Tag Archive | Manos Del Uruguay

Review: Manos del Uruguay Alpaca Heather

A couple of months ago, Stitchcraft Marketing offered me the chance to review a new yarn from Manos del Uruguay and of course I said Absolutely! Alpaca Heather is a sport weight that’s 70% wool, 30% alpaca. It comes in 12 colors: 3 undyed colors, and 9 more overdyed with their kettle-dyed semi-solid colors. I chose Kohl, a dark gray, and Goji Berry, a dark dusty rose.

There are also six free patterns for this yarn, and I chose the Oleada Cowl. I wear cowls a lot, and chevrons and stripes are some of my favorite things to knit. The pattern was well-written and quick to knit. I memorized the pattern sequence easily and this was one of my favorite projects to knit while it was on my needles. I’d love to make it again in other colors! It sits up enough that I can burrow my chin into it, which just makes me feel extra cozy.

img_8779img_8785I love the rich colors. I love the stitch definition. It’s a dense, supple yarn. I loved how it slid across my needles, catching just enough to not be slippery. It blocked beautifully, with no bleeding of either color. I wore it around the house for a while, and it’s warm for sure. I like the drape — it has enough structure that it actually stands up enough to keep my whole neck and chin warm. I enjoyed knitting with it, but it’s the tiniest bit itchy to wear. However, I know the skin on my neck and face is sensitive, so your mileage may vary. Alpaca, in my experience at least, makes for a slightly hairier yarn than merino, giving it a fuzzy look and feel. I kept thinking I had single dog hairs trapped in the cowl, but I’m pretty sure it was (usually) the yarn. I think I’m just learning that I prefer smoother yarns, like Alma or Alegria.

img_8784I could see this being a great, warm yarn for outerwear like hats and mittens, or beautiful cabled sweaters. I might not wear it on my neck, but I’d test-drive some thick boot socks. And I love Manos for the good work they do: they’re a member of the World Fair Trade Organization, the yarns are produced by artisans in cooperatives located throughout Uruguay, and every skein helps a woman in Uruguay support her family. I’ll continue to happily buy their yarns!

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Thanks so much to Stitchcraft Marketing and Fairmount Fibers, the North American distributor of Manos del Urugay, who sent me two skeins of Alpaca Heather (retail value: $43) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

Catching Up

Okay, so the good news is things have picked up at work and I have lots to do and I like that. The bad news is that it’s pulled energy away from my knitting and blog, but hey, today I have some FOs to share!

The socks have been a WIP since mid-November, so I’m thrilled to finally get them off the needles. The pink is Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering and I really like it. It feels nice and crisp, which I like in a sock yarn. The turquoise is Knit Picks Stroll, I believe, in Razzleberry. It’s a softer yarn so it might not hold up as well, especially on the toes and heels, but it sure is cute. The other FO is my crazy Oats cowl in Manos Alegria Grande Locura Fluo. It’s badly in need of blocking but I couldn’t wait to share because I love it so much. It was a treat to knit and a treat to wear.

I finally made it to the yarn store today and got the pompom I needed. I really wasn’t going to buy yarn but she was having a singles sale, with 40% off single skeins of yarn, and what knitter can resist that? Not this one. I think I did really well though, and restrained myself to only three skeins.

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Old Rusted Chair is a new dyer to me and I’ll be casting on the pink and black tomorrow. I got lucky with the purple: there were actually two skeins left, so it might become a big shawl. I’ll ponder that. So yes, I broke my yarn fast, but I’m still ahead for the year: I’ve used up 13 skeins from stash so far and have purchased five. (The other two are the Bonny Lass yarn that called my name the other day. Literally called my name.) Not too bad, right? But here’s the problem: I’m leaving tomorrow to visit the girl in Colorado and I know I’ll be going to a yarn store while I’m there. That’s just a foregone conclusion. So I better restrain myself while I’m there or I’ll wreck my good progress! Of course if I’d just finish my darn Boxy, that would be five skeins from stash gone. Maybe that will be my priority when I get back.

