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Malabrigo Rios is a super-duper soft, machine washable yarn made from 100% merino wool. It’s hand dyed for subtle variations. Great for anyone and any project except felting (it will not felt). Especially suitable for babies, kids and men.

  • 100% Machine Washable Merino Wool (superwash)
  • 100g/192m (200 yds)
  • Aran weight
  • 18 sts & 24 rows = 4″/10cm
  • 5mm/US8 needles
  • Made in Uruguay
  • Pattern Ideas

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Father Cables

Sometimes when I’m in need of inspiration instead of browsing patterns on Ravelry I take a stroll through Projects. Sometimes things look different in a darker or lighter colour, a different type of texture or a different type of dye. Father Cables by Panoramka immediately caught my eye.


  • Malabrigo Rios: 1(1, 1, 2) skeins (shown in colour 69 Pearl Ten)
  • 3.75mm/US5-16″ circular needles
  • 4.5mm/US7-16″ circular needles
  • 4.5mm/US7 double pointed needles
  • cable needle
  • tapestry/darning needle
  • FREE Pattern 


  • S/M Fitted (S/M Slouch, L Fitted, L Slouch)
  • S/M to Fit Head: 19”-21”
  • L to Fit Head: 21”-23”





Is it going to be warm? Is it going to be cold? I can’t tell anymore! I’ve been wearing shawls around the store lately, but I feel like I’d like something with a *touch* more structure, a little more style. After an exhaustive search, I’ve settled on Maeve, a shrug with a modern cable detail and little sleevettes.

The pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn, but after looking at the tension, needle size and finished projects I’d say it’s more like a DK weight like Mineville Merino DK or Cascade 220 Superwash Sport. If you want to go up to a light worsted weight yarn like Cascade 220Cascade 220 Superwash, or Malabrigo Rios, go up a needle size to a 4mm/US6 or 4.5mm/US7 needle (test your tension and see how you like the fabric). I think I just want something simple and heathered, I’ll probably just use

I like heathers and tweeds, and since my Maeve will be worn a lot I need it to wear well. I think I’ll use a basic staple yarn like Cascade 220 Heathers – sometimes it’s best to keep things simple and not overthink it. I’ll probably make a smaller size, it;s a very unstructured garment and the dimensions of this type of style are generous.

Mini Knit Hack

Sometimes I like the feel of a yarn once the project has been blocked, but not so much in the skein when it’s straight off the shelf.  If you don’t love the feel of your yarn in the skein, you can soften it up by washing it before you start knitting.

  • If your yarn is not already in a skein wind it up around the backs of a couple of chairs,  or on a  swift (if you have one).
  • With scrap yarn, secure the skeins in at least 4 sections (to keep the yarn from getting tangled while being washed).
  • Wash skeined yarn in Eucalan no-rinse delicate wash (it is very easy, see instructions on the bottle/youtube/their website). Add a quarter cup of white vinegar to the water to stabilize the colour.
  • Hang yarn to dry.
  • Wind yarn into balls or cakes.

Yarn Options

Other Materials

  • Pattern
  • 3.75mm/US5 – 29″ circular needles (or longer)
  • 3.75mm/US5 double pointed needles
  • tapestry/darning needle

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There’s something about chilly weather that makes me crave the cozy warmth of a swancho. Too unstructured to be a sweater, but more interesting than a poncho, it’s a Swancho!  Wear a swancho with jeans, tights, a skirt – really anything you like. I love the styling of Blish by mega designer Norah Gaugan – she’s great!

You can make it in cheap ‘n cheerful Cascade 220 Heathers or Berroco Vintage, or upgrade to a hand dyed merino like Malabrigo Rios or Malabrigo Merino Worsted. For a really marled look (two colours blended in a tweedy look like in the pattern picture) you can also hold 2 strands of a finer yarn together, like Madeline Tosh Merino Light, Manos Alegria, Malabrigo Mechita, or  Malabrigo Lace Baby Merino ( you’ll need about 950(1070, 1300, 1430, 1550) metres of each colour). Cascade 220 Heathers also comes in a marled grey colourway #9402.

If you don’t care for the little eyelet detail down the arms you can substitute a lifted stitch increase for the yarn-overs.

