Manos del Uruguay | Milo
I've worked with Manos yarns many times before - including Manos Serena for the Bailiwick Pullover that graced the cover of Interweave Knits many moons ago. I've also reviewed their yarn in the past - Manos Clara - which you can find HERE. I not only love the yarns, I love the story behind them. This is a company with purpose, dedicated to makers, fair trade, ethical wages, and most importantly, the traditional craftswomen of Uruguay. I mean really? What's not to love!?
Milo is a single-ply yarn made of 65% merino/35% linen blend fiber boasting 380 yards/100g. I chose the color Indigo (because, you know, yum) but let me tell you, the available color palette is truly sensational! You can see for yourself HERE. As expected, the yarn has the tell-tale sign of linen blends - those delicious linen fibers reaching outward like tiny feelers. This immediately gives the fiber a rustic, casual appearance.
This was one of those times when I was so eager to cast on, I didn't even take the time to wind the yarn. I know a lot of folks would consider this madness, but I have my ways. I used some fairly sharp metal point to knit and I didn't find the single-ply to be prone to splitting. I LOVE the micro variation in thickness as I knit the way many swoon over color changes and flecks. I'm a big fan of wool and linen blends so it's no surprise I was dying to get my hands on Milo as soon as it was released. My hang up is single-ply yarns. I love them, but I torture myself deciding what stitches will make them sing. Generally, I feel like stockinette, garter, and even some lace are the best bets depending on the fiber content. Wool isn't a particularly drapey fiber - or linen for that matter - but together they should produce a structured fabric that blocks beautifully. For this reason, I ultimately chose a shawl pattern that was worked in segments knowing I wouldn't have quite enough yarn to complete the pattern, but it was simple enough and had a nice mix of eyelets and garter st. If you're interested in knitting this shawl, it will require 2 hanks and is Book People by Soft Sweater.
The knitting process was pure joy. The yarn has a lovely hand and feel to it - smooth but not slippery, soft but not flimsy. I always look for bias in single-ply yarns, but I didn't notice the fabric shifting to one side on this - though, admittedly, it's much easier for me to see the slant of fabric when I'm working either a very straight piece or something in the round like a cowl.
As I had anticipated, the fabric blocked out beautifully, relaxing open the eyelets and holding the crisp garter st bumps. It also held it's shape nicely without becoming a floppy mess. I had second thoughts about my decision to knit a single piece with the yarn I received for the review though. In fact, I fretted over it for over a week, thinking I should rip out the shawl and work a few giant swatches instead that showed a wide variety of stitch patterns which is why this review is posting a few days late. I'm still thinking I'd like to work up the swatches, but it's something I'll put in my pocket for a future post - it would also be the perfect opportunity to determine bias!
I actually think this is the perfect yarn for a lightweight cardigan.... it has my gears turning....
If you're interested in more information about Manos del Uruguay, please take a moment to visit their website (you can find it HERE). They now have some videos on their website along with a stunning group of new colors for this spring.
Disclaimer: I received no monetary compensation for this review; I did however receive the product in exchange for posting my honest opinion and review. I am in no way affiliated with the company mentioned in this post. Your experience with the reviewed products may differ from my own.