Advent

It’s been such fun making Christmas trees for my Nordic Garland this week. I’m hopefully on target to finish my little tree garland ready for Christmas…
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Although things got quite busy this weekend, when this little fella popped by…he’s our new pup! Too cute!

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We also chose and decorated our Christmas tree…

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I must make a start on the I-cord this week…
and there are more Christmassy goings on to look forward to….
Reception class school nativity play and a trip to Santa’s Grotto with my little girl at the school Christmas craft fayre…

Hope you have a good week and if you’d like to please share your Christmas makes with me on Instagram or my Facebook page. Find the garland pattern here: http://www.knitrowan.com/designs-and-patterns/books/easy-fairisle-knits

Claire xx

Rowan Nordic Garland Knit A Long

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Welcome back!   I’m so pleased you’ve popped by!  Here are the details of mine and Anne from Life Lackadaisical’s “home made Christmas challenge” knit-a-long just in case you’d like to follow our progress or join in too or maybe even share some photos of your own Christmas knits with us?

So… using the Nordic Garland pattern from the Rowan Easy Fairisle Knits book that I mentioned yesterday, our challenge for December is to knit our Nordic Garlands ready for Christmas with both garlands finished ready for Christmas Day.

Starting on 1 December, my knitting buddy Anne will be attempting to knit a tree a day with a goal of 25 trees by December 25.  I’m going to be knitting the garland pretty much as illustrated in the Easy Fairisle Knits book as shown below, so I’m aiming for 15 trees… although I may do more if I find the time and I’m hoping to knit the I-cord as I go along.  I know its certainly a busy time of year but this pattern is straightforward, super cute and the little trees are super addictive….. so I think its going to be lots of fun :)

We’ll be sharing our photos and regular updates on our blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #RowanNordicGarland and we hope you might like to join us and share your photos using the same # if you’d like to take part or use it to share your own Christmas knitting projects with us too :)

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So here’s my first tree…. there are 3 designs – this is the plain garter stitch version and the other 2 designs have a touch of fairisle.  If you’d like to join us, or would just like to see how we get on with our “home made Christmas challenge” follow us using #RowanNordicGarland and share your photos and progress of any other Christmas knits you’re making with us too.  We’d love to hear from you :)

Links:

Rowan Yarns Easy Fairisle Knits by Martin Storey;

Martin Storey on Facebook

Rowan Felted Tweed DK - view the 28 shades on Rowan’s Website

Knitandpurlgarden Facebook Page and Instagram

Life Lackadaisical Blog, Facebook Page and Instagram

Happy Christmas knitting!
Claire xx

 

Easy Fairisle Knits

Hello again!  Its nearly December and I’m thinking about Christmas knitting….

Have you seen Martin Storey’s latest publication ‘Easy Fairisle Knits’ yet?  It features 14 delightful simplified fairisle designs using  Rowan Felted Tweed DK and ranging from hats, socks, scarves and cushions and including a slipover, bag, throw and garland – all with only two colours in a row – so suitable for even novice fairisle knitters like me!

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Check the images out via the link to Rowan’s website here, and in the meantime, here are a few of my favourites (aside from the gorgeous kitty scarf featured on the front cover!):

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And you can drool over the 28 shades of Rowan Felted Tweed DK by clicking here :)

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So, talking of Christmas, I think its time to create a little something “home made” for the festive season don’t you?
My knitting pal Anne at Life Lackadaisical and I will be taking part in a “home made Christmas challenge” and I’m hoping you might join us too…?

