Yarn with a conscience. Fair trade and ethically sourced.

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Wool

Marina by Manos del Uruguay

Every now and then you can have the best of both worlds. Marina by Manos del Uruguay is a luxurious yarn that knits up beautifully and makes the world a better place at the same time.

Marina is made by the Manos Cooperative, which is a not-for-profit organisation that was started in 1968 by five women whose ambition was to develop economic opportunities for women in Uruguay. There was little opportunity to have a job or economic independence then. Over the last 40 years they have grown to 17 cooperatives employing 350 artisans who produce the most fabulous yarns. When you buy a skein of Marina it will be individually signed by the artist that dyed your yarn and they will write the name of the village it came from. If you need more than one skein try to get them signed by the same person.

When knitting

The yarn is wonderfully soft to touch. It is a single ply and superwash. It feels strong on the needles and even though it is lace weight can be knit without much thought to its strength. I have ripped back items and re-knit with the same yarn and it has remained in the same lovely condition as when I started. The yarn has a very slight halo. The colours are vibrant and come in a range of either tonal variations or space-dyed versions that are achieved by as many as 6 separate dye baths. One skein is enough for a small shawl or a scarf. If you do have two or more skeins consider alternating balls every second row to give a more uniform result that will counter for any dying differences.

When blocking

I have found Marina tends to grow a little more in length than width in my hands so completing a swatch is essential. Blocking allows the yarn to flatten and the stitches become more refined. Lace work shows up beautifully. Depending on how intricate a pattern you choose, you may need to pin the lacework when blocking.

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When washing

Marina is superwash and can either be machine or hand washed in cold water. I personally still hand wash these items (as I do all my hand knit) but the good news is you don’t need to worry about accidentally felting an item and you can machine wash items if you choose. The colour stayed fast when I blocked and washed my items. Dry your project lying flat to maintain the shape.

When wearing

This yarn is super soft to wear and is great close to the skin. It would be a good choice for making light garments that you layer such as Hannah Fettig’s Featherweight cardigan which is what I am making currently with my Marina. Marina hasn’t pilled when I have worn it. The fabric drops slightly when blocked and forms a light and delicate cloth with defined stitches. The 100% merino is warm and breathable. The fabric is durable due to the superwash treatment.

Conclusion

Marina is a light and lovely yarn that is a highlight in any delicate shawl or light garment. It is moderately priced and is worth investing in for quality projects. The lightness of the fabric makes it great for layering under other garments in spring or autumn. The colours are vibrant and in some cases almost luminous giving them a real wow factor that make you just want to have it. It definitely his high on the desirability scale for me.

Weight Lace with a single strand construction
Length 800 metres / 874 yards
Unit Weight 100 grams / 3.5 ounces
Gauge 32 stitches per 10 cm / 4 inches
Needle 2.75 mm / #2 US
Composition and Origin 100% merino super wash
Recommended handling Machine Washable, hand wash in cool water. Dry lying flat
Colour Hand Dyed – space dyed and tonal.
Every skein is different so be sure to buy enough for your project and get skeins that are as similar as possible – ask or look for the same yarn artist on the tag as they individual sign them.
Supplier Manos del Uruguay
Project Ideas Featherweight by Hannah Fettig, Smooth Sailor by Martina Behm or Falling by Joji Locatelli
Source of review yarn Purchased by me
Average Retail Price $39.50 AUD = 5 cents per metre

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