Tag Archive | yarn

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.

Colorado Yarn Stores

I really only meant to go to one yarn store during our Colorado vacation. Looking back, I’m not sure why I thought that was reasonable, or even feasible for me. But that was my plan, and since I’d gotten in trouble at the Loopy Ewe the past two years, I was going to avoid them. Instead, I chose LambShoppe in Denver. It was in a cute but busy part of town, and the boys weren’t interested in joining us, so they dropped me and the girl off at the curb. The store was small but had lots of fun yarns, both big names and small. The saleswoman immediately asked how she could help me, and I cheerfully said, “Just let me look at the yarn!” I try to focus on local dyers when I’m buying vacation yarn, and I found quite a few choices. Unfortunately, the saleswoman was one of those who thinks she needs to engage every shopper frequently, and that bugs the crap out of me. Still, I found some good stuff.

But then! As I was pondering my choices on the table there, that same woman walked by and said, “Oh, you need to get out of your box and try something new!” She’d already annoyed me enough that I replied, “How about I do what I want?” I mean, seriously. Let a knitter pick her own damn yarn, am I right? Anyway, beautiful yarns, if not all local. The woman’s one saving grace was that she found me a second skein of the Manos Locura Fluo (the crazy neon one in the middle). I’m collecting skeins for a sweater!

I thought I was good and happy but then we went to Colorado Springs, and we had some extra time, and darned if we didn’t end up at another yarn store. Ewe and Me was a little hard to find, and the font is hard to read on the sign outside, but I’m so glad I found it! It was a BIG store, with a huge table down the middle with comfy chairs for the boys to sit in. The women chatted with me at first but then let me browse at my own pace. And the yarn! So much local yarn, so much gorgeous yarn!

I saw small dyers I’d only followed on Instagram, like The Lemonade Shop and Artistic Yarns by Abi, plus ones I’d never heard of. I bought six skeins, I think, plus that fabulous mug. And another size 5 circular needle for shawls. And maybe an enamel pin.

That was plenty, right? It really was! I would have been happy to leave it at that. Except on Sunday the boy and I were on our own, and we went to Longmont to check out a guitar store. And there happened to be a yarn store a few doors down. Sigh. Three more skeins went in my bag. But one of them was Dragon Hoard Yarn, who I’d just started following on Instagram! She was doing a trunk show there so of course I had to grab a skein.

That’s how I ended up with this beautiful, extravagant assortment of yarns to feed my stash!

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Now, let’s see if I can restrain from buying more new yarn for a while!

Back at it

The girl is settled in at college, the boy is off to his junior year of high school, the husband is driving himself to and from work in the rental car, and I’m back at work after a week’s vacation. I’m trying to get back in my groove but it’s been hard. Of course I picked up a summer cold while we were gone, so I don’t feel 100% which makes me grumpy, but I’m sure things will smooth back into a routine quickly.

We had a lovely vacation and hiked around Garden of the Gods, drove to the top of Pikes Peak, walked through the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, and spent a day shopping on Pearl Street in Boulder. I saw lots of mountains and wish I could live closer to them.

We ended up renting an SUV for the trip through our insurance claim on the wrecked car, and that worked out well. The girl’s apartment is small and lacks WiFi and A/C, but is cute and cozy, and since she’s in Colorado, the temperatures will cool off very soon. Oh, and her new landlords are a perfectly charming British couple! We showed up to get the key from them, and when they found out we’d gotten in town only fifteen minutes earlier, the woman exclaimed, “Oh my goodness, would you like a cuppa tea? English tea, of course.” That made me love them so much. And YES, of course I had the English tea made properly in a teapot with the milk added to the cup first.

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I did very little knitting, despite taking six WIPs. But I visited three yarn stores and bought a lot of marvelous yarn! I’ll save the shop photos for another day. Can’t wait to show off my treasures though!

img_4989So many beauties! I love them all! I’ll share more details next time, I swear!

Feeding the stash

Do you like yarn? I like yarn. I like my current stash, I like yarn in stores, and I especially like new yarn that arrives in the mail after I’ve had a bad day. Yesterday I had TWO packages waiting for me when I got home. The first had these goodies from Izzy Knits:

img_4643Isn’t that logo the cutest?? For some crazy reason, I agreed to test knit a pattern for a dog sweater. Yes, a sweater for one of my dogs. A sweater he will very likely not want to wear longer than two minutes, and that I’ll have to protect from the other dog chewing on it. Still, he will be very handsome during those two minutes.

