PDA

View Full Version : Malabrigo Heresy? First LYS visits


Annyka
02-19-2007, 12:53 PM
So I went to the second of two LYS today (the first visit was on Saturday), and this shop had some Malabrigo....

I have to say I don't quite get it? :pout: :shrug:

It was soft, but not near as soft as some of the other options (and Manos del Uruguay didn't thrill me either). I'm actually glad I waited to feel it in person before ordering online.

Saturday I bought 4 balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, which I found much softer, and am making the Column of Leaves scarf (http://brookenelson.com/leafscarfpattern.html) with it. The store was Knit Picky (http://knitpickyyarns.com) in Winston-Salem, NC -- and they were amazingly nice and helpful.

At this second LYS (Knit One, Smock Too), I was pretty much ignored, even when fondling the $22 hanks of hand-dyed yarn. I ended up buying one hank of the Mountain Colors (http://www.mountaincolors.com/) "Barefoot" in the Evergreen colorway for a pair of ankle socks. (60% superwash wool, 25% mohair, 15% nylon).

Neither store had Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb or Artyarns Regal Silk, two yarns used for projects I'm considering (Big Girl Knits - Bombshell, and Annie Modesitt's corset tank (shortsleeve version)), and looking to either blow the credit card on the yarn, or find a good substitute.

Ariane100
02-19-2007, 01:15 PM
I must be a heretic too, because I agree, it's not as soft as I was thinking after reading all the mmmmm comments. Maybe you have to knit with it to fully appreciate the softness?

zkimom
02-19-2007, 01:15 PM
The obsession with Mmmmmalabrigo for me is this:

1. It is the softest 100% wool I have found

and

2. The colors are scrumptious.

I also love it because you get great yardage for the price -- twice as much as the Manos. (at least for the worsted weight.)

Mano is also 100% wool and the colors are fabulous but it is nowhere as soft as the Malabrigo.

By fondling some DB Cashmerino and then some Malabrigo, you are comparing apples to oranges.

Cashmerino is a blend of wool and cashmere and it will always feel softer.

But Cashmerino doesn't come in the kinds of colors you can get with Malabrigo or Manos and that changes the look of the garment you are making.

You can get some very lovely hand dyed Cashmere like Lobsterpot but that is very pricey.

So for the money, if you want that hand dyed varigated look and a nice soft yarn to boot, Malabrigo is the way to go.

Best,
Susan

brendajos
02-19-2007, 01:24 PM
It definitely isn't the softest I have felt. Misti Alpaca ranks higher in the softness category. I usually have to knit something in between a Misti project and a Malabrigo project so that i can learn to love malabrigo again.

But for me it is the same as mentioned above. the yardage is great, the colors are amazing (i am a color NUT), it is soft, and it is readily available to me (my LYS carries a LOT of it!)

Friskums
02-19-2007, 01:26 PM
My first Mmmm experience was fantastic. But, the second one wasn't nearly as great. Also, the ones I've felt in the stores haven't seemed as nice as the stuff I got online.

BUT... once I washed it with some wool wash, it was glorious!

There might be too much ink left from dyeing which makes it seem not as soft. Once you get rid of that, it's like buttah. :thumbsup: ;)

brendajos
02-19-2007, 01:29 PM
ooh and the two (manos and malabrigo) felt like nobody's business! I have a front load washer so felting tends to take a bit longer for me. These two felt like crazy...maybe two cycles through the machine rather than 5! :cheering:

aylaanne
02-19-2007, 02:46 PM
I've fondled the Malabrigo, but I haven't bought any yet. I have to say that I'm in love with Cascade 220, though. Very soft wool, lots of colors, felts really well, and and not so expensive! So I've been doing a lot of projects with that instead.

Jan in CA
02-19-2007, 02:51 PM
It really is personal preference.

I've never even seen, much less touched, Malabrigo. One of these days. I have used Cascade 220 and it felts great, but I gotta say I'd never wear it next to my skin.

Friskums
02-19-2007, 03:06 PM
It really is personal preference.

