4 Reasons to Care About Fair Trade

Category: Fair Trade News & Topics

If you are a knitter, crocheter, or weaver, you are going to need materials. While you first may be drawn to the fabulous Manos del Uruguay yarns for the color and feel, the yarn does more than just look good in your project! Fairmount Fibers would like to remind you that since its foundation in 1968, Manos del Uruguay has been deeply committed towards the social and economic development of the rural women.

Yarn Drying OutsideFair Trade is better for the environment. All the Manos del Uruguay yarns are line-dried outside! In the winter, production schedules have to allow for increased drying time, because there are no indoor drying facilities.

Manos ArtisanFair Trade means fair pay and working conditions and empowers women. The Manos Cooperatives provide health insurance, retirement pensions, paid vacations and paid maternity leave for their members.

Hand spun Wool ClasicaFair Trade means quality goods. Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica is hand spun in the cooperatives using pure wool from the local Corriedale sheep. The artisanal spin makes not-perfectly-even stitches part of the richness of the finished product rather than a flaw.

Julie's tag

Fair Trade connects you with other cultures. Each and every skein of yarn is signed, so you will know who made your yarn, and from which village it came.

Thank you for your continued support of Manos del Uruguay yarns! We enjoy seeing the projects you create and hope you will continue to share them with us! Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Ravelry, and Instagram.


2015 Spring Collection

Category: Featured Projects, New Stuff

Are you experiencing the Winter Blahs? Fairmount Fibers is excited to share the 2015 Spring pattern collection with you. These projects in Manos Serena, Silk Blend, Fino and Lace are sure to be a breath of fresh air to rejuvenate your knitting mojo! We love to hear about how you are enjoying the Manos del Uruguay yarns. When you have a moment, we encourage you to share those projects with us on the social media channel of your choice: Facebook, Ravelry, Twitter, or Instagram!

Spring Collection part 1This season’s featured designer is Ruth Garcia-Alcantud. Sweater designs include (clockwise from top left) Calida, Azahar, and Blanca. Accessory designs include the Dorada shawl (bottom left) and Maresme cowl & mitts (bottom center).

Spring 2015 Collection Part 2Also included in the collection are (clockwise from top left) the Galicia sweater by Emma Welford, Asturias shawl by Lisa R. Myers, Marisco wrap by Jocelyn J. Tunney, and Vasca cowl by Heather Zoppetti. Cast on for a new project and let yourself be distracted by the wonderful yarns, colorways and the process of making your next project!

Special with Silk

Category: Yarn Features

We have noticed a fair number of knitters and crocheters indulging in selfish projects this month. A true treat as winter settles in is to select something special from your queue and cast on with a yarn containing a bit of silk in it. Fairmount Fibers is proud to bring several yarn choices to your local yarn shop: Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend, Fino, and Lace.

Vana Shrug Melimoyu

Elegant and refined, Fino combines the softness of merino wool with the lustre of silk in a lightweight yarn that’s perfect for heirloom accessories or luxurious garments. Fino features a new dye process that yields complex, subtle, tonal colors. Vana Shrug, by Teresa Gregorio in the Spring 2015 Knitscene, features lace edges and raglan shaping, is perfectly suited for any spring day, rain or shine. Melimoyu, designed by Varian Brandon, is a fabulous opportunity to explore colorwork.

Theodora Shawl Bizcocho

This isn’t just any lace yarn:  it’s composed of baby alpaca for warmth and softness, silk for shine, and cashmere for pure luxury. Your finest work deserves the finest fiber! The Theodora Shawl is a free pattern designed by Lisa R. Myers in two skeins of Lace. Soft and shiny, Silk Blend gives good stitch definition to cables and other texture patterns. Its jewel-like colors work beautifully in stranded colorwork designs. An interesting example of this comes in to play with Heather Zoppetti’s design, Bizcocho, a sweater worked in Silk Blend, with the contrast colors of the yoke worked in Lace.

