Rowan Wool Cotton is a fabulous soft yarn made from a very clever blending of 50% merino wool and 50% cotton. The yarn itself is strong and smooth owing to the high twist spinning process used during production. This fine yarn with its smooth quality lends itself very well to knitted projects that require a yarn that will give excellent stitch definition. The finished design will also have a lovely drape.
Wool Cotton DK has been a staple product for Rowan for many years and, due to its popularity, Rowan introduced a 4 ply version which dramatically increased the number of ways this yarn can be used. Due to the combination of wool and cotton it is great for wear all year round. Use it to make cardigans and sweaters for adults, children and babies. Both the DK and 4 ply come in a wide variety of solid colors and normally retail at $11.95 per ball. Wool Cotton is machine washable on a cold gentle cycle.
Yarn Particulars : DK
Yardage: 123yds per ball
Weight: 50g per ball
Yarn Weight: DK
Gauge: 22 – 24sts = 4 inches
Needle Size: US 5 -6 (3.75 – 4mm)
Yarn Particulars : 4 Ply
Yardage: 197yds per ball
Weight: 50g per ball
Yarn Weight: 4 ply
Gauge: 28sts = 4 inches
Needle Size: US 2 (3.25mm)
Wool Cotton DK and 4 ply yarns are very pleasant to knit with as they feel very soft on the fingers. They both knit up to a great even color with a smooth texture giving your knitted designs fantastic drape and really good stitch definition. Use it to knit cable stitches, bobbles, lace and any stitch that creates a textured surface.
The merino wool and cotton blend compliments each other so well by adding warmth and elasticity to the cotton and softness to the wool. The DK version is great for all year round sweaters and cardigans and the 4 ply is excellent for creating elegant and delicate designs such as lacy boleros and shawls.
The DK version comes in 24 solid colors consisting of light and dark shades of blue, pink, purple and green as well as a good choice of neutral colors and white. The 4 ply version comes in 18 solid colors which are dominated by blue tones but there are also greens, purples and yellow as well as 2 white shades.
The main issue with Wool Cotton DK and 4 ply is how it reacts to washing. Although it is machine washable on a cold gentle cycle it can still stretch after washing. It is always advisable to make a swatch prior to knitting up the project in question and measure the swatch before and after washing and blocking. If the swatch does stretch after washing, take this into account when deciding which size to knit to from the pattern. Washing beforehand will also tell you if there will be any color bleeding and if two or more colors are suitable to be knitted up in the same project.
As the Wool Cotton yarns contain merino wool it is possible that some pilling can occur: little balls of fiber caused by friction. This is true of all yarns which contain soft wool fibers such as merino. It is possible to limit pilling by using slightly smaller needles but as this will affect the finished size of the project it is more important to knit to the correct gauge.
The only other issue is with the yarn splitting when knitting and the stitches slipping off the needles. Both these issues tend to be related to the inexperience of the knitter. If you do find that stitches fall off the needles too easily try using bamboo needles as the loops of yarn tends to stay in place much better. If you seem to be splitting the yarn in two with the knitting needle check your knitting technique: use your fingers to pull on the knitting just below the needle which will open up the stitch you are about to knit.
These yarns are also fairly expensive and, as it is not really a seasonal yarn, much more difficult to buy at a discounted price. If a color has been discontinued it may, however, be possible to buy it at a discount. If you are considering knitting with Wool Cotton but are worried about some of the issue mentioned above it might be a good idea to try a one ball project first to find out if there are any problems with stretching or pilling. This will save you lots of wasted time and money if the project doesn’t turn out well. However, you might be pleasantly surprised and find that you don’t have any issues at all and Wool Cotton becomes a yarn you go back to time and again just as I do!