Summertime Stitches

Category: Featured Projects, Free patterns

If you are traveling this summer, relaxing poolside or enjoying lazy days at home, don’t forget to keep your knitting and crochet projects at hand! Choose your favorite Manos del Uruguay yarn and a pattern that is interesting but not demanding and you will be set for fiber fun!

We have new free patterns available to download on FairmountFibers.com. The Cesta Cowl, designed by Lisa R. Myers, uses 2 skeins of Fino in this great unisex design that pairs garter stitch with a woven cable pattern. To knit the Camote Pocket Scarf, designed by Cassandra Milani, you will need 3 skeins of Maxima. Don’t you love the end pockets? They are great for warmth or storage! Andrea Mules designed the Augusta Shawl to spotlight different possible gradient color combinations using Serena in a crochet pattern.

Frequently we look to Ravelry and our Ravelry group for additional project inspiration. Shawls and wraps like these are portable and lightweight making them perfect for summer. We really like likecotton’s version of Westloop using Fino in the Inkwell and Corsage colorways. Annestrikker improvised her own pattern using an easy to memorize lace pattern she liked with Serena in her Grey Waves Wrap. Superflychild incorporated graduated bands of the Corsage and Pocketwatch colorways of Fino in this Fino Circle Scarf (another free pattern from Fairmount Fibers!).

Here’s to a great summer! Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages when you’re out and about for our newest patterns, project inspiration and more!

 

Free Pattern Round Up

Category: Free patterns

Are your needles in need of a quick project? We have three new free patterns from our design contest ready to download.Each project works up quickly and requires only one or two skeins of Wool Clasica!

Turband
Turband is a great piece to have in your wardrobe as the seasons change. The rib stitch is simple and satisfying, and with minimal finishing you will have a new accessory in no time!

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The Tweedledee Hat uses a stitch pattern that looks great in a semi-solid or space-dyed skein of Wool Clasica. This is a great first project for beginner knitters as well.

Boot Toppers 2
The Wavy Cable Boot Toppers are a quick little project for you to practice cabling and end up with a fantastic and unique accessory. To make these you will need two skein of Wool Clasica.

These patterns and more can be found on our website, check it out! We love to see what you create with our yarn – please share your work at our Manos del Uruguay Facebook page or join our Ravelry group to chat with other Manos fans!

cowl crazy

Category: Featured Projects, Free patterns

The blog post before this one was a tutorial on some of the techniques used in the Electric Reversible Shaker Cowl. If you’ve been following us on Ravelry, Facebook or Twitter, you know that this cowl pattern was one of four new free cowl designs that we’ve released this month. We keep hearing that everyone is interested in cowls this season, and we’re doing our best to satisfy your cowl needs! I thought this blog post would be a good place to explore the cowl phenomenon a little further.

(LaurenO’s Herringbone Cowl in Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend)

What is it that makes cowls such an attractive knitting project? I can think of several reasons, both from the knitter’s perspective and having to do with the finished project itself. In terms of knitting, a cowl project has a lot of great qualities. They can frequently be made with one skein of a favorite yarn and are easily portable in a small knitting bag. Structurally, cowls can be made either flat or in the round, and in their most basic forms consist of only the simplest techniques that a new knitter can easily master. On the other hand, the simple structure of a cowl means that more advanced or adventurous knitters can challenge themselves with intricate stitch patterns and other elaborate details! And if we’re talking about details, lets not forget that cowls can be great vehicles for buttons and other notions. I’ve seen some lovely ones that involve ribbon detailing through knitted eyelets.

(EmilyElizabeth’s Adamaris cowl in Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend)

Some of the reasons cowls make such nice knitting projects contribute to the reason they make such lovely accessories to wear, as well. Because they often require only a single skein of yarn, they’re an ideal use for a skein of something special. Since you’ll be wearing a cowl in such a way that it both touches sensitive skin and is visible near your face, a precious skein of soft and beautiful yarn finds a fitting home in this accessory. The two cowls linked above both use Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend, which is a wonderful example of a yarn whose softness and sheen are perfect for both insulating your neck and setting off your features! But don’t feel compelled to try Silk Blend for a cowl… any yarn that is soft and good quality will make a great one.

