I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t knit. However, I have to confess that it’s only recently that I turned my hand to hand-dyed yarns. Maybe the more I knit the more snobbish I become about it. I hope not. Anyhow, I’ve just tried using some hand-dyed wool from Rio De La Plata Yarn.
Rio De La Plata Yarn is more than just a hand-dyed yarn; it’s actually made by a cooperative in Uruguay using traditional methods. I read that it’s hand-spun by the wives of gauchos – the traditional cowboys of South America – from yarn that hat been kettle-dyed. It just sounds so romantic! Before I bought Rio De La Plata yarn I read a newsletter about Gladys Rodriguez who is a third generation hand-spinner and still lives in her home town of Melo in Uruguay. She said: I feel peaceful and fulfilled giving jobs to people and letting the world know what we can do. We are very excited that a small town such as ours can do something that a big nation like the US is interested in.
Maybe I’m getting sentimental in my old age, but I really like the idea of supporting people who are still employed making things the old-fashioned way. Anyhow, there’s nothing old-fashioned about Rio De la Plata yarn. It’s 100% wool and the colorways you can get from Rio De La Plata have to be seen to be believed.
The yarn I bought from Rio De La Plata is called Grueso. I chose Pale Chartreuse as the color for my scarf. The wool is super soft and is great for knitting and also felts into lovely bags and clogs. I’ve used both Malabrigo and Manos before and, if I had to, I would say that Rio De La Plata compares well to these.
I ordered two skeins from my local yarn store – I won’t name them, but they are excellent at finding new hand-dyed yarns from just about everywhere. Be warned; this yarn might not be everyone’s cup of tea as it has some pretty big thick and thin variations in places. But, if you’re adventurous and want to create something that bit special I can recommend Grueso from Rio De La Plata Yarns.
For my scarf project I used US size 10.5 needles. The pattern I used was Misti Chunky Ribs and Ruffles – you can get this pattern from the Misti Alpaca website.
My scarf is finished and looks beautiful. I love my scarf – unlike most of my knitting projects, I’ll be keeping this one for my self. Having completed one project using Rio De La Plata Yarn I can honestly say that I’ll be using this hand-dyed yarn again. It’s not the cheapest of wool – one those special projects – but it’s lovely to work with and I just somehow like the idea of knitting wool, that’s been hand-spun and hand-dyed by the wives of Gauchos. Knitting really does bring out the romantic in me.