Kaffe Fassett Mystery Afghan KAL – Clue 1 with pattern chart

*NEW* now with ALL colourways!

Week One Square revealed

Clue One Square revealed

As promised, here’s a little update on the progess of the Rowan Yarns & Kaffe Fassett KAL (for pattern and links check my previous post). I have finished knitting 5 of my clue one squares and am enjoying it so far.The pattern is easy enough to knit and remember, and I like the colours of the first square. Rowan are offering two versions of the square, one using M1 to increase, and one using Inc. It really is up to you which version you make, but I prefer the M1 as it makes for a neater square (Rowan Tip sheet here). The one thing I found a litte tedious though was following the written instructions – I promptly misread the instructions for my very first square, slightly mixing up the colour sequence – oops. I actually really like my little blunder though and have decided to stick with it for the rest of the KAL. Let’s hope it’ll work out when the Afghan is assembled.

To help speed up your knitting, here’s a little chart I made with colour coded lines. The original version is by my friend Sarah who is making the brown colourway and has kindly allowed me to use and edit it as my own version. Simply click on the image to open the .pdf, then click save or print. Please note: This chart is for the original Kaffe version. If you’d like to change to the IamSnowfox stripe version rows 29-30 need to be knitted with colour C. 

Kaffe_Fassett_Kal_clue_1_chart

Turquoise

Kaffe_Fassett_Clue_1_pastel

Pastel

Kaffe_fassett_clue_1_red

Red


To get Sarah’s
chart for the brown colourway, check out her post on Nottingham Knitter.

I find with the coloured lines it is SO much faster to knit – all you need to check on the chart is whether you’re on a decrease, increase or simple knit/purl row. I do recommend you knit the square from the original instructions at least once so you know where to place the incs and decs. Let me know if you find this helpful and I will continue to post the charts for each upcoming week of the KAL. Happy knitting!

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Rowan Yarns & Kaffe Fassett Mystery Afghan KAL

Kaffe Fassett is one of the big names in crafting. If you’re a knitter or a quilter, you will most likely have come across his name on various occasions. He’s famous for wild, vibrant colour combinations and intricate patters. I … Continue reading

The Home of Rowan Yarns – A Visit to the Mill

Hey everyone! I have finally returned to my blog after a few turbulent months. It’s good to be back.
I’d like to tell you about the time Snowfox packed her bags and travelled all the way to picturesque Holmfirth, to visit the home of Rowan Yarns and meet 12 fellow Rowan Ambassadors and the makers and shakers of the brand.

I don’t even know where to start – it was all amazing. I travelled from London to Nottingham, where Sarah from Nottingham Knitter picked me up so we could travel the rest of the way together. We arrived at our hotel in Holmfirth, the Old Bridge Inn, just in time to join the other Ambassadors for dinner. Lots of happy faces greeting us, it was so exciting to finally meet everybody after having communicated online for over a year.

Rowan_Ambassadors

From the Rowan Yarns facebook page

From front  left to right:
Ute from Heute strick ich
Anja from IamSnowfox
Maria Niedermayer 
Violeta from A Knitting Bakery
Linda from Knitted Pink
Cindi from PurlOne
Kristen from Knitionary
Dayana from Dayana Knits
Esther from Knitting with Rowan
Anne from Life Lackadaisical 
Konrad from Knittingkonrad
Claire from Knit And Purl Garden
Sarah from Nottingham Knitter

After a delicious and satisfying dinner, we all unpacked our knitting (of course) and wound down from a long day of travelling before heading up to our separate rooms.

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Room with a view

The next morning we got whisked off to The Mill to finally meet the Rowan Yarns team.
The Green Lane Mill has been the home of Rowan Yarns since 1979. It’s a beautiful old building, lots of exposed brick walls and wooden beams that ooze character and work as a beautiful backdrop for the offices and show room.

Rowan_Mill_Entrance

At last – The Rowan Mill

We were introduced to brand manager Kate Buller and the Rowan Team, including designers – Imagine getting to meet all the people who’s designs you’ve admired and recreated over the years – I was pretty star-struck. The creativity and expertise in that room was unbelievable.

