Yarn Review: Malabrigo Rios

February 18, 2013 at 6:51 pm Leave a comment


Here at Polkadotsheep, we recently added Malabrigo Rios to our stock of Malabrigo Yarns. I was thrilled. I had heard and read such wonderful things about Rios that I could not wait to get my hands on some to knit. Now that I have, I wanted to share my thoughts with you.

As you would expect from Malabrigo, Rios is soft and squishy when it is knit up. It is a 4 ply merino yarn that is also superwash. Fun fact: The 4 plies in Rios stand for the 4 main rivers in Uruguay. I knit my hat up on US 5 needles (for hat band) and US 7 needles for body of hat and bow. I was able to knit without looking at my needles much especially in the body of the hat. Once in a while, I would catch a ply with my needle, nothing unusual. The feel of the yarn through the hands  is a bit “cottony” and smooth. I think that cottony feel has to do with Rios being superwash treated.

The fabric is fairly stiff on the US 5 needles even in the 1×1 ribbing. The reason I used this needle size is based upon the knowledge that superwash wool has a tendency to stretch out more and I wanted the hat band to stay nice and tight. The gauge of the hat body when washed and blocked is 4.5 stitches per inch. This is a perfect gauge for Rios in my opinion. Part of my motivation for this hat as my initial Rios project was to use it as a gauge swatch for another project I have in mind for my daughter.


The colors of Rios are more vivid compared with Malabrigo Worsted. The reason for this is that superwash wool yarn takes the dye differently. As you can see in the picture of my hat, the stitch definition of Rios is incredible. So stitch patterns are going to pop.

All in all, Rios is a great addition to your stash, especially if you are looking for a superwash wool yarn, hand dyed colors and a great price. I am planning a sweater for my daughter in the same color of  the hat. The hat is actually for my mother in law but modeled by my daughter. But don’t think only kids, Rios is a great yarn for nearly any type of project requiring a worsted weight yarn. Being plied, it is less likely to pill with wear and the superwash wool makes care easier if you aren’t into hand washing. Think cables and textures, Rios will make the stitches shine.

Can’t wait to get some Rios for yourself…Buy it using this handy little button!

buy now button

If you interesting in the pattern for this hat, it is actually Aimee’s Quick and Easy Hats for the Whole Family pattern with some modifications. I shared the modifications on my Ravelry project page, Nan’s Violet Slouch.

Bow Instructions

Large Rectangle: Cast on 9 st, knit 36 rows in garter stitch, Bind off all stitches and weave in your ends.
Small Strip: Cast on 5 stitches , knit in stockinette stitch for 12 rows. Bind off all stitches leaving a long tail for sewing.
Wrap small strip around the center of large rectangle pinching it slightly in the center. Stitch two ends of small strip together using the yarn tail.
Stitch bow down to side of the hat in desired location.

I already have another hat cast on out of Rios, a chemo hat for a friend’s mother. After reading up on what patients desire in chemo hats, I decide being washable, softness and warmth of Rios was a perfect fit. I am not sure when my daughter’s Rios project will be cast on but I am looking forward to lots of knitting enjoyment.

As a side note: I mentioned on Facebook that this color reminded me of my paternal grandmother and her African violets. Someone else shared that it reminded them of African violets too and bought some in memory of their grandmother. I thought that was so lovely.

Happy Knitting!

~Angela M.


Entry filed under: Featured, Yarn. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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