Sunday, September 2, 2007

Malabrigo madness

Long ago, after my corporate years, I took a part time job at a yarn shop near my home in San Diego. There I promptly fell in love with Manos del Uruguay, the absolutely wonderful handspun yarns from the women's cooperative in...well, you guessed it.  My passionate affair with Manos lasted for many years, through thick and thin (pun intended). Then, a few years ago at a trade show, I discovered Malabrigo.  I quickly forsook the Manos in inventory and have never really looked back, because when it comes to a tactile experience, Malabrigo Worsted, at 100% Merino wool, has the feel you'd like next to your skin.

If you've visited the shop, you'll already know how we feel about these yarns...evidenced by one great wall covered with bundles and bundles of just about any color you could think of.  It is, frankly, hard to resist the urge to stock more and more of it.  The addition of their lace yarns has really upped the ante on where they're going with their great business...and I will add here that doing business with them is a pleasure, and they are always the first stop and biggest purchase we make at the trade shows each year.

A few weeks ago, my friend Margaret was lucky enough to visit the Malabrigo factory in Montevideo.  There she was hosted by the owners and treated like a celebrity visitor,Tobiasantonio
really.  That's just who they are...a class act.  I am wrapped in envy that she was able to do this on my behalf.  Here's a photo Margaret took of Tobias (right) and his brother in law, Antonio.

Having waxed eloquent too much on this, now I'll show you the little Malabrigo shawl
I knitted last spring on our staff retreat.  It was fun to knit, with one caveat:  Monte challenged me to NOT select the color sequences, but rather, pick them blindly from a basket next to my chair.  Interestingly enough, this pushed my boundaries (Martie the control freak) and when certain colors came up, I'd squeal because I was sure it would look horrid in the finished project.  When all was said and done, what I love about it best is the combinations of colors.  Score:  Monte 1/Martie 0.

It has been in the shop all summer and has been the inspiration for many more of these shawls.  This past week, our sweet friend Amanda brought us hers to share.  I love it equally and had a hard time giving it back to her.  Mine is on the left and hers is on the right.  Enjoy!  ---Martie

P.S.  I had enough leftover yarns to make a second is waiting for winter...and I'll choose the sequences of colors and see how I like it compared to the original.


Bennie said...

Those are great and even look like something I could do....what is the pattern?? luv, b/p

Martie said...

It's a pattern from Malabrigo...very easy to knit and fun for using up lots of scraps. I like the vertical stripes vs horizontal (I need all the help I can get these days). XOXO

HollyEQQ said...

Oh I adore it and I love the new look on the blog!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Martie,
Change is good -- I like the new look of your blog (but I feel like a dunce because I couldn't find the "comments" button, so I'm posting it here.)

Martie said...

Thanks Ruthie & Holly: I appreciate your feedback. I sort of reminds me of adobe and chiles!
Ruthie: I noticed that also...I think that the new pages that Typepad is offering to be used as web pages don't have a comment option, so you guys did the absolute right thing! XOXO M

Terri R said...

Hi Martie
I LOVE the new look of the blog...couldn't find the comments button either so decided to post it here.
Anyway the change is great!

Martie said...

Thanks, Terri!

Denise~ said...

Martie -
I'm new to your blog, and enjoying it. Could share the pattern names of the other shawls being worn in the publicity photo? They are each Stunning!
A friend mentioned the Sunflower when I told her I would be staying at the Snowmansion during the wool festival. Can't wait to do some shopping with you!

Martie said...

Hi Denise...great to hear from you! The other shawls are the Koigu Charlotte's Web shawl. We did them as a study project a couple of years ago (we don't carry Koigu or their patterns, but Needle's Eye in Santa Fe carries their yarns).
Looking forward to meeting you in person...please be sure to come find me...that's a WILD week here at Sunflower!

Ingrid said...

Great Change! Love It! Love especially the new shawl pattern....will be calling with an order! Can't make the wool festival (poor me), but am hoping for next year!

Martie said...

Thanks for your support! I'm so sorry we won't see you this weekend...but we're happy to help you via phone or e-mail, always. Take care! Martie