Way back in the early days of my design career, Malabrigo offered a cotton-based yarn. I was so excited to try out this “famous” brand to see what all the hype was about that I submitted my proposal and waited. Then the news came, they decided to discontinue that base… so I’d have to wait, but not too long, I discovered Mora soon after. If memory serves, it was an Aran weight cotton. Flash forward to 2019 and word on the street, Malabrigo was bringing back a cotton-based yarn!! Shortly after its official launch, they were kind enough to send me a skein for this review.
Introducing, Malabrigo Verano
Verano is available in 32 shades. Most are tonal gradients with a few speckled and a couple of solid options. Given the nature of the dye process they recommend purchasing sufficient for your project as each dye lot is slightly different and within each dye lot there is some variation from skein to skein.
Verano translates from Spanish into “summer” or “summertime” and Malabrigo sees this new base filling out their catalogue for summer knits. However, it double knits beautifully (just wait… pattern coming in November), so I think perhaps it has year round potential!
There was less than a 10% change between unwashed and washed swatches on all needles sizes – US 5 through US 9. Indeed, most were even less than 5% change. The least change on stitches occurred on US 7, where there was a 0% pre to post wash difference and a 1% change in the rows. The least change on rows occurred on US 5, where there was a 0% pre to post wash difference and a 2% change to sts.
Stockinette, seed, ribbing, cables, lace, and textured combinations were swatched. Of those, Stockinette, seed, ribbing, cables, and lace all looked beautiful. On the textured pattern tried there was some stitch distortion on the plain stitches either side of the texture. This may not be the case for all textured patterns, as ribbing did not show this, but only heavily worked… the texture was a kyok / p3tog repeat with plain stitches in between.
I personally loved the seed stitch on this yarn. Part of the beautiful gentle variegation in the color really made the seed visually interesting!
• SOFT! This cotton has the softest pima touch.
• HALO! Finally, a cotton with a halo! Which I think is what contributes to the overall softness
• COLOR! Malabrigo offers a beautiful range (with lots of blues 😉 ). I particularly love how the tonal variegation lends interest to the stitches.
• Pima, not organic. Yes, Peruvian Pima is traditionally grown without pesticides making it eco, but I’d love to see the certification or at least a disclaimer that the yarn they source is grown in the traditional method.
• DK/ Worsted classification… I would have loved to see Malabrigo spend a bit more time working with the mill to either fluff it up to a Worsted or slim it down to a DK. From my experimentation, it’s much closer to a DK as I compared it to other DKs in my stash.
• Another mill issue, I’ve used three skeins thus far and one had a mid-skein knot.
Like Mora from Malabrigo, Verano gains its eco value from the socially responsible and environmentally friendly production process Malabrigo yarns employs. The family owned company is committed to sustainability through solar power heating, low water use, consciously using as few chemicals as possible, using renewable wood pellets, and meeting Oeko-Tex 1907/2006 CE standards. Read more on their about page here.
8 out of 10 1 point off for the DK/ Worsted classification. 1 point off for knots.
Allergy warning: Malabrigo DOES use whatever yarn when tying up their skeins (so it may be cotton or it may be a completely different fiber – wool, alpaca, silk, polyester… anything they sell) so check to make sure it isn’t a fiber you are allergic to and if it is ask someone else to remove the ties or wear protective gear. I then tie with scrap cotton and wash.