(thestitchwench’s Gladiator Cowl in 2 colors of Manos del Uruguay Maxima)

The other reason I love cowls as an insulating accessory is that they look fabulous. Usually by February, I feel pretty sick and tired of bundling up into winter outerwear! A stylish cowl, however, is a lot less cumbersome than a full-size scarf, even though it’s just as warm. A big, roomy cowl (or a snood) can even replace both a scarf and a hat if the weather isn’t too severe. Having an attractive cowl in a lovely yarn helps me feel like bad weather isn’t keeping me from looking good! Even if I’m resigned to a winter coat for several more weeks, at least I can dress it up with a trendy accessory. If you’re feeling weary of bundling in hats and scarves this winter, maybe it’s a good time to try knitting a cowl?

New Free Patterns

Category: Free patterns

Have you checked out the Fairmount Fibers Free Patterns page recently? We are always adding new designs that offer creative ways to use Manos del Uruguay yarns. We do let people know on our Twitter, Facebook, and Ravelry groups when something new goes up, but it never hurts to go and check the page, because the list of free patterns has been growing rapidly!

Two of our most recent additions are great patterns for knitting warm winter garments or accessories! The Main Street Scarf is luxurious to knit and to wear, in the soft and drapey Manos Silk Blend. A ruffled scarf is actually perfect for cold weather, since the extra texture and layers from the ruffles help trap insulating pockets of air. Between the fabric’s fullness and the wool content in the yarn, this scarf will definitely help with keeping warm this winter!

Another great winter pattern is the Dakota Men’s Vest. Knitting a men’s garment sometimes takes a little bit more of a time commitment, but what better way to spend the time that we’re stuck inside, waiting for nicer weather? Worked in Manos Wool Clàsica, the finished vest is soft, sturdy and of course warm. Adding a vest to an outfit is a great way to add warmth without adding bulk… so the recipient could add it to their clothing layers without interfering with the fit of their overcoat.

And just think… by the time we are done with all this winter knitting and bundling up, it will be time to think about spring knitting already!

Featured Yarn: Rittenhouse Merino 5-ply

Category: Free patterns, Yarn Features

Let me start off by saying that I want everybody to know about Manos’ Rittenhouse Merino 5-ply. The combination of the soft extrafine merino and the versatile plied worsted weight composition makes for a fantastic yarn, and the range of gorgeous colors certainly doesn’t hurt! So I did a little Ravelry searching to see if there were some likely patterns for Rittenhouse that I could use to spread the word about it. I was so pleased and impressed to see that, judging by the beautiful projects in the Ravelry gallery for this yarn, you guys are all in on my little yarn love secret already! I am so impressed by the range of gorgeous designs and impressive knitting prowess everyone has shown while working with Rittenhouse Merino.

rittenhouse-sweaters

As a whole, the project gallery shows that you’ve already learned the best of what I was going to say about this yarn: it’s fantastic for knitting sweaters. Just look at these amazing projects from (clockwise from left) Ravelry users BobbySoxie, jmpw, and jooleeyet! As you can see, the bold semi-solid colors and the precise stitch definition of the Rittenhouse Merino mean that it knits up into an ideal yarn for sweaters: visually striking, but still simple enough to let the design elements and all your hard work shine through!

And that’s not to say that sweaters are the only projects you should plan with this yarn. There’s a wonderful collection of accessories in the Ravelry gallery, too- the types of projects that are perfect for trying out a new-to-you yarn, perfect for bundling up to stay cozy this winter, and perfect when planning a few quickie knits for your holiday gifts list!

rittenhouse-accessories

I just love these savvy knitters’ low-yardage use of Rittenhouse Merino. Gooey, LCBraun, thischickadee and Mercourier (clockwise from top left) have all taken full advantage of the lovely stitch definition, creating accessories with a lot of “wow factor,”  in appealing semi solid colorways that enhance, rather than detract from, the stitch patterns. I would be thrilled to have any of these projects bundling my head and shoulders this winter, or making appearances in my holiday giving! Maybe I can hire some of these knitters to help me get a jump on my gift list? (Wishful thinking!)

Anyway, my original purpose before I fell into the trap of admiring lovely projects on Ravelry, was to find some resources for those of you who might be interested in trying this yarn out. Here are a couple of free patterns, if you’ve gotten this far in the post and still need some inspiration! (Left to right, below.) Of course there’s the Botany Kerchief from the Fairmount Fibers Free Patterns collection. Those of you who are Knitting Daily members should also check out the Rittenhouse Scarf pattern, and indie designer Nina Rose has made the Edith Convertible Cowl available as a free pattern, too. As far as I’m concerned, these are three great (and free!) reasons to check out the Manos Rittenhouse Merino 5-ply!

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