knitting with Manos – for warm weather!

Category: Featured Projects

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the weather is warming up- but that doesn’t have to mean less knitting! Many designers and knitting-die hards have come up with great uses for Manos fibers that are appropriate for warmer conditions. For those of you who are interested in cotton blends for springtime, there is Manos del Uruguay Serena, a cotton/alpaca blend with a lot of drape and trans-seasonal wearability.  Our recently-released collection of patterns for Serena is a great source of ideas for sweaters that are shorter-sleeved or perfect for layering in changing weather.

Expanding our search for warm-weather knitting ideas to the internet, there are a multitude of inspiring projects to draw ideas from! The Sweet Tee by Mary Jane Mucklestone proves that with short sleeves and fresh styling, a sweater in Silk Blend is perfect for springtime, as seen here in JuneK’s version:

Moving away from garments, smaller projects are always a great solution for knitting in warm weather. They don’t take up as much room in your lap, so they will be easy to knit no matter what the thermometer rises to, and you can get use out of their smaller sizes or unique purposes year-round. For example, an embellished bag like JustineAnne’s, knitted out of Clasica and then felted, would be a great accessory for a spring- or summertime Farmer’s Market:

And then there is our perennial favorite, the knitted shawl. Whether you knit them small and scarf-like or large and lacey, they are a great way to accessorize or add a “just in case” layer to your warm weather outfit without adding too much extra fabric and warmth. LivM’s Rock Island Shawl in Manos Lace looks fabulous with a short-sleeved ensemble, and it is light and airy enough to be comfortable regardless of the temperature.

Of course, one of the greatest parts about knitting shawls (in ANY season!) is the amazing variety of stitches and styles that is available in shawl patterns, both classics and new ones that are constantly being released. Do you have a favorite shawl pattern this season? I would love to hear your highlights- I’m always in the market for the next “must cast on NOW” project! Leave your shawl links (or other warm-weather knitting suggestions) in the comments!

Blog Tour: Knitting Plus by Lisa Shroyer

Category: Uncategorized

I’m so happy to be part of the blog tour for Lisa Shroyer’s Knitting Plus — and so proud to have a design in it!

KPlusCover

This is by far the best book on the subject I’ve ever seen.  Lisa considers five different basic sweater shapes and examines in detail the fit issues and opportunities of each.  She doesn’t discuss body “types”; she talks about specific dimensions, how they affect one another in a garment — and how to modify them.  If you’re not an off-the-rack size 4, this book will be useful to you:  wouldn’t we all like to know how to customize our sweaters for better fit?  There’s a wealth of information here for knitters of all sizes, in sidebars like “”What Is A Schematic (And How Do I Read It)?”, “Tweaking Body Shaping”, and “How To Identify Your Non-Standard Measurements.”

My design contribution is the Passyunk Pullover.

Passyunk Pullover

It’s made out of Manos Rittenhouse Merino 5-Ply, because I wanted the combination of next-to-the-skin softness with fantastic stitch definition.  When I was designing the sweater, it was all about stitch patterns:  one of the “pluses” of plus-size knitting is that you have a larger canvas to explore.  Larger sizes can accommodate patterns with larger repeats, and in this case, having a bit of extra length allowed for three distinct pattern areas.

Of course, few of us would want to wear a sweater divided sharply into three horizontal bands.  The three different stitch patterns here shift gradually and unevenly.  I wanted an organic look to the surface overall, not anything geometric or graphic.  The stitch columns look somewhat like seaweed to me now, with bubbles rising toward the surface of the water.

PassyunkCuffDetail

With all the pattern activity within the body of the sweater, I kept the edges as simple as I could.  The bottom and sleeve edges are “unfinished”:  just cast on and go.  The stitch pattern forms its own ribbing at the neck.

PassyunkNeckDetail

The construction is that of a traditional circular yoke:  the body is knit in one piece to the armhole; sleeves are knit separately to the same point; then all are joined together and decrease rounds are worked periodically to reduce the fabric to the neck circumference.  Oh, the joys of the circular-yoke sweater:  minimal finishing, for instance (just a small area under each arm to close up).  And an easy showcase for the tonal variations in kettle-dyed yarns like Manos (work a few rounds of “stripes” to smooth the transition from old skein to new).

Thanks for stopping by!  Tomorrow’s stop on the tour is the Yarncraft podcast.  Enjoy!

The names are in!

Category: New Stuff

Thanks to all of you who participated in suggesting names for these candidates for our new Fall colors. We loved reading through your creative suggestions, and we think that the collective inspiration going on between all of the submissions allowed us to choose some really perfect names for these hues! Without further ado, here are the winning names:

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Much appreciation is due to the authors of these name suggestions: Anne, Michelle, Theresa, Sherry and Sarah. In instances where the name was suggested by multiple participants, we have to give credit to the person who first submitted the name. But we are thankful to all of you who shared your creativity!

So, what should we do for these gifted nominators? Thank them with yarn! We will be contacting you via the email address you used when you left your naming suggestions. For a prize, we will ask you to choose any skein of any color that we have in stock! As much as we’d like to award you with the actual colors you’ve been responsible for naming, we don’t want you to have to wait through the lengthy process as we have these yarns dyed and packaged for Fall release. We’d prefer to send out some instant yarn gratification! …Plus, you can have the pleasure of looking forward to seeing “your” color debut when they are finally ready.

Again, many thanks to everyone who contributed their ideas! This was a lot of fun for us, and we just may be turning to the resource of our many creative followers (and bringing thank-you yarn for your efforts!) again in the future, so stay tuned!