The Mirasol Project was started in 2006 to support shepherds and their families in a rural part of Peru. A boarding house, which opened in 2008, was built to provide housing and meals for the children during the week while they participate in the educational program. Homework support, sports, and an art program are all included.
The benefit for yarn lovers is that a fabulous line of yarn and patterns was developed to support the project with a portion of each purchase going to fund the center. The yarns in the Mirasol Collection are made from fibers from the animals tended by the communities that use the project.
It adds an extra depth to your project when you can trace the yarn to its origin and think about the people involved in its production.
Sawya is one of three new yarns introduced for the Fall/Winter 2011. This butter soft yarn is a 60% Pima Cotton, 25% Alpaca, 15% Silk blend that comes in 92 yard/50 gram balls. With a suggest gauge between 4.5 to 5 sts on a US 7 or 8 needle it will be easy to substitute it into many of the patterns you already have queued.
Fortunately, you don’t have to bother digging those binders out because Jane Ellison has once again designed a book of eight beautiful patterns to support this new yarn and take advantage of its 16 stunning colors.
If you can’t decide on just one color then the Airedale Scarf would be a good first project. The easy garter stitch stripes end in fringes so you don’t have to worry about weaving in all the ends from the color changes.
Worked in the stripes as suggested it is like having Mardi Gras around your neck and is sure to lift your spirits whenever you wear it. Of course if you are feeling a little more decisive it will be just as fun in either a solid color or wider stripes.
For a more challenging project consider Dentdale.
This cropped, short sleeved, raglan cardigan features the chevron stitch. The easy pattern stitch provides just enough action to keep you awake while you knit, but not so much that you can’t get into a smooth, relaxing rhythm.
Ellison has alternated colors with black stripes, which really makes the pattern pop!
If quick projects are more your style, the Swaledale beret has your name on it. Have fun mixing and matching the various colors to find your own unique combination, or make a tamer one-color version.
I’m sure the staff at your local yarn store will be happy to help you decide!