Rowan’s most exciting spring/summer release this year is Softyak DK, a gorgeous yarn perfect for the warmer and transitional months. I’m sure yarn made from yak must exist, I’ve never seen it before so it was a real surprise to me when I saw this. Blended with yak and cotton, the yarn has a chain construction and slightly mottled effect due to the differences in why the dye is absorbed by the mixture of fibres. Even more surprising is how wonderfully soft the yarn is, I expected yak to be a bit scratchy but thatcouldn’t be further from the truth! It’s really comfortable against the skin.
The palette contains a mixture of pastels and brights, making it versatile for your summer wardrobe.
To accompany the new yarn is the Softyak DK Collection of new designs. These are a few of my personal favourites.
This is quite a simple jumper, but the gathered hem at the bottom gives it a really interesting line.
The simple lines make this easy to wear and allows the block colours to be the key focus of this cardigan. The relatively short body will make this great for showing off your nice summer dresses and skirts.
A really cute tunic with some interesting textures, I especially like the ribbed cap sleeves. I’m also a sucker for a keyhole on front or back neck, so that’s a winning detail for me.
Another example of simple lines allowing the colours to do the talking. I really like the exaggerated shoulder shaping and the flattering neckline on this.
I fell in love with this jumper the second I turned the page and saw it. Something about the chunky garter stitch edges, the little buttons on the neckline and the overall shaping really capture my imagination.
I was so taken with both Ketu and Tinley that I already have the yarn to knit both! I swatched for Ketu over the weekend and I’m now ready to cast on. I’m knitting it in the same shade as featured in the photo (Plateau). For Tinley I have chosen Plain as the base colour and will be using the remaining balls of Plateau for the stripes after I finish knitting Ketu with it.
I hope this has inspired you to check out Softyak DK, it really is a lovely yarn and I can’t wait to have a finished garment to wear!
One of my favourite new yarns for this autumn/winter season is Rowan’s 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:
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:
The Fazed Tweed Collection which accompanies this yarn is absolutely stunning. Here are a few of my highlights…
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.
With the colder weather drawing in now, who can resist a snuggly cardigan like this?
I love the cables on this snood, another great example of the texture and definition that you can achieve with this yarn.
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.
I came to the conclusion a few weeks ago that my stash was starting to get a little bit out of hand, when I realised that I couldn’t really remember much of what was in there. This is a problem for me because if I can’t remember what’s in there, I have little chance of being able to plan projects with it, so I’m never going to actually work through any of it. I’m sure you have probably noticed by now that I am as much a geek as I am a knitter, so there was only one possible solution to this problem: A Spreadsheet
Yes, dear readers, I went straight to Google Drive* and drew up a brand new yarn stash spreadsheet. What information could possibly be needed in such a document? Let me tell you…
- Number of balls
- Metreage per ball
- Total metreage (calculated automatically from the number of balls and metreage per ball, obviously)
- Project(s) assigned to the yarn
Now I have my entire stash at my fingertips wherever I am! If I stumble across a pattern in a shop or online that I like the look of, I don’t have to go and rummage through my stash to find out if I have something that might be suitable.
The spreadsheet is sorted with yarns that are already assigned to future projects at the top, followed by yarns for which I haven’t yet chosen a project underneath. Those yarns are also sorted by metreage, highest first, allowing me to see of which yarns I have the most available for new projects.
Lastly, there is a motivating element of shame in this spreadsheet, thanks to the inclusion of a grand total metreage. I now know that I have over 8 km (5 mi) of yarn in my stash. That amount would stretch from Trent Bridge to Radcliffe-On-Trent, and that’s not as the crow flies! So, yes, I definitely need to tip my knitting:acquisition ratio a little further the other way in 2014.
*Naturally the spreadsheet must be available on my mobile devices when I’m on the go, as well as on my laptop at home.
Rowan released a brand new yarn for this season, Angora Haze. Available in a range of gorgeous shades from palest white, through soft pastels, to rich black – there is sure to be a shade to suit every taste. As you would expect from a premium Angora fibre, the yarn is unbelievably soft and, at a generous 137 m, you can get a good amount of life from a ball.
Here’s a quick overview of the available shades:
To accompany this delightful new yarn is the Angora Haze Collection, full of luxurious knits to make the most of the softness this fibre provides. Here are a few highlights from the collection, but be sure to check out the whole range on Rowan’s website.
If you have any concerns about how Rowan obtain their Angora fibres, there is more information available online about the methods they use which clarifies that all the rabbits are live and cared for during the process.
I was lucky enough to be sent two balls of Angora Haze to review along with the pattern brochure, but unfortunately I am slightly allergic to Angora so I can’t work with it or wear it. This is good luck for my readers though, as I am giving away the whole Angora Haze package to one lucky person! The prize is one copy of the Angora Haze Collection brochure, one ball of Angora Haze in shade Hug 524, one ball of Angora Haze in shade Embrace 526.
To enter, simply comment below with what you love about Angora yarn generally, Angora Haze specifically or the Angora Haze Collection. Entries close at midnight on Sunday 24th November and the winner will be chosen at random from all the comments received on this post up until that point.