Tag Archive | Oleada cowl

Review: Manos del Uruguay Alpaca Heather

A couple of months ago, Stitchcraft Marketing offered me the chance to review a new yarn fromย 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 toย Stitchcraft Marketingย andย 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.

FO Friday

It’s Friday the 13th and the world has gone mad and I’m getting more evidence that my anxiety lives in my stomach, but I’m still knitting. We have to, right, to keep us sane? Or is that just me? I finished another project last night, leaving me with just two on the needles. This one is my review project and I’m not ready for the full review, but I wanted to give a peek.

img_7180I’ll show good color photos in the full reveal, but this does show off how pretty the pattern is! It’s the Oleada Cowl and it was fast and easy, and I love chevrons.

Hopefully you’re all taking precautions and staying healthy. My goal for the weekend is to stay home and cast on three new projects. The girl is heading home for spring break today, and the boy is on spring break next week, so I’ll have a full house again…just in time to do some good spring cleaning!

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!