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Manos’ Serena trunk show (part one)

The Manos del Uruguay Serena Trunk show has arrived at the shop, and the samples are worth coming to see in person.

Serena is Manos’ sport weight blend of 60% Alpaca and 40% Cotton.  The yarn is plied for extra strength and is deliciously soft to the touch.  As you can see, it has a wonderful drape that is particularly apparent in the samples we have on display.

 

serena 02

One of my favorites is the Conchecito Baby Blanket designed by Jocelyn Tunny.  This little throw is 29” wide by 34” long and created with crochet instead of knitting.  It uses a total of 7 skeins of Serena in four soft colors.  The $6 pattern uses basic stitches, so it is a great pattern for a beginner, or someone looking for a simple, speedy project.

 

serena 01

The Serena Shadow Shawl is another stunning example of how this cotton/alpaca blend performs.  This FREE pattern designed by Antonia Shankland is knit up with a total of 4 skeins of Serena in two colors.  The finished shawl measures 28” by 56” and is created with a US 4 needle.

This shawl is worked in 2-row stripes. There’s no need to cut yarn at every color change; carry color not in use up side of work, making sure not to pull it too tight.  So no pesky ends to weave in!

 

serena 05

And to round out the fun selection of Serena accessories, Julie’s Mom Barb knit up a Baktus with 2 skeins of Serena.  This FREE pattern of Strikkelise is a go-to favorite of Julie’s.

Julie has knit up at least a half dozen of these terrific garter stitch triangle scarves, and we all know they are a perfect travel project.  The finished scarf makes for a terrific gift or a wonderful little wrap to keep away any hint of a chill from the back of your neck.

We have more Serena sample to share with you later this week.  But we hope that you can swing by to see them in person.  There is no substitute for feeling its softness and admiring the colors first hand.

The story behind the trunk show

Dawn shot some terrific photos of some of the samples sent to us by the folks at Manos del Uruguay in order to demonstrate how beautifully their gorgeous sport weigh yarn Serena knits up.  We’ll be sharing those with you early next week.

In the meantime, we wanted to be sure you had a chance to learn more about where this yarn comes from.  Serena, like all of the yarns from Manos is beautifully kettle dyed for soft heathered colors that are almost impossible to resist.  But it is the story behind the Manos yarns that make these skeins unique.

 

© Manos del Uruguay

© Manos del Uruguay

“The Manos Cooperatives were founded in 1968, begun by five women whose goal was to develop economic opportunities for women in a country where there were, and are still, few opportunities for work.”

Purchasing this yarn will help these fiber artisans support her family, and allow the cooperative that she is a part of to enrich her community.  The first 5 kindergartens that were established in Uruguay were created by Manos Cooperatives for their members.

 

© Manos del Uruguay

© Manos del Uruguay

“Each skein is signed, so you will know who made your yarn, and from which village it came. You will be supporting the hand-crafted rather than mass-produced, and contributing to an economy where the workers control of the means of production. You, as a handknitter, crocheter or weaver, will be contributing to women’s careers in harmony with family life, and contributing to the landscape, and cultural heritage of Uruguay.”

This is a rich tapestry to be a part of.  We are very proud to be a part of this picture by bringing Manos yarn to the My Sister Knits community.  We hope that you can stop by the shop this month to take a look at the inspiring trunk show samples that are on display, and the stunning skeins of yarn that are waiting to be discovered.

The sweetest blossom in Julie’s garden

Helen was inspired by our Manos del Uruguay trunk show to knit up a little something that we thought you’d like a peak of.

 

dress

This is Calendula, a darling little smock dress designed by Alicia Plummer.  We love the pattern for it’s practicality.  This dress could easily work as a tunic over leggings, extending it’s life for another season on a growing girl.

Helen knit it up with just two skeins of Serena.  These 170 yard skeins are made of 60% Alpaca and 40% Cotton, for a baby soft blend that is perfect for little knits.  They are available for just $17.00 per skein.

Stop on by this weekend and let us pick out a perfect color combination for a tiny frock custom made for your little flower.

Small changes for a big success

How often do you see a pattern that looks appealing if it weren’t for that one aspect … wrong sleeve length, wrong neckline, should be a cardigan, or a pullover?  There are dozens of tiny aspects that can shift a design from almost perfect to custom made.

We modify patterns all the time.  And we wanted to share a story about a successful pattern modification that Amy brought in to the shop last week.  Sometimes seeing how someone else changed a pattern can make it easier to imagine how we could better make it our own.

 

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She fell in love with Rayures.  We all did, really.  Julie knit up this fun stripey cowl earlier this spring designed by ­­Amy Miller of the Quince & Co. design team.  Julie found that the pattern perfectly suited the wonderful palette of brights and neutrals available in the Shibui spectrum.  She paired Cima with Pebble for a fingering weight blend that would be soft to the touch and slightly heathered in texture.

Amy decided to make her Spring version of the cowl a bit less bulky.  She cast on about two thirds of the recommended stitch count, so her scarf is less wide.  This gave her more yarn yardage to work with, so she was able to work more stripes of fewer colors. Instead of the 7 colors that the pattern calls for, Amy used just four.  She chose a couple of soft neutrals to highlight her two pop colors of teal and coral.

 

amy

Amy’s cowl was created with 4 skeins of Shibui Staccato at $13.50 each.  The Merino and Silk blend of this yarn makes her stitches crisp and distinct, and the colors suit her perfectly.

Well done Amy!  Thank you for sharing with us.

Small changes can make a big difference, and we would love to help you tweak a pattern that you are eager to knit and make it the perfect project.  Let us know how we can help.

Amy’s Carpino

Amy just finished a beautiful Spring sweater for us that you’ll want to come visit.

 

© amachael

© amachael 

 

This is Carpino, designed by Carol Feller, and included in the patterns published in the Brooklyn Tweed Wool People Vol. 6 collection.

 

© amachael

© amachael

She chose a lovely color of the Isager Alpaca Merino 2.  We have some great color options in stock at $13.50 each.    She used just three skeins, which means that her sweater (pattern included) rings in under $50.

You can find more details on Amy’s project page.

Stop on by the shop to take a look at her sweater, and let us know if we can help you choose a fun lightweight sweater to knit up from the Brooklyn Tweed Collections.  We love their designs and are brimming with ideas of great yarns to use!

Thank you Amy for sharing this sample with us as well as your beautiful photos!