Summer Socks in Rowan Fine Art

I know, I know. Knitted socks, in SUMMER? But seriously. One of the great features of wool is that it regulates temperature – it keeps you warm when it’s cold, and it cools when it’s hot. Pretty handy, isn’t it?

Rowan Fine Art Socks

Fine Art is Rowan’s first handpainted sock yarn, and may I say so, it is my new favourite. It’s a blend of wool, mohair, silk with a dash of polyamide to make it more durable. I don’t know who first had the idea of adding silk to a sock yarn, but whoever it was is a genious. Silk is a strong fiber, and it feels amazing in combination with the mohair. Seriously, you’ll never want to wear socks that are made of anything else again. They’re so.. slinky. And a little fuzzy at the same time. I love mohair, wearing a garment made from this fibre is a bit like carrying your favourite pet around with you 24/7. The fibres for this yarn are sourced, spun and hand painted in South Africa. If you’d like to know more about the process of creating Fine Art, check out the story behind creating it.

My favourite of the Fine Art colours is Lapwing, a beautiful blend of green shades. I was so happy when I opened the package  to find Rowan had sent me just this colour together with the Rowan Fine Art Collection book. The skein itself looks like a piece of art, the colours are brilliant and thanks to the silk it shines and reflects the light like a gemstone. I am actually thinking of ordering another skein just for the sake of displaying it, that’s how pretty it is (there goes my resolve not to buy yarn this year until my stash has been reduced considerably – oops).

Fine-Art-Book-3

Rowan Fine Art Collection contains 14 designs made with Fine Art Sock yarn, but don’t you think they’re all just socks. It’s a mixture of beautifully patterned scarves, wraps and several sock designs by some of Rowan’s favourite designers Martin Storey, Gemma Atkinson, Marie Wallin and Lisa Richardson.

I am in love with Warbler, a pair of overknee socks designed by Gemma Atkison. Alas, this is a rather time consuming project using three skeins of Fine Art and knit with cable details, so I decided against making it for now as I have been working on so many different projects recently and just wanted a quick fix that meant I could knit on the go without having to follow a pattern. I’d really love to make these socks, but am hoping Rowan will bring out Fine Art in Solid colours in the future. I’d love to wear the socks with a dress or skirt so you can actually display the beautiful yarn and pattern, however personally I find the handpainted colours are a bit too busy for a piece that will already draw lots of attention simply because of the gorgeous design.

Knitting with Fine Art was an absolute pleasure, the yarn is so silky it glides through your fingers easily and knits up relatively fast despite being knitted on 2,5mm needles. It creates a sturdy yet very delicate and soft fabric, and just holding the finished socks makes you want to put them on immediately. I actually had strangers coming up to me while knitting on the train asking about the yarn and wanting to touch the socks. I don’t think that’s ever happened to me before. One skein is enough to make a pair of adult size socks, I am a size EUR40/UK7/US9 and I had quite a bit of yarn left as well after finishing.

Socks-2

Feet wriggling away happily

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Toadstool Kami

Did I mention that I have a bit of an obsession with mushrooms of all shapes and sizes? Me and mushrooms go back a long way, to a little me who helped her parents gather chanterelles in the mountains in summer and who had more books about mushrooms and tickets to the mushroom museum (yes, there is such a thing as a mushroom museum..  only in Austria) than other kids my age had marbles in their pockets. 20 years later I still love mushrooms, be it as dinner or design object. It is about time the Kamis showed some colour. They like mushrooms too. They actually live in them, I’ve heard. They definitely like dressing up as one. See for yourself ;)

If you like Toadstool Kami, you can find him in my Etsy Shop.

Toadstool Kami Troll doll IMG_0189_sml IMG_0194_sml

The Day I became a Rowanette

I have some exciting news! A few months ago Rowan were looking for brand ambassadors, the so-called Rowanettes/Rowanets. They were looking for people who are passionate about crafting with Rowan Yarns, are creative, web savvy and willing to dedicate time and resources to the Brand. Rowan Yarns have been my all-time favourite since I can think, and the majority of my creative work features their beautiful fibres. They required us to take a picture of ourselves in our latest Rowan knit and send it in along with a short description of why we would be prefect for the ‘job’. Having always dreamed of being somehow associated with the brand, I didn’t need telling twice.

I had had my eye on a skirt that I had wanted to make for quite a while, and what better excuse to procrastinate on housework than this? After one dedicated weekend of knitting, assembling and taking pictures I sent my application off, crossing my fingers and hoping that I had what they were looking for. It took a few months and some stalking of the Rowan facebook page until I heard back (apparently they had several thousand responses!), and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that I had made the shortlist! There were a few more things I had to send in before they made their final decision, but I must have done something right as I got chosen and am now officially a Rowanette! I am beyond excited and can’t wait to get started.

Here’s the picture that I sent in for the competition, skirt is River knit in Rowan Limaalong with another shot that shows the back a bit better. I absolutely adore it, Lima is such an amazing yarn, so soft to the touch and it comes in wonderful shades. The skirt was easy and quick to knit, and it fits perfectly. I knit a size S with 4,5mm needles and used up nearly 4 balls of yarn. It’s great for winter layered over tights or jeans and will also be really nice in spring still with some floaty tops and  a nice cardigan. The pictures were taken in September 2012, but I’ve worn it all winter and am thinking about making another one as it’s become one of my wardrobe staples.

Rowan River in Lima

The skirt is so cozy I am constantly tempted to snuggle with it, it’s that soft!

iamsnowfox_river

Check out the project page on my Ravelry if you have some time!