Three Things

ONE

Just looks at this:

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I hate to bring this up, but we live in C-A-L-I-F-O-R-N-I-A. The long wet walk up to the showers this morning was reminiscent of life in the Pacific Northwest. Um, we moved for a reason. Hellooooo . . .

TWO

Miss Thang is D-O-N-E:

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I don’t have all the ‘luxuries’ of life on land — like a steam iron — so normal blocking is out for me. Our wardrobe consists of jeans, lots of T-shirts and a couple ‘iron-y’ items. A page taken out of the pioneer women’s playbook gave me guidance on how to iron without an iron.

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A little water and a hot kettle of water. I misted down Miss Thang but good, laid placed her on a towel, covered her with said towel and set a couple of full and boiling kettles of water on the areas that need serious ‘pressing’. Worked like a charm!

Except for Miss Thang herself:

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She looks tons better than she did — I think, in no small measure, because I did some tugging and gentle yanking adjusting before I blocked her. The foot’s still a little wonky but not bad enough to worry about (that’s growth for ya, people!).

BTW, if you’ll recall I had started Miss Thang on straights and was coerced by my friend Miri into working in the round. I frogged the 5″ I’d knit up and recast on. I’m thrilled THRILLED with how the sides look. No lumpy ugly seam, just lovely little decreases. I read too late that when switching from straights to circulars you should eliminate the one extra stitch on each side. So there are two stitches right up each side but I don’t think it’s even noticable.

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And FYI, if you’re thinking of making the XS size of Miss Thang, the pattern calls for three balls of yarn. This is what was left of ball two:

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Anyone in need of one full ball of 80% pima cotton/20% merino (Cascade Sierra) in Coal?

THREE

Time for the Malabrigo vs. Faux-Malabrigo fight for the Worsted Weight Championship. Here are our two competitors — Malabrigo is dressed in Emerald and Faux is in Pearl Ten. And there’s the bell!

I finally got a chance to run to the not-so-LYS to pick up a skein of Malabrigo. I’d hoped to get one in the Pearl Ten colorway to match the Faux but I was skunked. Instead, I bought this lovely sea-green color (that in no way resembles emeralds) to make a hat for Hubbo. He has the most beautiful sea-green eyes and this color will match them perfectly (sigh) . . .

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The two fierce yarns step into the middle of the ring, nose to nose. They circle each other before Malabrigo throws the first punch. It’s clear the champ is soft but he’s up to the challenge.

First of all, you can immediately tell the difference between the yarn just by picking them up. Faux is soft, but definitely not as soft as Malabrigo. Malabrigo is like petting cotton balls — ahhhh . . . Faux is like stroking, well, nice soft yarn. You can even see the difference in the photo. It looks like the green yarn is slightly out of focus, doesn’t it? Nope. That’s the Malabrigo being all soft and hazy.

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Faux can’t take the onslaught and hugs the champ, who shakes off the stall. He’s confident he’ll win the battle. The fight rages on, each gaining the upper hand and then losing it. Soon, they’re both at the end of their ropes.

The Faux has more definition and, surprisingly, more sheen glow luster. It’s hard to take a photo of the Faux that’s accurate because it reflects a lot of light. It’s also just a skosh heavier, though I’d be surprised if that affected gauge significantly. You can clearly see that both yarns are spun in a single ply.

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The bout is so close, the judges have to call the fight. And the winner is:

MALABRIGO by a hair!

The Malabrigo is the hands-down, without-a-doubt, slap-me-and-call-me-Sally winner in the ‘Soft’ category. And at $11 (from my not-so-LYS) for a 215-yd hank, quite a good value.

But the difference in softness isn’t tremendous, just noticeable. Someone compared Faux to Manos crossed with Noro. I’m not a fan of Noro, so I’m not sure about that but I will say, Faux is definitely softer than Manos. I’d say that Faux falls somewhere in between Malabrigo and Manos on the softness scale.

Faux’s hanks are 155 each and you buy them in lots of three for about $17, totaling roughly 465 yards. That’s significantly cheaper than Malabrigo (by over 25%) and for that kind of savings, I won’t hesitate to buy it again for larger projects. But for hats and scarves, I think I’d have to go for the real thing.

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A Geranio-colored hat for me!

Ed. Note: Someone asked about Serendipity’s merino wool compared to Malabrigo. Maybe I missed it but it appears they only sell merino in bulky weight. I did buy a skein of it too and, while it’s softer than the Faux, it’s still not quite as plush as Malabrigo. Maybe it has something to do with the fact it’s multi-ply and Malabrigo is single ply (again, note how the Malabrigo looks slightly out of focus next to the sharply focused bulky merino). I dunno, just my completely unscientific, slightly twisted observation.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Three Things

  1. Kathi (across the bay)

    Well now, looks like California to me. Oh, when you moved they must have advertised Sunny California. That’s about another 500 miles down the coast.

  2. Oh so funny! I spent yesterday in the yarn shop with various skeins of malabrigo on my head trying to figure out a good color for a hat. They should have mirrors in yarn stores for the very reason- I think the shop ladies were starting to get peeved.

  3. margie

    I also knit and sail- 23 foot woodie. Sailing SF Bay inspires one to knit- we need WARM SOCKS. One of the hardest things about owning a boat for me is recruiting and keeping Good Crew. I am currently going bananas because I am doing an event this weekend and can’t get anyone to help me sail the boat back!

  4. Hi there!
    I came across your blog when browsing the Stich n/ Bitch forum and saw what you did with the Mud Flap Girl tank top on circular needles. Beautiful work, by the way. I was wondering if I could as you a quick question… I’m currently working this on straights for myself but my best friend wants me to do one for her as well and I know it will work up so much faster on circulars. However, I haven’t a clue how to convert the pattern. Can you help? It looks like you posted this message on your blog sometime last year, but I was wondering if you could remember that far back and give me some tips?

    Let me know if you can and feel free to shoot me an email.

    I love your blog, BTW… I live off the Gulf Coast of Florida and I am SO jealous of your sailboat lifestyle! Wow! What I wouldn’t do to trade places with you! I’m a writer and a knitting addict and I secretly fantasize of living on a boat (preferably a yacht, with a full time chef – less work for me) while I travel the world, writing my novels and knitting!!

    A girl can dream, right?!

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