Wishing all of my lovely readers a Merry Christmas & a very Happy New Year! Enjoy the holidays! xx
I loved this Rowan Wool Cotton as soon as I saw it - I was immediately drawn to the gorgeous colour:
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.
I love the simplicity of garter stitch – so pretty but so effective in this particular design:
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!
Happy Holiday Knitting!
I’m a big fan of Erika Knight and her beautiful range of yarn so I was extremely excited to hear that Erika would be visiting Beshley’s Wool Shop, one of my local yarn stores in Bristol today, to give a talk and sign books.
Beshley’s Wool Shop, stocking a gorgeous selection of yarns all sourced from within the British Isles, opened this year and you might remember me writing about it here.
Erika’s enthusiasm really shone through as she chatted to us about her career and her passion for design, knitting, crochet and home grown British wool, whilst we sipped tea and munched on cake kindly provided by Beshley.
We talked about how knitting is timeless – it can be very low tech, requiring only a ball of yarn and some needles, and yet coupled with todays new technology – the internet, Ravelry etc, it can take over the world! One of Erika’s favourite quotes is that ” knitting is the saving of life” (Virginia Wolf, writer & knitter 1882-1941) – knitting is something that can be turned to at any stage of life, for all sorts of different reasons, and her message was ” its never too late to start”!
Erika has also worked with Rowan Yarns and we learnt how together with Marie Wallin, Rowan’s Head Designer, the Rowan British Sheep Breeds range was developed, to help support British hill farmers.
Erika later developed her own range of yarn, which is 100% British made and manufactured. The collection includes Fur Wool, Maxi Wool, Vintage Wool and British Blue Wool with a colour range that is simply stunning:
All of the colours in her range are designed to go together and coordinate and Erika has developed a selection of knitting and crochet patterns focusing on fashion accessories, that are simple and quick to knit. I particularly love her Knit it Tonight Posters with each poster including patterns that can be knitted up quickly in one evening.
Erika also kindly showed us how to do Swiss Darning, a form of embroidery which can be used to quickly add interest to knitted pieces. This is such a great technique and I’ll definitely be trying it out myself.
Erika and Beshley at the end of a fabulous afternoon:
I left feeling VERY inspired – I’ve had a fantastic afternoon – thank you Erika & Beshley. I’m off to knit!
Have a fun weekend!
The Autumn Loops Collar is my first go at designing a knitting pattern and it uses just 1 ball of Rowan Yarn’s recently launched Kidsilk Amore Shimmer, shown here in the shade Chestnut 514. The pattern is part of the Rowan Ambassadors Amore Online Collection and it can be downloaded for free here. I hope you like it! You will need to sign up to become a Row@n member which is also free, giving you access to Rowan’s online community, free patterns and monthly e-Newsletter which always provides a great read!
The Rowan Ambassadors Amore Online Collection features accessory designs that all use just one ball of Kidsilk Amore or Kidsilk Amore Shimmer and are quick to knit – some great projects if you are thinking of trying out this new yarn for yourself or for Christmas knitting!
Kidsilk Amore is a yarn of super soft multi-strand chainette construction comprising of mohair and silk and based on the very popular Kidsilk Haze but in a heavier weight which is ideal for accessories and small projects. Kidsilk Amore Shimmer gives an added sparkle to projects!
Happy knitting! X
Off my needles this weekend: my Derwent Sweater, designed by Marie Wallin, knitted in Rowan Cocoon (Lavender Ice 811), pattern from Rowan Autumn Knits 2013:
Loving my new knit. I really like the casual style with its 3/4 length sleeves – easy to wear over long-sleeved t-shirts – a comfortable and relaxed look. I found the Rowan Cocoon fabulous to knit with, quick to make up and Derwent only required 5 skeins of yarn. Its so cosy! The pattern is aimed at intermediate knitters and I found it very straight forward to knit.
The Rowan Autumn Knits collection contains 14 designs for women and men by Marie Wallin using the yarns Cocoon, Lima & Lima Colour and reflects the trend for heritage and country inspired hand knit using small graphic patterning, fairisle, tweed, weave effects as well as traditional cabling textures.
