Manos Del Uruguay Serena Yarn Review

manos del uruguay serena yarn
The color is so pretty!

Check out this beautiful yarn that I received from Fairmount Fibers, the Manos Del Uruguay Serena yarn.

First off, the colorways in this yarn are amazing! They have literally over 40 different colors to choose from. The yarn is kettle dyed so it has that nice heathered look that makes your projects looks so special.

How pretty is that?

The yarn itself, is a unique blend of 60% baby alpaca and 40% pima cotton. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that combination before it is so interesting. It is great for scarves and shawls because it will drape beautifully. And it is so squishy soft! See my video below for some swatches I worked up in the yarn and how I liked working with it.

Here’s some more info on the yarn:

Yardage: Approx. 170 yds / 155 m per 1.75 oz / 50 g
Weight: Sport to DK
Gauge: Serena’s gauge is very versatile, from 4 1/2 stitches per inch (SPI) all the way up to 7 SPI
Needle Size: US 4 – 6 / 3.5 – 4 mm
Care Instructions: Hand wash in cool water. Dry flat.

Another awesome thing about this yarn is that the name of the company Manos Del Uruguay translates to Hands of Uruguay which is exactly who makes it.  Manos yarns are made by hand by skilled artisans in cooperatives located throughout Uruguay. Every skein purchased helps a woman in Uruguay support her family, and each skein is signed by the artisan so that you know who made your yarn and which village it came from.

An artist at work.

2018 is the 50th anniversary of Manos yarns! Fairmount Fibers we will be celebrating with some giveaways and special colorways so you might want to go follow them on their social media so you get notifications when the giveaways are happening.

You can find them on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and Ravelry.

Fairmount Fibers is the North American Distributor of Manos del Uruguay yarns who provided this product for review. They have a beautiful website with tons of free patterns. Like this one that was made in Serena yarn.

Shadow Shawl in Serena Yarn

If you want to see the yarn in action and hear what else I think about the yarn, check out my video review below.

 

 

 

 

 

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Using A Knitting Yarn Guide As A Tension Keeper

Clover's Yarn Guide
Clover’s Yarn Guide

A viewer told me recently that she used Clover’s Yarn Guide as a way to keep her tension while crocheting. I was incredibly intrigued since the way I usually keep tension (see the video below) hurts my hand after awhile.

I promptly purchased one and gave it a try.

yarn_guide_2
Yarn Guide out of the package.

The Yarn Guide is intended to keep different colored yarns separated for working stranded knitting, but seeing as how I like to repurpose things, I was ready to change this into a tension keeper.

First try.
First try.

My first try included just laying the yarn through two of the posts and trying to crochet.

As you can see by the picture above, the tension created was… none.I couldn’t even make a stitch this way. I had to figure something else out.

This gave me an idea.
This gave me an idea.

I then realized that I had four posts to work with on my Yarn Guide.

The photo above shows how I hold my tension when I work projects where I need tight stitches. I wrap the yarn three times around my first finger and I get very tight tension and it keeps my fingers from hurting as much (see the video below for more info).

So I thought about wrapping the yarn around the guide for more tension.

This actually worked.
This actually worked.

Here I laid my yarn (back to front) in between each of the four posts. There was good news and bad news with this revelation.

The good news:

It worked. The yarn kept good tension and the yarn guide helped with my previous problem of having my circulation sometimes cut off with the three finger wrap. Having it wrapped around the plastic kept it loose enough to keep  the circulation just fine.

The bad news:

The plastic itself. The wrapping caused the already pinching plastic to pinch even more. So I traded good circulation for annoying pinching.

Then two separate viewers had some good ideas.

1) Wear a band aid around the finger you put the Yarn Guide on with the padded part facing down. This definitely helped, but still not great. If I could create the tension without wrapping the yarn, this would all but eliminate my problem. Insert viewer number 2.

Just about perfect.
Just about perfect.

2) Weave the yarn between the posts instead of wrapping. The photo above shows the weave. This created just enough tension that I didn’t need to wrap the yarn.

If you want to try this, make sure the tail is on the left and facing back and the working yarn is on the right coming out the front.

The Verdict

Using the yarn guide as a tension keeper is something I will use in the future. Mostly for projects when my hand becomes tired from my normal tension holding. The pinching was greatly reduced when I didn’t have to wrap the yarn, but was still there. Putting on a band aid every time I need to crochet doesn’t sound too appealing.

Do you have a Yarn Guide? Have you ever tried using it for a tension keeper? Let us know your thoughts or ideas below. Be sure to check out the video below as well. It will show how the Yarn Guide works with different thicknesses of yarn.