Monthly Archives: July 2013

Rowan Magazine 54 Competition : Winner

THANK YOU so much to everyone that entered my Rowan Magazine 54 Giveaway.  I have loved reading all of the competition  entries!

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I asked which design was your favourite in the new magazine, and the Romancing Collection proved to be extremely popular with all of you – the Berenice Wrap (as featured on the magazine cover above) and Salome received the most votes.  Alcina and Vivaldi were also popular designs.  All of these stunning designs use Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze yarn.

Salome:

Salome

Following very closely behind Berenice in the voting was the beautiful Anatolia from the Folk Collection, knitted with Rowan Felted Tweed:

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The gorgeous Soumak Scarf Wrap also received some votes.

Sharon, the Wendy Wrap and Crystal were also mentioned as favourites from the Essentials Collection.

I would so love to send everyone of you a copy of the new Magazine but of course there can be only one winner….

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Drum roll…..

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And the winner, as randomly picked by my three year old assistant is….

rowan 54 comp

VALERIE SMITH, who chose the gorgeous Berenice Wrap as her favourite design.  Valerie told me that she loved the Berenice Wrap because “because the colours are rich and it represents a feeling of abundance and opulence.”  Great choice Valerie!

Congratulations Valerie Smith!  Please contact me with your address and I will post the Magazine off to you asap!  Hope you enjoy reading it!  Happy knitting!

Claire xx

Walled Gardens and Lavender Fields

Last week, we decided to grab a much needed day out before the end of the school term, just the two of us.  Its amazing what you can find on your doorstep for free without really travelling very far…
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First we stopped off at the Walled Garden in the village of Mells.  I LOVE cottage gardens and would so love to have a garden like this.  Sadly, my garden seems to be a little overgrown with a few too many weeds at the moment!

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We stayed for lunch – wood fired pizza from the Walled Garden Pizza Oven.  Soooo delicious! (Make mental note to research building a wood fired pizza oven at home!)

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On the way home we called in at the local Somerset Lavender Fields.  We’ve driven past the sign for the Lavender Fields many times on route to other destinations and I had no idea what gorgeousness lay hidden a short distance away from the main road.  With the heatwave that the UK is experiencing at the moment, it felt like we were in Provence! The views and the scent of the lavender was amazing:

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There were even some lavender coloured sweet-peas!

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Just enough time to enjoy the Lavender before a quick dash off on the school run.  A fab day out!

Do you love cottage gardens and lavender too?  Do you have a favourite flower?

Happy Holidays!

xx

On my blog today : Emily Platt of Lost in Knit

Featured on my blog today is the talented up and coming designer Emily Platt of Lost in Knit, who has just launched her first unique Summer Knitwear Collection.

I first met Emily on Facebook when I launched my own Facebook page Knit and Purl Garden earlier this year, and having admired her work and immediately spotted that Emily loves knitting with Rowan yarns, I have been following Lost In Knit ever since!

I always love to hear how people first became interested in knitting and crochet and Emily tells me that like me, she has always loved to make things.  She started cross stitching when she was very little and learnt to knit when she was about 10 – she has loved it ever since:

I always bought the Rowan books that came out each year and have knitted so many things from them.  Then when I went to university I decided that I wanted to focus on knitwear and hand knitted my entire final collection.

Lost In Knit was created in Emily’s final year at university when she decided to create a brand to enable her to share her knitwear designs with the public.  Emily shared her final collection using Facebook and then created her fabulous blog to show more details of her design process and showcase knitwear trends.

You can click on the link and check out Emily’s Twisted Traditions album on Facebook here.

Intrigued as to where the name ‘Lost in Knit’ came from, I received the reply that Emily felt that every knitter would love to get lost in knit so she thought it would be a good name to useI can certainly agree with that Emily!

The Lost in Knit Brand is all about creating up to date designs that people want to wear but making them in the traditional way.  Emily loves to experiment in colour and Fair Isles and likes to create fun Fair Isle designs.

This Zebra top really caught my eye.  Its knitted using Rowan Siena.

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You can find more details of Emily’s design process on her blog.

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Emily describes her new collection as having a fun festival vive for the laid back hippy in all of us.  There is a mix of bright colours and toned down shades used so that it appeals to both the party lover and the chilled out folk.

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Emily’s fabulous Palm Tree Knitted top uses Rowan Panama, chosen for its drape and because it is a lightweight yarn, making it ideal for a summer garment.  The palm tree motif uses Rowan Cotton Glace which is available in some gorgeous colours and is perfect for summer stitch texture.

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In the photo below you can see the lace stitch on the back of the top, which has been knitted in two parts to overlap.

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The next top in the Summer Collection features an amazing neon pink and orange yarn from Bettaknit, an Italian Company with an interesting Be Kind philosophy.

