Rowan Yarns Mystery KAL

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Latest update from Rowan Yarns about the Mystery Knit-a-Long:

Here at the mill, our fingers are positively twitching in anticipation for the launch of our first ever global knit-a-long! With only a few weeks left until we will release the first of the patterns, we’re now able to share with you a few more details about the project:
You already know that we’ll be knitting with the glorious Pure Wool Worsted. Made from 100% wool, this superwash yarn is available in 50 – yes 50! – colours, meaning that we’re thoroughly spoilt for choice. Martin Storey has designed the Afghan with 17 of these colours – although for those of us who may prefer something more tonal, we have also suggested a 9, 5 and 2 tone version. With this flexibility of colour way, you can create a stunning, yet personalised, piece – which, with the yarn’s easy care properties, could form an heirloom to enjoy now and in future years.
Next week we will release the shopping list, and the first square pattern will be released week commencing 21st April.
Each week for the first eight weeks, we’ll release a pattern for one of the squares that Martin has designed. A completed Afghan requires each square to be knitted six times, giving a total of 48 squares.
If you choose to use Martin’s recommended shades you will knit each design three times in one shade and three in another.
In week nine, Martin will show us how to create the trim. In week ten will we’ll provide the final instructions needed for making-up the blanket, to complete a truly beautiful Afghan.
The finished squares are 20cm x 20cm. The overall layout is 6 squares by 8 squares (48 in total) = approx 120cm x 160cm plus trim.
Beginner knitter? Not a problem, there are online videos to support the pattern, along with basic techniques like casting on. You can also choose to make a smaller blanket.
Share your progress – you’ll be able to ask for help and advice, share your comments, and photos via the Rowan Yarns Ravelry Forum, on a dedicated Ravelry pattern page, and also on our Rowan Yarns Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rowan-Yarns/114826272423?f…).
If the pace of knitting is a little overwhelming for some, we will give you a month to finish the project after the making up instructions are released. Watch out for a competition at the end of the Knit-a-long too!
Dates to remember – the shopping list will be posted 7th April, and mark week commencing 21st April in your diaries for the 1st pattern. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing in this, our very first global adventure.
To help, the Pure Wool Worsted shade card can be downloaded from the Rowan website: http://www.knitrowan.com/yarns/pure-wool-worsted.
Pattern will be available in English, French, German and Dutch. A Spanish translation will be available separately through a blog.

I’m so excited – I’ve set up my project page over on Ravelry and will be posting regular updates and progress on my blog, Ravelry and my Facebook page as well as posting lots of photos on Instagram – my first KAL!

I really hope you’ll join me and share your photos too! xx

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Kaffe Fassett exhibition at the American Museum in Bath

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Go see it if you can – it’s awesome!
The exhibition will be running at the American Museum in Bath UK until November.

Take your family and friends and follow the Easter Yarn Bomb Trail in April!
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Everard Scarf – Rowan Fine Art Accessories Collection

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I love the Rowan Fine Art Accessories Collection – the styling in the book is stunning!

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I had one skein of Rowan’s Fine Art yarn to try out in Oak (312) and decided to knit the Everard Scarf designed by Marie Wallin.  Although not naturally drawn to sock yarn, I really enjoyed knitting this (remember my one skein Lark Scarf )? The yarn is fantastic for all sorts of accessories, not just socks, and this collection features 10 gorgeous knitting and crochet designs for women by Marie Wallin and Lisa Richardson!  Good news too that Rowan has launched 6 new subtle colourways to complement the original range.  You can check out the colours here.

Everard is described as being an easy knit in the design book.  It only requires one 100g skein of Fine Art yarn plus a pair of 3.25mm (US 3 needles) and a pair of 4.5mm (US 7 needles).  The scarf features a lace pattern at each end, and whilst easy to follow, some beginner knitters might find the Purl 5 together instruction a little awkward to manoeuvre to start with.  I found that switching from my usual Addi click needles to my oak Art Viva needles did the trick as this stopped the yarn slipping around too much and preventing me from purling the group of stiches together.  The oak colour was beautiful with a depth of colour reminding me of some of my favourite things…. coffee and chocolate!  Gently washing the yarn with my usual lavender Eucalan and lightly blocking really helped the lace panels take their proper shape, which made such a difference to the overall finish of the scarf.  To finish off, you can see in the photo how you fold the final lace section of the scarf up and sew the cast off edge in place to form a loop.  To wear the scarf, you then thread the cast-on edge of the scarf through the loop.  Fantastic!

Here are some of my favourites from the Fine Art Accessories Collection:

Fine Art Accessories

Baines – a design by Marie Wallin suitable for the more experienced crocheter, pictured above using 5 skeins of Hornbeam 311

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Pemba - easy straight forward knitting design by Marie Wallin, shown above using 4 skeins of Yew 313.

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Methven – easy straight forward crocheting, designed by Lisa Richardson, pictured above in Maple 310 (4 skeins).

Did you know that Rowan also recently launched another yarn to join the Rowan Fine Art family – Fine Art Aran?  Again, a blend of hand painted colours has been used to achieve a unique colour effect. Take a look by clicking through to Rowan’s website here and the Fine Art Aran Mini Collection here.

