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New yarn from Manos!

Manos del Uruguay is one of my favorite brands, has been for a while now. I’ve used the Maxima and Alegria with great success. Their colors are gorgeous, the yarn is soft and wears well, and it’s all certified Fair Trade. Plus the yarns are made by artisans in cooperatives located throughout Uruguay, and each skein is signed, so you know who made your yarn and which village it came from. That makes it so much more personal for me, and I feel like I’m doing a good deed just by buying yarn.

So, when given the opportunity to review a new yarn from Manos, of course I jumped at the chance. Feliz is 70% superwash merino, 30% modal. Modal is a man-made fiber from vegetal pulp, and I was familiar with it from my past life in retail: I knew it was smooth and had fantastic drape. I could only imagine it would be equally delightful in yarn. It’s available in several of the gorgeous Manos hand-dyed colorways; I chose Wildflowers.

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Doesn’t it make you swoon? Yum, it does me! I cast on almost as soon as they sent it to me! It’s listed as DK on Ravelry, and has about 350 yards per 100g skein. Fairmount Fibers, their North American distributor, was generous enough to send me two skeins. I selected a pattern called Late Harvest, which was written for a different sport weight Manos yarn. It has a really unusual slip stitch pattern.

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Guys, I love this yarn. It felt like premium merino, all bouncy and supple, but even smoother, almost silky. There’s almost a hint of a sheen to the yarn. I didn’t have any issues with splitting, and it tinked back nicely when I made the inevitable mistake.

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It was a happy yarn for me, a happy knit. It felt soft and comforting in my hands, it slid smoothly on the needles, and the colors were perfect for the pattern. I keep coming back to the smoothness, because honestly, I prefer that to the fuzziness you get with some yarns. I can’t wait to see how it wears long-term, because if it doesn’t fuzz and pill as much as all-merino yarns, it will make some truly fantastic sweaters! Plus, I’m sensitive to some wools against my skin, and this feels like a yarn I might be able to wear without a layer underneath.

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Even though it’s mostly superwash merino, it does say to hand wash, which I did. It blocked out beautifully without much work, and the water was still clear after the soak, so the dyes didn’t bleed. I didn’t even pin it, just laid it out and nudged the edges into the shape I wanted, and now I’ve got a big, gorgeous shawl that will go with so many things. You can see my Ravelry project page here.

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You can see Feliz in all the pretty colors on their website, including their special 50th anniversary color, Cincuenta. It looks like Feliz sells for around $26 a skein, which seems perfectly reasonable to me. I’m happy to pay that for yarn that looks good, feels good, and helps women support their families!

Many thanks to Stitchcraft Marketing and Fairmount Fibers, who generously sent me two skeins of Manos del Uruguay Feliz (retail value $52) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

More new projects?

Well, clearly I don’t respect my own limits. Or maybe subconsciously I do and they’re not as low as I thought they were. Despite my whining about feeling overwhelmed by WIPs the other day, I have added more to my queue. One is a sock but that’s totally justifiable: I needed a simple travel project for car/concert knitting. And I had beautiful new sock yarn calling my name.

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This is Hedgehog Fibres Sock in the color Gossip. Love it! After the boy’s band concert, I have a good two inches of leg past the cuff, but it got too dark to take another photo.

Okay, the sock is understandable. But apparently I have also agreed to make two cowls…before Christmas…as gifts…for a friend to give. But hear me out: I like this person a lot, and I like to help my friends, and I like it when people like my knitting enough to ask me to make things for them. Plus, I like it when they’re willing to pay me to make said things!! So, two cowls are on the list. They’re bulky weight and it’s baby alpaca which means they’ll be fast, fun knits for me. Right? Right. Thank goodness it’s Friday so I can get to knitting ASAP! Anyone else taking on last-minute gift knitting?

What’s that yarn??

I’ve had a lot of questions about the new project I shared in an earlier post. I wasn’t thinking clearly, or else I would have included the details of course! Both yarns are from Manos del Uruguay, and they’re my newest review project.

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The solid is Fino in the color Peacock Plume, and it’s an extrafine merino/silk blend. I’ve used it once before and it’s heavenly. It’s paired with Cabrito, a laceweight kid mohair blend, in the color Locura Fluo. Now imagine merino, silk, and mohair all in one project, and you know why I’m obsessed with this project right now!