I've never even seen, much less touched, Malabrigo. One of these days. I have used Cascade 220 and it felts great, but I gotta say I'd never wear it next to my skin.
I agree. I have one hank of Cascade 220 that I was going to use for my mom's clogs, but didn't. I haven't made anything with it yet, because it's so rough to me that I can't imagine what to use it for. Plus, I don't think i want to knit with it. :teehee:

Jan in CA
02-19-2007, 03:08 PM
I have one hank of Cascade 220 that I was going to use for my mom's clogs, but didn't. I haven't made anything with it yet, because it's so rough to me that I can't imagine what to use it for. Plus, I don't think i want to knit with it. :teehee:

It's not bad to knit with. Go for it! ;)

Friskums
02-19-2007, 03:15 PM
Hmm, maybe I can make some felted coasters or something. As long as it's not something I'll have to wear by my skin, it should be ok. :rofl:

simplethings
02-19-2007, 03:44 PM
i'd have to agree with zkimom in saying malabrigo is super-soft when it comes to 100% wool and shouldn't be compared to blends.

i'm a huge fan of RY's cashsoft and silk wool because they're so soft, but, the addition of silk and cashmere is what makes the difference.

when it comes to just wool i think malabrigo is at the top. :happydance:

mrs desert rain
02-19-2007, 03:51 PM
I have one hank of Cascade 220 that I was going to use for my mom's clogs, but didn't. I haven't made anything with it yet, because it's so rough to me that I can't imagine what to use it for. Plus, I don't think i want to knit with it. :teehee:

It's not bad to knit with. Go for it! ;)

i just made a soaker with cascade 200 -- and it was perfectly soft for my fingers while knitting. can't beat the price and the colors!

the mmmmm is super nice, too, but i'm a manos fan.

Chrissie
02-19-2007, 03:57 PM
I love Cascade 220...I think it's nice and soft, for a plied wool. And great colors. The Malabrigo is softer and squishier, but it is one ply. Both are fabulous yarns

mwedzi
02-19-2007, 04:22 PM
You definitely do have to knit with it first before you can tell how soft it is. It has to come out of the hank and breathe a bit before it opens up. All tied up in the hank, it doesn't feel the same. As for Cashmerino, the softness comes mainly from the microfiber (acrylic) content, just like in Lion Brand's 100% microfiber yarn (what is it, can't remember name). There's barely any cashmere in Cashmerino (maybe none, if I'm remembering the scandal right). I don't like knitting with Cashmerino as much because I can still feel the acrylic-ness in it and also it is rathy splitty. On the other hand, it will not pill as much as Malabrigo (but it still will pill). I don't know, I just didn't consider the Cashmerino worth the 8 or 9 bucks they charge for it. But $12 for twice as much of hand dyed merino, absolutely.

Alpaca makes me itch, even the Misti, Plymouth, and Frog Tree. But Frog Tree's Merino yarn is pretty similar in feel to Malabrigo. And you actually get more yardage for the price, but none of it is hand-dyed.

Ingrid
02-19-2007, 05:29 PM
I wasn't super impressed with Malabrigo the first time I felt it. I, too, think it's because it's wrapped up so tightly. But knitting with it is a whole different story. I have alpaca that makes everyone sigh to touch it, but that's a whole other animal. :teehee:

nadja la claire
02-19-2007, 05:59 PM
I'm making a skirt with Malabrigo and knitting with it is pure pleasure. It's soft and it holds up very well to frogging. I like the Manos for it's colors but it's not as soft as the Mmmmmmm. Malabrigo is also less expensive than the DB. In the end it's all personal choice.

:muah: :hug:

Nadja xxx

Friskums
02-19-2007, 07:28 PM
I wasn't super impressed with Malabrigo the first time I felt it. I, too, think it's because it's wrapped up so tightly. But knitting with it is a whole different story. I have alpaca that makes everyone sigh to touch it, but that's a whole other animal. :teehee:

Alpacaaaaaa.... :drool: :drool:

Annyka
02-19-2007, 08:19 PM
There's barely any cashmere in Cashmerino (maybe none, if I'm remembering the scandal right).

Label says 55% merino wool, 33% microfibre, and 12% cashmere.

I may give Malabrigo another chance as something, not sure what yet. Might also have been they didn't have colorways that thrilled me.

mwedzi
02-19-2007, 10:54 PM
There's barely any cashmere in Cashmerino (maybe none, if I'm remembering the scandal right).

Label says 55% merino wool, 33% microfibre, and 12% cashmere.

I may give Malabrigo another chance as something, not sure what yet. Might also have been they didn't have colorways that thrilled me.