Come back on Friday 28th November, when we will have the details ready for you :)
Hope to see you here tomorrow….
Claire xx

 

Stainsby – a Sweater in Alpaca Colour

036022 023 Hurrah – I’ve finally finished Stainsby from the Rowan Alpaca Colour Collection.  I started knitting this jumper at Easter, then put it aside to take part in the Rowan Mystery Afghan Knit-a-Long over the summer and after a big break, finished it off ready to wear this autumn.  It was worth the wait – I’m seriously smitten with this yarn!  Its so soft to the touch, and comes in a gorgeous palette of colours, with beautifully subtle colour changes which really give this yarn its special quality and character.  I can honestly say that it was a joy to knit with and is a joy to wear. I did make a few modifications to the pattern.  I lengthened the body, and when the jumper was ready to assemble, I decided to pick up the stitches and knit the neckline in the round.  I’ve also chosen to leave welts, cuffs and neckband as they are rather than fold to the fold line as you’ll see in Rowan’s picture below. stainsby I also used Garnet 139 for the cuffs and neckline rather than Topaz 143.  I decided to stick with Graphite 142 for the body as I love the colour and it fits in well with my wardrobe.   However, now I’ve finished this knit, I’m really tempted to be a little more adventurous and check out some of the other colours too.  Check out the full colour range here.  Am seriously drooling over these…. alpacacolour alpacacolour2

Rowan has updated its Alpaca Colour range this autumn/winter 2014 with 4 new shades: Jade 136, Jewel 144 (a gorgeous red which is quite Christmassy!), Marble 145 and Precious 147.

The Alpaca Colour Collection features 17 designs by Rowan designer Lisa Richardson.  Rowan describes this collection as a “story of textured knits – cables, lace, bobbles and openwork stiches in a variety of easy to wear modern shapes, including fitted jackets and tunics, wrap-around cover-ups and slouchy sweaters“.  The art work is worth checking out in this brochure aside from the gorgeous designs….

My friend and Rowan Ambassador Linda has also knitted Stainsby but in a different colour scheme – she is my “Stainsby twin” – we both discovered we were wearing our jumpers on the same day this week!  Do pop over to Linda’s blog Knitted Pink to check out Linda’s version – she also has some fabulous other projects to share: http://knittedpink.wordpress.com

So onto my next project…what will it be?  Well, I’ve started playing with some of Rowan’s scrummy new Fazed Tweed….   What are your plans for this season? Has anyone started making things for Christmas yet?

Claire xx

Autumn Salsa – a Hat in Big Wool Colour

Hello Autumn!

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Meet Salsa, a hat designed by Lisa Richardson and knitted in Big Wool Colour from Rowan Yarns.

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My daughter loves her new hat – she’s a big fan of slouchy hats with bobbles…

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Big Wool Colour as you can see has a fun bright colour palette and is ideal for accessories.

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Its fantastic for the beginner knitter as projects can be easily completed within a matter of hours.

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Rowan Big Wool fans will also be pleased to hear that Big Wool Colour knits to Big Wool tension so knits to all Big Wool patterns.

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The Big Wool Colour Collection published by Rowan this autumn features 13 designs by Lisa Richardson using Big Wool and Big Wool Colour. Here are a few of my favourites:

Jitterbug:

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Foxtrot:

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Mambo:

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Fandango:

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Have you seen the recently published Simple Projects for Cosy Homes by Sarah Hatton?

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I love this collection, with gorgeous projects like these cushions that also make use of Rowan Big Wool.  I think they would look really great knitted up with Big Wool Colour too.  What do you think?

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And how about using Big Wool Colour for these sweet little knitted baskets?

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Thanks for popping by!
P.S I’ll be back soon with an update on my Alpaca Colour sweater – its all finished and good thing too, as the weather is certainly getting chillier!   Happy Knitting :)
Claire xx

Dodgem in Rowan Fur and the new Big Accessories collection

I’ve just finished knitting ‘Dodgem’ in Rowan’s new yarn ‘Fur’.  Dodgem is a design by Sarah Hatton and is featured in the fabulous new ‘Big Accessories’ brochure published for this autumn winter 2015 season.  Its a really clever design featuring an integral loop and a collar shaped with short rows, plus it was super quick to knit.

Dodgem Scarf

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Dodgem requires 3 balls of Rowan Fur, pictured here in Brown Bear (092) and 7mm needles.  The yarn is made of wool with a little polyamide to bind.  It’s light, soft, cosy and warm and I think it’ll be very on trend this season – great for collars, cuffs, gillets, homeware and even toys and it can be purchased in a lovely natural colour pallete including the shades: Polar, Brown Bear, Bear and Panda.   I might even find myself knitting another ‘Dodgem’ in another shade – I’ve had a few requests already….

