Martin Storey Afghan: Making up and Competition Time!

So we are almost at the end of the Mystery Afghan KAL: just 9 days left to go. If you are about to sew everything together and have looked at the making-up instructions I will explain in this post what is meant by ‘slip stitch’ as this has left many of you, including myself, unsure. Also today, Rowan announced how you can win some goodies by posting photos of your afghans………read on to find out!


My Afghan, sewn together but no trim yet!

There are many ways you can sew the pieces of a knitted garment together but it is always best to use the most appropriate method to achieve the best result. Before I sewed my afghan squares together I was curious to know which type of seam would be used and was eager for the making-up clue to be published. When it was published Rowan suggested to use a slip stitch but unfortunately they didn’t really explain what was meant by this and I couldn’t find a video on the Rowan site. Some of my Rowan Ambassador colleagues had steamed ahead and had already sewed their squares together using mattress stitch which is a great way to produce an invisible join but it left a bulky seam on the reverse side of the afghan. I wanted a flat seam without any bulk that was also flat and invisible on the reverse side.

So, when I was visiting Rowan at the mill in Holmfirth last month I asked Martin Storey what was meant by ‘slip stitch’ and he showed me his finished afghan and the slip stitch used to sew the squares together. Below is a photo that I took while sewing two of my squares together based on Martin’s instructions.


Here’s how: using the tail of yarn left over from the cast on/cast off, insert the needle into the loop of the purl stitch on the edge of one square and then in the purl loop of the corresponding purl stitch on the square you are joining. Continue in this way all along the edge of the two squares until joined. It should leave a flat and invisible seam which also looks great on the reverse (see photo below).


Before you sew them together, don’t forget to block all your squares so that they are exactly the same size and nice and flat. Find below a link to a video which explains how to block and why you should.


Here’s what the lovely people at Rowan have to say:

We’re so amazed at seeing all the people who have joined us in making the Pure Wool Worsted Afghan.
To say a massive “thank you” we are running a competition, where you have to share a picture of your finished Afghan to enter.
There will be 5 winners from Facebook and the categories are:
· Most colourful/creative colourway
· Best location of photographed afghan
· Best prop used in photograph
· Best adaptation of Afghan
· Best supporting yarn store

Don’t worry, your photography doesn’t have to be amazing, it’s just a bit of fun!

The winner for each category will receive:
A complimentary Rowan Subscription package
Pack of NEW yarn Brushed Fleece
Brushed Fleece NEW brochure
Simple Shapes – Pure Wool Worsted brochure (signed by Martin Storey)
The Pure Wool Worsted Collection brochure (signed by Martin Storey)

To enter….

On Ravelry – simply post a picture on the new thread on Ravelry:

and start your post with the category you want to enter. Entries will only be considered which are posted in the Competition thread.

On Facebook – Simply post a picture on the Rowan Facebook page post titled **Pure Wool Worsted Mystery Afghan COMPETITION**(click “reply” to post your entry) and start your post with the category you want to enter. If you are a retailer, please state your yarn shop name. Entries will only be considered which are posted as a reply to the original Competition post. Here’s the link to the Rowan Facebook page:

If the Pure Wool Worsted Mystery Afghan COMPETITION is not at the top of the page scroll down to find the competition post.

All entries to be received by 31st July 2014.
All entries to have used Pure Wool Worsted yarn.
You have to post separately for each category you want to enter.
Affiliated Rowan staff and Ambassadors are not eligible for entry.

Good luck, and once again thank you for joining in our KAL.x

This competition only opened today, Tuesday 22 July. You have just over a week to finish making up and take a photo and get posting!

If you do not want to enter the competition but would still like to show me a picture of your finished afghan you can send me a picture here or post on my Facebook page called What Colours Make. Here’s the link below:

And,  while you are there, it would be great if you could ‘like’ my page too!

If you have any comments you would like to share with my other readers about sewing together your afghan squares or any knitted garment or about entering the Mystery Afghan KAL competition here’s how: click on the Leave a reply link found below at the bottom of this post or click here, and when the new page opens scroll to the bottom of the page to the ‘Leave a Reply’ box.

Thanks so much for reading my blog. If you would like to receive notification of new blog posts please click here to subscribe.

Good Luck with your photos!

New Yarns and Designs from Rowan: Autumn Winter 2014/15

On my very enjoyable visit to the Rowan Mill last month I learnt many things about how a luxury yarn company like Rowan operate from season to season. One fundamental process of their work is to produce new yarns to reflect the ever changing trends of the world of fashion. This process is not some kind of half-hearted or hurried procedure but a carefully researched and considered approach to produce the desired yarn quality in the most appropriate shades.

For the Autumn Winter 2014/15 season Rowan have added a collection of five new yarns reflecting a trend in “simplicity and quiet modernity”; classic but also creative and original. Here’s my survey of each of these new yarns……….

Rowan Finest


Rowan Finest is a luxury blend of wool, cashmere and royal alpaca. It is amazingly soft and incredibly lightweight with a great palette of both strong and subtle colours.


