Yarn Spotlight: Rittenhouse

Category: Featured Projects, Yarn Features

Pure, extrafine merino wool in a worsted-weight yarn with an unbeatable combination of wonderful softness, excellent stitch definition, and rich color.  Available in a lovely array of solids and multis, this yarn is perfect for sweaters and has been featured recently in several stylish new designs.  Of course, this is the time of year when our focus turns to projects we can make in a jiffy for our holiday gift-giving needs – and there are plenty of fabulous patterns using Rittenhouse that fit the bill, too!  We’ve rounded up some great designs using this versatile yarn – be sure to check out our Ravelry Group and Facebook page for more gift-knitting inspiration, too!

Fiber Content: 100% merino wool
Yardage: approx. 240 yds / 220m
Gauge: 18 – 20 sts = 4″ / 10cm
Needle size: #7 – 8 US / 4.5 – 5mm
Care instructions: Handwash, dry flat

Pinecote Hat
by Amanda Scheuzger

This striking hat is worked in the round from the bottom up, combining twisted stitches and cables to create a warm winter accessory!

Spiral Rib Legwarmers
from the Purlbee Blog

An adorable free pattern you may have missed, these legwarmers knit up quick in the round using an easy-to-memorize stitch pattern!

Baker Cowl
by Janet Margolies

Available as a free PDF download on the Fairmount Fibers website, this buttoned cowl is a fast-knitting project that’s perfect for beginners, yielding fashionable results!  For more free patterns from Fairmount Fibers featuring Rittenhouse, click here.

by Susanna IC

From the Twist Collective Fall 2011 issue, this cabled cardigan is flattering for most body types and, thanks to a few clever design elements, does not require hems or facings.   The simple construction elements make for a satisfying, quick knit, and the celtic-inspired cables will keep you interested!

Cable-Trimmed Jacket with Hood
by Lisa Myers

Our own Lisa Myers designed this gorgeous cabled hooded sweater for the inaugural issue of Interweave knit.wear 2011.  The simplicity of the boxy silhouette paired with the complexity of the reversible-cable selvedges lets the rich kettle-dyed colors of Rittenhouse take center stage.

#34 Zippered Cardigan
by Deborah Newton

This asymmetrical sweater in the Vogue Knitting Holiday 2011 issue features interesting zipper details in contrast to a simple stitch pattern. We love how these elements show off the subtle variations of Rittenhouse‘s rich hand-dyed colors!

Crocheted Blanket Yarnbombing

Category: Translated posts

From the Manos Del Uruguay Blog: “We leave you with some pictures of this spectacular yarnbombing that took place last January on the steps of Helsinki Cathedral in Finland. It was covered by 7800 crochet blankets which were then donated to shelters. Simply Brilliant!”

A Trip to Uruguay

Category: Fair Trade News & Topics, Uncategorized

We had a chance to chat with Judy Fawcett, travel agent and intrepid knitter who recently took a life-changing trip to Uruguay with a small group of adventurous knitters.

During her visit, they had the opportunity to make the journey to one of the Manos co-ops near the Brazilian border; this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was two years in the making! Many of the co-ops are located in remote areas, providing jobs for the residents who would otherwise have to move to larger cities and be separated from their families in order to make a living. However, that means that few tourists are able – or willing! – to make the journey to get a closer look.

Judy said, “The women of the co-op gave us a warm welcome – they had tea waiting! They weren’t initially aware that we were all knitters; once they found out, we were sisters!”

Judy observed that everyone at the co-op was able to do everything – winding, dyeing, etc. Though the workspace and equipment was basic, each worker was able to do their job with the utmost proficiency and care. Another thing that made an impression was how joyful and sincere everyone seemed. When the women shared the story of the co-op, it was clear that they considered their coworkers as family. Time and time again, the visitors heard how the co-op enabled them to stay close to their loved ones and send their children to school – truly it was a source of support, both financially and emotionally.

One of the travelers wore a shawl she’d made with Manos yarns; as luck would have it, the artisan who had worked on the yarn was at the co-op and immediately recognized her handiwork! Joan is pictured below with her new friend, Sandra – and look at all of that beautiful yarn behind them!

For Judy, this enriching experience surpassed her wildest expectations. “We came away wishing we could all speak Spanish!” she said, “I still don’t know how the translator managed to keep up with 12 different conversations all at the same time!”

The general happiness and warmth of all the people they met along the way made a lasting impression. “Now we can tell people the story of this yarn and the people who make it,” Judy said. Their warmth, generosity and skill has made a lasting impression on this group of lucky travelers.  Thanks for sharing, Judy!