It is amazing how many different fibers can create yarn. When I decided to start writing about features and effects of various yarns, I don’t think I was fully aware how great the diversity was. One of these unique fibers is yak.
Bijou Basin Ranch, Bijou Spun Himalayan Trail yarn has one of the highest quality of yak down that I have found in a yarn. It is comprised of 75% Yak Down, and 25% Superfine Merino, and I can testify that it feels like luxury. The skein is 2oz in weight with 200 yards of yarn, making it a fine weight yarn (also recognized as a #2 weight).
Yak is probably not a fiber that most crocheters have had the pleasure to work with, one of these reasons is that it is not readily available everywhere, and the other is it usually falls into a price point that discourages some. Yak is a very soft fiber, it has a fine micron count, meaning that the individual fibers are very thin. The finer the micron count the softer the fiber. This fiber is not only soft, it is warm. If there is any doubt to its warmth, this fiber is the undercoat of a large mammal that lives in the high country of the Himalayan Mountains, where weather is cold and draining. This is the fiber that keeps these animals warm.
Collection of Yak fibers is typically labor intensive, as it is usually collected after it is shed from the animal, these animals are not sheared, but in some cases maybe combed to collect the shed fibers. This is one of the primary reasons for the cost factor of the yarn, the supply of yak is not easy to obtain and thus not overly plentiful.
This fiber is then paired with just a bit of superfine Merino, another fiber of fine micron count, this helps to add a bit more stability to the overall yarn while still keeping with the very soft and almost pillowy feel of the yarn. The four plies of this yarn are smooth and consistent resulting in a yarn with very little halo, and a much defined smooth tubular yarn that enables great stitch definition.
I think this yummy yarn would look excellent in some cables, or texture stitches, as well as great with defined open work. One skein can easily create a hat or scarf, possibly even a short pair of fingerless gloves. If you have the opportunity to treat yourself a bit, do not hesitate to try Himalayan Trail, you will be glad you did.