Guest Blogger: Tiny Owl Knits
Editor'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. 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!