Rowan Polar vs Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky

Rowan Polar was a very popular single ply bulky weight yarn which was discontinued over a year ago. There is always someone looking for a Polar Alternative. Including me. Valley Yarns are a new range of yarns from the people at, their Berkshire Bulky yarn is also single ply and has a similar fiber content. Here’s how they match up:

Knitted Up

Rowan Polar

Rowan Polar

Berkshire Berkeley

Berkshire Bulky

Fiber Content

Polar – 60% pure new wool, 30% alpaca & 10% acrylic

Berkshire – 85% Wool, 15% Alpaca

Feels Like

Polar – Soft and fluffy, but a bit scratchy

Berkshire – Soft and smooth, but a bit scratchy


Polar – Tons of loft, in fact it has an almost mohair like fuzz.

Berkshire – It does have a halo of alpaca fibers, but mostly it’s a tightly wound yarn


Polar – This yarn does not pill, although the alpaca fibers do get matted if you felt it.

Berkshire – Difficult to tell, my instinct tells me that this yarn would pill, but it’s not one of those yarns that pills as you’re knitting it.

Other Observations

I knitted both these swatches on 6.5mm needles and as you can see from the photos the Polar looks a bit cramped. There doesn’t seem to be much difference in the weight, but I think the fuzz on the polar is so substantial that it makes the stitches a little wonky.



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2 responses to “Rowan Polar vs Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky

  1. julia

    loft is an excellent word to have learnt, i will try & incorporate it somewhere.

    • nattyknitter

      I would feel honoured.

      For some reason it always reminds me of Hugh Lofting, who of course, wrote Doctor Doolittle. Which then brings me back to talking alpacas and Bob’s your uncle I’ve done some circular thinking.

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