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

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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:

wool cotton

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!

Meeting Erika Knight

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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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Erika and Beshley at the end of a fabulous afternoon:

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I left feeling VERY inspired  – I’ve had a fantastic afternoon – thank you Erika & Beshley.  I’m off to knit!

Links:

Erika Knight

Beshley’s Wool Shop

Rowan Yarns British Sheep Breeds Range

Have a fun weekend!

Claire x

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:

Autumn Knits Matlock

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

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

Autumn Knits Hope

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:

rowan cocoon

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

rowan autumn knits