Rowan Finest Shade Card

It knits to a standard 4 ply tension so you can use it to knit any pattern that requires a 4 ply yarn. However, Rowan has also produced a brochure to accompany Rowan Finest containing fourteen elegant designs by Sarah Hatton created with a modern feminine feel which are perfectly suited to this soft classic yarn. The collection features neat cardigans, sweaters and gloves with great colourwork and cables and knitting in the round. Here are some of my favourites……









Big Wool Colour


Big Wool Colour is a fantastic addition to the Big Wool family. This bright and fun yarn is an easy and quick knit; projects can be completed in a matter of hours and is also great for the beginner knitter. It knits to the same tension as Big Wool and so knits to all Big Wool patterns which makes this yarn ideal for adding colour to any Big Wool garment.


Big Wool Colour Shade Card

To go with Big Wool Colour is the brochure Big Wool Colour Collection designed by Lisa Richardson. Ranging from cowls, scarfs, hats and caplets all the way through to warm and cosy sweaters and cardigans, this collection shows Lisa’s signature style for unusual fastenings and interesting stitch techniques. Here are some of my favorites……









Brushed Fleece


Brushed Fleece is a super soft blend of extra fine merino wool and baby alpaca. It is a quick knit chunky yarn and is indeed super soft to the touch and incredibly light. When I picked up a big ball of Brushed Fleece it was as light as a feather; you get all the chunkiness but none of the weight with this yarn. It creates a lightweight fabric which shows cables and textures beautifully. The yarn has a soft marl colour effect and is available in 12 shades.


Brushed Fleece Shade Card

The Brushed Fleece brochure to accompany this yarn is a collection of beautifully soft and featherweight knits for both men and women all designed by Martin Storey. These knits are all extremely light and cosy to wear. The 16 piece collection features cocooning wraps and shrugs, voluminous capes, sweater dresses and classic long and cropped cardigans. I have 7 balls of this yarn in the lovely pink colour Grotto; I would love knit the 3/4 sleeve cardigan Esk…….I think I may make it a bit longer though. Here’s a look at that cardigan and a few others from the collection……..







Fazed Tweed


Fazed Tweed is a mix of wool and fine alpaca with a filled tube-like construction. When you see a ball of Fazed Tweed in your local yarn store don’t be put off by it’s appearance… looks like the yarn itself is wrapped in a network of loose threads; these just seem to disappear altogether when knitted up! This yarn produces a lightweight and soft blended tweedy fabric with a fluffy aura. It knits up on 6mm needles so is a fairly quick knit which is always great for novice knitters but everyone else as well! I really enjoyed knitting with this yarn; it creates a great looking fabric. I used the shade Oak while I was at the Rowan Mill to design a coatigan…….lets hope Kate and Marie at Rowan like it. Here’s all the 10 shades………

Fazed Tweed Shade Card

Fazed Tweed Shade Card

The Fazed Tweed brochure contains 16 garments and accessories designed by Marie Wallin. Cardigans, sweaters, wraps and hats display a range of aran, cable and tweed stitches through to colourful stripes and colour blocking. Here’s a look at a few of the designs……..





Elva Beanie

Elva Beanie


Rowan Fur is made from wool with a little polyamide to bind it. It knits to create a soft fluffy fur texture and comes in four natural shades.

Fur Shade Card

Fur Shade Card

Fur is a huge trend for the Autumn Winter season and is a great yarn for knitting toys, homeware, accessories and trims like collars and cuffs and small gilets. When I was at Rowan I tried on this gilet called Helter (pictured below) knitted with Rowan Fur in the shade Panda; I love it!

Esther in Fur Gilet

The Big Accessories brochure includes this gilet and 14 other designs using Rowan Fur but also Thick ‘n Thin, Tumble and Alpaca Chunky. Here’s another two of my favourites using Rowan Fur from the hats, scarves, cowls and capes for men and women designed by Marie Wallin, Martin Storey, Lisa Richardson, Gemma Atkinson and Sarah Hatton.




Bandit showed over the head



Mohair Haze


Rowan Mohair Haze is a premium versatile yarn that suits many projects, It is a gorgeous delicate looking yarn which is both warm and light to wear and is so incredibly soft…….softer than soft….with a beautiful fluffy aura. I have already knitted with this yarn, in fact I doubled it up as I was using it to design a tunic sweater knitted with Pure Wool Worsted, and I loved it. The colour palette is sophisticated soft pastels mixed together with highlights of jewelled brights. I have four balls in the blue colour Tumble; not sure what I will make with it yet? Here are all the 16 shades…….

Mohair Haze Shade CardMohair Haze can also be used for all Rowan patterns using Angora Haze however for every 1 ball of Angora Haze you will need approximately 1.5 balls of Mohair Haze. Here’s a some of the designs from the Angora Haze collection that I would love to have the time to knit up in Mohair Haze………..









Now for things to Click on!