Rowan_Designers

Martin Storey, Marie Wallin, Lisa Richardson, Sarah Hatton, Gemma Atkinson, Kate Buller

Every single Rowan Magazine in existance was carefully laid out for us to look at – the early issues are hard to come by and are popular collectors items, I almost didn’t dare picking up some of the rarer magazines as I’m so clumsy and tend to break things. I couldn’t resist picking up the first ever Rowan Magazine though – and my very own first issue, Magazine 48.
IamSnowfox_Rowan_Magazines

But what would a visit to the mothership of beautiful knitted garments be without garments – there were of course several models from the A/W collection on display. Lots of oohing and aahing, and of course thorough discussion of the new season going on!

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Scaven‘ by Marie Wallin

We even got to try things on!

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Ulrika by Lisa Richardson

We spent time discussing current and future projects, amongst others the first ever Rowan Knit-A-Long, a beautiful  Mystery Afghan designed by Martin Storey and Knitted with Rowan’s Pure Wool Worsted. The pattern is free and can be downloaded from the Rowan Yarns Website here, all you need to do is sign up as a site member (which is also free).

Martin_Storey_Mystery_Afghan

Martin Storey presenting his very own Mystery Afghan

We spent a day learning about the design process at Rowan Yarns – from brief to swatching to finished garment, and even had a chance of working on our own designs with help and advice from the pros. After two full days at The Mill filled with so much creative input, some fresh air was exactly what I needed, so some of us went for a beautiful walk in the Peak District, with lots of sheep to keep us company of course.

IamSnowfox_Nottingham_Knitter_Peak_District

With Nottingham Knitter Sarah

And last – but certainly not least! – there was CAKE.

Rowan_Ambassadors_CakeI hope you enjoyed taking this little tour with me. In my next post I’ll tell you all about the new season yarns and my favourite A/W 2014/15 designs. See you then!

Wool Week – Day 4: Knitting is the new Rock ‘n’ Roll

As I am writing this, Wool Week 2013 draws to a close. It’s been a wonderful week full of  inspiration, shared creativity and  fun.
I tried to go to as many events and workshops as time would allow. On schedule for thursday was the Rowan Yarns workshop at John Lewis Oxford Street. The classes were all booked out, so I decided to just drop into one of their open sessions, which also allowed me to check out the progress of the wool window.
People have been hard at work all week, and by now you can view the finished room in the side streets off Oxford Street. Just as a reminder, we started out with this on monday…

Blank Canvas

Blank Canvas

By Thursday, things were looking rather different. A majority of the originally white interior is now covered in colourful stitches.. they don’t even stop at the afternoon tea.


Those who still think knitting is for old ladies only, think again. Knitting is the new Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Knitting is the new  Rock 'n' Roll

After saying Hi to the busy people in the window, I headed up the First Floor for the Rowan workshop. Upon arriving I noticed models of the snoods they were teaching to people – 3 different variations, all knit in wonderfully soft and chunky Big Wool. I borrowed a pair of needles, and one of the design consultants who work at John Lewis attempted to teach me to knit English Style (I’m normally a continental knitter). I started working on this cabled cowl and will definitely be making a few of these as Christmas presents.
 Cabled Cowl


Stuart Hillard from the Great British Sewing Bee having fun knitting a purple scarf.

Stuart Hillard Knitting

After a good two hours during which I more or less successfully attempted fair isle knitting with one colour in each hand, it was time for another class. This one was fully booked, and even reality TV star Oliver Proudlock joined the group to learn how to knit. Since the pop-up store was getting really crowded, I packed what I had made into my already too-full bag and headed over to Liberty’s, where the Awards ceremony for the winner of Wool Week 2013 Hand Knit & Crochet Award was taking place.
The Awards are a collaboration between Rowan Yarns, The Campaign for Wool, Liberty’s and The Royal College of Arts. To learn more about the awards, head over to the Campaign for Wool’s website. I got a chance to talk to the winners and Rowan brand manager Kate Buller and designer Marie Wallin, who are both very passionate about the competition, and who knows – they might even be recruiting some of those fresh talents to work with on future collections. Marie Wallin (wearing her own design Anatolia from Rowan Mag 54) then presented the awards and prizes to the winners and told the audience a little more about the designs and the creative minds behind them.