Fine Art Arran

My friend Anne from Life Lackadaisical has designed a fab collection of one skein cowls that you can download for free here: Fine Art Aran Collection

The Everard Scarf is going to be a gift for my mum for Mother’s Day at the end of March.  I hope she likes it.

Have you got any mothers day projects planned?

Happy knitting & crocheting!

Cuildorag House Cushion and the new Pure Wool Worsted

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Rowan Yarns launched its new Pure Wool Worsted yarn this Spring and asked us  ambassadors to come up with some ideas for home accessories that could be knitted using the new yarn.  A little competition was launched over the holidays and my friend and fellow ambassador Jen won with her gorgeous moonstone cushion knitted in seed stitch using moonstone yarn with a fab mustard trim.  Check out it out on her fab blog Hey Jen Renee .  You can see all of our Pure Wool Worsted designs, on Rowan’s website in a free to download Pure Wool Worsted Home Décor Online Collection.  Download my Cuildorag House Cushion free pattern here too.

The hardest part of the competition was choosing the shades of yarn to use – did you know that there are 50 beautiful shades of this yummy machine washable wool!? In the end I decided on Mallard for the background colour, with highlights of olive and soft cream using a swiss darning method, with an olive crochet trim.

P.S if you’re wondering where I got the inspiration for the name of my cushion, its a reminder of a beautiful little place that we visited in the West Highlands of Scotland years ago, and I’ve always wanted to go back with the girls one day!

If you’re tempted by the new Pure Wool Worsted range and are a colour addict like me, look out for the new Martin Storey ROWAN YARNS MYSTERY AFGHAN KNIT ALONG – the dates have been released: 21st April – 23rd June.  More details on my blog and Facebook coming very soon!

There are also two new collections from Rowan featuring the new yarn: The Pure Wool Worsted Collection featuring textured stitch work and gorgeous cables & Simple Shapes Pure Wool Worsted, a mixture of 9 simple designs for men and women with a vintage yet modern edge, all designed by Martin Storey.

Which Pure Wool Worsted colours are your favourites?

Happy Knitting & Crocheting! xx

Birthday Owls

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January was a VERY busy month:- 4 family birthdays and the launch of the new Spring Summer Season for knitwear!

A MIRANDA birthday cake was made for my 11 year old and a birthday sleepover with friends arranged; there was much EXCITEMENT over the new ROWAN Yarns SPRING SUMMER 2014 season launch; I finished knitting Kate Davies OWLET for my 4 year old in Knoll Soft Donegal and a RAINBOW FAIRY MAGIC cake was made.  I also celebrated my birthday and my 11 year old made a yummy birthday MOCHA CAKE from Jane Brocket’s Vintage Cake Book for me and my dad to share (it was his birthday the day before mine).  I knitted myself a super warm rib snood from the Erika Knight Collection using her MAXI wool (pictured above in Mallard).

I also got a NEW JOB which has taken up a LOT of my time, hence the lack of blogging around here recently…  its certainly been a challenge to go from being a stay at home mum (which is a full time job in itself!) to working some long hours in a new job with a young family to look after but at least I have my knitting to keep me sane! ;) and at least I might occasionally have some money to treat myself to some (shhhh….) yarn now and again ;) well maybe…..

Somewhere in there, I also passed my blog first anniversary and a whole year of being an ambassador for Rowan Yarns.

Hope you’ve been enjoying the warm SPRING SUNSHINE if you’ve been lucky to find some (I’m so over all of that winter rain!)

More catch ups coming soon xx

Christmas Sorbet!

I loved this Rowan Wool Cotton as soon as I saw it - I was immediately drawn to the gorgeous colour:

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I received a copy of Rowan Little Star to review earlier in the year.  It contains 21 gorgeous designs for children from 3 to 10 years, ranging from bright and easy to wear casual knits to pretty party wear, designed by Marie Wallin, Rowan’s Head Designer.  You can check out the designs in the link at the end of my post if you’d like to.

I really wanted to knit Sorbet, a garter stitch wrap top from Little Star, for my little girl.  Here it is finished in shade 0943  Flower which is just SO pretty.

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I love the simplicity of garter stitch – so pretty but so effective in this particular design:

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My Rowan Wool Cotton was really lovely to knit with.  Its a popular yarn, available in 24 yummy shades, comprising a high twist blend of 50% merino wool and 50% cotton which when knitted up creates designs with great stitch definition and a nice drape.

Sorbet was an easy and satisfying project to knit, with wool cotton being the perfect yarn to show off this pretty v neck wrap design with cute little cap sleeves.   It would be great for a beginner knitter, because the yarn doesn’t snag or slip on the needles and it was easy to memorise the pattern, pop it in my knitting bag and knit a bit more whenever I got the chance.  My Little Star loved it!

Links:

Rowan Wool Cotton

Rowan Sorbet

Christmas Sorbet – my Ravelry Page

Rowan Little Star

Little Star Cover

Happy Holiday Knitting!