Rowan website: new yarns

Rowan website: latest brochures

I would love to know if you have seen any of the new yarns and what you think. Also, what would you like to knit or crochet from the new brochures and if you have any ideas or comments you would like to leave for me and my other readers. Here’s how to leave a comment: click on the Leave a reply link found below at the bottom of this post or click here, and when the new page opens scroll to the bottom of the page to the ‘Leave a Reply’ box..

Thanks so much for reading my blog. If you would like to receive notification of new blog posts please click here to subscribe.

Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

Rowan Mill Visit and New Yarns Autumn 2014

I’ve just got back from visiting Rowan at their Mill in Holmfirth. What a dream come true this was for me! I had such a wonderful time meeting 13 of the 14 Rowan Ambassadors plus the wonderful and amazing Karl Hallam, Rowan Graphic Designer Web and Print, who is our point of contact, looking after us from afar and also while we were at the Mill. Karl is responsible for all of Rowan website and Facebook content that you see so he has an added handful looking after the very demanding Rowan Ambassadors.


I was so excited to walk through these doors! From the left: Karl Hallam and Rowan Ambassadors Konrad, Violeta and Linda.


What a lovely welcome for us!

I also met the lovely Kate Buller, Rowan brand manager, who gave us a tour of the Mill along with Rowan’s history. Some of this history is very familiar to me as I have been a Rowan fan since around 1980 when I used to work at the Marble Arch end of Oxford Street and walk down to John Lewis to buy my Rowan yarn after squeezing every ball. Kate had laid out a copy of all the very precious 56 Rowan Magazines and we had to pick the one which was out the time we came upon Rowan. To be honest I think I knew Rowan before they brought out their first magazine, but I think I may have given away my age now!


56 Rowan Magazine’s

We then had several meetings and presentations with Karl and Kate and David MacLeod, Rowan Design & Publications Manager, discussing many things to do with our role as Rowan Ambassadors and looking at all the new yarns and designs for Autumn/Winter 2014/15.


What a great group of designers! From the left: Martin Storey, Marie Wallin, Lisa Richardson, Sarah Hatton, Gemma Atkinson and Kate Buller.

We also had the pleasure of meeting Gemma Atkinson, Assistant Designer for Rowan, who has also been coordinating the Martin Storey Mystery Afghan project so I have been sharing your feedback with her and also with Kate and David. So, feel assured all your comments are heard and considered.


Linda and Dayana with their finished Martin Storey Afghan’s

The most exciting part was getting to take a look and feel at the new yarns coming out for the upcoming A/W 2014/2015 season: Big Wool Colour, Brushed Fleece, Fazed Tweed, Fur, Mohair Haze and Rowan Finest. We squeezed every ball of yarn, studied the shade cards and oo’d and ah’ed at the many designs that we saw knitted up, trying several of them on. I must admit I absolutely loved them all and will post my findings very soon! Here’s a peak at them all………







The second and third day was spent in the delightful company of three of my favourite designers, freelance designers Sarah Hatton and Martin Storey, and Lisa Richardson, Rowan Designer and Pattern Editor.  I was also honoured to meet Rowan head designer, Marie Wallin, who delivered a presentation of our design brief for the A/W 2014/15 season.  We were all so excited with the design proposal and began immediately, speeding away with heads down, sketching out ideas and swatching. Lisa, Martin and Sarah gave us lots of help as they wandered around and chatted to us as we worked away. We had to present our designs at 3pm on the third day to Kate, Karl, Lisa, Martin and Sarah so we had to work really hard and fast to get something on paper and knitted up; I found myself knitting some swatches until 1:20 am the following morning! The designers normally have 5 weeks to complete this process but we only had a day and a half! All the designs turned out really well; hopefully you will see mine and the other Ambassador’s design in an online collection soon!

IMG_0500 me Presenting

Here I am on the left with Lisa Richardson presenting one of my designs using Pure Wool Worsted and Mohair Haze.

IMG_0501 me Pres2

Here I am presenting my second design using Fazed Tweed with Lisa Richardson and Sarah Hatton.

I had a great time talking to them all on a one to one basis; I couldn’t have imagined that they would be any nicer than they turned out to be!


All the Rowan team together! Back row from left: Martin, Gemma, Ute, Cindi, Karl, Anne. Middle row from left: Maria, Anja, Marie, Lisa, Sarah, Kate, Claire, Esther (Me). Front row from left: Konrad, Kristen, Dayana, Linda, Sarah, Violeta.

At 4 o’clock we began to clear our belongings away, sad that we only had an hour to go, when in comes a very special cake and champagne to toast us on our way!


What a fantastic few days we had! I can’t thank Rowan enough for making us all feel so very welcome and looking after us as if we were Royalty! If you ever get a chance to take one of Rowan’s workshops at their mill in Holmfirth, Yorkshire, UK you surely will not be disappointed.

The town of Holmfirth is beautiful with lots of shops, restaurants and cafes. We stayed at the Old Bridge Hotel which was fantastic; very comfortable rooms and great breakfasts!


