Posts Tagged ‘wool’

The sexy Trekking Hand Art

At the same time that I purchased the gorgeous Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend yarn, I also picked up a skein of this rather remarkable Zitron Trekking Hand Art. It was interesting how it happened as well. This skein was the last, lone skein of its kind of the shelf; the last of its colorway and the last of its brand line! The shop carried other Zitron yarns, but this looked like it was the last Trekking Hand Art skein. The striking blend of red, maroon, and black kept me coming back to it as I perused to the shop until I finally broke down and bought. And I am so glad that I did!

Atelier Zitron is a German yarn company with an extreme emphasis on unique and high quality product. According to their website, they source the finest raw ingredients possible and produce and dye all of their yarns within Germany’s environmental protection regulations. As such, Zitron only supplies its yarn to specialty yarn shops, making it quite the special commodity indeed. In addition to their wide range of luxury yarns, Zitron also sells its own brand of Profi knitting needles and crochet hooks, made from bamboo to be hypo-allergenic.

Look how thin and dainty it is!

The Trekking Hand Art line of yarn is a light fingering or 3 ply yarn, making it perfect for sock or lace knitting. A blend of 75% wool and 25% nylon makes it machine washable, making it perfect for any clothing projects that would need to be washed regularly (such as socks). This yarn is a lovely, light weight material that is a pleasure to knit with. The thread is thin, smooth and perfectly even throughout so that it slides easily from needle to needle.

Perhaps my favorite feature of it, however, is that it is a hand dyed yarn. Each colorway is dyed in small lots so that every color is its own exclusive dye design. And Zitron’s dye specialists are always coming up with new and unique color combinations for this line. And the color patterns itself so beautifully while being knitted. I absolutely fell in love with this black and red blend because as the project came along, it really looked like I was knitting smoldering embers. On one hand, I love that the colorways are only dyed in small quantities because that means that the project I made with this yarn will truly be one of a kind. On the other hand, however, I would so love to work with this specific color blend again!

"Bright and bubbly? Or smoldering temptress?"

Want to get your hands on some of this yarn? Check out your local specialty yarn shop. You can also check out the official online suppliers. In the US and Canada see skacel collection, inc. In the UK, see Viridian Yarns. And for everywhere else, check out Zitron’s International dealers page.

Have you knit something with this yarn? Please leave a comment and tell us about it!


Manos del Uruguay...I love their logo!

I stumbled across this yarn entirely by accident while I browsing k1 Yarns Knitting Boutique here in Edinburgh. There were three yarns that instantly grabbed my attention that day and this was one of them. I purchased three skeins to make sure I had enough to make something beautiful.

The more I’ve researched and read about this company, the more it has become one of my favorite companies, up there with Lush Cosmetics. Their story is inspiring. First started in Uruguay in 1968, Manos del Uruguay is a collection of cooperatives which employ and provide work for local artisan women. Currently consisting of 13 coops, the women there spin, dye, weave, design and manufacture all of their own yarns and garments. They herald their very own brand of garments, accessories, and handicrafts, but also have been contracted by famous designers such as Chanel and Ralph Lauren to help them design and produce their fashions.

The women who work in the coops also own the coops and this gives them access to things like health insurance and retirement pensions that they otherwise might not have. The cooperative is also credited with starting the first kindergartens in Uruguay leading to improved education in the country. Just recently, Manos del Uruguay received its World Fair Trade Organization certification. This is definitely a product that you can feel good purchasing!

Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend, Blue Mountain colorway

They make several different types and weights of yarn, but I purchased 3 skeins of their Silk Blend yarn. This blend is 30% Silk and 70% Merino Extrafine Wool. The mixed in silk fiber gives the yarn a gorgeous sheen that you simply can not help staring at. As all with all of their yarns, this was kettle dyed in a small batch so that it has a beautiful variation of colors that are incredibly rich. There are several different shades of blue in this one skein alone and each shade is stunning. Because it is entirely natural fiber though, that means it cannot be machine washed. This is very important to keep in mind in case you wish to use it for a garment that will get heavy use and abuse.

A sneak peek of the shawl I'm knitting with this!

Ravelry classifies this yarn as a DK, or 8 ply weight. And it does have some heft to it! The shawl I am currently knitting is a tad on the heavy side and I am only a 1.25 skeins into it. I would definitely recommend this yarn for a heavy blanket, shawl or sweater for a cold fall or winter day. The Merino Extrafine Wool makes it really cozy and cuddly as well and I find myself looking forward to cold weather so I can wear it (and I HATE cold weather!). Even though it is heavy, because it is so soft and smooth, it can be knit at several gauges (according to Ravelry). So let your imagination run wild!

Aw, it was handmade just for me!

Another great thing about Manos’ yarn is that each skein comes with a tag on it that (of course) tells you the basics such as composition, gauge, and a little bit about the Cooperative. But also, it is hand signed by the artisan who spun your yarn with the location of the coop it came from! It really is a beautiful handmade touch to remind the consumer that this is truly a hand crafted product. One of my favorite aspects of this yarn is that as you knit, you can feel the slight deviations in the thread. Though mostly spun in an even size, there are spots in the thread that are a little thicker in some places and a little thinner in others. It gives the yarn character and makes it fun to work with. I highly recommend this yarn to everyone!

If you wish to track down some of your own Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend, or any of their amazing yarns, you can check out their home website for a list of international distributors (don’t worry, they have an English version of the page available!). The U.S. distributor is Fairmount Fibers, LTD based out of Philadelphia, PA. and they have a map on their website where you can find a shop near you that sells this yarn. For Canada, check out Manos Canada. For Europe, see Artesano Yarns.

Have you ever used this yarn? Leave a comment and tell me what you think about it!