AngrySriLankan westbourne-kinu-love Muzsi Purple Caramel Shawl Knutty67 Cabled Vest

On the left, the westbourne pattern, was knit by Ravelry user AngrySriLankan, using Manos Lace for the main colorway in combination with Habu Textiles Tsugumi Silk for the contrasting stripes. Ravelry user Mutszi, used two skeins of Fino in the Purple Caramel shawl project (center). We are looking forward to the pattern release of this design! Silk Blend is stunning as a showcase for textural work like knutty67’s Cabled Vest.

Are you enjoying January with projects just for you? We love hearing about all the projects you make and look forward to hearing from you in our Ravelry group or on our Facebook page! Feel free to also tag us on Twitter, too! If you’re looking for more inspiration click over to the Patterns page on the Fairmount Fibers website!




Winter Pattern Round-Up

Category: Featured Projects

The holiday rush is behind us and with the new year underway, thoughts are turning to the next project. That project could be something small and quick-to-finish, or something that enables a new skill set like colorwork. In this post we’re rounding up the recently published patterns that fit the bill, all Manos del Uruguay Maxima!


Kate Bostwick’s fabulous colorwork sweater, Siffleur, debuted in the Winter 2014 Twist Collective.  This pullover is worked in the round from the bottom to the armholes using the stranded colorwork technique.The sleeves are knit separately to the armhole, then joined to the body, and the yoke is worked seamlessly to the neckband. The colorwork pattern is given in chart form only. Depending on size, the following amounts and colorways of Maxima are required:

  • 4 (4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7) skeins in #M2680 Sea Urchin (A)
  • 2 (2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3) skeins in #M2590 Natural (B)
  • 1 skein in #M2020 Spirulina (C)



Hay Bale HatHay Bale headband

Laura Nelkin’s Hay Bale Hat and Headband pattern each start with the Hay Bale Stitch, a textural band created by elongating stitches on one row and then wrapping them with your working yarn to create a mini Hay Bale on the next. Then ribbing organically grows out of it into the hat or headband. Each version is a fun project in Manos Maxima, shown above in M2152 Cherrywood (hat) and M2680 Sea Urchin (headband).

Roku Hats

You may better know designer Olga Buraya-Kefelian under her brand name Olgajazzy with innovative designs. This hat was thoroughly developed in a quest for a perfectly ribbed beanie (Roku means ribbed in Japanese), one that would suit anyone – man, woman or child. Smart shaping options and a choice to work it longer, shorter, or adding accessories allows you to create the perfect hat for your favorite person. Super-soft merino fiber and a light single-ply construction make Maxima a cuddly yarn and perfect for hats. Samples shown here are knit in the following colorways (clockwise from top left): M2445 Royal, M2175 Shocking, M2431 Helium, M2060 Highlighter, and M2110 Zinnia.

Zipper Scarf

The Zipper Scarf, by Xandy Peters, is a unisex sideways knit scarf with a unique ripple pattern. Inspired by the dots and curves in Aboriginal art, the wave motif provides a great foundation for any color combo. It looks great in dark colors or brights, making it bold or subtle.Three colorways of Maxima are used: M2290 Dark Chocolate, M2122 Mahogany, and M2680 Sea Urchin.


We’d love to know, what’s your first Manos del Uruguay project for 2015? Is it a pattern from Fairmount Fibers or a a design of your own? We’d love to hear from you on our Facebook page or in our Ravelry group!

