What’s the fuss…Malabrigo

This is another project from Cascade, this time from “220 Projects from Cascade 220.” Cute idea for a book. Not too many of the 220 projects in that book have captured my interest, but this is an interesting twist on an old idea: “Spiral Rib Hat” by Mary Lou Egan. I’m the only one who has knitted it and posted it on Ravelry. It deserves more attention. The top of the cap, in particular, renders the swirl quite nicely.

But, what you may notice most is that it isn’t knit in Cascade 220. From the look of it, there is no mistaking that this is not Cascade 220. And from the feel of it, there is no mistaking it for Cascade 220. If someone handed this cap to you in the dark, on a moonless night on Hillman’s Long Lake, you would know for sure it’s not Cascade 220. And you would not want to give this cap back. I’m also a big fan of Cascade 220, so I’ll just leave it at that.

This is Malabrigo merino worsted, in the sapphire-magenta colorway. I’d never heard of the yarn until I learned about it from other Ravelers. As of today, there are 48,706 projects knitted of it and posted on Ravelry. It’s currently stashed by Ravelers, awaiting project production, 29,962 times. In fact, there is only one yarn that has been used more often in Ravelry projects. Yes, that would be Cascade 220 wool. That’s been knitted up in 55,793 projects so far.

So, what’s the fuss? Malabrigo merino worsted feels like a cloud would feel if someone spun it into yarn. The yarn is kettle-dyed pure merino from a small family-run company in Uruguay. That’s their story, anyway, and I’m not gonna question it. It is wonderful yarn, for sure. Maybe that small Uruguayan family adds mass quantities of Downy Fabric softener into their sheep’s breakfast. At a minimum, their kids must be deployed to assure that the family sheep never roll in thistles.

If you have an “eek–not wool–wool makes me itch” person in your vicinity, try this yarn. The stuff will make a believer out of them.

3 thoughts on “What’s the fuss…Malabrigo

  1. aha! in my madelinetosh myopia, i’d somehow missed hearing about this yarn until yesterday. i queued a sweater that was shown in this yarn, in a gorgeous persimmon color, so i started hunting for it. now i’ll hunt more vigorously, what a great recommendation you gave it!

  2. Love this post – I can see the sheep slurping up the Downy with their breakfast. 🙂 Cute!

    Going to go put this hat in my queue. Dang it just realized I don’t have the book though. I may have to remedy that. I have looked at that book, and it is a neat one.

  3. @ Christina…The 220 Knits in Cascade 220, where this pattern appears, is the older Cascade book that came out in 2005. It’s published by Montat Publishing. It’s an interesting effort. Many of the 220 patterns (some of which are just variations on a theme) are by “Urban Tribal Wear Designs.” I wasn’t familiar at all with them until this book. There are also a number of patterns by Mary Lou Egan, Elizabeth Wellenstein, Patti Pierce Stone and Mary McSweeny.

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