Category Archives: Rowan Ambassador

Visiting Rowan Yarns: Ambassadors at the Mill

A couple of weeks ago I made a much anticipated trip up to Holmfirth, Yorkshire to meet for a conference with the wonderful Rowan team and all of my faboulous Rowan Ambassador friends from around the world.  It was a truly unforgettable experience, and so amazing to be immersed in all things Rowan and finally meet up with friends that I have only previously met online.

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View of Holmfirth from the Old Bridge Hotel

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Tour de France Bunting in Holmfirth

After my 200 mile trip from Somerset (and a little unexpected detour into Manchester thanks to a rainstorm and an unreliable road map – not my navigation skills I hasten to add!) I was relieved to finally arrive at the Old Bridge Hotel, Holmfirth following the route of this weekends Tour de France over the moor to Holme Moss, the Tour’s ‘King of the Mountains’.  I was so excited to finally meet everyone!  Here we all are at last, Rowan Ambassadors:  Sarah, me, Konrad, Anne, Esther, Dayana, Kristen, Cindi, Linda, Violetta, Maria, Anja, Ute and husband Hans.

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Rowan Ambassadors from Canada, Germany, Spain, UK and the US.

Karl Hallam, Rowan’s Digital Marketing Manager (our Rowan Ambassador contact at the Mill) did the most amazing job of organising this trip and making it come true together with the Rowan Team who gave us such a warm welcome  – it so was amazing to step through those doors…..  take a peak inside….

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After meeting everyone, we were given a wonderful guided tour of the Mill, and learnt all about its history, and got to see this amazing collection of all of the Rowan Magazines going back to the very first publication:

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Here’s the Rowan Wall of Fame:

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We also popped downstairs to visit a treasure trove of yarn…..

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And of course we got to see THE OFFICIAL MARTIN STOREY AFGHAN!!!  Check out this awesome Rowan Knit-a-Long here if you haven’t seen it already.

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We all got together and discussed all things Rowan including our ambassadors roles, and we also got to preview the new yarns and designs for the Autumn/Winter 2014/15 collection due to be launched this month on the 15th July.  We met the Rowan Designer team, Kate Buller the Brand Manager and Design and Publications Manager, David MacLeod.  It was so wonderful to chat to the designers, see the new yarns, squeeze the balls and admire and try on items that had been knitted up for the new collections.

Other highlights of the week included meeting lovely Jen Geigley, Rowan Ambassador from the US – sadly Jen couldn’t make it to the UK for this trip but Karl arranged for Jen to join us on Skype which was a fantastic surprise! Hello Jen!  Other great memories of the week include a wonderful exchange of gifts on the first night at the hotel (we all brought a gift with us to Yorkshire and drew names to decide who would receive each gift – thank you so much to Maria from Germany who gifted me a beautiful skein of Kidsilk Haze stripe and mini perfume to accompany it, and also very generously brought very delicious german chocolate for everyone).  Other highlights were a Last of the Summer Wine Bus Tour and a fish & chip lunch at the award winning Compo’s Café in Holmfirth and a wonderful meal at mediterranean restaurant Aldea in Holmfirth with the Rowan Team.  On the last two days Marie Wallin, Rowan’s Head Designer presented us with a design brief for the Autumn/Winter 2015/16 season and we were asked to knit or crochet our swatches for our own designs, ready to present to the Rowan Team at the end of the conference before it was time to go home.  Lisa Richardson (read more about Lisa in Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 56 due to be launched this month) gave a great presentation on the process of following a brief, conceptualising designs, sketches and swatches and writing a design spec, and all of the designers were around to give advice and help.  Perhaps you might see one of our designs in the next years collections!

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From left to right: Martin Storey, Marie Wallin, Lisa Richardson, Sarah Hatton, Gemma Atkinson, Kate Buller.

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A wonderful gift from Maria

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Look out for these wonderful new yarns launching soon: Rowan Fur, Brushed Fleece, Big Wool Colour, Fazed Tweed, Rowan Finest and Mohair Haze (photo also shows Chenille which was a recent mid season launch)

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Sneaky peaks of some knits from the new A/W 2014 collection…

Thank you Karl Hallam and everyone at Rowan and all of my Rowan Ambassador friends for the most amazing time.  It was fantastic to meet you all at last!

Needless to say, I’m very much looking forward to the new Autumn/Winter collection….. thanks so much for visiting my blog – do pop back and catch up again soon xx

 

 

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!

Autumn Loops Collar – Free Pattern

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!

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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!

Links:

Autumn Loops Collar

Ravelry Pattern Link

Rowan Ambassadors Online Collection

Rowan Kidsilk Amore

Rowan Kidsilk Amore Shimmer

Happy knitting! X

Rowan Autumn Knits Collection and Derwent

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:

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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.

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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:

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Hartington – for the more experienced knitter, using Rowan Cocoon:

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Hope – a design for the more experienced knitter using Rowan Lima:

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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:

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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.

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I hope you feel inspired to try an Autumm Knit of your own!

Rowan Autumn Knits Brochure

Rowan Autumn Knits link on Ravelry

My Derwent Sweater Ravelled here

Rowan Cocoon

Rowan Lima

Rowan Lima Colour

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Cosy Autumn Knits

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.

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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?

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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?

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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!?

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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.

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elton mitts

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.

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My order of Rowan Cocoon arrived this week – I’ve just started knitting Derwent from the Rowan Autumn Knits collection, which is a lovely raglan and cable slouchy top designed by Marie Wallin.

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And some Rowan Wool Cotton – I just love this colour ‘flower’ – I have plans to knit something for my little girl with this.

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What’s on your knitting needles or crochet hook this autumn?  I would love to hear from you xx

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