Tag Archive | handknits

Manos del Uruguay Alma

I have a new shawl to show you, but the point of it is the yarn. A couple of months ago, Fairmount Fibers offered me a skein of the new Manos del Uruguay yarn, Alma, to review. I’m pretty sure you all know how much I love Manos yarns, so you also know I was eager to take this one for a test drive and see if it lived up to my expectations!

img_4519Alma is a single ply fingering weight yarn in 100% merino. It’s labeled superwash but they still recommend you hand wash and dry flat. The colors are all named after inspirational attitudes, like Humility, Generosity, Passion, and Sincerity. I chose Resilience to remind myself that I am resilient! Well, that and I liked the colors in the photo. They also designed the colors to pair well together, with complementary solids and multi-colors. Patience would have gone wonderfully with Resilience!

I noticed right away that Alma has the same soft fluffy feel as all the other Manos yarns I’ve used. It’s lightweight and airy, feeling almost puffy like cotton candy. It’s kind of plush, if a light fingering can feel plush. Maybe that’s partly because it’s a single ply? Whatever the reason, I love it. It felt warm and comforting in my fingers, gliding smoothly but not too hot or heavy in my lap as I knit. I chose to knit the Imagine When shawl by Joji Locatelli.

fullsizeoutput_22d7I chose this pattern because of the best part about Alma: the yardage! It’s a generous 546 yards per 100 grams, which means you have plenty of yarn to make a good-sized single-skein shawl. I knit the pattern with no modifications and ended up with six grams left. Honestly, I love everything about this yarn. It did have one knot in it, but that’s within normal standards, and it washed and blocked beautifully.

 

fullsizeoutput_22dbI’m not completely convinced I chose the right pattern to show off the yarn; I’m wondering if something more stockinette-based would have been better. But this was a fun pattern to knit — I guess I really am learning to appreciate short rows — and I loved having the yardage in one skein for a nice big shawl. The yarn retails for around $30 per skein, which I typically pay anyway for my good yarns, so I’d buy this one in a heartbeat. Especially since I can feel good about buying Manos yarns, which are hand-dyed by artisans and help support families in Uruguay! It’s available in yarn stores now, and you can find the closest one to you here, or find it online now.

Thanks so much to Stitchcraft Marketing and Fairmount Fibers, the North American distributor of Manos del Urugay, who sent me one skein of Alma (retail value: $30) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

Sun Glitter Shawl

Way back in June, I cast on a shawl for a knit-along that Under the Olive Tree Knits was hosting. It was a summer-long KAL and she’s offering the pattern free through the end of August, and there are prizes if you follow the rules found on her blog (among other places). I’d been wanting to knit this shawl anyway, and I had the prettiest skein of yarn for it, and I thought I’d have no problem finishing a one-skein shawl in two months. Well. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’ve had an eventful summer, and my knitting mojo hasn’t always been present, plus other things have taken precedence to this project. But I’m happy to report that after returning from vacation, I committed to this shawl and finished it yesterday!

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This was a fun, meditative knit. I love how she designed those lace triangle sections, and once I got the hang of the pattern, it was easy to take it with me anywhere. And the yarn is gorgeous! I love the hints of purple and yellow.

I do wish I’d checked my yardage more carefully before picking my yarn. The skein I chose was 100 grams but only 400 yards, and I ran out of yarn on the last right-side row of the lace pattern. Instead of doing several rows of garter before binding off, I just did two rows of garter and the bind-off in a complementary yarn, and I don’t even notice the slight color difference. Still, if I make it again, I’ll make sure to find a more generously sized skein.

img_8453Now I’ve got a case of finish-itis — I’m ready to pull out another shawl WIP before I cast on something new!

Pattern: Sun Glitter Shawl by Under the Olive Tree Knits

Yarn: Concorde by Less Traveled Yarn in color Lagoon

Interlude Project

Sometimes when I have several big projects on my needles, I need to cleanse my palate with a smaller project that I can get done in a few days. Sunday I cast on a new Bandana Cowl with yarn from the stash. It got off to a rough start, though, and I was afraid I’d chosen poorly.