Spotlight on Grace Akhrem

Category: Featured Projects
sprouting leaves cowl
Fairmount Fibers is proud to have established relationships with so many talented designers.  In today’s post we’d like to put a spotlight on designer Grace Akhrem. Her designs are inspired by color, yarn, texture, and fashion. The Sprouting Leaves Cowl is Grace’s newest design in Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica. The cowl can be made small or large with one to two skeins of yarn; it’s shown here in the 25 Shale colorway. We reached out to Grace asking if she would share a bit of her background and experience working with Manos del Uruguay yarns. She was generous and kind with her time and we’re pleased to share her responses with you!
Honeycomb Tote
How did you first come to work with Manos yarns
I was first drawn to Manos yarns because of the rich colors and luscious texture.  When I first bought Manos Clasica I didn’t have much of a plan for it, except I knew that I wanted to use the two colors I had chosen to be knit together in one project.  I started swatching and before I knew it, I had finished the Honeycomb Tote (shown above).  That was my first experience both working with and designing with Manos Yarns.  Before and since this experience I have been drawn to the yarn of Manos del Uruguay, not just for the exquisite fiber and delicious colors but for the entire idea behind the yarn itself.  Manos del Uruguay yarn is what I like to call “yarn with a conscience”. I feel by using this yarn I’m helping make the world a little bit of a better place one hank at a time.
Riverbed Shawlette
Do you have a favorite yarn or colorway in the Manos Yarn line?
Yes! I love Fino…. but I haven’t had the pleasure of knitting with it yet. I have a hank in my stash Lisa gave me last year at TNNA.  I look at it adoringly from time to time, I hope to make something with it soon.  As far as the Manos yarns I have worked with, I think it will have to be a tie between Silk Blend and Maxima. Shown above is the Riverbed Shawlette, knit with two skeins of Maxima in M2020 Spirulina.   As far as colors go, no – I don’t have a favorite.  How can I? They are all so beautiful and wonderfully saturated.  I love them all equally!


Peace Street Slouch
How did you get started knitting / designing? Who taught you?  
I saw a friend knitting at a get together in high-school, I thought it looked fun.  I remembered I knew how to make a chain stitch in crochet.  So I went over to my local craft store and picked up some basic yarn and asked my mother if she knew how to crochet more than just a chain.  She taught me the triple crochet stitch.  For a whole year that was all I knew and all I did.  Then I decided that I really wanted to learn how to knit.  I knew that my grandmother knew how, so I asked her to show me.  She taught me continental knitting, it took me two days to learn how to knit.  After two days I was zooming through garter stitch like a pro, but that was all I knew how to do – cast on and knit (nothing else).  I kind of figured out how to purl on my own, and then later on I picked up a copy of Knitting for Dummies  and that is where I learned real techniques.  Techniques like how to purl correctly, how to bind off, how to cable and simple things like that. After learning all the technical skills I could from that book I started playing around with stitches by combining knits and purls, etc.  What I didn’t realize was that there was such a thing as knitting patterns.  I would just make up things as I went along and would write them down (just in case).  When I finally became aware that knitting patterns existed and that they could possibly become a way to make a little cash I started trying to sell my patterns.  Little did I know this would become a full-time gig. Shown above is the Peace Street Slouch, knit in the M2349 Oxygen colorway of Maxima.
Two Hour Cowl
Do you have any Manos currently on your needles? Maybe a peek at a future design in Manos? 
As of right now I don’t have any Manos on my needles, but I think I know what I am going to do with that Fino in my stash when I get a chance. I would love to have more time (wouldn’t we all) to knit with all the Manos in all the colors. I  just want to make blankets and sweaters with all the yarn and all the colors! Ask me again in a month – I hope to have a different answer and more time… and a chocolate cake in the fridge (just because I love chocolate cake).  Shown above is the Two Hour Cowl, a free pattern available when you sign up for Grace’s newsletter!
As a special treat, Grace has kindly set up a coupon code for her patterns using Manos Yarns that we have mentioned here in this post! The four patterns are 25% off now through 12/21/14 Pacific time – Ravelry only.  Coupon code is: manossale2014 . Enjoy!
Thanks again to Grace for taking the time to talk with us for this blog post! We’d love to know which of her designs you’ll be casting on next in our Ravelry group or on our Facebook page!