The second package was yarn from an Instagram/Etsy destash. There are no tags so I have no idea who made what, and I don’t care a bit. Because OMG look at my pretties:

They’re all fingering weight except that one bright pink variegated skein, which I think is worsted and will become an awesome cowl. The others will feed the stash for now. That neon yellow is the softest; I think it must have some cashmere in it. No idea what to do with it, since I can’t/don’t wear that color, but maybe mixed in with something else, it’ll work out.

Today we’re finally getting someone to look at our broken AC again, after a week of a warm, humid upstairs. Here’s hoping I go home to a cool(er) house! At least I know I’ll go home to dogs, and that’s pretty good.

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Happy Tuesday, friends! Hope it’s a good one!

Back to knitting

Things are weird around here. My head isn’t quite right; the experience with my mother-in-law brought back a lot of feelings about my dad and I’m struggling to get on top of them again. Added to that are a few smaller things weighing on me, and it’s all feeling heavy. I haven’t been excited or eager about knitting, so I’ve just been forcing myself to work on my Fade while I watch the French Open.

But here’s the thing: I think it’s getting better. I took two days off after the service and have been spending time with the husband and kids, who are all home this week too, and that’s been good. I had dinner with my siblings, who always make me laugh. My dogs have been nearby, ready for snuggles. And Thursday I cast on a new sock with yarn that was calling my name. So I’m getting there. Day by day, right? In the spirit of easing back into my routines, I’ll show you what I found at an estate sale this week.

VRdkZHfST52b2rxLaVi7kwThe two smaller blue cakes are Koigu fingering weight merino, which came with the unlabeled cake of worsted. The two WIPs I mostly bought for the needles. I’m not sure which brand they are but they remind me of Addi needles. I’ve already frogged the projects, and the big ball of red/blue/white will probably become warm socks for my Colorado girl. And here’s my new yarn, an impulse purchase after seeing it on Instagram.

Z%QLZCKHTxOtf4Bw1pHqGwIt’s called Pride in the name of Love, and is an exclusive color from Three Irish Girls for Eat.Sleep.Knit. I kind of had to get it, right? Purple and rainbow! If you feel similarly compelled, it looks like they still have some in stock here.

With any luck, I’ll get a good photo of my Fade progress this weekend, and I can show that off soon. Happy weekend, friends!

HOW does this happen?

As you all know, I got new yarn last week, after the husband came home from Colorado. It is beautiful yarn and I love it! But somehow, I STILL ended up at my LYS on Friday afternoon, buying more yarn.

See, I’d been itching to visit them for a few weeks, but they were hosting a trunk show over Mother’s Day weekend for a dyer new to me, and I wanted to check out her yarns. So I waited, not knowing the husband would be bringing me new yarn. And Friday came and it was a super long day and I really needed some retail therapy so I went. I just went. And it was good.

Except there was no one there to make me feel guilty for buying so much. And the one friend I texted encouraged me to treat myself, so…I did. And I love my new bag and my gorgeous new purple yarns from Honey Girl Farms! She had a lot of pop culture themed yarns, lots of Game of Thrones and Outlander, but also a few Harry Potter. She’s got amazing project bags on her website; at first I wished she’d brought some but then I was kind of glad she didn’t. Anyway, I came home and played with yarn and I’m pretty sure I have an amazing fade begging to be knit:

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I would have cast on yesterday, but I’m trying to finish my test knit shawl. I’m in the last section but I’m afraid I’m going to have to frog about five or six rows, rows that are around 350 stitches. Somehow, my wine convinced me that I could fudge a lace pattern that was off by several stitches. I don’t think it went well but I’ll check on it tonight. I’m pretty sure I’ll be wishing I’d put in a lifeline at some point.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend, especially my fellow Moms!

Pre-Mother’s Day Yarn

The girl and the husband are home from Colorado now. Since they were staying in Fort Collins for a couple of days of vacation (lucky dogs), I made sure to point out that there was a really good yarn store there and remind them that Mother’s Day was coming up. I am pleased to report that the hint was successful and they came home with new yarn! It’s not completely clear why he didn’t save it for Mother’s Day on Sunday, but gift yarn is good any day! (My actual gift is going to see Itzhak Perlman this weekend, so really these are bonus gifts anyway.)

The purple is my favorite to feel, very soft and bouncy. The middle teal skein has a mini-skein for heels and toes, hooray! And the pink? So pretty and bright! Plus they even got me a new pin for my collection. They did very well!

But does this mean I can’t go to the yarn store on Mother’s Day now??