First, I was trying to adapt a pattern meant for bulky yarn to aran weight, so I was using notes from another knitter. The first needles were too big, though, so I frogged and started over with a smaller size. I liked it enough, until I got a few rows in and saw a dropped stitch way down at the beginning. I didn’t like it enough to keep going, so I frogged again and cast on with size 8 needles, and this time it worked. Except I did drop a stitch again and had to ladder it up about five rows.

img_4664It wasn’t my favorite yarn; it was a little nubby, and thick & thin in places. It’s Skacel Urban Silk, which is 80/20 silk and cotton. It’s definitely soft, and has the lovely drape of silk, but something about it just didn’t thrill me, so I’m glad I made this with someone else in mind. Now let’s just hope she likes it!

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It’s definitely smaller and more snug than the original was intended, but it fits me well and should be perfect for the recipient. And it got two skeins of yarn out of my stash!

The Loopy Blue Socks

My socks are done! I needed mindless knitting while I watched Rafa at Wimbledon today and my sock fit the bill perfectly. All the ends have been woven in and they’re ready to be tucked away for fall.

fullsizeoutput_21b5The yarn is from The Loopy Ewe Seasonings Series in the color Kara’s Hanauama, and I loved knitting with it. It feels tightly plied, nice and sturdy, and the coordinating mini-skein was perfect for the main color.

fullsizeoutput_21b4These socks took me exactly a month to make, and I used exactly half of the main color, so I’m totally going to make a pair of shorties from the rest. And now I’m left with four shawls in my WIPs. I’m thinking I need to add some variety in there! More socks??

All the Shawls

Well, it didn’t take me long to accrue a nice collection of WIPs! Somehow I’ve ended up with four shawls on my needles, all fingering weight one-skein projects. That really is my favorite type of project, apart from socks, of course. My newest shawl is using Joji Locatelli’s pattern Imagine When and a gorgeous new skein of Manos del Uruguay. It’s a new yarn called Alma and my color is called Resistance.

img_4519I cast on two days ago and I’m ready to start section four of six. Of course, the last three sections are quite a bit bigger than the first three, but still, it’s going quickly. And darned if I’m not starting to like short rows! They’re not as fiddly as they used to be, and the wedges they can create are super fun.

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The picots on the side are fun too! I like doing picots better this way than in a picot bindoff for sure. This is shaping up to be an addictive knit!

A Summer KAL

Ever since I finished my Fade shawl, I’ve had a marvelous time knitting on other things. I’ve got a pair of socks almost done, I made some progress on my Pride shawl, and I’ve cast on two new shawls. One of them is a fun summer KAL for Under the Olive Tree Knits, a one-skein shawl pattern named the Sun Glitter Shawl. I picked out some new-ish yarn from my stash, Less Traveled Concorde in Lagoon, and have been loving this pattern!

img_4592It’s going smoothly and quickly and I think blocking is going to make a huge difference, opening up the mesh triangles a lot. You need around 400 yards of fingering weight, and the pattern is free through August, so check it out if you want to play along!

DONE. And I mean it this time.

I finished the Find Your Fade shawl last night, for real this time. Like I’m really happy with how it turned out! I did the last section with Color D and even though these aren’t my favorite colors, I think it’s quite attractive.

img_4510It’s also super hard to photograph, since it’s so huge! But I got the nice triangular shape I was wanting, and a lovely drape, and now I’m just crossing my fingers that she likes it and that it will keep her warm in her cold office.

Knitting this shawl is kind of like childbirth, for me at least. While you’re doing it, you’re like OMG will this never end this isn’t fun argh! But then it’s done and it’s really cool and you’re proud of what you made, and you want to do it again.

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So yeah, I’m pretty sure a purple version is in my future. Someday. Just not yet. I need a few one-skein projects to cleanse my palate first!

Pattern: Find Your Fade  by Andrea Mowry.

Yarn: Butter Sock by Bumblebee Acres Farm in a GOT Lannister-themed fade set. (They have some AMAZING Harry Potter yarns now that I’m drooling over!)