View of Holmfirth from my Hotel bedroom.

I hope I can return to Rowan and Holmfirth one day soon!

I would love to know if you have visited the Rowan Mill and what did you do there? Did you take a workshop? If so, which one and who was it with?

Here’s how to leave a comment: click on the Leave a reply link found below at the bottom of this post or click here, and when the new page opens scroll to the bottom of the page to the ‘Leave a Reply’ box..

Thanks so much for reading my blog. If you would like to receive notification of new blog posts please click here to subscribe.

Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

Knitting Projects for Upcoming Trip to Rowan Mill

This weekend I am getting ready to go to the UK to visit Rowan Yarns at their mill in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire for a few days. As you may know, if you have read my ‘About’ page, I am one of 14 Rowan Ambassadors chosen by Rowan from all around the world because of our love for all things Rowan and our blogs and social media presence. Having used Rowan yarns almost exclusively for years and admired this brand and their designers from afar I am just dizzy with excitement with the prospect of walking through the door of the Rowan Mill along with the other Ambassadors, none of whom I have met yet……..just too much excitement!

It looks like it will be a busy but fun few days as Rowan have set a very interesting and engaging agenda for us. We will learn about the process of yarn selection and attend a Designer Workshop led by Marie Wallin on how designers go through the process of following a brief, conceptualising designs, sketching ideas, making swatches, pattern writing, design selection process, finalizing garments and photographing the finished product. We will also learn how well we have been doing as Rowan Ambassadors and enjoy a bus tour around Holmfirth which not only includes a journey around the film locations used in the filming of the world record breaking BBC comedy “The Last of The Summer Wine” but also incorporates some of the most beautiful scenery found in the foothills of the Yorkshire Pennines. 

As I never go anywhere without my knitting I am using this post to decide what to take with me. I will probably not have much time to knit when I am at the mill but I will have lots of time on the plane and train journey.

I have finished all my Mystery Afghan knit-a-long squares and I’m just about to start the cable trim so I will bring that with me. Don’t forget to check the Rowan website this week for the making up instructions.


Before I started the afghan KAL I was in the middle of knitting up Lorne in Pure Linen in a lovely red/pink shade called Arabian. Here it is…….in process……


And here’s what it will look like when I’ve finished……………


Lorne, a drop stitch cardigan designed by Lisa Richardson shown here in the shade Colorado.

I would love to get back into my Pure Linen cardigan as I was enjoying knitting with this yarn made with 100% natural linen. The knitted fabric was developing a beautiful drape and the soft sheen of the yarn was giving the shade different color dimensions in the light. I really want to finish it soon as this yarn is ideal for light weight and elegant summer knits, that are easy and cooling to wear. In fact, I went a bit crazy and bought some more Pure Linen as I wanted to make Tamarara in white pictured below.


I also have a ball of Rowan’s new yarn Chenille in the shade Deep Sea (758) that I have been longing to use. Chenille is a 100% cotton yarn available in a 50 gram ball which feels so soft and squishy to the touch and will look great knitted up using cable and textured stitches. There are 12 jewel like colors to choose from making it ideal for color work or mixing with other Rowan yarns but will make very warm and cuddly garments knitted by itself.

There is also an accompanying pattern book, also called Chenille, featuring 12 designs including shrugs and wraps, cardigans and sweaters from Marie Wallin, Martin Storey, Lisa Richardson, Sarah Hatton and Gemma Atkinson. I’ve picked out three of my favorites……..

Moleskin2Moleskin by Sarah Hatton, knitted using Cardinal, a fantastic striking red shade.


Velvet by Martin Storey, knitted using this gorgeous purple shade, Mulberry.

Serge Wrap

Serge Wrap by Sarah Hatton, knitted using the shade Winter White.

I definitely will take my ball of Chenille with some Kidsilk Haze on my journey and see what I come up with………………….


I also have some Original Denim, another new yarn from Rowan……well, actually a re-released yarn as some of you may remember it from a few years ago. Denim is a cotton yarn which behaves like denim fabric; shrinking on its first wash with the color fading  slightly over time. It is available in two traditional blue denim shades.

Denim Colours

There is an Original Denim online pattern collection featuring ten designs using this unique yarn and a book titled ‘Denim: The Next Generation’ which I am lucky enough to own. Here is a group shot showing all the designs.


I have promised that I will knit Breton Stripe, the sweater that Martin Storey (far left) designed and is wearing, for my husband. I think I will wait until I get home to start this project as I have far too much knitting come along for the ride already!

Now for things to Click on!

Click on the links below if you would like to view:-

My ‘About’ page

The Mystery Afghan KAL Cable Trim Pattern

All Mystery Afghan Patterns and Instructions

The Pure Linen Collection

The Chenille Pattern Brochure

The Original Denim Online Collection

Denim: The Next Generation

Please let me know if you have ever visited the Rowan Mill and if you did, did you take a workshop and if yes which one and who with……I would love to know!  Or are you going away too and taking some knitting or crochet project with you? What are you working on?Here’s how to leave a comment: click on the Leave a reply link found below at the bottom of this post or click here, and when the new page opens scroll to the bottom of the page to the ‘Leave a Reply’ box.