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I was keen to discover where Emily gets her inspiration from when she starts to design something new and she told me that she does a lot of trend research by looking at what is in the shops and also what will be in the shops next year.  Emily likes to see what people are currently wearing  and looks at a lot of street style blogs – looking at colours is really important to her when first designing to make sure that she gets the right feel for the collection.  The yarn also needs to fit into the trends that are coming through on the catwalk and high street.  You can check out Emily’s regular Knit of the Day posts on her blog where she regularly shares her inspiration with her readers.

I asked Emily which was her favourite piece that she had designed:

I think that my favourite piece is a top that I designed for my final collection at university.  It is a Fair Isle top with a women knitted on the front.  I loved developing the top and working with the yarn and how it came about.

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Having noticed straight away how much Emily loves Rowan Yarns, I asked her what it was that she particularly liked about Rowan, and which was her favourite yarn and why.

I love working with Rowan yarns as the yarns are always the highest quality and there is such a range of different yarns and colours to work and experiment with.  Each season Rowan brings out an exciting range which wants me to start designing straight away.  I’m really excited to start working with the new Thick ‘n’ Thin yarn this season.

I’m a big fan of Rowan’s new Thick ‘n’ Thin yarn and you can read Knit and Purl Gardens review here if you are interested.

Emily considers her favourite Rowan Yarn to be Drift.  She loves the different colours in the range and the different tones that each yarn has.  When knitted, its really warm and the best thing to wear on a cold night.

Emily hopes to continue creating her own designs and build her Folksy shop.  She is planning to start exhibiting at Fairs next Spring and in the future she would love to have her designs published.

Do check out Emily’s Lost in Knit Facebook page.

You can find Emily’s Summer Collection in her Folksy Shop  http://folksy.com/shops/LostinKnit
where you can purchase one of her amazing one of a kind knits.
If you are interested to find out more you can also read this fabulous review from Konrad:
Good luck Emily,  I can’t wait to see your autumn/winter collection!

Thick ‘n’ Thin Review

I get the impression that Rowan’s new autumn/winter collection is causing quite a stir in the knitting world at the moment!  I’m in love with virtually every brochure and have a BIG wish list of things that I would love to knit this season.   Early autumn has to be one of my favourite times of the year and although I am extremely grateful for all of the beautiful sunshine we have been having here in the UK lately, I do love the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” and I get so excited at the thought of all of those cosy autumnal knits to wear in the crisp autumn air.

First up for review at Knit and Purl Garden this season is Rowan’s Thick ‘n’ Thin Collection by Sarah Hatton featuring 14 designs for women.

“The rustic and textured inspired knits within the Thick ‘n’ Thin collection reflect this seasons runway trend for outerwear and accessory hand knits.  The collection combines the character and colourful nature of the new yarn with chunky knit stitches, such as ribbing, cabling and weave textures, creating a collection of easy to wear and easy to knit designs.”

Thick&Thin Brochure

Corona Hooded Scarf (cover photo):

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I’m sure that Rowan’s new Thick ‘n’ Thin yarn is going to be extremely popular.  Its a great choice for beginner knitters as it knits up really quickly on chunky needles and there are some fabulous patterns.  It will also appeal to those knitters looking for a quick fashion fix – there are some great accessories in the new Collection.  There is also great potential for knitting up a few gifts for – shhh – dare I mention the word in July – Christmas!?  Always good to plan ahead…

The new yarn comes in some great colours: pumice, marble, soapstone, pyrite, shale, granite, flint, dolomite, basalt and greenstone.  The Thick ‘n’ Thin feature of this yarn gives the knitted fabric a unique textured finish, made from 100% wool that is ideal for accessories or to add definition to any knitted sweater.

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I’ve just finished knitting the Satellite Cowl.  It was easy to knit, I LOVE it and I know its going to get a LOT of wear!

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Here’s my cowl in the gorgeous blue shade Dolomite (968):

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I am SO in LOVE with this colour!

Here are a few of my favourite designs from the Collection:

Solstice:

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Aurora:

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Nova:

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Satellite Scarf:

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Orbit:

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And some more gorgeous designs:

Meteor:

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Umbra:

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Nebula:

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Flare:

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Cosmos:

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Comet:

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Zenith:

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So there you have it: Thick ‘n’ Thin : whats not to love!?

Let me know if you try Thick ‘n’ Thin out – I would love to hear your thoughts.

Claire xx

It’s competition time! – Rowan Magazine 54 Giveaway

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It’s COMPETITION TIME at Knit and Purl Garden!  To celebrate the official launch today of the NEW Rowan Autumn / Winter season 2013, I’m giving away my brand new sample copy of the latest Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine 54.   It maybe be gloriously sunny outside but you won’t want to miss the chance to win this  – its stunning!  As we knitters know, you need to plan ahead 🙂

Get your needles ready for some truly gorgeous designs this autumn!

