January has been a great month for free patterns in Manos del Uruguay yarns… we’ve released two new ones on the Fairmount Fibers Free Patterns page, and The Purl Bee has made another one available in their Project Journal section. We love sharing free patterns with you, since they are such a good way to get to know Manos yarns. Each of these patterns showcases different aspects of the yarn they use, so they’re ideal for learning about the fiber if you’ve been thinking of trying something new!
The first pattern to be released this month was the “Belated Handwarmers,” worked up in Silk Blend. As you can see in this picture, this yarn has a lovely sheen to it. The knitted ribbing and cable pattern is also nice and squishy, because the silk content of the fiber lends its weight and drape to the fabric. Even a small project like this (it uses a single skein of yarn) creates a finished product that is luxurious and lasting. If you knit these as a gift, the lush feel of the silk blend might even be enough to make your recipient forget the fact that the gift was a little ‘belated!’
Fairmount Fibers’ other free pattern offering this month was the Frederica Beret. This one is knitted in Rittenhouse Merino 5-ply, which as I’ve posted about before, is a favorite yarn for when you really want to show off your knitting techniques. The great stitch definition and lasting quality of Rittenhouse makes it ideal for displaying the unique smocking effect on the brim of this beret. The ribbed structure of knitting makes the smocking technique used on this project easier than it looks, but when you use a show-off yarn like Rittenhouse, the finished project is still one that makes people think, “Wow, how did she do that?”
The Purl Bee recently posted this pattern for a set of four felted hot pads in Wool Clàsica. This pattern would be a great starting point for those of you who want to play with the great range of colors in this yarn. Clàsica felts beautifully because the handspun fibers are minimally processed, but you shouldn’t consider it a ‘felting only’ yarn. Knitting with Clàsica is truly a unique experience since it is produced on a small scale by artisans, and the finished fabric is rich, thick and woolly. I consider a felting project with Clàsica to be the best of two worlds… that is, it felts beautifully, but you also get the pre-felting joy of working with a top-quality yarn full of handspun character, minimally processed fiber and stunning colors!