Thanks so much for reading my blog. If you would like to receive notification of new blog post containing information like the above please click here to subscribe.

If you would like to share pictures of what you are working on at the moment or any finished projects please visit my What Colours Make Facebook page and post pictures and comments and like if you like!

Happy Knitting and Crocheting and I’ll tell you all about my visit to Rowan when I return!

Rowan Video Distractions for A/W 2014/15

I am getting a bit behind on my Mystery Afghan squares so today I thought I had better knuckle down and get on with finishing off the last few…..well…actually I have about 11 squares still to complete!

So, I am trying to concentrate on the week 8 pattern when those lovely Rowan people sent me a message saying that they’ve uploaded some new videos to their You Tube channel containing new designs for Autumn Winter 2014/15. Well, I just can’t resist having a quick look…..that’s the end of knitting squares for a while.


Anyway, I’ve just watched the video for Rowan’s Magazine 56 – Autumn Winter 2014/15 which previews their designs showcasing three stories to reflect these major trends for the upcoming season: Wilderness, Craftwork and Essentials. If you do manage to go and take a look, watch out for two of their new yarns, Chenille and Mohair Haze. I think I’m going to love these yarns both knitted on their own and also combined together. I can’t wait to get my hands on them!

I’ve also watched the Fazed Tweed Collection: 16 designs for women in another new yarn from Rowan. It’s a blend of Merino Wool and Alpaca creating a hazy tweedy fabric. If you like cables, lace stitches and subtle color blocking you will love this collection.

There are quite a few other videos which are being uploaded at the moment and will be available to watch soon: Simple Shapes Lima; Simple Shapes Fine Art Aran; Rowan Finest; Brushed Fleece; Big Wool Colour Collection; Big Accessories; and Pure Wool Worsted Mystery Afghan Knit-a-long Week 9 Cable Trim. Also, for those of you knitting the Mystery Afghan KAL, the pattern for the cable trim is available now on the Rowan website to download.

If you would like to watch the new videos click on the link below:

Rowan Yarns You Tube Channel

But do not wait too long as they are only going to be available to watch over the weekend. How on earth am I expected to concentrate on my squares with these tempting videos!


Please do let me know what you think of the Rowan videos and if any of the new designs catch your eye by leaving a comment below. Here’s how: click on the Leave a reply link found below at the bottom of this post or click here, and when the new page opens scroll to the bottom of the page to the ‘Leave a Reply’ box.

Thanks so much for reading my blog. If you would like to receive notification of new blog post containing information like the above please click here to subscribe.

Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

Mystery Afghan KAL: Pattern No. 2 Reminder Plus…..

Just thought I’d post a photo of two of my Martin Storey Mystery Afghan squares knitted using Rowan’s Pure Wool Worsted in the shades Buttercup and Papaya.


I’m loving knitting with this yarn and the resulting fabric is quite cushiony and will make a lovely cuddly blanket! I hope everyone who is taking part in the knit-a-long is enjoying it too and ready for the next pattern which will be published on Monday 28 April. Don’t forget, the patterns are only available to Row@n members who can download them for free from the knitrowan website.

Home DecorIf you who are not taking part in the knit-a-long you can also find some free patterns to try out the Pure Wool Worsted yarn such as the Home Decor Collection, pictured on the left. It includes a collection of fourteen patterns for the home, designed exclusively for Knitrowan by their Rowan Ambassadors using Rowan Pure Wool Worsted. So, as I am a Rowan Ambassador, you will find my Wheel Barrel Cushion design, pictured below, to download along with other cushions, a table runner, a hot water bottle cover and things to knit for the home.                                                              


If you would rather knit something to wear there are also some children’s and ladies designs to download for free in the form of two online collections. The Childrens Online Collection consists of five classic designs all using Pure Wool Worsted. Patterns include simple cardigans and sweaters in a selection of bold colour ways. I love this cute round neck cardigan called Pipkin, pictured below, knitted in stocking stitch with contrast edgings and a stripe sequence on the sleeves.

Pipkin web cov

The ladies online collection includes two sweaters, a slouchy cable shoulder bag and a cable hat and fingerless mittens that can both be knitted using just one ball of yarn. I would love to knit Cambern (pictured below) designed by Kathy Zimmerman. I am always attracted by eyelet stitches and love the frilled edging. I think I would like to knit it in Ivory, Azure or Breton, but I know that if I do get around to knitting it I will probably change my mind and knit it in one of the lovely pink colours like Raspberry.

