Have your heard about Nuit Blanche? It's an artistic movement that originated in Paris in the year 2002. Museums, galleries and some private collections open and are free of charge, and the center of the city provides places for art installations, such as music performances, art displays etc.
[caption id="attachment_5633" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Picture taken from https://www.facebook.com/Nocheblancafarq[/caption]
Through the years this celebration has expanded to other cities worldwide, arriving in the year 2011 to Uruguay, more specifically to a small town called La Floresta, a lovely beach town. This year, La Noche Blanca de La Floresta was invited to to be a part of Nuit Blanche in Paris, as the first Latin American country to be participating at this event. Wool was chosen as the material to be used, since it represents Uruguay very well, being one of the countries with the best wool in the world.
[caption id="attachment_5630" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Picture taken from https://www.facebook.com/Nocheblancafarq[/caption]
The group Urban Knitting Uruguay and UdelaR (University of the Republic, more specifically the areas of Architecture, Industrial Design and Visual Communications) were invited to participate and together they elaborated various projects from which this one was chosen.
[caption id="attachment_5631" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Picture taken from https://www.facebook.com/Nocheblancafarq[/caption]
The idea was to build a big white cloud, made of wool, that would mix itself with the beautiful metallic structure of the historic Louis Blanc Metro station, built by Hector Guimard, and declared historic monument.
From the cloud they hang braids to simulate rain. In the spirit of making this exhibit interactive with the public, pens and cards also hung from the cloud, so that you could write down your feelings and comments about the weather, which is the central subject on which Nuit Blanche focused on this year.
[caption id="attachment_5628" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Picture taken from https://www.facebook.com/Nocheblancafarq[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_5627" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Picture taken from https://www.facebook.com/Nocheblancafarq[/caption]
As you can imagine a lot of wool went into this project. 100 kilos of wool, some in the form of yarn, some as top, were used in this project. Malabrigo had the honor and pleasure to participate donating some of the wool used.
The exhibit was a success, as you can see from the pictures. Such a lovely display and people really enjoyed participating writing small notes to share with others. Overall a wonderful experience for all!
Here is a video that shows the process of creating this wonderful piece of art
Are you in Paris? Did you see it? Please share any pictures you might have with us on our Facebook page!
El pasado 13 de Junio se celebró el Día Internacional del Tejido en Público (World Wide Knit in Public); Montevideo fue parte de este día y malabrigo participó y colaboró con tan lindo encuentro.
On the 13th of June in Montevideo we celebrated the World Wide Knit in Public Day, and malabrigo was part of it.
La premisa planteada fue juntarse a tejer gorros y que estos fueran donados al Hogar del Bebe, una institución que desarrolla, en Uruguay, un plan para bebés y niños (desde 0 a 5 años) que se encuentran en situación de alto riesgo. Malabrigo colaboró con los hilados para desarrollar estos gorritos! Y nos encantó participar porque los resultados de los tejedores fueron excelentes! :)
The goal was knitting hats, which would be donated to House of the Baby, a organization in Uruguay, which aims to improve the quality of life of little babies and children (ages 0-5 years) who are considered "high risk". Malabrigo provided all the yarns that were used, and it was great to be a part of this wonderful cause.
Este día, tan especial, para los "fans" del tejido se festejó en un lugar, también muy particular de nuestra ciudad, la Facultad de Arquitectura (farq). El sábado a las 14 hrs el patio de la facultad comenzó a llenarse de personas, agujas, hilados, y poco a poco los primeros gorritos fueron tomando forma.
We met in the School of Architecture, a beautiful and special place in our city. On Saturday the School began to fill with people, needles, and yarn, and slowly the hats were created.
Pasamos una tarde hermosa compartiendo una pasión, pero no todo fue tejido! Cada uno de los participantes llevamos alguna cosa rica para compartir, y la mayoría eran caseras, lo podemos jurar! También tuvimos la suerte de poder escuchar a Alejandra e Iván tocando su violín y violonchelo; tejer con buena música en vivo!, qué más podíamos pedir?! :)
We had a beautiful afternoon sharing our passion, but it wasn't all about the knitting! Each of the participants brought something delicious to share, and we can swear, most were home made! Also we had the privilege of listening to Iván and Alejandra, playing their violin and violoncello. Knitting with excellent music! What more can we ask?