Knitwear is currently sitting centre stage in the fashion world and many of the catwalk designers have drawn inspiration for their collections from historic references such as the Baroque. Fashion is also looking to the handicraft textiles of Eastern Europe  and the nomadic lifestyle.  The Rowan designers have taken these strong trends and worked the different key looks into three distinctive stories in Magazine 54:

Romancing – A beautiful collection of romantic lace and patterned knits photographed in the historic setting of Haddon Hall, Derbyshire.

Romancing  Salome

Folk – The patterned folk textiles of nomadic eastern cultures inspires this colourful collection of women’s and men’s knits.

Anatolia  soumak

Essentials – A collection of the key shapes and textures on trend, designed into simple, easy to wear styles that compliment the season’s essential looks.

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There are also 2 online collections available in this magazine with 6 exclusive free patterns in each of them!  Click on the following links below to view these collections.

Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 54 – Web Exclusives

Rowan Design Awards 2013

We’re really spoilt for choice this season.  Look out for these gorgeous Rowan brochures also in the shops on July 15th:

You can also check out the designs on the Rowan website NOW: http://www.knitrowan.com/designs-and-patterns

Angora Haze Brochure  Little Star Cover

Autumn Knits_Layout 1  Pioneer Brochure

Thick&Thin Brochure  Warm & Toasty Cover

Alpaca Colour Brochure

Rowan has also just launched some gorgeous new yarns this season as well as some old favourites in new colours – here are some samples that I will be trying out and reporting back on: (you can click on the links to find out more info)

Angora Haze:

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Thick ‘n’ Thin:

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Kidsilk Haze Eclipse:

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Alpaca Colour:

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So if you’d like to try and win a copy of Rowan Magazine 54, all you need to do is become a follower of my blog or  my Facebook page  and leave me a comment telling me which design from the magazine you like best and why.  I’ll pick a random winner at the end of the day on Sunday 28th July.  You can check out the designs from Magazine 54 on Rowan’s website: http://www.knitrowan.com/designs-and-patterns/magazines/rowan-knitting-crochet-magazine-54  I would love to hear which is your favourite!

You can also like my Facebook page for regular updates on everything Rowan & other snippets of knitting and crochet news.

Good luck xx

EDITED TO ADD: you can also enter the competition if you are already a follower of my blog or Facebook Page 🙂

Beshley’s Wool Shop

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If you’re visiting Bristol, you MUST pop into Beshley’s Wool Shop, which has just opened in Alma Vale Road, Clifton.  I was SO excited to discover that a new yarn shop would be opening near me and I couldn’t wait to see it.  Would you like to take a little peek inside?

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Meet Beshley the owner  – we had a lovely chat today about all of the gorgeous yarn that she stocks, all sourced from the British Isles (read more on her website about Artesano, Blacker Designs, Donegal Yarns, Erika Knight, Jamieson & Smith, Jon Arbon Textiles, West Yorkshire Spinners and Woolyknit).  Beshley told me that she plans to add lots more to the shop in the near future, packing it with patterns and as much British Wool as possible.  Of course I had to mention the Rowan Purelife Range sourced from British Sheep too!

I read recently that the UK has the greatest diversity of sheep breeds of any nation in the world, with over 80 different breeds in the UK with more than 70% being native to the UK.  Our heritage sheep breeds play an important role in the rural economy helping to sustain our countryside and are an important renewable and sustainable natural resource.  Take a look at the Campaign for Wool website .  You can also read about my trip to the wonderful Wool House exhibition at Somerset House in London here.

Take a look at this gorgeous range including  Jamieson and Smith Shetland Wool.  Can you spot the Kate Davies “Colours of Shetland Book” on the shelf?:

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More gorgeous wool and Brittany Birch Needles and crochet hooks:

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I just love the beautiful shades available from Erika Knight’s British Blue wool range made from the fleece of Blue-Faced Leicester – so soft!

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Spot the cute little knitted owls for sale?

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Artesano British Wool:

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And for those who love vintage, Excelana, the result of a collaboration between John Arbon and Susan Crawford knitwear designer spun from the fleece of the Exmoor Blueface, which live on the moors of North Devon.

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You can also find a gorgeous vintage section in the shop stocking beautiful buttons, needle, notions and patterns and some fabulous art work.  I love the shop ‘yarn’ logo which was designed by Beshley’s illustrator boyfriend.

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The shop provides a wonderful space for workshops and a crochet granny square workshop with Jan Ollis is planned for later in July.  Beshley also told me that a Knitting Group will be meeting on Tuesdays starting from 9th July to sit, knit and natter.

Good luck with your new venture Beshley, and thanks for the lovely chat today – I think your shop is fabulous and I’ll certainly be back!

Claire x