Yarn Options

Cascade 220 Heathers:  5(6, 7, 8, 8) skeins  (100% Peruvian wool)

Malabrigo Rios: 5(6, 7, 8, 8) skeins  (100% Superwash merino wool)

Malabrigo Merino Worsted: 5(6, 7, 8, 8) skeins  (100% merino wool)

Berroco Vintage: 5(6, 7, 8, 8) skeins  (Superwash wool/synthetic blend)

Other Materials

  • FREE Pattern
  • 4.5mm/US7 – 16″ circular needles
  • 3.75mm/US5 – 16″ circular needles
  • 4.5mm/US7 – 29″ circular needles
  • 3.75mm/US5 – 29″ circular needles
  • 3.75mm/US5 double pointed needles
  • cable needle
  • 1 stitch marker


This garment was designed with approximately 10” of ease. Due to the dolman sleeves, the bust is very roomy, so go by the lower edge measurement when selecting your size

  • To Fit Bust Size: 30(34, 38, 42, 46, 50)”
  • Lower Edge: 40(44, 48, 52, 56, 60)”
  • Length (including collar): 26(26½, 28, 28½, 30¼, 31)”


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KNIT HACK Pattern Provenance

It has been brought to my attention that some of you are not presently aware of the powerful extras offered in Ravelry’s database of patterns. This function is extremely useful when you want to know more about how a pattern is going to work out. You can see what types of yarns people have used, how the project has knit up, and modifications people have made to their version.

Personally, I especially like to refer to a pattern’s projects when knitting a sweater, because I want to see how regular people look in it (I’m not a candidate to be a sweater model, I don’t have the requisite large square shoulders and tiny bust). If I’m substituting a yarn I like to see what kinds other people have used, and how their projects turned out. I also like to see which colours the project looks best in. The provenance (a curatorial term that refers to the physical history and background of a specific piece of art) of a pattern can be extremely helpful.

So pull up your computer  (Ravelry is better explored on a computer, the mobile site for tablets and phones has limitations) and lets take a tour!




barley 1.png1. Details Tab

We’ll start our journey with a popular pattern called Barley. When you open a pattern’s page in Ravelry you’ll find a second tier of menus at the top, aligned to the right (Details, Yarn Ideas, Projects, Ques … etc). These tabs relate exclusively to the pattern and are a source of a LOT of useful information. When you open the page you will automatically be on the DETAILS tab. This is the pattern’s main information page, and offers details entered by person/s who created the entry in Ravelry (in this instance the would be the designers, Tin Can Knits, who maintain the page).


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2. Yarn Ideas

Click on the YARN IDEAS tab (to the right of DETAILS) and behold something beautiful! The YARN IDEAS page consists of the different yarns that people have used to make this pattern. It’s a popular pattern and it’s been made many, almost 13 000 times, so there are a lot of options to browse.


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Malabrigo Rios has been used 477 times (I don’t blame them, it’s one of my favourite yarns). If you click on the picture it will take you to the yarn’s main page, which will give you lots of info about that specific yarn. Instead, let’s click on the the link below the picture “used 477 times”.


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The “used 477 times” link shows you all the projects for this pattern (Barley) that people have made with a specific yarn (Malabrigo Rios).  You can browse them all manually, flipping through the pages, or you can refine the search even more. I like to flip through the pictures to get an idea of which colours I prefer for the project.


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3. Projects

Click on the PROJECTS tab (to the right of YARN IDEAS) and you will have access to almost ALL of the projects people have made with this pattern. Sometimes a pattern hasn’t been made much, and you can flip through the pages manually. In cases like this pattern there are a lot of projects and you might want to refine your search.


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Click on the FILTER THESE PROJECTS menu tab on the left side of the screen, and a menu will drop down.


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A bunch of options will appear; I think the most useful is ALL HELPFUL PROJECTS, so click on that.


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See the little round  red and white circles (highlighted in aqua)? Those are icons of life preservers, and they let you know that someone has found the notes in that particular project helpful. The number to the right of the icon shows you the number of people who have found it helpful.


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Let’s stop for a moment and decode those little symbols in the top right corner of each project’s box. The life preservers are the most important and useful, but the others can also offer a little bit of insight. The little hearts and the number to their right refer to the number of people who have favourited this project. The little blue speech bubbles and the number to the right of them refer to the number of people who have left comments on the project. The little yellow smiley face refers to how the person who made the project feels about their own product. Judging by the amount of interest in the project above I’d say there might be some useful info in it.

