It’s said that, if someone learns to knit with Manos del Uruguay yarn, that person will be a knitter for life. Here at fibre space™, we’ve met lots and lots of people who swear by this wonder fibre. It’s not just delightful to the touch. It’s not just presented in amazing colorways. It’s also produced by a co-op that started more than 40 years ago to help women in Uruguay earn their own living.
Long a shining example to other knitting companies, Manos recently was admitted as a full member of the World Fair Trade Organization. Membership in the WFTO requires an thorough evaluation in which a company proves that it has a 100% commitment to fair trade and follows the organization’s 10 Principles of Fair Trade in its daily operations. But Manos does much more than that.
The first kindergartens in Uruguay were founded by the Manos cooperatives, to provide childcare for Manos artisans. Manos provides health insurance, maternity leave, paid vacations, and retirement pensions to its members. The Manos cooperatives are 17 individual small businesses: each is run individually, but together they make up a well-organized business.
The Manos model is truly special, and fibre space™ is proud to become a Manos yarn shop. We’re stocking Manos Silk Blend, Maxima, and Lace – a trio of stunning yarns. Let us take you on a tour of the wonder that has arrived at the shop…
Silk Blend. Manos Silk Blend is 70% merino wool and 30 percent silk. The silk gives this yarn a gorgeous sheen, while the wool remains soft and squishy. A DK-weight yarn available in 40 semi-solid colors and 17 space-dyed colors, Silk Blend’s versatility means you’ll use it again and again, while its drape and color will get you compliments once you’re done knitting!
Try knitting Churchmouse Yarns & Teas’ Welted Fingerless Gloves in Silk Blend for a quick-knit holiday present that will earn you compliments (or a gift to yourself to remind you that fall is coming!). Another great gift idea is the Forest Canopy Cowl, a lace cowl that shows off Manos’ silk content nicely. Or treat yourself to a Welt and Rib Raglan, in which different kinds of ribbing shape this raglan sweater to flatter your body and show off the color you select. The truly bold will make themselves a Moonstone Cardigan – striking in space-dyed colorways, and sure to be gorgeous in any of the semisolid options as well. Slightly cropped, with lacy hem and cuffs, this is a great transition garment, as fall arrives and you start layering.
Maxima. A single-ply, kettle-dyed worsted weight wool, this yarn is Manos at its finest. The yarn is squishy and soft, and Manos’ famous colors are sharp and dazzling in wool. Available in 15 space-dyed and 11 semi-solid colors, Maxima will capture your heart and keep you coming back.
Try Amy Swenson’s Cilantro Shawl in Maxima for cozy flair. This long wrap is warm yet stylish, and lets you knit lace without ending up with a grandmotherly result. Make one for yourself this fall, and one for a friend once you’ve got the hang of it – she’ll be really grateful when the holidays roll around! Or try the Elysium cardigan for a fun transitional garment with a unique fit. Knit from side to side in garter stitch, Elysium is a simple garment that will still teach you something new – and the garter stitch pattern works wonderfully for kettle-dyed yarn. Finally, the Quest Hat patterns from Knitty’s Winter 2011 edition will work wonders with Manos Maxima – and, again, please your nearest and dearest come gift-giving time.
Lace. Last but not least, Manos Lace is a blend of baby alpaca, silk, and cashmere – sure to please the highest standards. You’ll want to make all your shawls in this yarn once you’ve seen it, but start with Susanna IC’s Little Leaves, to remind you that the leaves will soon be falling from the trees and we’ll be back in prime knitting season. If you aren’t yet up for a lace shawl, try Ysolda Teague’s Veyla mitts – their lace cuffs will dress up your winter garb, and (once again) serve as a lovely, quick-to-knit gift.
Whatever you choose to make, we’ll be here for help and encouragement – so hurry down to the shop and check out Manos. You’ll be glad you did!