Project – Cliona Beret

Pattern: Cliona
Designer: Marie Wallin
Publication: Fazed Tweed Collection

Yarn: Rowan Fazed Tweed
Shade: Holly (007)
Fazed Tweed Holly 007

Ravelry: Cliona

Cliona FrontCliona SideCliona BackCliona Detail

I received 2 balls of Fazed Tweed from Rowan for review, in this gorgeous Holly shade. Lots of people have commented that it’s just my colour, which it absolutely is! As I already mentioned in my recent review of Fazed Tweed, this yarn has a fascinating construction which gives it a unique appearance and an interesting texture. When I first had a chance to play with this yarn, I was really surprised at how it knits up, as it looked nothing like I expected it to from what the yarn looks like in a ball. I really can’t recommend this yarn enough, I think it’s a real winner for this autumn/winter.

So, the project! I was really chuffed to find a pattern in the Fazed Tweed collection that only required 2 balls, but initially not too enthusiastic that it was a hat. You see I only started driving a car about 3 years ago, before that I walked or caught the bus everywhere which meant that in the winter I needed lots of warm accessories because I feel the cold very sharply. Hats, scarves, gloves and plenty of them! But since I’ve started driving most places, I don’t need quite so many accessories. Especially not hats because they are a bit unnecessary when you drive and could even impede your vision which would not be good. However, I’ve changed my stance on hats in recent months because my partner and I are in the process of buying a house in a village out into the south Nottinghamshire countryside. Once we’ve moved I plan to do more walking, whether it’s to the leisure centre, the shops or longer walks out into the countryside. Walking = hats. Hurrah!

This pattern is super easy and, due to the chunky weight of the yarn, it knits up in absolutely no time. It’s worked in the round, with a large ribbed cuff, double moss stitch for the body and then reduce down evenly at the top and tie off. I finished it in less than a fortnight of intermittent knitting. The yarn is lovely to work with. My only slight issue was that on occasion the tip of my needle would get caught up in the outer fuzz of the yarn. I suspect that this happened more for me than it would for most knitters because, due to my really loose knitting tension, I had to go down to 5mm needles instead of the recommended 6mm. I think with a fatter needle like the 6mm, it wouldn’t be so much of a problem.

Now I just can’t wait for winter in the country when I’ll have an excuse to wear this wonderfully snug hat!

Project – Fine Art Socks (Competition Prize)

I ran a blog competition in May for one lucky reader to win a pair of hand knitted socks. This project was the prize for the winner!

Pattern: Goose

Designer: Marie Wallin

Publication: Fine Art Collection by Rowan

 

Yarn: Fine Art by Rowan

Shade: Serin (301)
Serin (301)

 

Ravelry: Competition Prize Socks

 

Socks Colour Detail

 

Good

  • Fine art was wonderful to work with. It was soft, smooth and absolutely trouble-free in every way.
  • The colours are so gorgeous and it was wonderful to see them knitted properly showcased once knitted up.
  • The pattern was really easy to follow so even though I’ve only knitted one pair of socks before and that was about 4 years ago, I found it very easy to turn these out.

Bad

  • My tension is generally quite loose so when you’re knitting socks on 2mm and 2.5mm, there isn’t really any room to adjust for tension by going down a needle size. Unfortunately this meant that after I’d turned the first heel and was working along the length of the foot, I realised the sock was far too big. The only solution was to rip it out and start again knitting the next size down from the pattern, which gave perfect results in the end but did lose me a lot of time and was quite frustrating. No fault of the pattern or the yarn, though.
  • My only other complaint is that I ended up with about 30g of yarn left. If I’d known there would be so much left over, I would have made the socks longer from cuff to heel, as they are only quite short ankle socks as it is.

Conclusions

  • I am very jealous that Amanda is getting a pair of socks and I’m not! I will definitely be buying some Fine Art to make myself a snuggly pair of socks for winter. The shades are all so gorgeous that I still haven’t decided which one I want, but I suspect it will be Raven (304).
Update – 4th August 2013

After receiving her prize, Amanda sent me some lovely photos.

Amanda's new socks

It seems she only managed to take one photo of the socks actually on her feet before her daughter decided they were the best thing ever and promptly stole them:

Stealing Mum's socks!Socks are cool!

Before deciding she was now done with socks and kicking them off!

Bye-bye, socks!

I think we can all agree that’s pretty much the cutest set of sock project photos ever.

A Yarn For All Seasons

For Spring Summer 2013 Rowan have released a brand new chunky yarn and a collection of patterns to go with it. The yarn is All Seasons Chunky, which is a sister yarn to the existing All Seasons Cotton that you might already know – the fibre blend is the same (cotton and acrylic) making it a good choice for summer due to its cool and light wear. The knitting weight is heavier in the new Chunky version, and the thicker yarn will give great stitch definition for textured or cabled patterns.

The colour selection for All Seasons Chunky is brand new and perfectly balanced for spring and summer, with cool pastels and vibrant tones of orange, red, purple and blue.

Foam 600Pebble 601Powder 602Drift 603
Shore 604Reach 605Dune 606Cove 607
Heatwave 608Jetsam 609Stoney 610Samphire 611
Flotsam 612 Whirlpool 615

There is a wonderfully summery feel to Marie Wallin’s designs in the All Seasons Chunky Collection which accompanies the new yarn, every item seems to be designed with summer evenings in mind. Imagine the sun goes down and the temperature drops a little, but it never really gets cold so you only want a cool outer layer that will keep the edge off but still let you feel the gentle summer breeze. To this end, there is a strong theme of capped or 3/4 length sleeves, lace panels and wide or low necklines.

AphroditeAthenaCalypso
EosGaiaHarmonia
HebeHeraIsis
PersephoneRheaSelene

I fell instantly in love with Aphrodite. From the front it looks like a fairly standard jumper with a bit of lace decoration on the shoulders, but then you see it from behind where it surprises you with a lovely low v-back, lace over the whole back panel and a scooped curve to the hem. It’s just the sort of thing I’d love to wear on a summer’s evening after lounging in the sunshine all day.
Aphrodite_3Aphrodite_4

I can be rather clumsy (especially with chocolate!) so a white jumper would never be a good idea, but I was spoilt for choice on what I’d use instead. After much debate I finally decided to keep Pebble for the back and use Stoney for the front:
Pebble 601Stoney  610

At the moment all I’ve done is make a gauge swatch as I’m still finishing off another couple of projects, but I’m hoping to get this cast on in the next couple of weeks so watch this space for a full project post once I’ve finished.

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