B3030694-9569-4A41-A412-599EDB8FE1DBDuncan is now seven weeks post surgery and doing really well. He wouldn’t stop licking his leg so I ordered some PJs online and discovered that dogs in PJs are the cutest thing ever. I might have to order more. Maybe three matching sets for all three dogs? He’ll go for his x-rays in about a week and with any luck get a green light for more activity. We’re all ready for that!

Happy weekend, friends! Hope you’re getting some of the same blue sky that I am!

 

To the Yarn Store?

Oh, you guys are all bad influences…and I love it! So many votes to go to the yarn store, haha! Alas, I did not go to the yarn store, but it wasn’t really a conscious choice on my part. I left the restaurant after lunch with my friend, and there was a loose dog in the parking lot, just barking her fool head off. One woman was trying to catch her, so I grabbed the bag of treats I keep in my car and went to help. My friend had a grumpy baby with her so she couldn’t stay, but let me borrow the leash she keeps in her car. (Side note: I really need to get one of those for my car.) This dog, though, man, she was skittish. She loved the bits of treat I tossed to her, but didn’t want to come close enough for me to touch her at all. I called animal control, but in that city they don’t come out unless the dog is aggressive. The first woman managed to contact a volunteer rescue group, and they said they’d send someone out to help trap, and I said I’d wait until they came.

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So, this is me, sitting in the parking lot, where I stayed for at least 45 minutes, trying to coax her to come to me. Eventually she started to wander off back toward the busy street so I had to circle around and herd her back to the parking lot. We ended up in a big grassy area, and the volunteer showed up to help, armed with hot dogs. The dog loved those but still wouldn’t let either of us get a leash around her neck. After another hour, the dog got full and started walking down the street. The volunteer followed her and found out she lives about a block away from the busy intersection. The owner knew she’d gotten out of her yard, knew she had no collar on, thought she “might be chipped”, and wasn’t worried because “she always comes home.” GAH. I hate some people. I was glad she made it home safely but hate that she might not be so lucky next time. At least the volunteer is aware of it, and said if the dog got loose again, she’d report the owner to animal control. Of course, all that will happen then is the owner will get cited, but it’s a start. It sucks to feel so helpless.

After that, my pants were wet, muddy, and cold, and I had no desire to go anywhere but home. I put on clean, warm pajamas and snuggled up with my own happy, safe dogs and cast on a new project with pretty yarn from my stash.

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This might look familiar: it’s Manos del Uruguay’s color Locura Fluo, which I’m going to use for a sweater. This is one skein of Alegria Grande, which I accidentally ordered instead of Alegria one time. It was the most colorful larger-weight yarn in my stash, so on my needles it went. This the Oats cowl pattern from Tin Can Knits, something really simple to let the yarn be the star of the show.

I’m still slightly tempted to go to a yarn store today, since I’m off work for Presidents’ Day, but I’m also tempted by this gorgeous and fun yarn I found on Instagram: it’s called A Bonny Lass!!! How can I not order that? I think I need to make a big, gorgeous shawl and it needs to have some kind of Celtic cable design on it even though I don’t like making cables. So, we’ll see. I might just stay home with my pajamas and dogs today, or I might venture out. Either way, it’s a pretty happy day!

So that’s the problem!

I made a hat yesterday. Like a whole hat, start to finish. And I enjoyed it and actually wanted to knit, which is different than the last few weeks have been for me. I was trying to figure out why that was, when I’ve been so stuck in my knitting lately, and I realized that I might just be stuck with fingering weight shawls and sweaters. My socks are still a reliable knit for me, and I’ve made two hats with worsted weight, but that Boxy sweater is my nemesis right now, and my Melodia shawl is boring me to tears with all those plain garter stitch rows.

Add that to yesterday’s yearning for a yarn store fix and I think one possible solution is to do some stash-diving today and find a new worsted weight project that excites me, in a pretty yarn I’ve forgotten about. Not to get all philosophical about it, but the rest of my life is challenging and stressful without any easy or quick fixes, so maybe I need the opposite from my knitting at the moment.

