Tag Archives: Rowan

Knitted Gifts-Spreading the Love

Many of my knitting friends are always making items that are presents for their friends, family and charity. It seems to be a way to offer their love and support. Therefore when my friend Amanda invited me to join her for her annual Webs Tent Sale pilgrimage, I wanted to make her something special to show my appreciation. As a fellow knitter who makes a variety of items with complex stitches, beading and vibrant colors, she knits wonderful shawls, sweaters, hats and handbags. Deciding what to make was a challenge. Since we were headed to Webs, the yarn mecca, bringing her some special yarn wouldn’t do. 

After much consideration and research on Ravelry, I decided to make her some hand knit washcloths. It was an idea right out of Mason Dixon Knits. It is a favorite book of mine since it opens up possibilities for projects that I might not otherwise consider such as knitted home goods. 

In fact, the first of the items that I made Amanda was the Warshrag from Mason Dixon knits. Since Amanda is a big fan of Good and Plenty, I made it in pale pine and black Rowan cotton. I think that it’s a hoot. This pattern is a great way to use two different color yarns and makes a thick material.

Good and Plenty Warshrag in Rowan Cotton

Good and Plenty Warshrag in Rowan Cotton

For the second washcloth, I used the 1911 lace star pattern. I have been enticed with circular lace patterns of late and wanted to try one on a small scale. Inspired by Brooklyn Tweeds’ Hemlock Ring, I want to make a round lace shawl using one of these old patterns with a fingering weight yarn.  Since purples and lavenders are among Amanda’s favorite colors, I used some lavender cotton from my stash.

1911 Star Doily -Knit in Lavender Cotton

1911 Star Doily -Knit in Lavender Cotton

Interestingly, I did fine starting the knitting and went full steam ahead until about row 21. My missteps included not using stitch markers to keep track of the repeats, not using the chart to help track the stitch increases, and not switching to a circular needle sooner. As a result, it took me a frustrating week of ripping and re-knitting but the result was worth it! I finished at Amanda’s house so she decided to block it herself. It’s a great first circular lace pattern (as long as you avoid my challenges!)

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Lace Collar – Free One Ball Knitting Pattern

 

Two Row Lace Stitch Close Up

Two Row Lace Stitch Close Up

To coordinate with the grey mohair lace cuffs, I decided to make a lace collar. Using the cuffs as a measuring guide, I determined that the collar was just under three times the size of a cuff.   

 

I realized that this collar makes a great one skien wonder. It’s a quick knit (mine took me two days to knit plus finishing time so it’s good when you need that last minute gift.) 

For my collar, I used a grey mohair with silver twisted in it that I bought at Silk City Fibers. Rowan’s Kid Silk Haze is a good substitute and may yield enough for you to make the matching cuffs (although be warned that I didn’t measure.)

I used a size 5 needle and didn’t check my gauge. 

Lace Stitch Pattern from The Point About Cuffs by Vicki Square in Interweave’s Lace Style:

Multiple of 6 stitches + 1 Stitch

Row 1: *K1, yo, K1, sl1 K2tog, PSSO, K1, yo* to last stitch K1

Row 2: Purl

Lace Collar Pattern
CO 163 stitches. (Note: You can use a multiple of 6 and add 3 stitches (2 are the selvage stitches and one is the last pattern stitch which is a knit).

Knit 4 rows.

Follow rows a & b for the next 16 rows.

Row a: *K1, yo, K1, sl1 K2tog, PSSO, K1, yo* to last stitch K1

Row b: Purl

Row 21: K1, K2tog for the rest of the row. 

Row 22: K1, Purl until last stitch, K1.

Follow rows c & d for the next 18 rows. Until row 40.

Row c: K1 *K1P1* until last stitch. K1.

Row d: K1 *P1K1* until last stitch. K1.

Bind off loosely.

Block by pulling out the points of the lace. 

Sew on three small buttons (more like tiny).  Opposite each button make a loop for buttoning. Using a crochet hook, make a 4 stitch chain loop and use single crochets to enhance the loops.

 

Pull out points on Lace Collar

Pull out points on Lace Collar

 

 

Lace collar closed at the side

Lace collar closed at the side

 

Lace collar buttoned in the front

Lace collar buttoned in the front

 

Lace collar closed in the back

Lace collar closed in the back

Unfortunately, I had already given my mother the sweater and cuffs for her birthday. This piece was just a bit delayed. As a result, I don’t have a picture of the ensemble.

For those of you who are adventurous, this pattern would probably look good in cotton as well. 

Please let me know what you think! 

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Rowan International Membership

 

Rowan International Membership

Rowan International Membership

Friends passed along a great tip which I’m sharing with all of you Rowan lovers out there. Rowan offers an International Membership  for 25 UK pounds (given the current exchange rates is about US $35.00!).

This membership gives you two copies of their semi-annual magazine which is more of a book than a magazine and a knitting project (where I’m told you get to choose the color of the yarn!) These magazines cost about $20.00-$25.00 in your local yarn store. So if you’re a Rowan fan, I recommend that you check it out.

BTW, I saw this issue of Rowan at one of my LYS. I thought that it had some great patterns including a wonderful circular shawl with sleeves and a lace sweater that got me wanting to buy some yarn and start knitting! 