Cambern cover

Things to Click On

Pure Wool Worsted Mystery Afghan KAL Week 1 Pattern: Garter Stitch Waves

Pure Wool Worsted Home Decor Collection

Pure Wool Worsted Childrens Online Collection

Pure Wool Worsted Online Collection

Pure Wool Worsted Afghan KAL Shopping List

Pure Wool Worsted Shade Card

It’s not too late to join the Martin Storey Mystery Afghan KAL along with me and over 400 of my subscribers and 1000′s worldwide and receive an email or blog reminder to download the next ‘clue’ or pattern. To receive these reminders and updates you will need to subscribe to my blog. As a Rowan Ambassador I have direct access and contact with the Rowan team and can answer many questions you may have. Please click here to subscribe to my blog.

If you would like to leave a comment or need to ask me a question please leave me a reply and I will try my best to answer your question. Click on the Leave a reply link found below at the bottom of this post or click here, and when the new page opens scroll to the bottom of the page to the ‘Leave a Reply’ box.

Thanks so much for reading my blog!

Martin Storey Talks about his Mystery Afghan KAL

Find below a link to watch Martin Storey talking to Kate Buller (Rowan’s brand manager) about his Afghan design and how the KAL will work answering many questions that you may have.

Video of Martin Storey talking to Kate Buller

Even if you are not joining in the KAL you may be interested in the designs for his squares as they will showcase a range of techniques from simple cable and lace to slightly more complicated ones.

PWWcolOr you may like to know that Rowan has released a pattern book featuring eight designs using Pure Wool Worsted yarn. The Simple Shapes Pure Wool Worsted collection contains simple silhouettes including sweaters, scarves, cardigans and hats for men and women which focus on beautiful textured stitch work and divine cable patterns.

For those interested in the Afghan KAL, the first pattern will be published a few days earlier than advertised on Thursday 17th April  as many will have time over the Easter weekend to get started. Then from Monday 28th April and every following Monday until Monday 9th June another pattern will be published. These patterns will only be available to download to Row@n members on the knitrowan website.

How to become a Row@n Member.

It’s FREE to join the Row@n online members club. As a Row@n member, you will receive the following great features and benefits:

Forum – Use our forum to chat with other members, exchange ideas and tips, create groups, or ask us questions online.

Patterns – Search our catalogue of current designs, to help you decide which publication is right for you. Access hundreds of free online patterns and exclusive patterns available only to our Row@n members.

News & Newsletters – Keep up-to-date with our frequent news stories, editorials and product launches.
Calendar – See what’s happening in your area, from workshops, events and knitting groups. Receive sneak previews to events and product launches.
Video Tutorials and Technical Help
– Browse our informative video tutorials to help with the basics and also more complicated techniques. For simple questions, look at our Frequently Asked Questions area, help fellow knitters in the Technical Advice Forum, view our full list of global Design Consultants, or fill out our email help form.
Design Room
– Enter our Design Room to view behind-the-scenes Gallery, videos from designers, On Location stories, and designer profiles.

Row@n Members Login/Register page

So why not register now if you are not already a member and then you will be ready to go!

Important Note: If you search before you login and find a pattern you want to download and then login you will need to REFRESH THE PAGE so that the “Download PDF” button appears. Do not use the BACK button as the “Download PDF” will not appear. This is why I always login to the Row@n Members page before I search for free patterns, etc, and stay logged in.

If you would like to join the KAL with me and over 350 of my subscribers and 1000′s worldwide and receive an email reminder the moment the pattern is published or any further updates you will need to subscribe to my blog. As a Rowan Ambassador I have direct access and contact with the Rowan team. Please click here to subscribe to my blog.

If you need any further information please leave me a reply and I will try my best to answer your question. Click on the Leave a reply link found below at the bottom of this post or click here, and when the new page opens scroll to the bottom of the page to the ‘Leave a Reply’ box.

Other Links to Click On

Pure Wool Worsted Afghan KAL Shopping List

Pure Wool Worsted Shade Card

Thanks so much for reading my blog!

Mystery Afghan Knit-a-long: Shopping List

So here is the link on Rowan’s website to the shopping List for Rowan’s Pure Wool Worsted Mystery Afghan Kal by Martin Storey.

Even if you are not taking part in the KAL you may want to keep the information so you can knit the afghan/blanket at a later date.

 The overall layout of the afghan/blanket is 6 squares by 8 squares (48 in total) = approx 120cm x 160cm plus trim. The finished squares are 20cm x 20cm. Each 100g ball of yarn will make 3 squares with some yarn left over.

Please note that you can knit a smaller afghan/blanket if you do not want to make the 48 squares version. How about a 9 square blanket (3 x 3) with a finished size of 60cm x 60cm (excluding the knitted edge). You will need just 4 balls of Pure Wool Worsted for this small blanket, 3 for the 9 squares and 1 for the edge.

Here are some other options:

  • 12 square version (4 x 3): 5 balls in total (4 balls for the squares +1 for the edge).
  • 24 squares version (6 x 4): 10 balls (8 for the squares + 2 for the edge).

If you need any help with colour choices and colour combinations please visit my earlier post: Choosing the Right Colours.

