Category Archives: men

GALLERY Denim Noir

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Black Denim

As I’ve been writing about Rowan Original Denim yarn (ON SALE NOW) a question has come up a few times – what is the black denim like? And what they are really thinking is “will it end up looking like the sexy black jeans that ended up a sad dingy grey?”. The answer is it could if you’re really mean to your denim sweater, but if you take proper care of it you’ll have a “happily ever after”.

I think most people think of denim yarn as a knitterly sibling of denim jeans, but it’s really more of a cousin, so it doesn’t wear the same way, especially since we (hopefully) don’t wear or care for our sweaters in the same way we do our jeans. In high school, I worked in retail selling Levis jeans and became extremely well acquainted with the garment: they’re worn constantly, washed frequently, and cared for poorly. An average pair of jeans is dealt A LOT of abuse. Not so our sweaters: we don’t wear them as much, they aren’t washed as much, and when we do wash them it’s either by hand with a delicate wash like Eucalan or Soak, or in a delicates bag on the delicate cycle (cold) in the machine. Add a cup of white vinegar to the wash to stabilize the dye and you have some very good looking denim knitwear (the vinegar trick works with your jeans too, it’s especially helpful with dark washes).

So let’s take a look at some black Rowan Original Denim inspiration …


black denim 1Photos: TheLovelyFox

The Lovely Fox’s Deschain

This is the project that helped open up my perspective on black denim yarn. The pattern, Deschain, was designed with a substantially thicker and heavier yarn, but the garment design is so oversized that it easily scales down to a thinner yarn. The texture looks amazing with lace and works really well with the drape of the oversized aesthetic.

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Vale by Kim Hargreaves

In my mind, if super designer Kim Hargreaves is down with it, it might as well as have received royal assent (that’s Canadian parliamentary humour for “it’s legit” … I’m also really pleased that Kim thinks it’s ok to wear a tiara out-and-about, I could use a little more bling in my coif). Like the denim Deschain above, Hargreaves exploits the denim to create a tension between the delicacy of lace patterning and the texture of the yarn. It’s a balancing act that works beautifully and makes for a really interesting garment – definitely one you’ll never find in any store.

20150516_153505_medium2Photo: Pascoe

Pascoe’s Seahorse

This guy obviously either lives in a beautifully curated home or a Pottery Barn … either way, it’s a nice backdrop for a beautiful sweater, Seahorse. One of the big problems with black yarn is that it is very hard to photograph the colour properly, and it often looks like a washed out dark grey. The yarn itself is a very deep, dense black, so add white vinegar when you wash it to stabilize the colour.

black denim 2

Photos: robbyraccoon

RobbyRaccoon’s Ridge

I don’t know which pattern was used for RobbyRaccon’s Ridge top (I think it might be a variation of Rosamund by Tonia Barry, but it’s a different type of sleeve construction … if you know please tell me, it’s driving me up the wall), but it made excellent use of black denim yarn, every time I look at it I experience sweater envy.

Notes

  • Find our Denim Hacks & reference links (basically, wash it in vinegar to stabilize the colour and knit it a smidge longer).
  • To keep your denim looking crisp and pretty, hand wash in cool water with white vinegar (I prefer the Allen’s Cleaning Vinegar, it’s double strength).

PROJECT Ondawa (in denim)

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Ondawa (in denim)

My friend Reney is into Rowan Original Denim yarn (ON SALE NOW), and the other day she asked me a common question; What would look good in it? This is a question I both dread and adore. The dread comes on first because I usually need time to think about things and give a thoughtful answer. Then, once I’ve had some time to process, comes the love; I get to trot out all the different ideas and examples, it’s a big creative game of research and “compare and contrast”.

One thing that’s at the top of my mind for Rowan Original Denim is Guernsey or Gansey (a style of fisherman’s sweater) – the denim yarn looks STUNNING knit up in a guernsey. The picture above is a project I found on Ravelry of Michelle Wang’s Ondawa made with Rowan Original Denim – I think it’s a thing of beauty!

Notes

Find our Denim Hacks & reference links (basically, wash it in vinegar to stabilize the colour and knit it a smidge longer).

Size

  • finished bust: 43¼ (47½, 51¾, 56¼, 60½, 65)”
  • Sized to fit approximately 30-32 (34-36, 38-40, 42-44, 46-48, 50-52)” bust

Materials

Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w

 

guernsey.jpg

Photos: janetwynne, Brooklyn Tweed, Amirisu.

Other patterns that I think would look amazing made with denim are Guernsey Wrap by Jared Flood and Void by Melanie Berg (the denim Guernsey Wrap on the left is made by janetwynne).

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Guernesy looks especially good on men (maybe because they were created for them): above are Bowline by Tin Can Knits (you should knit with 4mm/US6 needles and make one size larger) and Beagle by Norah Gaughan.

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Photos: Tin Can Knits, jennyinmaine.

Flax is a simple top-down, seam-free FREEBIE from Tin Can Knits that would look awesome made with Rowan Original Denim for anybody at any age to be worn in any season!

 

 

 

 

New Books!


       Knitted Socks East and West by Judy Sumner


    One More Skein by Leigh Radford


      Cardigans by Louisa Harding


Noro by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton


Men’s Knits by Erica Knight

Never Knit your Man a Sweater

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never knit your man a sweater, originally uploaded by knitomatic.

Never Knit your Man a Sweater ~ $25.95

This is a great book for men or women who want to knit for guys! All sizes of projects in down to earth designs – a great one for your library!