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

C is for Cotton

Jaeger Sienna Cotton in Beige from Webs

Jaeger Sienna Cotton in Beige from Webs

 

C is for cotton, a wonderful fiber for knitting. (While an ABC along should only have one entry per letter  I couldn’t resist.) For me, knitting with cotton symbolizes the beginning of summer and the rich vibrant colors that accompany it.

Like any fiber, cotton has its pros and cons. From my perspective, they are:

Pros:

  1. It’s a natural fiber.
  2. It’s relatively inexpensive.
  3. It’s light weight and good for spring and summer knitting (although I’ve found that it can absorb humidity when knitting on the beach.) 
  4. It has good stitch definition which is great for patterned stitches.
  5. It tends to be hypo-allergenic so that most people can wear it (unlike many types of wool.)

Cons:

  1. It stretches downward so that garments grow out of shape.
  2. It doesn’t have a lot of give which can be an issue for some knitters. 

Cotton and cotton blends, which use wool or another fiber to overcome some of the negative effects of knitting with cotton, are a mainstay of my summer knitting. In particular, I like Egyptian cotton since it has a wonderful sheen.  It’s great for all sorts of garments and makes a great beach knitting.

 

Pink cotton sweater & Periwinkle Cotton After Dark Nightie on Fire Island Beach

Pink cotton sweater & Periwinkle Cotton After Dark Nightie on Fire Island Beach

Last year, my cotton knitting included the Woodstock Sweater (as a sleeveless top), the Saffron Tunic,  a Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono and a warshrag.  

Baby Kimono and Warshrag on Fire Island Beach

We were lucky to sneak in a couple of days on Fire Island after our honeymoon. Fire Island is a shelter island off the southern shore of Long Island which is like a piece of heaven on earth (although nothing like the Cook Islands!)  While my husband wind surfed, I knitted on the beach. In addition to my honeymoon projects, I had two small projects which is unusual for me.

 

Summer 2008 on Fair Harbor Beach

Summer 2008 on Fair Harbor Beach

Leaf Lace Kimono Progresses on Fair Harbor Beach

Leaf Lace Kimono Progresses on Fair Harbor Beach

Honeymoon Vest Arrives at Fair Harbor

Honeymoon Vest Arrives at Fair Harbor

Sunset on Fair Harbor With Boats

Sunset on Fair Harbor With Boats

Sunset on Fair Harbor

Sunset on Fair Harbor

 

For a friend who was pregnant, I made a baby kimono from Mason Dixon Knits. It’s a wonderful piece of knitting that’s easy to do. I had checked it out on Ravelry and fund numerous versions of it. I made it in a butter yellow which could work for a boy or a girl.

 

Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono in Yellow Cotton

Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono in Yellow Cotton

 

For a friend’s knitting bee, a group of us decided to make her a basket full of hand made washcloths. It was like a KAL. We all used Rowan Cotton and the wash cloth had to be nine inches square. I was excited since I had wanted an opportunity to test out the warshrag pattern also in Mason Dixon Knits. I bought black and pale pink for my washcloth which I called “Good and Plenty” since it was the same color as the candy! I must say that it was a fun pattern to knit and gave me an opportunity to test out another way to knit two colors that made a nice texture.

 

Cross Your Heart Sweater

As part of my vacation knitting, I am knitting what I call the Cross Your Heart Sweater. It’s my adaption of a design element in a Rowan pattern. 

The main design element of this sweater is the 180 degree twist of the knitted rectangle for the sweater front.  I liked the twist and how it created more femine shaping.  The twist meant that half of the front was in reverse stocking knit. Therefore,  I carried the reverse stocking knit stitch to the sleeve and half of the back for consistency. In addition, I made the sweater more form fitting to show off my waist.

Like a couple of other sweaters I’ve made in the past couple of years, this sweater is knitted in two rectangular blocks. The front is a wider rectangle. Sitting on the beach, my boyfriend and I spent a half hour drawing pictures in the sand to work out the geometry and math to get the height and width correct. Since I didn’t have my usual tools at hand, my boyfriend used his cellphone to do the calculations. This shows there where there’s a will, there’s a way! Based on our work, the base (or waist) of the front is about 1.4 times the waist of the back. The drop sleeves are knitted down so they can be measured for length.

The sweater is great since it helps me to deplete my stash. I am using 100% fingering weight alpaca in wedgewood blue purchased from Times Remembered. I have 8 ounces or approximately 1,016 yards. I purchased this wool at the 2005 Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival for a Suss Design and decided that the wool was too thin. As a result, the wool had sunk to the bottom of my stash with viable projects in sight until I started thinking about the Cross Your Heart pattern.  

Here is a photograph of the wool wound into two balls.

 Wedgewood Blue Fingering Alpaca 

Here is a photograph of front and back pinned in place. I am considering washing and blocking it before I sew it together to ensure that it lays flat and doesn’t roll. (Note: The line showing through the back is the swtich between stocking knit and reverse stocking knit.

 Cross Your Heart Sweater in Progress

In the process of knitting, my stitches have gotten tighter than my earlier gauge. Given the thin nature of the material, it has a strong propensity to roll. As a result, I was worried that, despite multiple iterations of calculations and discussions regarding geometry, it might not fit. But thankfully it does!