Naturally, reviewing yarns is fun because it’s really kind of an excuse to try a bunch of new yarns (and feel a little less bad about buying so much). Additionally, part of the fun of shopping online for yarn is trying to find more “obscure” brands of yarn to try every now and then. In reality i’m sure the brands aren’t really that obscure, but some of them don’t seem to be as well known in the US.
One of the brands that I happened upon while browsing Wool Warehouse (aka my equivalent of a beauty blogger going to Sephora), was King Cole. One of the first things that made me develop a serious yarn crush on King Cole Yarn is their color options. Does anyone else sometimes feel like you just keep seeing the same yarn colors over and over again? It makes it that much more of an amazing moment when you see a yarn color that stops you in your tracks.
But also can we take a second to fan girl about these color options?? I love pretty much all of these but specifically, I need some Carnation, Seaweed, and Seaspray in my life as soon as possible.
This is also only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their colors too, because these are only for this yarn. They have so many more beautiful colors in their different yarn styles (all of which i’m sure I will get my hands on sooner or later to review)
So who is this company that makes so many amazing colors??
King Cole has actually been around since 1935! They are a UK based company and although I don’t know what their following is like in Europe, they definitely seem to be super underrated here in the US! I have seen a couple of well known designers use King Cole yarns, but in my opinion the community should be talking about them way more.
While their website doesn’t have too much information on the company, one thing that sticks out is their dedication to charity. For every purchase of a King Cole Pattern, a donation is made to The Pink Ribbon Foundation, an organization that dedicates their time to Breast Cancer Research, Additionally, they have been running “Knit a Pudsey Bear” for 12 years, where 100% of all proceeds made from the pattern for a Pudsey Bear goes to the BBC Foundation for Children in Need!
While larger companies being active in charities isn’t necessarily anything new, it is something that I have not really seen from companies and brands within the fiber community. Although some brands do sponsor and encourage customers to participate in annual fundraisers for certain charities, I have yet to see any companies have a charitable commitment that is always active. So personally I think it is very admirable that King Cole has chosen to have the company be constantly active with charities!
If you want to find out more about the company, check out some of their social media accounts!
Now, let’s get into the actual review of the Big Value Chunky Yarn! As listed below, this time around I tried to control myself and only purchased one color of this yarn. This is also the only yarn I have purchased from King Cole as of yet, as you will see, I only have good things to say about this yarn, so I intend to try many more in the future.
Colors Purchased: Spice (3282)
Material: 100% Acrylic
Length: 1 Skein = Approximately 166 Yards (152 Meters)
Recommended Hook Size: You may notice that King Cole is a very knitting oriented brand, so they do not actually have a recommended hook size. However, although this yarn is categorized as Chunky, it isn’t super so honestly I think it could be used with a pretty wide range of hook sizes depending on the type of garment you are making and what kind of tension you would like. Though I would say you probably couldn’t go smaller than a 5mm hook.
Recommended Needle Size: 6mm
While I do really enjoy this yarn, I will admit that there is nothing overly remarkable about the texture. It is very soft and bouncy, but I wouldn’t say that it out performs other chunky yarns that you may have tried such as Loops and Threads Charisma yarn, but I would say that it is more or less on the same level.
The main difference between this and something like Charisma is that it is a little bit airier and bouncier. One of the first yarns I was using the most when I began crocheting was Charisma, and as I started experimenting with new yarns, I began to notice how stiff it could be. The Big Value Chunky doesn’t have a very stiff quality too it, which could be that it is very close to being a worsted weight for a “chunky” yarn in my opinion.
Because chunky yarns so often go on to become scarves, cowls, and sweaters, it is important to note that this yarn is not itchy! Always an exciting moment when you find a yarn that you love that also isn’t itchy. It is unfortunately the name of the game when buying yarns online, that you never know what you are going to get in terms of texture, but that is why I’m here to give you the 411 and take the risk out of it!
Due to the fact that I only purchased one color, I feel like I can’t give as comprehensive of a color match review as I would like. However, based on the color that I purchased, I can report back that the color was almost a perfect match.
As I swooned about earlier, there were many beautiful colors to choose from, but as it was Fall when I made this purchase, I ended up going for “Spice”. A gorgeous golden burnt rusty orange, how could I say no??
If my experience with this one color were to speak for all of the color options, my consensus would be that the colors shown online are a little bit more vibrant than they are in real life.