I know the label, but 12% doesn't really seem enough to me to make much of a difference. Most of the feel in this yarn is from the microfiber, and it feels more like the 100% microfiber yarn I've used than the 100% cashmere yarn I've used. The scandal I was talking about was the one about this yarn being tested and found to contain no cashmere. The test was done by Cascade Yarns and the manufacturer of the Cashmerino has denied its validity. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong about this.

knittingdoula
02-20-2007, 12:29 AM
Yes, I remember Debbie Bliss touting in her books how the Cashmerino was a "luxury mix" of wool, cashmere and microfiber. Weeeeelllll, ok. I guess. But I really don't think she's fooling anyone. Microfiber is simply another name for "not natural fiber".

It's a decent yarn, not worth the price, as another poster pointed out, though I am knitting a baby sweater with it right now, to be honest. And yes, it's a bit splitty, which bites. But overall, it's a nice yarn.

Malabrigo's feel is quite wonderful, and I like it for baby items especially. Especially since it's pure wool, and I get a bit picky about only allowing pure cotton or wool next to a baby's skin in the early months. Excellent yardage, I agree, and quite decent price. For those of you who don't like the pilling factor, check out Malabrigo's new chunky yarn. It's a plied yarn with gorgeous colorways, good yardage compared to other chunky yarns and holds up beautifully.

As for yarns that don't meet certain expectations after you've heard so much about them, I can sympathize. I had heard that everyone LOVED Socks That Rock. Everyone. People rhapsodize about it, croon songs about it, and get only long waiting lists for the STR Sock Club. Me? I took a look at it a LYS, and just couldn't get all excited about the yarn. The colorways didn't impress me at all. And I'm eager to be impressed when it comes to wool. :)

Now, Claudia Handpainted Sock Yarn, on the other hand ..... oy, that stuff is to die for, and I have the credit card receipts and attendant stash to prove it! :)

lizzitude
02-20-2007, 07:14 AM
Totally off the topic of yarn.....I too love Knit Picky - they are so nice and helpful in there. And I've had the same experience at Knit One Smock Too. I only go in there to fondle yarn in person. I would NEVER give them any of my money!

I've never used the Malabrigo, but I've knit a scarf with the Cascade 220...it's great to knit with!

sarsnake
09-21-2010, 08:26 PM
I know it's old post but I felt compelled to reply. Cashmerino has 33% of microfiber which is not natural, and definetly not luxury, and certainly not worth the price Debbie Bliss charges for it. Moreover, her yarns are made in China. And who knows what quality control they have there. I personally wouldn't knit with anything that has that high content of synthetics.

But microfiber is soft. You can't really compare yarns with different contents for softness, it's like comparing apples and oranges. Wool is never going to be as soft as microfiber, neither do you want it to be. And alpaca? totally different animal.


The colorways may not be appealing to you, but the sheer fact that it's soft (for wool) 100% wool for a decent price makes it worth knitting with. Cashmerino? A crazy mix of oddball content with 1/3 cheap chinese synthetics - all that at luxury price? No thanks.

ArtLady1981
09-24-2010, 05:18 AM
I love natural, undyed Malabrigo. It's a creamy color, and extra soft for having evaded the dying process. You do have to give it a special bath and rinse prior to blocking it, if for no other reason, to remove the "earth" that is lingering in the fibers...earth that would have been mostly removed in the dye bath.

Softness used to be my primary consideration when choosing yarn for a sweater, or really any project.

These days, I chose a yarn based on its performance. For example, Black Water Abbey yarn is not soft at all. It is 'crisp'. The full soak bath and rinse prior to blocking softens the knitted pieces a lot, however, the sweater remains crisp. But you should see how well this yarn blocks! How well it holds its shape. How nicely it pops cables and other pattern stitches. No shedding. No pilling. It renders very handsome work.

But it wouldn't be my choice for children's wear, or baby wear.

Cascade 220 is a high quality, moderately priced wool...and I've knit some real beauties with it! I am always so amazed at how even my st st looks with Cascade 220. It is an excellent yarn, and I'd recommend it to anyone! It performs so well! IMHO, excellent for children and babies. I'd call it a soft wool. Not Malabrigo soft...but soft enough!

AngelaR
09-24-2010, 08:21 AM
Malabrigo is unbelievably soft. I wash it in Woolite when I'm done, by hand, then spin it out in the washing machine. I made a cap and when it touches my ears I am in raptures. I can't wait for it to get cold again so I have an excuse to wear it all the time.