Tag Archive | Manos Del Uruguay

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?

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.

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!

Brighter days ahead

Can I tell you a secret? I’m almost afraid to write it in case I jinx myself but…guys, I feel optimistic, for the first time in a long time. We’ve had such a stressful year, mostly due to way too many big financial emergencies, and things were just getting stretched way too thin. I’m sure most of you have been there, or are there. It sucks a lot. But we made a plan to work forward, and we cut back our spending, which wasn’t fun, and suddenly I can see progress. I can see that our changes are working, are helping, and we might be close to pulling ourselves out of the pit of despair. We are still facing a big, expensive rehab project on the house, but if we can make it wait until early spring next year, it’ll be okay. I feel like we can handle it now. It helped a lot that I had a car repair done over the weekend that I’ve been putting off for months, afraid it would be super expensive, and it wasn’t that bad at all. That’s apparently been weighing on me more than I realized. It’s just been a really dark year in my head, so it’s lovely to feel even this small sliver of hope. (I’m knocking on all the wood that nothing else falls apart in my house or my car!)

Something that never fails to brighten my day is yarn. Last week I got these two beautiful skeins of Manos Del Uruguay in the mail. It’s their new Feliz yarn, a blend of merino and modal, and I can’t wait to find the perfect shawl pattern.

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Thank goodness for yarn and dogs!

 

Peek-a-Boo Bay Shawl

Yes, I did cast on a new shawl yesterday, a new shawl in gorgeous bright rainbow yarn, and it was absolutely the right decision. I’m in love with it and don’t want to knit anything else right now. I think it’s just the right combination of color and pattern for me.

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The pattern is Peek-a-Boo Bay Shawl, one of the fantastic Free Pattern Friday gifts from Little Church Knits. Yep, same person who did the Marcelle Wrap! I’m using Manos Del Uruguay Alegria for the main color, and I managed to cast on with the right size needle this time. The size 6s are giving it a delightful loose gauge, perfect for this warm-weather shawl. I will need another color for some stripes near the end, but I wanted to knit it for a while to see the colors before I decide. Right now I’m leaning toward the bright yellow-green, though the blue is a close second. This will probably be my weekend project, and the calendar’s pretty empty, so don’t be completely shocked if I have a finished shawl by Monday!