Cozy Up with Wool Blankets to Knit

Category: Featured Projects

Even though temperatures are still soaring, the autumn chill will be here before you know it.  Why not get a head start on the cozy season and start knitting or crocheting a blanket now? Blankets can be crafted in one large piece, but they can also be constructed in a modular fashion so that each square or section can be made virtually anywhere you go, with only a ball or two of yarn with you at one time.  

Fan Favorites

Today we’d like to feature a few blankets crafted by our fans. First, let’s look at the blankets that can be knit in smaller sections. NMcCullough took dedication to a new level knitting beautiful Persian Dreams blanket using many different colors of Manos del Uruguay Alegria, a sock-weight yarn. And what about statsgeek’s mind bending Kaffe Fasset Mystery Knit-a-long blanket knit in Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica? We love her choice of colors!

If you prefer crafting your blanket in one piece, check out Ravelry user CammieD’s Mosaic Blanket out of Manos del Uruguay Gloria. She said the slip stitch pattern is a lot easier than it looks and the finished blanket is pretty amazing looking! We just love armyb’s Hap Blanket knit in Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica, one of our favorite yarns for blanket-knitting turned into a classic pattern.  

Our Favorite Blanket Yarn

Wool Clasica is the perfect yarn for blanket knitting and we have some exciting new colors for fall! Add Fiery, Spirulina, Taffeta, Carnival or Cincuenta to your projects to brighten them up.

Or if you prefer easier care, check out Manos del Uruguay Gloria, our 100% superwash merino wool that also has several new fall colors!

Pattern Inspiration

If you have your yarn ready to go but are still looking for the perfect pattern, here are a few suggestions from our catalog of designs. If you want to work in squares, why not consider Sequoia to create colorful geometric patterns? Perhaps you would prefer something stripey like Salida del Sol to add pops of color to a cozy room. Or if you’re looking for something classic where you can add fun colors, Rayas is a color block blanket knit with panels of color, edged with a neutral garter stitch border. All are knit in Wool Clasica which comes in over 70 semi-solid and variegated colorways in addition to the new colors we highlighted above.

We hope we’ve given you some inspiration to get started on those cozy blanket projects. We’d love to see your knit and crochet blankets – please share your projects to Facebook, Instagram, or Ravelry!

Stashbusting for Summer

Category: Featured Projects

Is your stash full of leftover bits of Manos del Uruguay yarn from other projects? Then this post is for you. We took some time to round up some amazing projects that use yarn leftovers to create new projects.  So toss your stash, grab your leftovers and let’s go!

If you’re interested in bags or cases, check out Ravelry user vashtirama’s Smartphone Vortex Shield made with just 75 yards of Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend for the perfect case to protect your phone. We also love likeflora’s Rachel Bag knit out of 1 skein Manos del Uruguay Alegria.  It looks like the perfect summer bag to hold your wallet, keys and a good book for easy summer reading.

 

Or try out some of those cute stuffed animals you’ve been wanting to make for the little one in your life. Try an adorable bunny like TheCraftyGlamma’s Bonbon in Manos del Uruguay Maxima or Arminty’s Bugle the Grey knit out of Manos del Uruguay Alegria.  Or check out Ravelry’s impressive catalog of amigurumi patterns to make that cute creature you’ve always wanted to.

   

 

Or you could try some stashbusting accessories to help keep you cool during the hot summer days. Check out SStO’s Hydrate crocheted out of Manos del Uruguay Alegria. Just add a strap and you’ve got the perfect accessory to keep your water bottle handy while you’re on the go.

We’d love to see what stashbusting projects you create and your Manos del Uruguay yarn choices! Please share your progress photos with us and follow us on  Facebook, Ravelry, and Instagram for more inspirational project ideas, new patterns and announcements.

Fino Mini Madness

Category: Tutorial

About a month ago we spotlighted some Fino Mini-Skein projects and we’re happy to report that mini madness continues! For this post, we took one of our Fino Mini-Skein sets and matched it up with another hot trend: the fade.  

We decided that a pair of handknit mitts would be the perfect project to showcase a fade, and started with the Augusta Fino Mini-Skein set:

Fino Mini Skein Bundle in Augusta

This set contains five 20g skeins in the colorways: 415 – Silver Tea Set, 404 – Watered Silk, 429 – Storm Glass, 405 – Peacock Plume, and 427 – Mourning.

 

Considerations

When trying to adapt a pattern to fade between minis, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Pattern: If you’re starting with a pattern that is already written (as we did), consider fairly simple patterns to let the yarn color palette shine. Anything that is busy with pattern stitches might be too jumbled with the addition of color changes.
  • Transitions: In the sample shown below we opted to do a 4-round transition. In the case of Colors 1 & 2, we knit a section of the pattern in Color 1, then worked 1 round each with colors 2, 1, 2, 1 for a total of 4 rounds, and then continued on through Color 2. We repeated this process 3 additional times until we had all of our colors in sequence. You may wish to do more or fewer transition rounds, but either way, this is something you’ll want to plan before you start.