Otra cosa linda que pasó este día fue que participaron personas que tejían por primera vez y se fueron con su gorro terminado! Que linda sensación, tu primer gorro!
Another nice thing that happened that day was that many people were knitting for the first time, and they left with their hat finished! What a special feeling, "the first hat"!
El sentimiento que nos quedó a todos los que participamos de este día fue realmente muy bueno! Se notaron las ganas de compartir y la buena onda de los que estábamos! Creo que todos queremos que sea Junio otra vez para poder festejar nuevamente ! Vamos a tener que organizar nuevos encuentros, ya que no vamos a aguantar hasta el próximo Junio sin tejer en público.
The feeling that all the people had was lovely! We noticed the desire to share, and have a good time! I think we all want to celebrate again next year... and we must organize another meeting, because we are not going to wait until next June to knit in public. :)
Gracias a todos los que participaron del Día Internacional del Tejido en Público! En un próximo post les contaremos como nos fue al entregar los gorros a los niños del Hogar del Bebe.
Thanks to all the participants of the World Wide Knit in Public Day! In the next post we will tell you about giving the hats to the children of the House of Baby.
We are pleased to announce that malabrigo is the proud owner of a flock of Merino and Corriedale sheep, who live on a ranch near our headquarters in Montevideo. Taking this step has been very important to us. We strive for sustainability and quality in all aspects of our business, and now we are able to have a direct hand in wool production from the very first step, and to ensure the humane, high-quality care of our happy little sheep. Our little flock does not cover our whole production, but it's a great show case of how the sheep that provide us with their lovely wool are bred and treated. We will talk a lot more about our flock in coming posts! Remember the ladies that visited the mill? They also went to visit our flock that live in this lovely ranch called La Serena.
La Serena is situated about 40 minutes from Punta del Este, Uruguay in an area called Piedras de Afilar. And there all the ladies went, with Tobias and Luciana keeping them company. It takes about an hour to get there from Montevideo.
What do you think was the first thing they did as they arrived? See the sheep, of course!
Agricultural engineer Ignacio Abella works at SUL, which is the Uruguayan Secretary of Wool, the organization that deals with everything sheep and wool here in Uruguay. Ignacio met us there at the ranch, to share his knowledge about sheep.
Uruguayan wool is a renewable fibre, naturally produced in our pasture-based environment. The most remarkable characteristics are good staple strength and length, low vegetable matter content and high washing yield. In the yards, we were able to touch and feel those magnificent fleeces.
We saw breeding ewes of Corriedale and Merino breeds. In a couple of months they are going to be shorn before lambing and they´ll probably cut a nice bright fleece of 4-5 kilos greasy. Corriedale produce what we call “mid-micron wool” (the pullover Ignacio is wearing is knit using Corriedale wool), while Merino produce nice fine wool, with a fibre diameter of 20 microns or even less.
We learnt about how, by looking at the sheep's teeth, we can tell their age. The merino sheep we looked at had only 2 teeth, meaning they were born in spring of 2013.
We are committed to achieve the highest standards of sheep care so we provide them with the best environment in order to produce the best quality fibre. This summer and autumn have been a bit dry, and we are waiting for some rain in order to have good improved pastures.
It was rather amazing and fun to have Ignacio tell us about the difference in breeds and how we can tell the age of a sheep, while actually having the sheep there with us, and actually be able to experience what he was telling us.
By the time we had finished learning and petting the sheep, it was time for lunch. The people at La Serena had prepared for us a typical Uruguayan asado, different kinds of meet and chorizo (sausage) and also grilled vegetables. Everything was delicious! And as every good meal must be, it was all accompanied by very nice Uruguayan red and white wine ;) Yes, we have amazing wine, as well as sheep! ;)
For dessert, Marta, a lovely lady who lives at La Serena, had prepared home-made flan with eggs from La Serena! It was beyond words! There was Dulce de Leche to have with it, of course, no dessert in Uruguay is complete without Dulce de leche, and also another very typical dessert called Arroz con Leche, which is similar to rice pudding.
After we finished eating it was time for a little walk around the ranch, where we got to walk among the sheep that were pasturing.