The Cabrito is 230 yards and Fino is 490, but I really wanted to knit them together for maximum coziness. I decided the two held together could be close to a DK, so I chose a simple shawl pattern called Orbit. I’ve made one before and wear it all the time, so I knew it was a good pattern choice. I’ve been tired in the evenings so I’m not getting a ton of knitting done but here’s where I am so far.

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This one’s not going to linger on my needles, I can tell already!

Too much knitting?

Is that a thing?? I’m afraid it is–I have something like six WIPs and there are at least three more floating around in my head and I feel like there are some I’m forgetting that I’m supposed to make and AAAAHHH! Knitting is supposed to be my therapy, not my stressor! I don’t really even understand why I feel like this, because I can sit down and plan out my projects, the timeline of gifts and review projects, and it’s fine. I’m doing fine. But for whatever reason, my head feels full and it’s like I’m not staying on top of my knitting.

I don’t like associating that feeling with knitting. But I’m not sure how to fix it. One thing that seems to help is finishing projects, so I probably should focus on that before casting on anything else. Yesterday I finished a sock, one of a pair I started about three months ago, and that’s a long time for a sock for me.

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They’re fraternal twins and the feet aren’t the same length but I love the colors and they fit and feel good on my feet today so that’s a win. Now to finish the other sock project that’s been lingering for months!

Weekend Highlights

Did I mention the girl is home for winter break? She got back in town Friday night…and drove straight to her old high school to see her friends in a choir concert. The next night she went to another concert. But we got a little bit of visiting in there too, and yesterday she spent the whole day with us. It was a pretty good weekend, I have to say.

Friday night and Saturday had a lot of pupper time while knitting, which is the best, plus I finished my Growing Leaves cowl and pinned it out to dry. Hope it blocks out nicely!

Sunday, we drove to Weston, MO, a cute little town with a great downtown. We had lunch at our favorite cafe (but our favorite waitress wasn’t there) and we went to the yarn store (which was CLOSED). But at least we bought fudge and saw Father Christmas. And I was so disappointed about the yarn store that my people took me to Yarn Social again to see the Treasure Goddess‘s trunk show so I got new yarn anyway, haha! I even ran into a local Instagram friend there!

I finished the weekend with a family viewing of The Santa Clause and casting on a new project, which I already love.

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I hope you all had an equally lovely weekend!

How do you wash your socks?

Okay, for those of you who may not know, I have dogs. Three dogs. Three large dogs that go outside and inside and outside many times a day.

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Grace, Duncan, Jack

I also like to knit more than I like to clean house. Those two things mean that my socks typically have quite a bit of dog hair attached after I’ve worn them, and hand washing them in Eucalan just doesn’t feel like it’s getting them clean. So now that I’m down to my last clean pair of handknit socks, I’m asking for advice: how do you care for your socks? Do you hand wash? Machine wash on delicate? Lay flat or put in the dryer? What’s been successful for you?

On my needles this weekend is a new cowl, called the Growing Leaves cowl. I spotted the yarn in my stash recently and it immediately made me think of a work friend. I could make her a gift, I thought! Well, it’s a lace cowl in fingering weight yarn and I have other projects calling my name too, so it might not get done by Christmas. But since she has no idea it exists, I think I’m okay.

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And the best news of the day?? The girl comes home tonight for winter break! That’s almost a whole month we’ll have her home! Maybe I’ll even get her to sit and knit with me one evening! I bet if I share some good yarn with her, it’ll happen, don’t you think?

Happy Friday, friends!

Not much knitting

There is little knitting happening so far this week. I had to finish a book for book group (City of Thieves by David Benioff, VERY good!) and last night had a fancy work dinner for the husband. So basically all I’ve been able to work on is my easy lunch break sock knitting. I’ve got one Felici Goth Kitty sock done:

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And I just started the heel on the second yesterday, so a new pair of socks is in my future. If I don’t get distracted by holiday stuff, that is. It is also the time of year that my craft room becomes a wrapping station.

q5QQRiQmQQWBbLZutb9WAgI set up the extra folding table and put out boxes, paper, tags and markers, and it makes wrapping gifts so much easier. At least it does when I don’t borrow the table to block my knitting!