You could also consider transitions in linen stitch or by knitting a few rows of stranded 1×1 colorwork (see the Golden Pear Hat for example).

  • Sections of Color: The biggest question when adapting a pattern to fading is how long do you want each color section to be? Choosing a pattern may help dictate this, and you may have feelings on whether you want to feature certain colors more than others. Since the Fino Mini-Skeins are all the same yardage it may just be easiest to divide the pattern into 5 roughly equal segments.

 

Project

After looking through patterns on Ravelry, we chose the Colorblock Handwarmers by Purl Soho, a great free pattern. This was the perfect simple pattern to highlight the color changes and was written for a yarn similar to Fino. The pattern was originally written for four colors, so adding a fifth didn’t prove too difficult; we simply divided the portion below the hand into three roughly equal segments.

Here’s how to knit our fade version of the Colorblock Mitts using the following steps:

Step 1: Swatch to determine gauge on the mitts. Though the pattern recommended using US #3 needles, we found the fabric to be too loose and went down to US #1.5 needles to get a gauge we liked to knit the Small/Medium size (ultimately we ended up with a Small pair of mitts, so if you’re looking for a Medium size you might want to go up a needle size or knit the larger size).

Step 2: Starting with Color #1, in this case, Silver Tea Set, knit per pattern instructions until work measures approximately 2.25” from the cast-on edge.

Step 3: Add in Color #2, Watered Silk, and work 4-round transition as noted above. Cut Silver Tea Set and continue working with Watered Silk until the mitts measure approximately 5.5” from the cast-on edge.

You may see a very slight stripe jog as you work, but you’ll see in the finished mitts that it’s not very noticeable at all. If you’re concerned about that jog, you could simply omit the four-round transition and move directly from Color #1 into Color #2.

Fingerless Mitts in Fino Mini Skeins

Step 4: Add in Color #3, Storm Glass, and work 4-round transition as noted above. Cut Watered Silk, and continue knitting with Storm Glass until the mitts measure 8” from the cast-on edge.

Step 5:  Add in Color #4, Peacock Plume, and work 4-round transition as noted above. Cut Storm Glass, and continue working with Peacock Plume (you should be working the thumb opening by now). As a side note, the pattern we chose already had two color sections in the hands, built around the thumb opening, and we chose to use these color breaks as guides.  

Step 6: As soon as the thumb opening is complete, knit two additional rounds of Peacock Plume, then add in Color #5, Mourning, and work 4-round transition as noted above. Cut Peacock Plume, and continue on with Mourning.

Step 7: Follow pattern instructions to complete the mitt in Mourning.

Repeat Steps 2-7 to make the second mitt and you’re done!

Finished Fingerless Mitts faded with Fino Minis

We hope this project gave you some ideas on how to incorporate our Fino Mini-Skeins into fading projects. We’d love to see your interpretations and fade projects – please share your projects to Facebook, Instagram, or Ravelry!

50 Years of Manos del Uruguay

Category: Fair Trade News & Topics

Half a century of history

The Manos cooperatives began making yarn in 1968, fifty years ago! The Fairmount Fibers team is thrilled to be a part of the story that brings Manos del Uruguay yarns to fiber fans in the United States. This magnificent milestone deserves recognition!  

Manos del Uruguay yarn cooperatives

Women’s empowerment is a common subject these days, but it is a topic that has been at the core of the company from the very beginning. More than 5,000 women in Uruguay’s countryside have enjoyed jobs, security, economic independence, personal and professional development at Manos. While the Cooperatives, collectively, are a large and well-organized business, each individual coop is still very much a small local business.  In a mass-produced world, we have stood up for the value of an artisanal product which is made using natural fibers and sustainable methods.

Signed yarn tag

In 2009, the Manos cooperatives joined the World Fair Trade Organization after a rigorous certification process.  Read more about what it means to be Fair Trade Certified. When you choose Manos del Uruguay yarn, you’re choosing a yarn with a purpose! Each purchased skein helps a woman to support her family. We hope you take a closer look at each skein of yarn to read the signature of the artisan and location of the cooperative village. 

50 Years of Manos del Uruguay yarns

As the next chapter begins, we invite you to join us in this handmade story. In the coming weeks, we’ll have free patterns, a celebratory colorway (available on most bases!), a new pattern collection, and more. We will be sharing the news as each is launched across social media.  

On behalf of the Manos del Uruguay cooperatives, we are happy to share this 50th Anniversary video. It includes testimony from the artisans, speaking about what it means to them to be a part of Manos. Thank you again and cheers to the next 50 years!