Rowan has now decided that the patterns will be published on the knitrowan website. Each pattern for the squares which make up the afghan will be released every week on a Monday except the first one which will be released Thursday 17th April. I will remind you by email and provide you with a link to the patterns when they are available on Rowan’s website. If you would like to join the KAL with me and over 300 of my subscribers and 1000′s worldwide and receive an email the moment the pattern is published you will need to subscribe to my blog. Please click here to subscribe.

If you need any further information please leave me a reply and I will try my best to answer your question. Click on the Leave a reply link found below at the bottom of this post or click here, and when the new page opens scroll to the bottom of the page to the ‘Leave a Reply’ box.

Thanks so much for reading my blog!

Martin Storey Mystery Afghan KAL: A Message from Rowan Yarns

Here’s what Rowan have just released about the Martin Storey Mystery KAL.

Afghan KAL Poster For Blog_vs

Here at the mill, our fingers are positively twitching in anticipation for the launch of our first ever global knit-a-long! With only a few weeks left until we will release the first of the patterns, we’re now able to share with you a few more details about the project:

You already know that we’ll be knitting with the glorious Pure Wool Worsted. Made from 100% wool, this superwash yarn is available in 50 – yes 50! – colours, meaning that we’re thoroughly spoilt for choice. Martin Storey has designed the Afghan with 17 of these colours – although for those of us who may prefer something more tonal, we have also suggested a 9, 5 and 2 tone version. With this flexibility of colour way, you can create a stunning, yet personalised, piece – which, with the yarn’s easy care properties, could form an heirloom to enjoy now and in future years.

Next week we will release the shopping list, and the first square pattern will be released Thursday 21st April and then every Monday from 28th April.

Each week for the first eight weeks, we’ll release a pattern for one of the squares that Martin has designed. A completed Afghan requires each square to be knitted six times, giving a total of 48 squares. 
If you choose to use Martin’s recommended shades you will knit each design three times in one shade and three in another.

In week nine, Martin will show us how to create the trim. In week ten will we’ll provide the final instructions needed for making-up the blanket, to complete a truly beautiful Afghan.

The finished squares are 20cm x 20cm. The overall layout is 6 squares by 8 squares (48 in total) = approx 120cm x 160cm plus trim.

Beginner knitter? Not a problem, there are online videos to support the pattern, along with basic techniques like casting on. You can also choose to make a smaller blanket.

Share your progress – you’ll be able to ask for help and advice, share your comments, and photos via a Ravelry Rowan Yarns Forum page, on a dedicated Ravelry pattern page, and also on our Rowan Yarns Facebook page (…).

If the pace of knitting is a little overwhelming for some, we will give you a month to finish the project after the making up instructions are released. Watch out for a competition at the end of the Knit-a-long too!

Dates to remember – the shopping list will be posted 7th April, and mark week commencing 21st April in your diaries for the 1st pattern. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing in this, our very first global adventure.

To help, the Pure Wool Worsted shade card can be downloaded from the Rowan website:


Don’t forget, I will also be publishing the shopping list and patterns here on this blog the moment they are released as I have a group of over 200 subscribers joining in this KAL. If you are a subscriber you will automatically receive an email the moment the post is published. If you are not a subscriber and would like to subscribe and receive this information please click here.

You can also ask me for any help and advice too. Also, I would love you to share pictures of your progress and I will post a selection on my blog as we get more into the KAL…….more information on where to send photos coming soon.

If you need any help with colour choices and color combinations please visit my earlier post: Choosing the Right Colours.

If you would like to join this KAL or need any further information please leave me a reply and I will try my best to answer your question. Click on the Leave a reply link found below at the bottom of this post or click here, and when the new page opens scroll to the bottom of the page to the ‘Leave a Reply’ box.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Mystery Afghan Knit-a-long: Choosing the Right Colours

The time is almost here for the Mystery Afghan Shopping List to be released and, although Rowan will be giving several colour suggestions, you can also choose colour combinations yourself. So, I thought I should write a little bit about how to go about choosing colour, especially if you are undecided.

Colour Theory is a very complex subject involving everything from colour mixing to colour meaning. In this post I will try to discuss some of the basics in order to help you choose from the fifty shades of Rowan’s Pure Wool Worsted yarn so you will end up with an Afghan to treasure for ever. Of course, this will help you choose appropriate colour combinations for any project that you might be considering.

I would like to add that I am an artist and painter and have written a practical colour theory course which I have taught at the University of the Arts, London and in private companies in Germany and the USA.

Colour Theory: The Basics

12COLWH3On the 12 colour wheel shown above, the primaries are numbered with a 1. To make a secondary colour, numbered 2, you need to mix together two primary colours. To make a tertiary colour, numbered 3, you need to mix together an adjoining primary and secondary colour, for example blue (primary) + green (secondary) = blue-green (tertiary).

