Let’s talk about some Mad Tosh.
We’ll start with semantics, to get them out of the way.
This yarn Madelinetosh Pashmina, a 75/15/10 Merino, Cashmere, Nylon (typically called an MCN base) in the colorway Citrus. The skein is 360 yards of sport weight yarn, with a typical retail cost of around $35.
Yeah, you read that right, $35.
Now, I’m not usually the type to spend that much on a single skein of wool. I understand that for Cashmere, that is probably a pretty good price, and that there is definitely yarn out there that is far more expensive. Unfortunately, it’s just a little out of my price range. I was only able to get this skein because it was on sale at my LYS.
Despite its rampant popularity among knitters, this yarn was my first time using anything by Madelinetosh, so I’m went into this blind. And I may have ruined myself for all of her other yarn, because this stuff was heavenly to work with, and I will always be making comparisons.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Let’s start with color. This is not a color I would typically be drawn to, except that my friend, Taylor, loves orange. Like seriously loves it. It’s her favorite color. So when I saw this beauty sitting on the sale table, I knew I had to have it for her.
This shawl was Taylor’s birthday present this year, but I snagged some photos of it before I wrapped it up to give to her. (Hopefully she doesn’t mind me modeling it, but the lighting was too gorgeous for me to pass up. And I had just bought new lipstick I wanted to try out. Perfect storm really. Sorry Taylor!)
I got tons of comments on this while I was knitting it. The color really is stunning, and by the time I finished knitting this shawl I realized I was going to have a tough time giving it up!
The only bad thing about the color, I’d say, is that it bled a little while I was knitting it. Nothing too drastic, but I had orange stains on my fingers from where the yarn passes as I feed it. It was honestly pretty entertaining to see how orange I could get my fingers (more knitting that day = more color!) and I wouldn’t consider it such a bad thing if I weren’t worried about it bleeding when I give it away.
I did soak it in wool wash and block it before giving it to Taylor, and the water did turn a rather bright orange, but I wouldn’t say it was any worse than many of my other projects. Hopefully all will be well.
Now, for what you’ve probably truly come here for – how did this yarn knit up?
Well I suppose I kind of spoiled this already, actually. As I said, it was heavenly.
I can absolutely see why someone would pay $35 per skein for this yarn.
The fiber never split once, no matter how much I abused it (and that was quite a lot, since this was my first ever cable pattern). It was so smooth to work with, it ran through my fingers like water, and frankly, my hands rejoiced to work with it.
While knitting, I couldn’t help but give the project a good squish every few rows. The fabric is gloriously soft and bouncy, and with a mostly garter stitch pattern, it was all I could do to get any knitting done at all when I just wanted to squish it.
Miraculously, I’d say it’s even softer once blocked. Definitely smoother. It feels very sleek and soft.
It is a cashmere base, and sport weight at that, so you can’t get too crazy with what you’re knitting here. Shawls, definitely. Maybe a hat if you reeeeally love who you’re knitting it for, or a sweater if you’re endlessly wealthy. But no socks or mittens, and it would seem like a waste on fingerless gloves or leg warmers.
So, my final verdict?
An absolute must use for any serious knitter. Maybe you won’t be making a sweater out of it, with that price tag, but certainly a shawl or two. I will definitely be picking some more up soon to knit myself a shawl as well!