Spotlight on Angelia Robinson

Category: Featured Projects, Guest Bloggers

ASR Headshot 2-032015The Fairmount Fibers team has worked with many talented designers. Angelia Robinson is the designer behind a number of crochet patterns in Manos del Uruguay yarns. Angelia was generous and kind with her time to answer a handful of questions for this designer spotlight. We’re pleased to share her responses with you!

Felted Crochet Tote in Wool Clasica
How did you first come to work with Manos yarns? 
I met Lisa at TNNA a few years ago. It happened to be right around the time that I was also working on a commission for one of Vogue Knitting’s special crochet issues. I mentioned to Lisa that I had been assigned Manos Clasica to use in a felted tote bag, and she said she had not seen felted crochet before. So I showed her pictures of the work-in-progress and we talked about it. After the trade show I sent in a few swatches and sketches, and we’ve been working together ever since. Shown above is the #05 Felted Tote, from Vogue Knitting Crochet 2013 Special Issue.
Angelia Robinson Designs for Fairmount Fibers

Do you have a favorite base or colorway in the Manos Yarn line?
My first favorite was Silk Blend. I’ve designed several garments with this base, and I’m always pleased with the results. I love the drape, softness, and sheen that the touch of silk adds to the wool. But my new favorite is definitely Serena. The sport-weight cotton/baby alpaca blend is perfect for spring and summer garments and accessories. I live in Los Angeles, and our climate doesn’t give us a lot of opportunities to go full-on wool. Blends like Serena are a must in my personal yarn stash. Shown above, left to right: Viedma in Silk Blend, Geranio in Serena, and Tembetari in Serena.

Cowls by Angelia Robinson

How did you get started knitting / crocheting / designing? Who taught you?
I learned to crochet as a child. My mom taught me, but I only picked up the chain and single crochet stitches at the time. I was just too impatient! About 12 years ago I stumbled across a crochet club at my local library, and I was literally hooked! The women in the club were so wonderfully generous with their time, wisdom and yarn as they reintroduced me to the craft. Soon I was crocheting again and knitting, too. Membrillo in Fino is shown above left, and Minas in Silk Blend is shown above right.

 Angelia Robinson crochet sweatersWhere do you draw inspiration from?
I am inspired by the challenge of making a garment both fit and flatter the body. This is a completely selfish concern because my pear-shaped form is not always easy to dress. So when I start a new project, I usually begin by asking myself, “How would this look on me? Could I wear this out in public?” I love to browse through vintage fashion books, magazines, and thrift stores for inspiration. Just looking at silhouettes, hems, necklines and other vintage details always sparks new ideas in my head. I also like to reclaim yarn from thrift store sweaters. Not only is the process of dismantling and unraveling old sweaters a lot of fun, but it has also taught me so much about fit and garment construction. Above from left to right: Pineapple Cardigan in Serena, Siracha Twinset in Silk Blend, and Mint Breeze Cardigan in Silk Blend.
Gloria swatch
Do you have any Manos currently on your needles or hook? Maybe a peek at a future design in Manos? 
I recently finished a scarf and mitts set in Gloria which will be part of the Fall 2016 Accessories release. I used a fun zig-zag lace stitch which works up very quickly. I love the way subtle color variations in the yarn play across the lace.
Thanks again to Angelia for sharing with us! Take a moment to check out her designs in Manos Yarns and feel free to share your crochet projects with us on Facebook, Ravelry, Twitter or Instagram!

Spotlight on Heather Zoppetti

Category: Guest Bloggers, Yarn Features
Heather Zoppetti in her Feroce hat, knit in Manos Maxima Trifoglio Shawl in Manos del Uruguay Fino
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 Heather Zoppetti. In the top photo she’s wearing her Feroce hat, knit in Manos Maxima. The Trifoglio Shawl is Heather’s latest design in Manos del Uruguay Fino. We reached out to Heather 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!
Dahlia Cardigan, designed by Heather Zoppetti, in Manos Serena
How did you first come to work with Manos yarns?
I first started designing with Manos yarns when I used Serena for my Dahlia Cardigan in Interweave Knits, Fall 2011. When Lisa sent me the yarn we realized that I live very close to the distributor, Fairmount Fibers, and so we began working together on various projects. I did a small collection for them and have tried to contribute to their pattern lines on a regular basis.
Heather Zoppetti designs in Manos Yarns

Top: Ricardito in Maxima, left, and Flan in Fino, right.
Bottom, left to right: Dulche de Leche in Serena, Tarta in Silk Blend, Bizcocho in Silk Blend

How did you get started knitting and designing? Who taught you?

I taught myself to knit from a book during college. My roommate wanted to learn to crochet, but I had tried that before without success, so she picked up crochet and I learned knitting. I think fell into designing like most other designers…I couldn’t knit a pattern without changing it. Soon I was changing so much, I decided I might as well simply design my own pattern just the way I wanted.
 Vasca, designed by Heather Zoppetti, in Manos Serena
Do you have a favorite yarn or colorway in the Manos Yarn line?
This is a hard question! So many of the colors are simply gorgeous. Right now I’m really into blues and greens, so I’m going to say my favorite color is Steel. My favorite base is probably Serena because it’s so unique. It’s such a curious blend of alpaca and cotton. It’s got a great drape and the perfect hand—really lovely to work with. Shown above is the Vasca cowl in Manos Serena.
Millersville Blouse, in Manos Serena, by Heather Zoppetti  Spathe in Manos Serena
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Inspiration is everywhere. Sometimes something as simple as a color or a shape will spark an idea; other times a stitch pattern will jump out at me. Sometimes the yarn itself tells me exactly what it wants to be. Shown above left, the Millersville Blouse in Serena, and right, the Spathe Shawl in Silk Blend.
Heather Zoppetti accessories in Manos Yarns

Tromen Cowl in Maxima, and Rocha hat in Wool Clasica

Do you have any Manos yarns currently on your needles?
I do! I’m currently working on three accessories for fall. Of course they are secret…
We are looking forward to sharing Heather’s new designs this fall, stay tuned! Until then, cast on one of her designs in your favorite Manos del Uruguay yarn today!


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?


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!