For “Spice” in particular the color, in my opinion, looks more vibrantly orange, while the skeins I received leaned more toward a golden orange. By no means would I say that there is an incredibly drastic difference, but just take note that their may be a slight difference in the vibrance of the color in real life.
Overall, this is a very easy yarn to work with! Because 100% acrylic yarns usually have a slightly gritty texture to them, the way this yarn seems to be spun allows it to keep all of the fiber strands together, making it so that the strands don’t split easily when working it.
The lack of splitting strands really allows for a nice smooth glide on the hook which is always nice!
I would say the only semi negative thing I noticed is that, because of the gritty texture of the acrylic, if you do have to frog any of your work, it will occasionally get caught on other stitches and snag a little bit. Although I didn’t have this issue every time I frogged, it is something that I noticed could happen from time to time.
As of now, I have completed one project with this yarn, for “The Harvest Sweater” (pictured below). As mentioned earlier, this yarn doesn’t have a stiff quality to it (although I do suppose it depends on what hook size you use), so it has a very pleasant drape for a chunky yarn!
# of Skeins Used: 2 for a size Small
Hook Size Used: 10mm
As to be expected with, I guess really most yarns haha, the finished garment can get a little bit toasty sometimes. I used a 10mm hook to create this design which helped create more spacing between stitches and allowed it to be a little more breathable, but rest assured this yarn will definitely keep you nice and warm if that is what you are looking for!
This could also have to do with the fact that I used such a large hook for the project, but this sweater came out very stretchy, not in an uncomfortable way, but if you wanted to make a more form fitting sweater, I don’t think this yarn would have a problem with stretch.
As you may know, I am always on the lookout for a bargain, so when I had already fallen in love with the color selection and saw that each skein was under $3 (currently $2.76 on Wool Warehouse), I was pretty instantly sold.
Now of course affordability is always going to be a personal opinion based on the person making the purchase. Although it is probably possible to find a similar quality and weight yarn for a little but cheaper, the main case I would make for this yarn really is the unique color selection.
Personally, I am at the point where if I go to a Michael or Joann, I’m really not wow’ed by many of the color options I see anymore. I think that a lot of the colors that are offered in this yarn style are unique enough to be worth the extra cost. (but again maybe that is just me haha)
Where to Buy King Cole big Value Chunky?
When you go to the King Cole Website, there is an option to find a physical carrier closest to you. When I went to this section, I was expecting it to just be a standard option where you put in your zip code and they show you on a map, what is closest to you. For whatever reason, that is not the method they use. However, when you enter your information, they will email you a list of retailers that are closest to you.
Because they seem to not have a huge presence in the US, it would seem that the best option may be to purchase online. There seems to be a few online retailers than carry this yarn as well as other King Cole products.
The first two are Wise Badger and Deramores. As of now, I have not yet tried (or heard of to be honest haha) either of these retailers. From looking at their websites for a little bit, I can say that they are also European based, but appear to have pretty affordable shipping rates, so perhaps I shall give them a try soon!
However the third option is Wool Warehouse, which I definitely have the most experience with and highly recommend.
I have used Wool warehouse quite a few times to purchase yarns that I can’t find elsewhere. They have a very diverse collection of yarns that I had never even heard of before I started exploring their site. You may notice that Wool Warehouse is based in the UK, so when you go on the website it will usually automatically have everything priced in pounds (there is an option to get approximate US Dollar amounts, but if you checkout with it in pounds, your bank will do the conversion for you and it usually doesn’t end up being too much more than the amount you saw in pounds, but if you are concerned make sure to check the conversion rate before you purchase!).
They do ship to almost anywhere in the world and have the most reasonable shipping rates that I have seen from an out of country retailer (I think it was only $4 for shipping to the US for over 60 Balls of Cotton, which I have seen other retailers require up to $30 for shipping like that). With that being said, they have a disclaimer stating that international shipping can take up to 2 weeks or even longer. Personally I haven’t waited more than a week each time I have ordered from them. This last time I only waited about 4 days, so waiting 2 weeks is not always a given if you are concerned about that. Although you should note that if you are ordering from another country, they do not always provide a tracking number.
While there may not be anything particularly outstanding about the composition of the yarn, I do really enjoy all of the general qualities of this yarn. If you can’t tell by now, the real selling point for me is the color options, so I can definitely see myself reaching for this over other brands in the future if I plan on using a chunky yarn.
I really look forward to testing out more King Cole yarns in the future!