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.
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.
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!
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.
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
“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
“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.
We just received a new line of knitting needles and according to Dawn, “they are smoother than butter…” And we all know that she doesn’t lavish praise like that without just cause.
But we recognize that to really love a knitting needle, is to try it out for yourself. So we’d like to invite you to drop in and see what you think. Kick the tires so to speak.
She started a swatch with our new Signature needles and a skein of Leading Men in dk. You can give these new needles a spin by knitting on our swatch. Let us know what you think. We’re confident that you’ll have some fun with them.
We have long been fans of Louet’s Euroflax Sport Weight linen yarn. It is a superior quality, fine linen which is double boiled and then steamed to ensure maximum softness. It feels stiff to the touch in the skein, then transforms almost magically when your finished project is washed and dried. Yes, it seems totally counter-intuitive, but the yarn manufacturer actually encourages machine use to soften your project. And what a treat to have a hand knit that doesn’t insist on hand washing!
Some knitters wash the yarn before they knit with it in order to be able to work with it in its softer state. I have not been brave enough, and prefer to wait to see the change after the potential for snarly tangles has passed. So I must confess that I have struggled with the stiffness of the yarn as I work with it. (Working almost exclusively with soft resilient wool has spoiled me for working with the less bouncy plant based fibers that have more structure.)
But Dawn and Kristin love working with this yarn. They have both made many projects with it in summers past. Over the last couple of months they both eagerly found some stunning projects that we have on display in the shop this month that beautifully illustrate just how well linen knits up.
And look at the amazing soft drape that is possible. This is Ishbel, a classic shawl pattern designed by Ysolda. Almost 13,000 Ravelers have knit this shawl since the pattern was first published, and it is easy to see why.
Kristin’s classic French blue version looks as though it could beautifully accessories anything from jeans and a t-shirt at the Farmers’ Market to a little sundress at a more formal picnic.
Dawn consistently makes stunning projects with this yarn. This Spring she cast on for the Simple Hemp Tote that she saw on the Espace Tricot blog. It’s worked as a long rectangle with angled corners, folded in half and seamed to finish. The FREE pattern is very well written and easy to follow.
And we thought it would make a fun Knit Along. The garter stitch knitting should make for a fun social project that will give us the freedom to chat and relax. So, we’ll be casting on for this beautiful tote on Tuesday March 26th. We hope that you can join us for our Community Knit Night that evening so that we can all cast on. It is always fun to see what colors other knitters gravitate towards, and to check in on each others progress in upcoming weeks.
Stop on by the shop before the 26th so that we can get your yarn selected and wound for you before our KAL starts!
On the off-chance that you don’t follow our Facebook posts, you should know that we have a new Shibui yarn in the shop that we are VERY excited about.
Our Shibui passion is expanding to include Kavo, the DK weight 85% cotton and 15% silk blend that is so brand new that you may be among the first to cast on with it! Each skein is 224 yards/50 grams and $18.
Shibui explains the name: “Originating from cavo n. Italian for rope or cable, adj. Hollow. An unusual combination of strength and elegance. With a strong 2-ply cotton core and a decadent silk wrap, Kavo creates incredible knits with exceptional drape and a smooth, luxurious hand. The slight variation in diameter gives this DK weight yarn an organic feel.”
“Intended to be knit on range of needle sizes, Kavo’s fabric is open and airy, yet substantial enough to hold structured silhouettes. The silk wrap adds a subtle touch of sheen, making it a perfect choice for summer wear.”
It may be the perfect choice for a swingy summer tunic like that one designed by Lori Versaci that Theresa is interested in knitting. Or you may opt for a smaller accessory like k.2, a brand new Kristin Ford pattern from shibui that is FREE with the purchase of Kavo yarn.
Let us know what you are tempted to knit with it!