Plymouth Yarns Boku reminds a lot of people of Noro yarn because of its gorgeous use of color changes in a woolly, self-striping yarn. The yarns can be used almost interchangeably, giving knitters an even bigger range of color and content to play with than one brand alone would.
- Content: 95 percent wool, 5 percent silk
- Yarn weight: Medium/Heavy worsted
- Gauge: Ball band says 4 stitches per inch on size 7 U.S. knitting needles; I got 16 stitches and 25 rows per 4 inches on size 7 needles (4 stitches per inch).
- Yardage: 99 yards per 50 gram ball
- Color availability: 18 multis
- Color used in swatch: 13
- Care instructions: Hand wash, dry flat.
There's something about Plymouth Yarn Boku that makes it easy to like. It could be the colors, which are somewhat muted but usually offer a palette where one color really pops.
It could be the ease of working with this self-striping yarn, which makes plain Stockinette Stitch and a simple pattern look much more interesting and chic.
Or it could be the fact that this yarn is unapologetically woolly. That makes it sound like I mean scratchy, which it is, a bit, compared to a luscious merino, for example. But what I mean is that it feels natural, rustic, like you might imagine wool to feel.
When you touch this yarn, you know it's wool. You don't really feel the influence of the silk at all, but for me, that's OK. Some people say they can feel a difference between Noro (which is 100 percent wool) and Boku, but I don't feel it.
The yarn is made up of a single ply that seems to be more tightly (or at least more regularly) wound that you'd find with Noro, making the stitches and tension nice and even throughout the swatch. The yarn is a bit messy to work with, however, as it drops a fair bit of fiber as you knit with it. There was also a bit of strawlike vegetable matter in the skein I worked with.
I've used this yarn several times and have never had a problem with splitting. Stockinette Stitch curls a bit and it is not remedied by blocking in my experience. This is a beautiful yarn for felting.
Uses for Plymouth Yarn Boku
When I look at Plymouth Boku, I think of colorful accessories like felted pillows and gigantic handbags.
When I touch it and feel that scrunchy, woolly fiber, I want to knit a big wool sweater or vest. I'd forgive the bit of scratchiness for a truly warm and beautiful garment, but sensitive types might want to stick to home decor and accessories with this yarn.
I enjoy kntting with both Boku and Noro yarns. They both employ lovely dyeing techniques that make it easy for knitters to play with color. Noro fans may like the more playful (you might call them abrupt) color changes found in that yarn, but either way you're getting lovely striping with no effort at all on your part.
If you're torn between these two yarns and price is a consideration, Boku will win. It runs about $6 a skein compared to closer to $9 for Noro (you get 10 more yards in a skein of Noro). So if you're planning a big project and need a woolly, self-striping yarn you'll probably choose this one. But you should certainly play with both and see which one you prefer if you have the means and the time for experimentation.