For the record, I think I’m partially recovered from Spinzilla. At least in terms of catching up on sleep, not so much in terms of my back. I promised last post to talk this week about what I finished so here we go! This is part review/part what I spun.
Review of Malabrigo Nube
I love Malabrigo. It was one of the first yarns I knit with and I still love it. Their merino is soft and squishy and their dyeing is exquisite. I received 4 ounces of the Nube, which is 100% merino, in a swap and it was likely from one of their first batches. The colorway is Indecita, which is a nice blend of vivid purples, blues and greens. I thought I was going to love their fiber.
All that said, I think they need to work on their spinning fiber. There are some wonderful qualities about this fiber and I understand from reviews on Ravelry some of the problems I experienced may have been addressed but this is not something I would work with again.
First problem – the dye did not saturate all the way through. When you pull open the braid there is white on the inside. Stark white. So when you draft and spin it lightens the dyed colors to a pastel. Of course you can’t tell its like this until you open up the fiber and start drafting which I doubt your spinning shop is going to let you do. At any rate, I’m not a big pastel fan but I can always overdye.
The second issue is the biggie. This fiber was compacted like I had never experienced before. Based on reviews and comments online, this is common problem. I first tried opening of the top by teasing it apart perpendicular to the top with my hands. Even after that I could place my hands ten inches apart (so certainly much longer than any staple length) and it took a lot of force and tugging to draft the fiber apart. Then I switched to splitting the top into narrow strips which also took a fair amount of time. All in I spent hours (like a whole afternoon) predrafting this fiber.
When spinning I frequently had to stop and use both hands to pull apart small sections. With all the starting and stopping and little slubs the yarn is uneven and not what I had hoped for. Don’t get me wrong, it is still the squishy merino we all know and love. But, the time it took to get there just wasn’t worth it for me. I understand from online reviews that some of the more recent batches may have improved.
Once I realized the extent of the drafting issues I decided I want to do a 3-ply in hopes the plies would lie against each other. You can read in the prior post my, ahem, issues with 3-ply. After plying, I had 262 yards in 3.8 ounces and it was solidly a worsted weight yarn. I love the squishyness but may overdye it to be a bit darker. At this point I’m thinking a medium blue since that would tie with the purple and green.
Has anyone bought this fiber recently and started spinning it? Has the fiber improved?