We’ll meet back up with the popular project above, but let’s get back to those little life preservers! Presently, there is not a way to sort the results, putting the most helpful at the top of the search. To find the most helpful projects we have to browse through manually and search for projects with higher numbers next to their life preservers. To scroll through the pages you can click on the PAGE NUMBER at the top (just above the pictures and below all the menus and search stuff), or click on the NEXT PAGE link on the right side of the screen.


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Conveniently, you can also find the same PAGE NUMBER and NEXT PAGE links at the bottom of the page. The number of the page you are presently on is coloured white, the other pages are light green.


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Above, I’ve scrolled through a few pages (I’m on page 4) and I found a project with 13 life preservers, 55 hearts,  and 2 comments (the aforementioned popular project from before). Click on the project’s title (in the purple bubble) and lets see what’s inside ….


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Judging by the notes and the pictures, I’d say people like this project because it fits snugly; the original pattern is looser and slouchy. Like other people, I find the notes helpful, so I’m going to click on the little YES button to the right of “are these notes helpful?”, at the bottom of the screen. When you click on the YES button it adds your little life preserver and bookmarks the page for you (we’ll get back to the bookmarking at the end of the post).


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A little speech bubble pops up, asking us to highlight what was helpful. I don’t know how this actually makes Ravelry better, but it does benefit us in two ways:

  1. Ravelry ROCKS and *anything* that makes Ravelry better will benefit you!
  2. If you ever need to return to this project and seek out it’s knitterly wisdom, you will know why you were interested and exactly what you found helpful. I don’t know about you, but I’ve come to accept that I always *think* I’m going to remember, and I NEVER remember.


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Use your cursor to go over the words that you want to highlight (how this works will depend on your computer or tablet, but you just highlight or capture the words like you normally would to copy them). Once you release the cursor the words will be highlighted in yellow. There is a little “X” button at the end of each highlighted section of words. If you want to delete some highlighting just click on the“X”. 


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Back to that bookmarking … how, you say, will you ever find that project again? Good question! The helpful project is at hand in two ways, the first of which is embedded in the the original pattern’s pages. Go back to the original Pattern (Barley), click the PROJECTS tab, then click on the Filter These Projects. In the drop-down menu,  to the right of “My Helpful Projects” is a number. Click on the little box to the right of “My Helpful Projects” and ….


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… you get the projects you indicated were helpful!


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The second place your helpful pattern will pop-up is in *your* projects. Above is my own Barley project.  I made it a few years ago, but you can also create a brand new project, it doesn’t matter. Scroll down to the bottom of the project page and ….


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Ta-Da!  The project we marked as helpful is already bookmarked in our project for our edification and referencing pleasure.

So there you have it, yay for other people’s projects! There are more options in this area that you can explore, I’ve just taken you through the most useful features. Don’t be afraid to play around with the features on Ravelry, you won’t break it.



RESTOCKED Malabrigo PussyHat Fuchsia


We just received a new shipment of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in colour 93 Fuchsia for your pussyhat making pleasure. It’s actually a gorgeous colour and we regularly sell out, but there seems to have been a run on fuchsias lately ….

FREEBIE Last Minute Pussy-Cat Hat


Super Cat Hat

Just in case you left it to the last minute, here’s a pattern for a super bulky Pussy-Cat Hat. Wear your hat to a Women’s March this weekend, or just as a political statement around town. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

One skein of a super bulky weight yarn like Cascade Lana Grande or Malabrigo Rasta should do the trick, or try holding two strands of a bulky weight yarn together (like Berroco Vintage Chunky, Malabrigo Mecha, Diamond Baby Alpaca Sport).






FREEBIE Envelope Wrap


Knit Envelope Wrap

I saw this and thought of you! seriously, I thought it was cool little vesty-cardie what can be whipped up fairly quickly, and without a huge commitment. I think of them as casual projects – something not too serious or that you have to invest too much time or energy into. It’s just enough, and you get a nice garment out of it at the end! It would knit up smashingly with Cascade 220, the depth of colour and the subtle texture of Cascade 220 Heathers would lend it some extra interest (like in the picture above)


  • XS/S/M (L/XL/2XL, 3/4/5XL)
  • 28-38(40-48, 54-62) inches


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Photos: Patons