Artisan’s Day

Category: Artisan Profiles

July 28 is “Artisan’s Day”, celebrated in Uruguay to commemorate the birthday of  Uruguayan artist Joaquin Torres Garcia.  We would like to share with you an entry previously posted on the Manos del Uruguay blog about preserving the tradition of spinning.

Yanette spinning in the Cooperative Fraile Muerto. Photo: Olivia Perez.

When Manos del Uruguay formed in 1968, Uruguayan wool was naturally thought of as one lead through which economic opportunity existed for rural women. At that time most of the husbands of the women worked as laborers and they received wool from their employers. Generally the wool was black or brown which the women washed and wove into ponchos and rugs.

Some time later the yarn was dyed in pots over wood fires. The result was a very uneven yarn, quite heavy and irregular, wonderfully bright colors. Over time the artisans learned a lot about fiber, spinning and dyeing. The Clasica yarn you know and love today is basically the same as it was 40 years ago.  Little by little other natural fibers were incorporated with the wool, such as silk, and alpaca, to generate new textures and coloring.

Eva, also in the Cooperative Fraile Muerto. Photo: Olivia Perez.

In four cooperatives in villages in the interior of Uruguay (Fraile Muerto, Dragon, Santa Lucia and San Jose) you will still find spinning at a spinning wheel and the yarn dyed in large pots.  Today the best Uruguayan wool tops are used to achieve the quality that our customer demands. We have exported our yarn Clasica for over 30 years and in doing so have helped to keep not only the craft of the spinning wheel, but also the traditions and culture of Uruguay.

Do you have family members who spin, or are you the first in a new generation of spinners? We would love to hear your thoughts on our Facebook page, in our Ravelry group, or tweet us @ManosYarns


LE10: Purple Prize

Category: Clasica LE Colorways

This is a milestone, the tenth Clasica LE Colorway is here! The depth of the purple tones is striking, and you are sure to enjoy seeing them emerge as you use this yarn. Be sure to purchase enough for your projects, these truly are produced in small batches!

We spotted these projects on Ravelry using Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica. Each takes only one or two skeins of yarn and would be just right for LE10!

OCTOPUSSSS is a neck warmer or wrist warmer pattern designed by Saskia de Feijter as part of a kit, but the pattern is available for purchase separately.

The Instant Infinity crochet cowl pattern by Kathleen Rogers uses 2 skeins held together and basic crochet stitches to create this unisex design.

These Wood Hollow Mittens, a Kristen Kapur design, were knit by user PuffySheep for a charity project.

You may view previous & current LE colors on Ravelry, Facebook and the Fairmount Fibers Website.

On Display at TNNA

Category: New Stuff, Uncategorized

On a warm weekend in June, Fairmount Fibers / Manos del Uruguay traveled to Columbus, Ohio for The National NeedleArts Association Summer trade show.  In this venue yarn shops, distributors, publishers and designers gather together to share what is new and exciting in the world of fiber arts. Manos del Uruguay was represented with a booth that showcased the new colors of your favorite fair trade yarns for hand knitting and offered a peek of patterns that will be released in the upcoming weeks.

Our bundles of skeins, referred to as “dolls”, are just as eye-catching as the skeins hanging up on the wall.


The Fall 2012 collection was also on display.  The five patterns designed by Julie Hoover include an oversized pullover in Maxima, a striped raglan pullover in Silk Blend, a boxy tee in Serena, a chunky textured cowl in Clasica and handwarmer-sleeves in Maxima. Three additional patterns by Lisa R. Myers, Jocelyn Tunney, and Mary Beth Temple complete the collection.

The show is a whirlwind of people, yarn, and inspiration! We hope you are as excited about the upcoming colorways and patterns as we are! Did you attend TNNA? We would love to hear your thoughts on our Facebook page, in our Ravelry group, or tweet us @ManosYarns.