One of the sheep had got through the fence, the little rascal ! When Juan Pablo, the owner of La Serena, started to herd it back to the flock, the very clever sheep squeezed through the fence the same way it got out!
All in all we spent a lovely day in nature, learning and sharing. Thank you, ladies, for spending this lovely time with us! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did :)
That's a question we get a lot! "Mal abrigo" translates roughly to "bad shelter", a curious name for a yarn company indeed.
The name comes in part from the village of Mal Abrigo in Uruguay. There are several towns of that name in South America (in other countries) but that was the one we had in mind. It is called that because it is extremely windy and back when people rode horses and needed to take shelter for the night, it was known for being a terrible place to stop.
[caption id="attachment_2944" align="aligncenter" width="500"] The real Mal Abrigo (and some of ours! Angora, specifically.)[/caption]
But we were also inspired by novelists like Garcia Marquez, Juan Carlos Onetti, and William Faulkner, who set their novels in imaginary towns (Macondo, Santa Maria, and the towns in Yoknapatawpha County, respectively!) In our minds, Malabrigo is an imaginary and chilly place where the weather drives everyone inside to knit, and cozy wool sweaters, hats, and scarves are always useful!
It is our great pleasure to introduce the newest addition to the Malabrigo line of yarns: Finito!Spun from the finest merino wool in Uruguay, Finito is an incredibly soft fingering weight 2-ply yarn, perfect for lacework, delicate accessories, and luxurious garments. It will be available mid-March in a rainbow of colors- some old favorites (Archangel, Indiecita) and some brand new!
This exclusive merino is even softer than our usual wool- it is scrumptious! It is available only in very small quantities once a year, and so Finito is also available in limited quantities. Extremely fine and very limited- this yarn lives up to it's name! Snap some up before it's gone until next year!
To see the full range of color options for Finito, please visit:
To purchase Finito, please inquire at your local yarn store. A full list of Malabrigo stockists is available here:
Locate a Store
Fingering Pure Superfine Merino wool 200 yards ( 185m) approx.
50g skein US needles #2-4 (3-3.5mm)
There is a group of knitters here in Uruguay, who have been gathering together every month for 3 years. They particularly like to work as a group to do charity knitting, finding different organizations to knit for, specially organizations that work for children. For over two years they have been providing their time, love and craft, and we provided some of the yarn. These pictures show the last delivery of knitted items for some of the kids "Fundación Gonzalo Rodriguez" work with. Overall they delivered this time 40 hats and 40 cowls. In these almost 3 years over 200 children have been warmer and cozier and about 70 bags of malabrigo have been knitted thanks to the generosity of these women.
Magdalena Diaz and Sebastian Ifran are the winners of the finest merino producers contest, the contest that Malabrigo sponsored in Uruguay last year.
The farm "Pablo Páez" is located in Cerro Largo, in the north east of Uruguay. They have worked with super fine merino wool since 1996, but have been raising wool sheep since 1980.
The prize of the contest is to go to Stitches East close to New York with us, and we are very excited to take them. Our idea is to connect the producer with the knitters or final consumers, instead of just being a middle man. We want to make sure you know who your wool is coming from!
Verdict in Spanish here.
Malabrigo donated wool for the last several textile design course. EUCD (University School Designer Center) Yesterday was the parade. We were all very happy with the work.
More pictures from the fashion show here
We are honored to have received 49 visitors at the mill from the Great Balls of Yarn store -- Robin from Great Balls of Yarn organized this amazing trip. They visited the mill, took "some" wool and even dyed their own skeins.
It was an incredible experience. Thanks for being here! Well-known knitter Nicky Epstein was among our visitors; as you can see, she visited our "swimming wool". We had a wonderful time dyeing and sharing with you all!
Munecos, a brand-new Etsy shop, is open for business! The three-woman Uruguayan team, headed up by Monica Bacardaz, has set up an Etsy store to sell their high-quality stuffed animals. Each animal is made from Malabrigo yarns and stuffed with Corriedale, making them 100% natural wool materials. The animals are made in pieces using crochet, knitting, embroidery and sewing techniques, and assembled by hand too! Here's a picture of Monica working at home:
If you have a friend or know someone who really appreciates stuffed animals, you should certainly check out Munecos!
