Caring for Your Manos del Uruguay Projects

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Have you ever accidentally felted or shrunk one of your knits? It is such a terrible feeling. We know that you spend time carefully selecting just the right skein, finding the perfect pattern, and devoting hours to crafting that perfect project. We often get questions on how best to care for your creations in Manos yarns, and we thought we’d take a little time today to share with you our tried and true methods of caring for your knits.

Knits in Alegria, Alegria Grande, Clara, Franca, and Gloria will all be fine in cold water on a machine’s Gentle cycle, then laid flat to dry.  You can also wash them as you would our other yarns.  

First, let’s talk about what superwash means. Just like human hair, animal fibers (wool) have scales. These scales are what make many fibers sticky and sometimes when heated and agitated, these scales can bind together which results in felting. That’s what happens when you accidentally put that sweater you worked so hard on in the washer and dryer and it comes out smaller and denser.  

Superwash wools are chemically treated to either remove or coat these scales so that they cannot bind together. Theoretically, superwash wools can be machine washed and dried without danger of felting or shrinkage. However, any time you add heat (especially with hot water) and agitation, you can change the appearance or performance of your fibers in unintended ways.

  

To illustrate this, we have knit up a sample in our newest yarn, Serpentina, and then machine washed and dried it. While the before and after photos don’t appear too different to the eye, there are differences in the fabric before and after. In this particular example, the row gauge has become slightly larger which could affect the overall size of a garment after washing. The other thing that you can’t see clearly in the photo is that the yarn is starting to fray and pill a little; this will only increase over the lifetime of the garment.

So how can you keep your projects looking beautiful and fresh over time? We’ve outlined a few steps below that you can apply to all your projects, whether you used superwash or non-superwash Manos del Uruguay yarns.

Step 1: Fill a clean sink (or bucket, or basin) with lukewarm water. We like to add just a smidge of heat to the water to loosen any oils or dirt that might be lurking in a knit, but prefer not to go too much beyond lukewarm.  

Step 2: Add some of your favorite wool wash. We like to use either Eucalan or Soak, but there are many wool washes out there to choose from.

Step 3: Gently add your project to the water. We like to press the project into the water softly and make sure it is entirely submerged. Don’t add too much agitation, just enough to get your project good and wet. Let your project soak for about 20 minutes in the water/wool wash solution.

Step 4: Check the label of your wool wash. Some suggest a cool water rinse on your project to remove remaining wool wash from the project; others such as Eucalan and Soak don’t require a rinse. No-rinse detergents can not only be time-savers, they also remove an extra opportunity to accidentally felt your project during the rinsing process.

Step 5: Remove your project from the water and squeeze gently to remove excess water. The key here is being gentle; don’t wring or twist your knit. If you have a clean towel nearby, you can roll your project into the towel and squeeze gently again to remove more excess water.

Step 6: Lay your project out to dry. If your project needs to be blocked, you can use blocking wires; if you don’t need a severe blocking you can just lay your project out on a mat and press gently into shape with your hands.

Give your project enough time to dry and then enjoy wearing or using it again!

If you have more questions or want to share photos of your beautiful projects, you can find us here on the blog or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Ravelry!

Skill Building with Manos del Uruguay Yarns in 2018

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It’s a new year and now is the perfect time to take stock of your crafty skills and Manos del Uruguay yarn stash! Consider all that you accomplished last year as a starting point. Even if you just learned to knit, purl, or wield a crochet hook, you can build on those skills! Feel free to work a few of these ideas into your crafty resolutions and goals.

Make a Hat & Learn to Cable

The newest free pattern from the Fairmount Fibers team is the Florentine Cable Hat. One skein of bulky-weight Serpentina works up quickly in a medium adult-sized hat. This is a great introduction to cables and results in a practical project!

Step Up Your Sweater Style

Winter weather is here and will be for a while – thank goodness for sweaters! The brand new Twist Collective includes the Framework sweater by Kate Gilbert in Maxima. Another turtleneck sweater option is the Raglan Turtleneck Sweater by Rosemary Drysdale in Franca, published in Vogue Knitting Winter 2017/18. All the Love is a boxy style pullover with beautiful lace details down the front and back, knit in Silk Blend, designed by Joji Locatelli. Bonus: Joji’s design is a fundraising effort for a children’s school in Argentina! Click here to read the details.

Double Hook Mitts

The Double Hook Mitts, published in Interweave Crochet Winter 2018, uses a double-ended Tunisian crochet hook and Fino in these ribbed, two-color fingerless mitts. Imagine how impressed your non-fiber friends will be when you pull out these reversible mitts. Consider making a pile of these now and be ready for the end-of-year holiday season!

Whether you’re enhancing your stash and trying a new-to-you Manos yarn base or colorway or building your skills with a new project, we’d love to hear about it! We’re on Facebook, Ravelry, and Instagram, ready to encourage your projects and plans throughout 2018.

Manos del Uruguay Roving: Spin Your Own

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Knitters and crocheters know with every purchased skein of Manos yarn, you help a woman in Uruguay support her family. Did you know that this commitment extends to the Manos del Uruguay 100% Merino Roving as well? Today we’d like to spotlight several hand-spun projects featuring this fiber.

Manos del Uruguay Roving spun up

Hand-spun projects from Ravelry (clockwise from top right) Longpig’s Flame On yarn, Shriekingviolet’s Phoenix, PlutoniumMuffin’s Dragon Cowl inWildflower handspun, Juliecazknits’ The Age of Brass & Steam in Bramble handspun, and AuntieFona’s Fractal Fingering.

 

Gitagiri Manos Handspun sweater

We were particularly taken with Gitagiri’s First Handspun Sweater. She spun a braid of Roving in the Abalone colorway, then knit it as stripes with a complementary neutral colored yarn to make the gorgeous sweater above!

Manos Roving allows the spinner to take the Manos colorways they love and create a yarn that is the weight of their choice, maybe a little heavier or lighter, kept as a single or made a 3-ply. Click over to see our dedicated Pinterest board for more inspiration, then share your Manos handspun with us on Facebook, Ravelry, or Instagram!

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.

Textured Stitches

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There’s a great multi-season sleeveless top using Serena in the fantastic new book by Connie Chang Chinchio, Textured Stitches.

The Jennifer Shell features simple shaping and a stylish pleated collar detail that’s perfect for any occasion!  Such classic hallmarks of Connie’s designs are perfect complements to Serena‘s luxurious blend of baby alpaca and pima cotton.  This lightweight shell is ideal for work and play and designed for maximum wearability. We think it would look great in any of our semi-solid & space-dyed colorways – we can’t wait to see what everyone chooses!

Image © Joe Hancock

Shown in: Serena (60% alpaca, 40% cotton; 170 yd 155 m/50 g): #2246 oyster (taupe), 4 (4, 4, 5, 5, 6) skeins.
Needles:
Body: size U.S. 5 (3.75 mm): 24” (60 cm) circular; Pleats: size U.S. 4 (3.5 mm): 24” (60 cm) circular
Finished Size:
About 33 (35, 38, 43, 47, 50)” (84, 89, 96.5, 109, 119.5, 127 cm) bust circumference.  Shell shown measures 35” (89 cm).