I am a bit sad that Wool Week 2013 is now nearly over, but am sure that Wool Week 2014 is already being planned as we speak, and will have many more inspiring exhibitions and events in store for all of us. I’m signing off now to work on my knitting :)

Knitting and Stitching Show 2013

I-Love-knitting-1912

British Wool Week has started and living just on the outskirts of London, I am lucky enough to be able to attend some of the events taking place in different locations in the city every day.

The Knitting and Stitching Show is the biggest show for any yarn and fibre related craft in the UK, attending is mandatory for anybody passionate about crafts. It was only my second time at the show, but I had an absolute blast. I went on saturday, which was probably the busiest day of all. By noon Alexandra Palace was packed with people, and it was so crowded it was actually starting to become difficult to see any of the stalls and talk to people.

Having been a Rowan Ambassador for several months now, my highlight of the day was meeting some of the Rowan Yarns Staff and being introduced to some of their designers. Many key pieces and yarns from their A/W collections were on display at the Coats Crafts Stall which was one of the largest stalls in the exhibition.

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You can see some of their beautiful yarns on display, as well as the most recent publications including my favourite, Pioneer by Martin Storey and Kim Hargreaves’ Storm which has only been released last week. My favourite yarns this season include Rowan’s Alpaca Colour, Thick’n’Thin and the new Fine Art colours. Sadly there were no samples of the highly anticipated Fine Art Aran, but hopefully the Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate in November will have some samples.

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Caris and Annis from Kim Hargreaves’ Storm. Caris is definitely one of my favourite designs this season, it looks modern and classy at the same time and is knit with Rowan Kidsilk Haze and Fine Lace.

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Just look at the beautiful styling of the mannequins.. It was all about the knitwear, but I somehow can’t help wanting one of those amazing skirts which are hand-sewn by the in-house design team.

Rowan peacock jumper 1938Another of one of my favourite pieces this season – Almanac from Martin Storey’s Pioneer. I would probably make it in more peacock-y colours however. Navy with green and gold accents perhaps instead of pink and red tones.

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Some samples from Jem Weston’s book Cute Little Knits – Isn’t ther Lovebird Cushion adorable? And I don’t need to tell you how much I love Fantastic Fox!

rachel-martin-anja-1930

I had the great pleasure of meeting Designers Martin Storey and Rachel Coopey, who were both signing copies of their newest books Pioneer and A Knitted Sock Society.

Another of my favourite British Yarn retailers, Toft were well worth a visit. Their stall was buzzing with customers, it must have been a very successful event for them.
toft-end-of-an-era-1929They are  famous for their signature bulbous Button Bag. The bags are sold as kits to make at home, but if you can’t knit you can also hire a knitter to make one for you! These beautiful bags are sadly being discontinued, so if you have been wanting to make one, now is your last chance!

toft-monkey-1928

Their newest pattern book, Edward’s Menagerie, which features many cute crocheted animals, was available at the Knitting and Stitching Show as a Limited Printed Edition. It was sadly sold out by the time I got to visit their stall, but you can get a digital copy here.

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On the way out I managed to get some pictures of KNIT 1, a black cab which has been yarnbombed and covered entirely in knitted objects!

I had a wonderful time and have already marked the dates of The Knitting and Stitching Show 2014 in my calendar (and who knows, I may even go to the Harrogate one in November, that’s how much fun it was!).
Next up will be Wool Week and Knit Nation. I am participating in a live yarn bombing of a window display in John Lewis Oxford Street.. stay tuned for  footage of our progress and other fun events and workshops!

My first interview!

I have been interviewed by my friend and fellow Rowan Ambassador Cindi Brumpton of PurlOne! Cindi has been doing interviews of all the Rowan Ambassadors on her blog, and I think she’s done a marvellous job. Read all about how I became an ambassador and my love for little mushroom people here.

She’s a passionate writer and knitter herself, and I just wanted to show off her fabulous tea cozy design, Winter Wonderland, because IamSnowfox loves all things snow, and what could be better to keep you warm after a walk through the snowy winter world than a nice cup of tea?

Winter Wonderland by Cindi Brumpton

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

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!