At the factory, we're doing our best to decrease our environmental footprint! Our most recent addition to the mill? A flat-plate thermal heating system has been installed at the mill. Using the power of the sun, we can heat our water tanks for the various processes to make your favorite yarns. The panels are being installed on the roof of the mill, as shown below.
Awhile back, we had a post about Uruguay's International Knit in Public Day, a great event for knitters to show off their skills are raise awareness about knitting to the general public. While many knitters all over the globe get together on IKiP to knit, chat, and just be friendly, the knitters in Uruguay like to knit with a purpose. Together, they managed to knit 900 garments for the orphanages in Uruguay! Many of these garments were out of Malabrigo, which was donated both for knitting with at the IKiP event, and as prizes for participants.
The end result was fantastic -- these 900 garments went to suit the needs of charities Guillermina and Nuevo Amancer, to be worn by children who truly need them. Yet again, another example of wool keeping not only our bodies, but our hearts warm.
We can only hope that IKiP will be just as successful next year as last year -- and hopefully it won't have to be moved inside because of rain again!
On March 12, 2010, a very special contest, sponsored in part by Malabrigo, was announced to the wool producers of Uruguay. In an attempt to continue the developing tradition of excellent, environment and animal friendly wool in Uruguay, The Uruguayan Wool Secretary is challenging wool farmers to bring forward their most beautiful, high-quality wools for evaluation. Each wool will be judged on not only quality, but also the practice the company competing employs -- using eco-friendly processes and well-known, reputable shearers. The wool lot (or clip) are judged for quality.
The winner of the contest will receive a Grand Prize -- a trip for two to the Stitches event held in New York, October 2011! There, the winner can have a chance to market their yarns and show the excellence of Uruguayan wool to the rest of the world! Second and third place prizes will also be awarded! Winners will be announced in March of 2011 during National Merino Day.
The president came to the PTI (Industrial Technologic Park ) where our mill is located, to see the building. Because there are many, many companies here that specialize in various types of technological and business production, the building has been selected as an ideal site for a new school of technology, where people can come and learn about various business practices and see first-hand how several around them are run.
No worries - Malabrigo isn't moving, we're just getting new neighbors!
Pictured are workers Vane and Toño from Malabrigo team with the President in the center. We like to think that he thought the yarn was very soft and beautiful, too!
It was a rainy, rainy, day for this year's IKiP day here in Uruguay, but luckily the group of knitters who had gathered outdoors in the plaza found dry, warm solstice in one of the local businesses. They were served cups of hot soup, hot cocoa, and given sugared croissants as they spent their time knitting garments not for themselves, but for children in Uruguay who might otherwise not have wooly, warm, goodness.
This is a project that we at Malabrigo try to support every year -- this year we sent bags of our Aquarella yarn to become quick scarves, hats, sweaters and ponchos, and it was so fun to see what everyone made with them. Participating knitters had the chance to win Malabrigo yarn prizes depending on what they had in their knitting bags, how long or how many knits they made during the day, or if their name came up in the random drawings! It was a fun day for all, I think -- and the host was remarkably enthusiastic, which always helps.
Afterwards, one of the hosts made sure to show us all the boxes filled with knits -- there were so many already on the table, it was surprising to see nearly four more boxes that were filled with knitted charity items. It's good to know that this winter, so many people will be warm just because of knitting!
Hannah (Hannahbelle on Ravelry) has arrived at our Malabrigo Mill! She will be working with us for two months this winter. Hannah is helping with product development, color development and new ideas while she learns how we make the yarns. She is a knitting and fashion designer and color theorist, and knows very little spanish!
malabrigo has participated on this event. If you look at this Installation art you can find our colors there.
Gbi Cunha and Siv Goransson, are the artists who created the felted pieces for this work.
You can see the "Puerta de la Ciudadela"; this was the door of ancient fortressed first old city of Uruguay.
In this picture you can see on the background, views of the "Ciudad Vieja"(old city) of Montevideo.
Sharon from Nevada came visiting last week, she was very excited about the yarn and about all the colors that were available at the warehouse.
Mariana from the lab took her to a tour all around the mill and the warehouse, she could see how we dyed and do all the work.
Sharon got a preview of all the new colors in the making and of course before she left she got herself a few bags of yarn.
She came escorted by a very happy husband who ended up picking up the tab!