There are some gorgeous designs. You can click on the link at the end of the post to view the collection on the Rowan Website, but here are a few of my favourites:
Matlock - an easy straightforward knit using Rowan Cocoon:
Hartington – for the more experienced knitter, using Rowan Cocoon:
Hope – a design for the more experienced knitter using Rowan Lima:
If you’ve never tried knitting with Cocoon, I’d definitely recommend it. It’s a lovely blend of merino wool and kid mohair, which can be used to create beautiful textured and cable stitches. Be inspired by this beautiful soft rustic autumnal palette:
I haven’t tried knitting with Rowan Lima yet, although I have a gorgeous sample of Rowan Lima Colour waiting patiently in my stash. Rowan Lima is made with baby alpaca and merino wool, and Rowan has added a subtle colour effect to create the Lima Colour range, which has been described as a luxurious and soft yarn ideal for adding colour to any winter wardrobe.
I hope you feel inspired to try an Autumm Knit of your own!
With the start of autumn and the girls back in pre-school and school after a busy summer holiday, I’ve been able to get back into some knitting again. Crochet seemed to be our family craft of choice this summer – I’ve been spending lots of time on Instagram with the lovely ladies taking part in the Homely Blanket Quest crochet along.
Check out my friend Heike’s fabulous blog www.madewithloops.co.uk for details – its not too late to join in! I’m still very behind on my squares but I’m hoping to do a spot of crochet on a Monday evening – I might just have found a sneaky window of opportunity whilst listening to my daughter having her piano lesson! I’ve just noticed that I’ve been drawn to using lots of blues and pinks – maybe I’ll have to introduce some more bright and cheery colours now that the nights are drawing in. What do you think?
Autumn and Winter Knits are now firmly on the agenda and I’ve loved looking at lots of new designs and scrummy yarns for the new season. So much choice, so hard to choose! Have you got any favourites?
I’ve also been working on a little design challenge that Rowan set their ambassadors recently. The brief was to design an item using just one skein of the new Rowan Amore or Rowan Amore Shimmer. More about this in another post
This month I’ve finished off my pair of Elton Fingerless Mittens that I started whilst on holiday in Dorset. You can never have too many pairs of fingerless mittens – or is it just me that really feels the cold!?
You can find the pattern in the new Rowan Warm & Toasty Collection which is full of really fab accessories including snoods, capelets, scarves and hats that are easy to knit and use the gorgeous Chunky Alpaca and Tumble yarns, which are super quick to knit up. The Elton Fingerless Mittens can be knitted using just one skein of chunky alpaca or a similar weight yarn.
I’ve also finished the Gala Loop Scarf also from the Rowan Warm & Toasty Collection, using Rowan Tumble in Amethyst. The pattern calls for two skeins of Tumble, but I think a just as lovely scarf could be knitted using just one skein as I have a lot of Tumble left over. Its a super warm and cosy yarn made of 90% alpaca and 10% cotton - this scarf will be great for the cold weather.
And some Rowan Wool Cotton - I just love this colour ‘flower’ – I have plans to knit something for my little girl with this.
What’s on your knitting needles or crochet hook this autumn? I would love to hear from you xx
We were THRILLED to discover that my daughter won runner up in the fabulous Monster Yarns Make a Monster Competition for her Ianto the Yetti! Thanks Monster Yarns – it was GREAT fun Check it out:
It seems such a short time ago that the Make-a-Monster Competition was launched and yet the time has come to announce the results. A very big and genuine Thank You for all your efforts, sharing with me your wonderful creations and even getting your children to get Monstering! The competition has put many a smile on faces so I consider it a roaring success.
The judges were a hand-picked group of ladies of varying ages and crafting skills and two children in the young teens. Monster Yarns had no input except for arranging the photos in the appropriate categories and providing some rather delicious (if I may say so) cakes and lashings of tea. The judges’ decision was not always unanimous and sometimes led to heated technical debate which was only resolved after further liberal application of cake and tea. However the moment you’ve been waiting for…I shall announce the Winners (yes, I’m getting on with it) but in true Oscars style, I’d like to start with the Honourable Mentions.
All three runners up are awarded a skein of yarn of their choice from the Monster Yarns website.