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First Completed Projects of 2018

Posted on January 21 2018

In today's newsletter, I am going to show you 3 projects knitted in Rowan's Brushed Fleece. Brushed Fleece is a super soft blend of extra fine merino wool and baby alpaca. The yarn is quick to knit and it is very wearable, warm and lightweight. 

The first project I have completed since my last newsletter was the Carbeth sweater by Kate Davies. I absolutely loved knitting it and although I made my version longer, I will definitely be knitting a cropped version soon. Rowan's Brushed Fleece worked a treat - the tensions were very similar and I just went up a size in the pattern. The only other variation I made was to knit the neck in 2 strands of yarn. I often do this with necks (depending on the yarn and style) because they then keep their shape better and I really liked the way the extra thickness allowed the neck to stand up. The Brushed Fleece was lovely to work with and always looks so cosy as a winter project.
After a tidy of our studio and checking the stock we have knitted as samples, I realised that nearly all my sweater projects had high necks. I think I must be getting to that age when I feel my neck is better hidden! Anyway, I decided to remedy the situation and having fallen in love with the brushed fleece yarn, I decided to design a simple V-neck sweater. Normally I would not design in just stocking stitch because I love the addition of texture by cables and stitch patterns. However, the brushed fleece really works well as a plain knit, the yarn itself provides the texture. To add some interest, I knitted the cuffs, hem and V-neck in Mrs Moon Plump DK which is a beautiful soft yarn made from superfine merino and baby alpaca.The sweater was knitted in the round up to the front shaping and then the front and back worked separately. I had forgotten how nice it is to 'knit in the round' as it minimises the amount of sewing up at the end and means you are just creating knit stitches as you go along.

I used this pattern as an opportunity to try out the 'German short row shaping' and I am absolutely converted. My former way was 'wrap and turn' where you have to go back along to pick up the wraps. This newer method is much simpler and very neat - I thoroughly recommend.

I am really pleased with the end result and now need to translate the pattern into larger sizes for anyone who is interested. I will be selling the pattern and yarn as a kit in the future.
My final garment in Brushed Fleece, is a sample sent to me by Rowan which I received last week. It is the Caliban poncho available as a pattern in Rowan Magazine No. 60. I have the magazine for sale so had clearly seen the pattern but had not even thought about knitting a poncho. I absolutely love it! It is so easy to slip on to go to the shops or to keep warm as a layer in the chilly weather we are experiencing at the moment. Even Alice, who can be my sternest critic, thinks it is stylish and is looking to knit one for herself as her next project. Having completed her first two garter stitch cushions she is now ready for the next step and, whilst the size is quite daunting, the pattern itself is simple and she should learn a lot through the knitting process. I have both the magazine and yarn available on the website should you be tempted. I would just say, for those of you who do not have Magazine No. 60, it contains some really lovely designs.

This weekend we are filming some 'learn to knit' videos for our website and YouTube. Fortunately, only my hands appear and Alice has lots of video editing experience so fingers crossed on that front!

We still have a couple of spaces left on our first 'Learn to Knit' course on Monday February 5th so if you think that this could be of interest to anyone then please forward this link.

I have booked my ticket to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival  and I am going on the Thursday. I have not been for a couple of years so it will be interesting to see how things have progressed.

I hope the beginning of the New Year is going well for all of you and you are enjoying the projects on your needles.

Happy Knitting!

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