Strickmich! Club 2016: Manos del Uruguay
Knitting does not only make the world more beautiful, but also a better place: At Manos del Uruguay, local women have been spinning and dyeing the most beautiful yarns for forty years. The project was initiated to give women in rural areas the chance to get jobs in the artisanal field with fair pay and a good working environment. Today 250 of them work in 19 different places in Uruguay to provide knitters worldwide with beautiful colorful yarns, reflecting Latin American Culture and traditions. The yarn bases range from high-quality merino to blends with luxury fibers like silk or cashmere.
Blanca Rodriguez has been working for Manos during the past 25 years at the workshop in Fraile Muerto, close to the Brazilian border. When she applied for a job with the cooperative, she was working as a maid and washing cloth for hire. Now, she has three grown children, will be a grandmother soon and is proud that her employment with Manos enabled her to send her two sons to nursing school.
Blanca currently spins the “Clasica” yarn. “It’s great to see the transition from fleece to beautiful, colorful yarn”, she says. But she also assists in the dyeing process, which she enjoys a lot: “I love bright Magenta, my favorite of all time!” she says.
Sometimes knitters from foreign countries come visit to see where their beloved yarns come from. “We recently had a group of knitters from Canada, and each one of them had Manos yarn on their needles – it was a special treat to see our yarns in action!”, Blanca says. In her free time, she likes to crochet Granny Square Blankets, and her specialty are embroidered little dolls.
Due to our very personal connection to Latin America (our son was born in Chile) we are especially happy to be able to support this great project with Strickmich! Club – and at the same time make your club yarns even more international.
Blanca and her colleagues have agreed to dye a very special, exclusive color just for us on one of their beautiful yarn bases for Strickmich! Club 2016, which we are very excited about.