Rio de la Plata Sock
Rio de la Plata actually offers this yarn in four different colorways. The multicolor is what you see here, and it consists of three plies of three different multicolored strands. You can also get the yarn in solid colors, which have a kettle-dyed Malabrigo appearance to them; a multi-solid, which is made of three plies of different solid colors; and artista, which has gentle two-tone coloring, often against a backdrop of bare undyed white fiber.
I've seen mention of a Merino version of Rio de la Plata Sock yarn, so please be aware that the yarn in this review is not labeled as Merino and behaves much more like a longer wool such as Peruvian Highland wool. By touch, it is definitely soft enough for socks, but with a longer staple length that makes it much more durable. I pulled out a few fibers that measured between four and five inches, which is perfect for socks.
News flash! I've just been notified by Rio de la Plata that the skein they sent me was, indeed, Merino. I stand corrected!
The yarn knits up very easily. It didn't snag or split or otherwise misbehave, and it hugged both the needles and my hand so I was able to maintain even tension almost effortlessly. I only encountered one knot in my skein.
One inevitable truth about intensely multicolored yarns, however, is that each color tends to lose its independence when knit up. What looks striking on the skein becomes quieter, more muted and blended in the knitted fabric. And that's exactly what happened with my skein and sample sock. The colors produced gentle stripes that will be wider and thinner on an adult-sized sock (the sample is much smaller in circumference, which impacts the color repeats).
Blocking / Washing
The label is very explicit that, although this is a superwash wool yarn, you must avoid washing it in water temperatures above 86F/30C. I put my little mini-sock in the washing machine with a load of towels and it survived fine in a cold wash and low dry cycle.
In terms of wear and tear, my swatch did gradually develop more of a halo along the fabric surface—especially after that trip through the washing machine. That halo grew and gradually gathered together in pill-like wisps, but only after quite a bit of sustained friction. If you tend to be rough on socks, I would recommend adding a fine strand of nylon to the heel and toe as you work it.
In terms of what to do with this yarn, obviously socks are at the top of the list. If you planned your usage carefully, you could probably get a medium woman's sock and a child's sock out of one skein. Keep in mind that the multicolor and multisolids will quiet down when you knit them, giving a somewhat muted colorway that is ideal for men's socks.
I'd also love to experiment with knitted lace using one of the solid colors—the idea being that the kettle-dyed effect would benefit from having a larger surface on which it can play itself out. Because the yarn was somewhat quick to show its age under duress, I'd choose patterns that don't require months and months to complete, or more elaborate projects that won't be subject to vigorous wear.
Rio de la Plata Sock
Rio de la Plata
24-32 sts per 4 inches (10cm) on US 1-3 needles (2.25-3.25mm)
Average retail price
Where to buy online
see the Rio de la Plata list of stores
Weight/yardage per skein
3.5oz / 437 yards
Country of origin
Manufacturer's suggested wash method
Machine wash gentle cycle max 86F/30C or cold only. Machine dry gentle cycle only. No iron, bleach or dry clean. If you do not have any of the settings above you must hand wash and lay flat to dry.
Color used in review
Rio de la Plata