It’s far too hot here in Colorado (95 degrees F) to be thinking about wearing warmer clothes but the new Autumn/Winter yarns and pattern books have arrived from Rowan and I just can’t help but squish every ball and flick through the pages filled with the all the new designs. So, here I will give you a run down of all that is new from Rowan with my initial thoughts and at the end of this post give you a chance to win a baby/toddler pattern book…..I have 3 to give away including one using Rowan’s new 4ply merino yarn.
Hemp Tweed Yarn and Hemp Tweed Collection
Hemp Tweed is a blend of wool (75%) and hemp (25%) which, as you can see from the photo above, gives the yarn a tweed effect. Rowan says that the combination of wool and hemp create a knitted fabric that is cool to wear in warm weather and warm in colder temperatures. It is soft to the touch but felt a little prickly next to the skin around my neck but as hemp naturally softens with wear it can only become softer.
Hemp Tweed is machine washable at 30C and a true aran weight yarn available in 10 shades, pictured below.
Personally, I am very disappointed with the shades as I prefer more saturated colours; they looked very washed out or muted and I struggled to choose one that I would want to knit up. Teal or Misty looked the most saturated so maybe they will work next to my skin. However, you just might love these toned down shades. I imagine it can be difficult to get a broad range of shades with a new yarn but as it seems extremely popular already Rowan might consider extending the shade range. Please let me know what you think? Is there a shade that you would like to see added and I will let Rowan know.
The Hemp Tweed collection consists of 14 garments designed by Lisa Richardson for both men and women and includes jackets, sweaters, tank tops and wraps, all inspired by the great outdoors. My favorite two from this collection are Erinskay and Suffolk pictured below.
Alpaca Merino DK and Winterscapes
Alpaca Merino DK consists of baby alpaca (80%), extra fine merino wool (7%) and nylon (10%) which creates a super soft lightweight yarn. The chainette construction adds to this soft weightless feel making the knitted fabric warm and lofty. This yarn does indeed feel so very soft next to the skin around my neck. I’m sure I will love knitting and wearing this yarn as I am especially fond of all yarns that contain alpaca.
Alpaca Merino DK is hand wash recommended and a true DK weight when knitted on 4.5mm (US7) needles. I was pleased to find that the 10 shades were fairly well mixed with some muted shades and 4 or 5 shades with a more distinct hue……..
Alpaca Merino DK will knit to all DK patterns however, using this new yarn, Sarah Hatton has designed 16 garments from quick knit hats and scarves to longer length sweaters which are available in the Winerscapes brochure.
I love many of the designs in the Winterscapes booklet with my favourite being Etherow……….
but also like Langsett……
and Wheatland Hat and Cowl…..
Big Wool Silk and Autumn Accessories Brochure
What a great idea to extend the Big Wool family and add 30% silk to 70% wool and create Big Wool Silk. It is soft to touch and the silk gives the knitted fabric a noticeable sheen. How luxurious!
Big Wool Silk knits to the same tension and needle size (10-15 mm, US 15-19) as Big Wool and Big Wool Colour making the pattern choice available quite extensive. There are 6 shades to choose from……..
I am a bit disappointed with these shades as they are either very dark or muted; Journal or Song might be OK next to my skin and the sheen may help to lift the shades slightly.
Autumn Accessories contains 14 designs by Marie Wallin using Big Wool Silk…….but you could also use Big Wool or Big Wool Colour. If you love chunky cowls, scarves and wraps you’ll find them in this brochure with a couple of cute little short-sleeve cardigans. I’m sure the Clove Loop Scarf and the Mustard Hat will be popular designs…….
but I loved the little cardigans (there are two in this brochure) and will be using the maroon shade Journal to knit Nutmeg.
Super Fine Merino Yarns in Aran, DK and 4ply
Super Fine Merino yarns are made from the finest micron wool. To label a merino super fine it needs to be 18.5 micron and under. Extra fine merino is over 18.5 micron, fine merino is over 20 micron; the lower the micron the more luxurious and the softer the feel. Rowan’s Super Fine Merino yarns do indeed feel beautifully soft and springy. Merino wool has a natural elastic quality and the twisted construction of the yarn adds to the stretchy nature. These breathable yarns are warm to wear in cold weather and cool in warm weather and are machine washable at 40C on the gentle cycle.
Again, the shades appear to be generally very dark and/or muted hues in the aran weight; I can only assume the reason for this must be the trend. The 4ply weight and some DK are titled “Baby Yarn Shades” as they are pale in colour but they would look great on anyone. here’s the 4ply shades…….
and the DK shades………….
and the aran weight shades………….
Easy DK Knits
Easy DK Knits is a collection of 12 designs by Martin Storey for women, using Super Fine Merino DK and Pure Wool Superwash DK (also a new yarn for A/W 2015). Although I am not a fan of the easy knits as they tend to have less shaping, I know they will be popular with many, especially if you want to knit up something quick or are a beginner knitter. However, I did like a couple of the designs such as Barbican…..
and this cute little cardigan called Kew…….
Easy Aran Knits
Easy Aran Knits contains 13 designs by Martin Storey for both men and women, using Super Fine Merino Aran and Fine Art Aran. I would like to knit Featherstone but in the red shade Lipstick……………….
and Woolley, below, which looks great in the Fine Art Aran shade Squirrel.
Baby 4ply Collection
The cutest collection of 13 designs can be found in the Baby 4ply Collection brochure. Designed by Lisa Richardson, Gemma Atkinson, Vicky Sedgwick, Elinor Sykes, Pauline Ellis and Andrea McHugh these beautiful baby designs for ages 0-3 months to 3 years all knitted using Super Fine Merino 4 ply.
Choose from little cardigans and sweaters, hats and scarves and even a blanket to make for the cute little one’s in your life……..
How to Win a copy of Rowan Baby 4ply Collection, Once Upon A Time or Knitted Modern Classics for Babies
I have one copy each of the Rowan Baby 4ply Collection, Once Upon A Time or Knitted Modern Classics for Babies to giveaway to three of my subscribers. If you would like to be in with a chance to win a copy all you have to do is answer this question:
What was the name of the blue stripe sweater that I made for my husband Neil that could also be knitted for a child and what yarn did I use to knit it up?
Send your answer to me by clicking on the ‘Contact Me’ link below and also include which one of the three baby/children pattern brochures mentioned above you would like to win. (Do not leave your answer in the ‘comments’ section at the end of this post as that will make it visible to everyone …… and we don’t want to giveaway the answer until the competition is closed). Goodluck!
The competition closes on Sunday 6 September 2015 at 1pm US Mountain Time (8pm UK Summertime).
Please click on the links below if you would like to view all the designs from:
Also, please let me know if there is a shade that you would like to see added to Hemp Tweed and I will let Rowan know…….I am sending them my feedback on Sunday 30 August. Click the ‘contact me’ link above or leave a comment below. Thanks!
Look out for my next post featuring the luxurious Rowan Truesilk!