Any particular colour has three attributes: hue, value and saturation. Hue is the term that is used to distinguish one colour family from another, as in blue from red and orange from yellow, and is used to help describe something, i.e. a ‘green’ apple or a ‘blue’ sky.


Red fully saturated and lightened by adding white.

Value is the degree of lightness or darkness of a colour and a colours value can be affected when mixed with another colour and by the adding black or white.


Red and it’s complimentary colour blue-green are muted and then ‘greyed’ towards the centre of the image above when mixed together and the resulting colour will be darker than the two original colours.

Saturation is the relative purity of a colour and colours are muted or greyed by being mixed with their complementaries (the colour on the opposite side of the colour wheel, i.e. red and blue-green are complimentary colours). In their purest, most brilliant state, colours are at maximum saturation. As other hues are mixed in, they become more and more neutral (greyed) and are said to be lower in saturation.

Choosing Your Afghan Colours: Where to Start

Firstly, decide where you will be using the Afghan and go to that room and collect together a range of items that reflect the room’s colour scheme. Place them together to study. Take a photograph if it helps.

room items_s

Here’s an example of some items from my lounge where I will be using my finished Afghan.

Monochromatic Scheme

Using my selected room items above and after looking at the 50 available shades in the Pure Wool Worsted range I could go with Ivory, Soft Cream, Almond, Toffee, Cocoa Bean, Rust, Chestnut, Hazel, Buttercup, Gold, Seville, Papaya and Garage. That’s 13 colours from the 50 available…..quite a good selection!

PWW12COLRSHowever, the simplest idea would be to choose just one of these colours.

If you think you would like to enhance the monochromatic scheme you could add a neutral dark or light shade to add a bit of tonal interest. Choose from Ivory, Soft Cream, Almond, Toffee, Cocoa Bean, Clove, Black, Umber, Granite and Moonstone. These are all neutral shades from the Pure Wool Worsted range and can add some lightness or darkness to your chosen color.

papayaIvoryHere I have chosen Papaya and Ivory. The image I have drawn above is to help me decide how much of each shade I would like to use.The more Ivory yarn I use in relation to the Papaya the lighter the overall effect will be (as seen towards the right).

papayaUmberAnd here I have chosen Papaya and Umber which gives a totally different feeling to the one above.

Colour and Grey

PWWgreysIf you choose a strong saturated colour such as Papaya, Cardinal, Morello, Plum, Peacock and Periwnkle and team it with Moonstone or Granite you do run the risk of creating a complimentary hue over the grey. For example, if you use Cardinal (a fully saturated red) it’s complimentary hue will be seen on the grey which will make it appear a greeny-grey. Or, if you use Papaya (a fully saturated orange colour) it’s complimentary hue will be seen on the grey which will make it appear a blue-grey. You may want to bear this in mind when mixing a strong saturated colour with grey. If you do want to use a grey and do not want this to happen I would go with the darker grey shade Granite as the complimentary colour is less likely to appear.

Analgous or Harmonius Colour Scheme

Analagous or harmonious colours are colours which are found adjacent to each other on the colour wheel, i.e. blue, blue-green, green. From my selected items I could go with Gold, Seville, Papaya and Buttercup but would probably want to add a dark neutral (Cocoa Bean or Umber) and/or a light neutral (Soft Cream) to add some differing tones. As I prefer the more saturated colours rather than the muted ones I would probably limit this choice to Buttercup and Papaya with Soft Cream and Toffee as tonal contrasts.

PWW6COLRSComplimentary Colour Scheme.

If you want something more striking choose complimentary colours……colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel, i.e, red and green, orange ad blue. They work together by enhancing each other: orange will make the blue appear a more vivid blue and the blue will make the orange appear a more vivid orange. Complimentary pairs from the Pure Wool Worsted shades are Cardinal and Peacock, Plum and Buttercup, Papaya and Periwinkle. If you wanted to use some lighter complimentary pairs which would be less striking you could try Pretty Pink and Oxygen, Splash and Soft Cream.

PWWsplashcreamAs my room colours do not contain any complimentary pairs I could only choose near complimentaries which could only be Papaya and Garage or Papaya and Hazel. But another interesting colour idea would be to use Garage and Papaya with the shade Hazel acting as a ‘bridge’ to help bring the colours together. If you look closely at Hazel it is a heathered colour with flecks of bright orange on greeny-orange yarn.

PWW3colsI do hope that has help you prepare for the moment you have to choose your yarn colours when the Mystery Afghan shopping list is published. When deciding on your yarn colours please do try to look at the colours on a shade card containing the actual yarn if possible and not from a computer screen.

If you need any help with colour choices please leave me a reply and I will try my best to answer your question. Click on the Leave a reply link found below at the bottom of this post or click here, and when the new page opens scroll to the bottom of the page to the ‘Leave a Reply’ box.

Thanks for reading my blog. If you would like to subscribe and receive emails about the knit-a-long, regular posts about knitting related things and giveaways please click here.

Take a look at all the shades available in Rowan Pure Wool Worsted.

Keep knitting!