Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Stashbusting Rowan Membership Gifts

I've been a Rowan Member for a few years now. Every year, they send you free yarn - which is a good thing but sometimes this leads to buying more yarn in order to use up the free yarn, which is a bad thing.

In the past month, I've been coincidentally working with (almost) all the free yarn I've received:

2006 - 2 skeins of Rowan Hand Knit Cotton - Cannes

Two skeins is not a lot to work with. I doubled it up and bought some Cotton Braid to make Cannes. I don't really swatch and for some reason, Rowan patterns are always on the large-side for me. Unsurprisingly, it came out large and I tossed it aside.
Last month, I made some modifications to the fit. Cotton Braid does not frog well. In fact, it almost disintegrated when unraveling… so I gave up frogging and re-knitting the entire thing. Still, I was able to take out the neckline and reknit it with 10 fewer stitches (5 on each “sleeve”). In addition, because the sweater was knit in the round, I sewed a "seam" on the sides that ultimately took out 2 stitches on each side seam.
It fits much better now!

2007 - 4 skeins of Rowan All Seasons Cotton (2 sets = 8 skeins)

This was the year Rowan opened up an office in the US to service North American accounts. Due to a mix-up, I was sent 2 gifts! With 8 skeins, I hope I have enough to make the Mirabella Cardigan. I just started a few days ago.

2008 - 6 skeins of Rowan Denim - Indigo Ripples Jean Skirt

I just finished the skirt this weekend. I had to buy 2 more skeins to make this and unfortunately, the 2 extra skeins I bought were of different dyelot and the color differences were quite obvious. So, I used the gift denim to knit the main stockinette section, and alternated rows of gift and extra denim in the lace section.
I knit the smallest size using 3.75 needles. I like the pattern… simple but therapeutic (knit all rounds)... until I got to the ruffle. There's a lot of comments on ravelry "the ruffle was a pain to knit/bind-off took hours/but worth it" and all those comments were 100% true. I spent 3 different nights on the ruffle but I LOVE the end result! However, I wouldn't go through it again!

- Used smaller needles - 3.75 instead of 4.0 (tighter fabric so can’t see through it)
- Knit 2.5 more inches of stockinette (I’m conservative).
- Knit 1 less repeat of lace - 50 rows instead of 60 rows (I’m short and worried I would run out of yarn). Phew I cut the lace short. I only have 2 loonie-sized balls left.
- Used twill tape for the waist tie/belt as I ran out of yarn and didn’t even have enough for an i-cord! I hate knitting i-cord anyway.

2009 - 6 skeins of Rowan Pure Wool 4-ply

I have not received the yarn yet but I already have a project planned - Flo or Rosa. I have some KSH in my stash so I don't have to buy any yarn this time!

Woo hoo!


opportunityknits said...

so many pretty FOs. I like that skirt very much. Good thing you knitted extra rows because if I recall correctly, rowan denim shrinks lengthwise after washing.

Team Knit ! said...

Hmm, I didn't realize that a Rowan membership came with free yarn- they don't mention it on the site! Have you found the membership really rewarding? Are the free patterns good? I'm seriously considering it now!

That top is so pretty, and the skirt is awesome! great solution to the different dye lots.

- Julie