Here’s a sneak peek at my newest review project, which is for a new yarn from Manos del Uruguay. It’s a sport weight which apparently is different enough from fingering weight to keep me happy.

img_6886The pattern is the Oleada Cowl and I’m loving these striped chevrons! This is a really addictive pattern; I just want to get to that next color change.

Now, I’m having lunch with a former co-worker today, so the question is: do I go to the yarn store while I’m out? I mean, I legitimately need to buy a pompom!

Knitting “Accessorary”

“Yeah, I said it, accessorary.”

I’ve been a little obsessed with Lizzo this week. If you haven’t listened to her album, you won’t get my reference, but if you don’t mind a lot of cussing, I recommend it. It’s got a heavy vibe of empowerment and self-confidence, and I need as much of that as possible. Plus it’s catchy and fun to sing along with. Anyway, I have zero knitting to share today. All I’ve done this week is about four inches of the second pink sock and I’m not wasting precious image space on that. Instead I’ll show you the gorgeous new mug I got from HaldeCraft.

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It’s a purple sweater mug!! She had a little sale on the cable mugs and bowls and I just had to get myself a purple sweater mug. How could I not? I love it so much. And I love that it came with three packets of tea. We ordered a yellow butter dish from her to give to the girl for Christmas and I was just really impressed with everything, so I was delighted to get to order something else.

And here, I’ll show you one more thing:

6550E27B-6F5C-4077-AB96-E0D24B2E370C_1_201_aI now have a sweater quantity of Manos del Uruguay Alegria in Locura Fluo! Now, lest you think I have fallen off the wagon, this is my belated Christmas yarn that only set me back around $12, so I’m not counting it. I’s going to be bright and colorful and crazy and I think I’ll absolutely love it! But I have to knit it first. I think I’m going to use this pullover pattern, Apogean. Mine will be long-sleeved, not short. I was tempted to make a cardigan, but then I’d have to do an awful lot of purling (because this yarn needs to be stockinette and not garter), and I seem to go marginally faster on sweaters knit in the round than back and forth. In any case, I’m not going to cast on until I finish the Boxy on my needles so it’ll be a while because my knitting mojo is MIA and even when it appears, it doesn’t appear for sweater knitting. Maybe it will make for good TV knitting while I watch the Oscars tomorrow night.

Happy weekend, friends!

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.

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!

Review: Manos del Uruguay Cabrito

You guys already know I love yarns from Manos del Uruguay, right? I haven’t been shy about it (you can see posts here and here though I’m sure there are others too). When they offered me a skein of their brand-new laceweight kid mohair blend, I didn’t even have to think about it. Honestly, it didn’t even matter what yarn they sent me; I’d have been happy to try it out. Since Cabrito is a laceweight that pairs well with others, I got to choose a skein of a second yarn too, and I picked Fino, a light fingering merino.

img_2499I forgot to take a nice photo of the skeins when they arrived because I was so excited to cast on. Look at those colors!! It was hard to choose, since the Cabrito comes in so many beautiful space-dyed colors. But I chose the Cabrito in Locuro Fluo (which is coincidentally also the same colorway as my Rainbow Shawl so clearly it’s my favorite) and the Fino in Peacock Plume. The Cabrito is about 230 yards and is 80% kid mohair, 20% polyamide. It’s as light as cotton candy and so flipping fuzzy that I was in heaven knitting it. I chose a simple scarf called Orbit so the yarn could be the star of the show.

I loved how the peacock Fino was a vibrant turquoise but the colors of the Cabrito still took center stage. The two yarns played really well together, though the few times I had to tink, the Cabrito stuck to itself a little bit. But overall it was a mindless treat to knit, feeling soft and warm in my hands during a cold winter.

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I ran out of Cabrito before the end of the pattern, but I was expecting that, and finished with an eyelet panel of just the Fino, and I’m happy with that. You can see my project page on Ravelry here.

