Guest Blogger: Tiny Owl Knits

Category: Guest Bloggers, Yarn Features

TinyOwlEditor’s Note:  Our first-ever guest blogger is Stephanie Dosen from Tiny Owl Knits.  You may know her through the wildly popular pattern The Beekeeper’s Quilt (and the ensuing hexipuff madness!), in addition to her many other delightful patterns.  Stephanie is sharing her thoughts about her favorite yarn from Manos Del Uruguay – read below for her entry AND your chance to win a free pattern from Tiny Owl Knits!

I am so excited to do a guest blog for Manos del Uruguay! There are a few yarn companies that excite me and take me back to the first days of my knitting life, and Manos is one of the majors for me! I worked in a yarn shop in Nashville, TN for several years and we ordered big shipments of Manos; especially the Wool Clasica. Every time the big boxes arrived, we actually fought over who got to “skein” the hanks!

For those of you that don’t know, the Clasica comes to yarn shops in long, un-twisted hanks. They arrive bound up (10 at a time) into giant yarn-y bales. They are so bulky and delicious that for all intents and purposes, they could serve as a yarn addict’s favorite teddy bear! The shops then separate the bundles and twist each individual hank up into goodies for the customer. My yarn store co-workers and I used to break open the boxes and hug the bundles before we broke them apart and began twisting the hanks. We’d even save the little yarn bits used to bind the bundles and make bracelets out of them! The colors were intoxicating. “Kettle dyed”, we’d say. “Each skein will be slightly different.” we’d repeat. Yes, I know it sounds like we were kind of pathetic, sitting on the floor cuddling yarn and taking any leftover scrap of Manos we could find to tie them around our wrists. But I promise, if you saw barrels of yarn like that, you may find yourself doing the same thing! It was much like how little kids feel about bubble wrap or big boxes. Grand excitement in hard times indeed.

yarn bundle

Now these days I’m feeling a little bit spoiled! I actually have a hefty stash of Manos sitting with me in this very room. In fact, when they contacted me for yarn support I had to look around my stash and sheepishly admit that I already had so much Manos, I might not actually need yarn support! *Ahem* What am I thinking!? Yes, please send any extra skeins to this address right away. I’m quite sure no one could actually ever have enough.

What do I like about Wool Clasica? I’m a huge fan of natural looking fiber. The way it is spun with a bit of slub and texture, yet it has a smooth appearance has always appealed to me. The colors are to dye for (Yeah, I made a pun. Sorry.) I love the variegation and the solids too. And I think it is the perfect wool for felting. There is such gorgeous texture in the finished product. I’ve got a pattern on the go right now that involves Wool Clasica and a tub of very hot water. I can’t wait to release it!

So what is the worst thing about Wool Clasica? The fact that no two batches are exactly alike leads a slightly neurotic knitter like me to purchase every single skein I touch! “I HAVE to get this wool! Just in case it was a fluke batch, and the like will never be seen by human eyes again!” I mean, you’d do the same thing right?

antlerhat

Giveaway alert! One of the most popular patterns I’ve ever released, the Deer with little Antlers Hat, uses Wool Clasica. I chose this yarn because of the woodsy look – it was the perfect color for a deer (it’s not often that a company with such a talent for variegated yarn gets the solid colors so right too!).

Three lucky readers will be randomly selected to win a FREE copy of this pattern.  Simply leave a comment on this blog post sharing your favorite Wool Clasica colorway (click here to view them all!) and your Ravelry ID or some other way for us to contact you.  We will randomly select three winners one week from today. Good luck!

In Shops Soon: LE3

Category: Clasica LE Colorways

This month’s Limited-Edition Wool Clasica colorway is subtly variegated  and just right for a little post-holiday indulgence.  When all your crafting for others is done, treat yourself to a few skeins of Santiago’s latest creation!  LE3 begins shipping out this week – be sure to ask for it at your LYS!

LE3-2


You may view past and current LE colors on Ravelry, Facebook and right here on the Fairmount Fibers Blog.  R emember, these colors are extremely limited edition – so get them while you can!


Having trouble deciding what to make?  Here are a few fun projects requiring 1-2 skeins of Clasica:


The Dawn Treader Capelet can be crocheted as a cowl or capelet – it’s perfect for this tonal colorway and is a great post-holiday indulgence!

dawntreader

Keep your feet warm with the Wavy Cable Boot Toppers!  You need to wear boots anyway, why not stay warm and be fashionable at the same time?

boottoppers
Finally, there’s nothing like a few good hats to keep your warm all winter long.  The Edna Slouch Hat from the recently-published My Grandmother’s Knitting is a great way to use up leftover skeins of Clasica to accent the subtle tones of LE3!

ednaslouch

Tunes is a quick-to-crochet beanie that’s just right for everyday wear!

tunes


Free Pattern Round-Up

Category: Free patterns

It’s that time of year when small projects you can make quickly using only a few skeins of yarn reign supreme. We’ve released two new FREE patterns using our beloved Wool Clasica, with more to come!

Here are the latest winning entries from our design contest held earlier this year:

pocorojo

Poco Rojo is an adorable cabled cap designed by Kara Hobbs (click here to read her blog).  Sized to fit a toddler, this is a sweet project to make for your little one using only 1 skein of Clasica.

Click here to download pattern from the Fairmount Fibers Website
Click here to download pattern from Ravelry

stellar-cowl-photo

You only need 2 skeins of Clasica to knit up a warm & snuggly Stellar Cowl!  The textured stitch pattern will keep you interested, and the seamless construction means you’ll be finished in a flash!

Click here to download pattern from the Fairmount Fibers Website
Click here to download pattern from Ravelry

If you still need some last-minute motivation, the Hedgehog Neckwarmer & Hat from the most recent issue of Knitty would look fantastic knit up in Maxima!  We’re also posting lots of interesting projects to make on our Facebook Fan Page and Twitter feed all month long – stop by and get inspired!

LE4 & New Patterns in Wool Clasica

Category: Clasica LE Colorways, New Stuff

LE4 is on the loose! When we saw this festive colorway, we knew right away that it couldn’t wait til next month – so if you’re wondering what happened to LE3, don’t worry!  You didn’t miss anything – LE3 will be coming out soon, and it will be worth the wait.

In stores now is LE 4:

LE4-2

Wondering what to make with these lovely rich tones of cranberry, red, and salmon?

A felted bag such as this lovely design from the winter issue of Knit Simple would be perfect! Pair it with one of our semi-solid colors (like #48 Cherry or #69 Hibiscus) and you’ll have a memorable gift that knits up quick. This adorable bag was designed by Cheryl Murray and uses 2 colors of Wool Clasica (shown: 2 hanks in #116 Caribe multi & 1 hank in #68 Citric).

KSW11manosBLOG

The Tweed & Seed Pillows are another fantastic option.  Designed by Danielle Chalson, they’re lovely and simple knits to accent your home decor.  Not only would this set make a thoughtful gift, they’re fun to make, too!  Both patterns appear in the Interweave Knits Winter 2011 issue, on newsstands now.  To view more photos of these patterns, click here and here.  Stunning!

Tweed-Seed-Pillows

Click here to view our gallery of past Limited-Edition colorways.  Remember to ask for them at your LYS!