I want to be clear before diving in that this isn't a "review" of a product that was provided for reviewing purposes. I've had the great fortune of working with Malabrigo Yarn a couple of times and they have asked to used some of my patterns in promotional material in exchange for yarn - I mean - already published patters so, the work is done on my end and they use the pattern for a single event, compensating me for the use in the form of yarn. Does that make sense?
Well, the other benefit is that they let me choose the yarns and colors up to a certain weight. I saw that they had recently released Dos Tierras and it was an interesting little twisty thing made up of a 50/50 merino/alpaca blend. Here are the specs: 210 yds/100 g; 20-22 sts = 4" on US 5/6 [3.75/4 mm]; Color 052 Paris Night.
I used US 6 needles to swatch a little strip of eyelets, ribbing, cables, and dropped stitches to get a feel for how the yarn behaves. Since it is a bouncy little two ply that is made up of 4 strands - the first four plied into two strands and the two resulting strands are plied. Still with me? I was expecting some texture with this structure, but I thought the yarn would be round enough for some good stitch definition.
Honestly, I shouldn't have been surprised by the amount of bias the stockinette st and eyelet sections had (bias is the amount of slant in the fabric; it creates more of a parallelogram than a square or rectangle). It was quite slanted, probably from the way the yarn is plied. There's a whole lot of twist in one direction. However, as you can see, the bias blocked out easily enough. The ribbing and cabled section didn't have any bias and the drop stitch at the bottom was also very straight.
SO, other than the bias issue, the yarn ended up much as I had anticipated except for one thing - the cables - man, I thought the cables would pop a lot more since the yarn is fairly round and balanced looking. They just don't really sing, ya know? The ribbing looks fantastic, the eyelets and drop stitch opened nicely, and the stockinette is actually very even and neat.
I'm supposed to be taking a mini break from the book (husband's orders) until April, so my way of getting around that is swatching and writing most of the pattern out before casting on. Sometimes I can do it and sometimes I still really need to sit down and work my way through the shaping before I can put it to paper. Anyways, the point is, I think if I'm taking a break from the book patterns for a couple weeks, I'm going to whip this skein of Dos Tierras into a Pi Shawl. Is it ironic that today is Pi day? Is this leading to a mom joke? I had better quit while I'm ahead.
I'll share if and when I do finish what ever it is I'm going to make out of this little jewel.