Mama’s Hands

I come from a long line of hard-working women. Both of my grandmothers fed their families with vegetables from their gardens, milk from their cow, and chickens and eggs from their yards.

taken at Mother's bridal shower. Her mom is on the left, my dad's mom is on the left, My mom is in the center and my dad's sister is sitting on the right
Taken at Mother’s bridal shower. Her mom is on the left, my dad’s mom is on the left, My mom is in the center and my dad’s sister is sitting on the right

My grandmothers kept their families warm with clothes and quilts they stitched themselves.

hand stitched by my great grandmother in the 40's - made from fabric scraps and filled with cotton from her fields
Hand stitched by my great grandmother in the 40’s – made from fabric scraps and filled with cotton from her fields

My mother also kept a garden and put up vegetables and fruit. She sewed cute outfits for me and sisters.

me on the left in a dress mother made, Karie in the middle in a dress our Nannie bought, Danielle on the right in a dress Mother made
Me on the left in a dress mother made, Karie in the middle in a dress our Nannie bought, Danielle on the right in a dress Mother made

This heritage is what makes me appreciate the yarns of Manos del Uruguay. The Manos Cooperatives were founded in 1968 by five women whose goal was to develop economic opportunities for women in a country where there were, and are still, few opportunities for work. As members of the WFTO (World Fair Trade Association), Manos meets the standards set by the UN Convention for the rights of the child regarding child labor.

Sweet Baby James and the cousins
Children should play!  Sweet Baby James and the cousins

In my first knitting year, I purchased several skeins of Manos del Uruguay’s Wool Clasica, a handspun Aran weight yarn to make each of my five Boyz hats for Christmas.

After 4 years I'm lucky we could find two of them! Pattern is
After 4 years I’m lucky we could find two of them! Pattern is Kim’s Hats.  Just look at those beautiful colors!

I picked up this skein of Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend in Ogden, Utah at The Needlepoint Joint.

Silk Blend - 70% extrafine merino 30% silk
Silk Blend – 70% extrafine merino 30% silk

Silk Blend is a delight to knit.  The yarn is bouncy with an almost felted feel.  The striated  look of the colors is beautiful and adds a pleasing depth to my textured knit design.  Get the pattern for Autumn in Peachtree Cowl here.

Autumn in Peachtree City Cowl
Autumn in Peachtree City Cowl
My beautiful niece, Anabelle at her home in Peachtree City, Georgia
My beautiful niece, Anabelle at her home in Peachtree City, Georgia

Here’s a great quote taken from the Manos del Uruguay website explaining the early importance of the co-op. “We all were happy to have an income derived of the products we made with our own hands, but there were also important changes…This job took the women out of their homes and made them function individually. We were learning to group, have meetings, administrate money, make decisions, organize orders, deliveries and stock, take charge of all the coop’s needs and make ourselves responsible for them. We grew up and found aptitudes we hadn’t imagined we had. It was a revolution.” – Elisabeth Sosa, artisan and former President of Manos board. I love the feeling of working with a yarn that came to me from somebody’s mama’s hands.  Have you used Manos del Uruguay?

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9 thoughts on “Mama’s Hands”

  1. Wow. This is a terrific reason to use Manos. The next time I need yarn which will be soon, I’ll choose this brand as it’s one I’ve always wondered about but haven’t tried yet.

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