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Here’s some Rowan Fur in Bear 091, which I’m going to be using for another project – yes – I’m really pleased with this new yarn and will definitely be using it again :)

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The Big Accessories collection showcases some of Rowan’s chunkier yarns including one of my favourite yarns from last autumn winter season: Thick ‘n’ thin, together with Tumble, Alpaca Chunky as well as the new ‘Fur’ yarn, making all of the accessories super quick to knit.  There are 15 designs for men and women including hats, scarves, cowls, capes, a gillet and interesting neck pieces.  I’m really looking forward to knitting ‘Bandit’ next, featured on the cover of the Big Accessories book in the photo below.  Fingers crossed for snow this winter!

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Check out the ‘Big Accessories’ collection here and Rowan’s new Fur Yarn here.

Here are a few of my other favourites:

Helter: a gillet designed by Sarah Hatton, knitted here in Panda 093:

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Teacup, designed by Martin Storey and knitted in Thick ‘n’ Thin and Fur:

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Swingboat, designed by Lisa Richardson in Tumble:

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Skelter, designed by Sarah Hatton using Thick ‘n’ Thin:

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And Voltini, designed by Gemma Atkinson in Tumble:

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I’m off to pack for a family holiday in Cornwall now, and looking at the weather forecast, I think Dodgem might be sneaking into my bag….

Now to choose:  should I make space in my suitcase for clothes or yarn…. decisions, decisions….

Have a great weekend and thanks for popping by :)

xx

 

Rowan Afghan Ta Dah!!

Hurrah, I’ve finished my afghan!! Thank you to Martin Storey for a wonderful design and to Rowan Yarns for a great Knit-a-Long – I’ve really enjoyed taking part and I hope there will be more KALs in the future or maybe a Crochet-a-Long (hint hint Rowan!)

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I’m really pleased with how my afghan has turned out and now have a lovely blanket to snuggle under in the coming autumn and winter, although it has already been “borrowed” by children and pets….

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In the end I decided to make a slightly smaller version of the official afghan design but I included at least one of each weeks patterns as I really wanted to try out each design for myself and have a finished afghan that incorporated a little of everything.  My afghan is made up of 35 squares rather than 48 and I also decided to crochet the trim using Linda’s pattern over on the Knitted Pink blog.  I do love to mix knitting and crochet and I’m pleased how it turned out as well as the fact that it was super quick to do.

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I used a simple slip stitch to join the squares:  using the tail of yarn left over from the cast on/cast off, insert the needle into the loop of each purl stitch along the edge of the squares you are joining:

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So, to round up ~ my favourite square:  French Plait (week 7)
I do love a nice cable and I also loved knitting with this shade of Pure Wool Worsted – a rather vintage looking pink (Candy 118).

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Favourite shade of Pure Wool Worsted: Oxygen 137
I also love the Nordic Square design from Week 2.

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Another favourite shade of Pure Wool Worsted: Peacock 139, shown here in Dots & Dashes  from week 5:

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I also used Peacock for the crochet trim.

Favourite KAL helper: Izzy the dog: a keen lover of wooly blankets

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I love the way that an afghan holds so many memories, reminding me of the places that I visited and the people that I met and who I was with when I was knitting each square… something to always be treasured.  If you didn’t take part in the KAL and would still like to make the afghan, you can download the entire design for free on Rowan’s website by clicking here.

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Thank you also to my friend Deana who very kindly let me borrow her lovely sofa for my afghan photos. Do pop over to Deana Ashby Interior Design at www.deanaashby.com ~ Deana lives in a very beautiful house and is a very talented lady.
So, what’s next on my needles? Well, I’m finishing my jumper in Alpaca Colour that I started before the afghan KAL and I’m also SUPER EXCITED about the new autumn / winter yarns and designs over at www.knitrowan.com.
Have you finished your afghan?  Do you have a favourite square too?  What projects have you got lined up for next season?

Thanks for visiting!
xx