Yarn Profile: Baruffa Maratona
That's because it's spun in the "cable" style. Six smaller, tightly spun two-ply strands are spun together to form the main strand. The end result looks much like a cable, hence the term.
Unlike cabled cotton, which holds a tighter shape with less spring and flexibility, this yarn is soft and lose, making the strands harder to manage. In fact, I wanted to give up entirely, but I persevered, and things got a little easier.
Word to the wise: If you use dull-tipped needles, you'll have an easier time managing your strands and not snagging others by mistake.
Blocking / Washing
I saw no color fading, but the stitches had expanded by about five percent. Definitely keep this in mind when you size your garment.
Once dry, the fabric was distinctively lighter, flatter, and softer, losing just a bit of its elasticity in the process.
I was a bit surprised by the extent of pilling after so short a time. For that reason, I wouldn't recommend it for any items that will get heavy wear. Then again, at $7.20 a skein, this isn't the kind of yarn you'd use for just any project.
If you like the cabled look of Maratona but are on a strict budget or want more durability, you might want to switch to cotton and try Tahki's Cotton Classic instead. It comes in 137 colors, is only $3.99 a skein, and looks very similar -- although, of course, you're losing the luxuriousness of Merino.
I don't want to lose any new knitters, so I can't recommend Maratona for beginner projects. However, if you have a few projects under your belt and are ready for a little challenge, this yarn would do nicely.
The reward for your hard work? A soft, lightweight fabric that's ideal for late spring and early fall sweaters -- or winter sweaters for our readers in warmer climates.
Previous reader comments
"I was surprised by the review. I've knitted with this yarn several times and never had it "split" on me...in fact, the cable-ply held up perfectly. One thing I don't love though is the yarn is so fine and silky the resulting garments can stretch quite a bit." knitterati, 11/1/2001
"Maratona has been around for a long time. I remember working on a project
with it in the eighties that I gave up on -- and it wasn't cheap in the
eighties either. I thought at the time it was because my sweater was black
and dark yarn is difficult to knit -- but now that I read your review I
remeber how much it split. It was beautifully soft, though."
"i was surprised to read the reviews on maratona. i knit a couple of
cowls - on red, one black - in the late '80s. loved working with it.
and they have worn beautifully! they have only gotten softer with wear."
"I used Maratona for one of my first projects . . . I thought it was nice
to work with . . . I really liked the sweater that resulted . . .
Unfortunatly . . . So did the moths . . . When I first moved to the desert
we had moths and I had a heck of a time getting rid of them . . . This was
the only sweater they got though! I will (and have) used Maratona for a
number of projects . . . It does pill a bit so I'm selective on what I use
it for though . . ."
Zegna Baruffa / Lane Borgosesia
100% extra fine Merino
20 sts over 4 inches using 5.5mm (US 9) needles
Average retail price
Weight/Yardage per Skein
1.75 oz./121 yards
Country of Origin
Manufacturer's suggested wash method
Handwash in lukewarm water using mild soap. Dry flat, low iron if necessary.