Plush and squeezable, the wool of prized Merino sheep makes a popular type of yarn that is simply a pleasure to touch. It is particularly well suited to creating blankets and cozy wearables and accessories like sweaters and hats. And in heavier weights, it also knits up really quickly. Whether you are new to needlecraft or a seasoned blanket maker, our picks will help you find your next go-to chunky merino wool.
1. Malabrigo Rasta Yarn
Malabrigo, a family-owned company, produces yarn you want to show off. Skeins are lovingly hand-dyed in lots of five, resulting in fibers with distinct colorways. The final, single-ply products are super squishy and free of knots; you’ll feel like you’re knitting with light marshmallow. The yarns, sold in 90-yard skeins, also have a slightly felted finish, which helps keep fingers together while making the yarn look fuller.
2. Sugar Bush Yarn Extra Bulky Weight
While slightly denser and heavier than Malabrigo’s Rasta yarn, this option is a close substitute, with an ultra-plush, chunky body. Milled in Italy from extra-fine merino, these skeins come in solid colors, making them an excellent option for staple cold-weather projects. While hand-dyed yarns show a special touch, these offer convenience in consistency, as it’s easy to pick up several skeins of the exact same colors. Because these skeins hold a relatively small amount of yarn—just 52 yards—this is the best choice for small projects; otherwise, your work can get pretty pricey.
3. Glaciart One Merino Wool
For felting projects, try this unspun roving wool. Each package includes 20 pieces of roving in different colors, from cotton candy pink to forest green. Each is about 21 microns thick—fine, but not incredibly fine—and has a satisfying airiness. While luxurious to the touch, it is not overly silky and is easy to needle felt. You can also try wet felting this wool, although it’s best to use the darker colors for this, as bright ones may bleed during the process.
4. Manos Del Uruguay Franca
This is a pricey yarn, but you get a lot of yardage per skein so you don’t have to buy too many at once. The quality is also well worth it. Hand-dyed by artisans from fair trade women’s co-ops in Uruguay, the skeins boast beautiful, variegated tones, so each stitch is special. Your creations will provide warmth without scratchiness—while standing out as statement pieces to boot. What’s more, this wool is washable in a gentle cold cycle.
5. Living Dreams Air Merino Yarn
Make the merino throw of your dreams with this super bulky yarn, which is incredibly lofty and exquisitely soft. Too bulky for arm knitting, it must be worked with large needles or hooks, but—as its name suggests—it still feels like you’re knitting air. This yarn is also ethically made, having been sourced from flocks in Australia that are not subject to the painful Mules operation to remove extra skin.