  7. Yak yarn! Sounds good to me. We are having a cold winter here…Lori looks very happy to be an elf! (And why not? I’d like ot be an elf, too!)

  8. I’m going to have to agree, they are adorable!! I’m looking forward to trying it out in the future but, er…the hubbs thinks I ought to knit with some of the yarn I’ve just recently purchased. Harumph. Who has time to knit I ask you?

  9. Welcome, Elf Lori! Can’t wait to meet you at Fling! And that baby yak is adorable. I want to pet him! And then knit him. 🙂

  10. I’ve never tried yak yarn, though I felt it at Sock Summit. Amazing stuff, as are yaks. One of my most vivid memories of Tibet (where I was lucky enough to visit in 1995) was watching a field of yaks, with their bells tinkling softly as they moved. Lovely.

  11. Thanks for bringing in the Luscious yarn. I love knitting and wearing cotton blend yarns. It will be nice to have some for spring. Also, I need to move out to the country so I can have a pet yak.

  12. Yeah for Yaks! I have been wanting to try it ever since I saw an episode of Dirty Jobs where Mike was a yak comber!! Also made me want to take up yak ranching but that’s for another day… Can’t wait to pick some up on my next Loopy order. =)

  13. Dear Loopy,

    I like your tag very much. Mine says “Love Magnet.” My pack has been fans of Fetching Tags for years.

    Best wishes,
    Viva (canine sidekick of Kathryn-in-Minnesota)

  14. Holy cow. The Bijou Basin folks are right down the road from me! I’ll have to check them out. Thanks for letting me know about them (I had no clue!).

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