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The finished shawl is as light as air and gorgeously colorful; it’s versatile enough to wear with so much of my wardrobe. Except…sigh. That soft fuzzy halo that made it so delightful to feel in my hands as I was knitting? Because parts of my skin are super sensitive, it itched my neck when I wore it against my skin. It wasn’t immediate and it wasn’t dramatic, but after I’d had it on for maybe 30 minutes, I could feel that subtle little itch and had to take it off. I know it wasn’t the Fino because I have another shawl in just Fino and don’t have any issues with it. So if you already know you’re sensitive, just plan to make something that you won’t wear right next to your skin. I’d love to use this in a sweater, because then I could just wear a shirt underneath like I do all my wool sweaters, and I’d be happy and toasty!

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Manos is still one of my favorite yarn companies, partly because of their lovely yarns but also because of all they do to make sure their yarn is Fair Trade Certified and to support the women artisans in Uruguay.

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Thanks so much to Stitchcraft Marketing and Fairmount Fibers, the North American distributor of Manos del Urugay, who sent me one skein of Cabrito and one skein of Fino (retail value: $50) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

FO: Rainbow Wave Shawl

As I’d hoped, I finished another WIP yesterday, my Rainbow Wave. I only had about six rows left but each one had increases and they felt like really long rows! But it’s done and washed and blocked and everything!

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The yarn is Manos del Uruguay Alegria in Locura Fluo and I absolutely adore it and wish I had ten more skeins. I mean, these colors! I am swooning, and I don’t think it’s just because I’m so tired of all the dreary gray around me. No, this is just a swoon-worthy color. Another blogger made a sweater for her young daughter out of this yarn; I think I need one too! (Don’t worry, I wouldn’t wear the shawl with the sweater!)

This was an easy, relaxing knit and I blocked it into an easily wearable crescent shape. The pattern shows it more triangular, but when I laid the wet shawl out, it just seemed to want to be a crescent, so that’s fine. I’m not one to argue with my shawls.

This takes me down to only FOUR WIPs, guys! One is a sweater, one is a big shawl, and the other two are one-skein projects. Now I’m torn between pushing forward on completing WIPs, or casting on something new. I know I need to cast on a new sock because I have to have at least one sock on my needles. But I’m really tempted to cast on a cowl with my new Woolfolk LUFT today, since it’s slick and gray and wet outside, and a warm cozy cowl project sounds perfect. What do you think, cast on or finish more?

Knitting in the new year

When I sat down to think about my knitting for the new year, I had two options. 1: I could focus on my five current WIPs, which include one review project with a deadline. Or 2: I could cast on new project(s)! I really thought I was going to focus on the current ones, that adding more to the mix would just be overwhelming. But then I was sitting in my craft room and I started playing with my pretty yarn and before I knew it, I was winding four skeins of yarn. By the end of the day on January 1st, I had three new projects on my needles. (The fourth is a paid pattern so I’m waiting until payday to start that one.)

First up is a basic ribbed beanie which will get a beautiful furry purple pompom. But I’ve got nine inches of ribbing to knit, so this will be a good carry-around project. Yarn is Jasper from Primrose Yarn Co. in the color Mischief Managed, and the pattern is Standing Rock Hat.

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Then I had to cast on a sock with my amazing 80s yarn from Show Me Yarn, called Hit Me With Your Best Shot. OMG I love this so much, and I love that the stripes are different widths and that they change so often. This is crazy addictive. I kind of made up a pattern, with a 1×1 ribbed cuff and a 3×1 ribbed leg.

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Finally, this is my favorite of the three, even as much as I love the new sock. This yarn is Manos del Uruguay Alegria (I told you I love their yarn) and the color is Locura Fluo. It is STUNNING. I chose a lacy shawl pattern called Wave and it’s also very addictive. It alternates between lace and garter stripes so it hasn’t gotten boring yet.

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Now, it will be interesting to see if/when I can make myself go back to my old WIPs! Who else has cast on new projects already?