A Summer of Light

As promised, this is the first of my reviews from the Rowan spring/summer collection for 2015. Summerlite 4ply is a sumptuous new cotton yarn which uses 100% of the finest quality cotton. The finish of the yarn is matt, but it still feels beautifully soft. There are 12 shades in a lovely summer palette:

417 Pure White418 Washed Linen419 Duck Egg420 Blushes421 Buttermilk422 Still Grey424 Periwinkle426 Pinched Pink428 High Tide429 Navy Ink431 Pepper Pot432 Aubergine

To accompany the yarn is a collection of patterns from Martin Storey which show the yarn off to great effect with a mixture of cables, lace and colourwork. These are just a few of my favourites:

AmandierHellebore
Amandier
Hellebore

These two are lovely little garments that would be great for the slight coolness of a summer evening, just to keep the chill off. The lovely lacework and stitch textures used show this fine yarn off to great effect.

ArgentineLunaire
Argentine
Lunaire

I’m a big fan of cables so these both get my vote! There’s something just so delicious about a little cabled jumper. Both of these also rather excitingly feature beading! That isn’t a technique I’ve tried before and I think it’s great to see Rowan including it in their latest designs. The best thing is that either jumper would work fine without the beads, so anyone who doesn’t want to be quite that adventurous could simply leave them out.

RoseanBelle Du Jour
Rosean
Belle Du Jour

My last picks feature stunning colourwork in simple shapes, which is a great combination. Rosean in particular is a very simple and flattering shape, but made really special by the lovely rose pattern. Belle Du Jour adds some extra interest by having lace sleeves and hem which I think makes that a fascinating project.

If you’d like to see more, you can browse the whole Summerlite 4ply collection on Rowan’s website.

This yarn has enchanted me so much that I will be knitting a design from the collection. Hortensia struck me as a really wearable design that should be good for in-between seasons as well if dressed in the right way. I’ll be knitting it in shade 428 High Tide, watch this space for a project post in the future!

Hortensia

Unfazed By Tweed

One of my favourite new yarns for this autumn/winter season is Rowan’s Fazed Tweed.

Fazed Tweed

Everything about this yarn screams autumn, which is my favourite time of year to knit for. The yarn is a wool and alpaca blend with an unusual construction of a central fuzzy tube surrounded by a netting which gives the tube some definition. You can really understand the yarn better if you deconstruct a piece of it, which Cindi did in her blog last month:

Fazed Tweed Deconstructed

The construction also means that the yarn is lightweight whilst still being really warm, so it’s great for those autumn days before the hard cold of winter sets in.

This delightful new yarn is available in 10 delicious shades:

001 Maple002 Larch003 Sycamore004 Yew006 Bay007 Holly008 Elm009 Oak010 Ebony011 Elderberry

The Fazed Tweed Collection which accompanies this yarn is absolutely stunning. Here are a few of my highlights…

Naomh

Naomh

Being quite a fuzzy yarn, I wouldn’t have expected it to provide good stitch definition. How wrong was I! Look at those gorgeous cables.

Seana

Seana

With the colder weather drawing in now, who can resist a snuggly cardigan like this?

Keara

Keara

I love the cables on this snood, another great example of the texture and definition that you can achieve with this yarn.

Orla & Mona

Orla Mona

I’ve featured these two patterns together because they are my favourites and for the same reason – absolute simplicity and beautiful lines. This yarn is able to hold a really fantastic line which gives designs such as these an unmistakably classic appeal. There’s nothing special or flashy about Orla, for example, if I tried to explain it to someone who hadn’t seen it then I don’t really know how I’d explain its appeal, but I just adore it. And every time I show either of those pictures to any of my knitter friends they all go “Ooo!”, which is the best review you can get in my opinion!

Watch this space for a post coming soon on a small project I’ve done from this collection.

Kidsilk, That’s Amore

At the start of October, Rowan launched two brand new yarns: Kidsilk Amore and Kidsilk Amore Shimmer. These are yet another new twist on the existing Kidsilk range, this time in a chunky weight which is ideal for toasty and warm winter accessories. As part of the launch, the Rowan Ambassadors group was given a challenge from Rowan – to create a design for each yarn which used only one ball. This may not seem like a huge challenge on the face of it, but if I tell you that the yarns are only 42 m and 37 m per ball, respectively, you may be able to imagine that it was quite tricky!

I’ve never designed anything completely from scratch before, so I was a bit nervous, but decided I really wanted to try and had nothing to lose if I did. The Ambassador group is full of talented and imaginative knitters/designers so I was not surprised to find that between us we all came up with some very different ideas for designs, many of which I felt made mine look quite run-of-the-mill. Imagine my surprise and delight when I found that my patterns had been drawn in the runner-up group!

Amazingly, all the winning and runner-up designs will become free Rowan downloads and I cannot wait for them to be finalised and uploaded. Of course I will be sure to update when that happens! Until it does, here are some photos of the finished items. I should note that I had to rip out and re-knit these a few times whilst working on the designs, to ensure that I didn’t run out of yarn before each item was finished. Unfortunately this has made the yarn look a little fuzzier than it would otherwise, when I finally got to have the items photographed.

Mirage

Mirage

Photos by Andrew Woodhouse Photography

A cute little hat with a braided openwork texture pattern and a wide ribbed band. Pictured in Kidsilk Amore Shimmer, shade Chestnut 514.

 

Check That Cowl

Check That Cowl  Check That Cowl

Photos by Andrew Woodhouse Photography

A snuggly cowl, using a large checkerboard texture to help show off the striking colours in this shade. Pictured in Kidsilk Amore, shade Twilight 505.

 

I found the yarns to be lovely to work with and the colours look so much more wonderful in person than they do when photographed. Here’s a quick overview of the shades.

Kidsilk Amore

Twilight 505Chiaroscuro 506Avocado 507Flaming 508

Kidsilk Amore Shimmer

Mulled Wine 513Chestnut 514Flaming 515Chiaroscuro 516

The photos of Shimmer really don’t do it justice, unfortunately. It has a lovely thread of sparkle running through it which will look fabulous in winter sunshine.

You can read more about both yarns on Rowan’s website: Kidsilk Amore and Kidsilk Amore Shimmer.

 

Watch this space for details of my designs and the other winning and runner-up designs by my fellow Ambassadors, they are a fabulous set!

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