Category Archives: pullover

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.

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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 Yume

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Yume

I saw this and thought of you! But seriously, I love things that are both simple and pretty, especially if they can work in some texture and colour. Yume is made in one piece (no seams!) from the top-down, so you should have it done in time to actually wear it. The depth of colour is created by working with 2 strands of lace weight yarn held together, which is also a great way to negotiate colour distribution and pooling issues in hand-dyed yarn. I think it would be PERFECT made with Malabrigo Lace Baby Merino (ON SALE NOW!). It has a beautiful hand and it’s soft halo ensure the strands will do their job, stick together and look more like they’re a single strand of yarn. Plus, it’s just so soft!

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Taking a look at the shelf, here are some colour combos in Malabrigo Lace Baby Merino that will blend well together (these pairs are based on the actual dye lots, not the images):

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Size

  • XS (S, M1, M2, L, XL, XXL)
  • finished bust circumference: 35.75 (38.5, 41.5, 43.75, 45.75, 48.75, 52) inches or 89 (96.5, 103.5, 109, 114.5, 122, 130) cm
  • The sample is worn with 3.25” (8.5 cm) positive ease at bust.

Materials

  • Malabrigo Lace Baby Merino: Short Sleeve Version 2(2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4) skeins in each of TWO colours, Long Sleeve Version 3( 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4) skeins in each of TWO colours
  • 3.25mm/US3 – 32″ circular needles (for ribbing)
  • 3.25mm/US3 double pointed needles (for ribbing)
  • 3.75mm/US5 – 16″ circular needles
  • 3.75mm/US5 – 32″ circular needles
  • 3.75mm/US5 double pointed needles
  • Stitch holders or waste yarn
  • Stitch markers
  • Tapestry or darning needle
  • Pattern Download

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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

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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!

 

 

 

 

PROJECT Gilead

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Gilead

I love this sweater; it’s simple, casual, and pretty. Plus the construction is roomy with lots of positive ease, so it’ll look great on a variety of body shapes. Gilead is made with cool & comfortable Quince & Co Sparrow (ON SALE NOW!). I like it in black, but I think it could be even lovelier in a less severe colour, like Truffle or Sea Salt, or a brighter colour like Citron.

quince gilead combo

 

Size

  • finished bust: 37½ (41, 44½, 48, 50, 53½, 57, 61¼)” or 95.5 (104, 113, 122, 127, 136, 145, 155.5) cm
  •  shown in size 41” (104 cm) with 7” (18 cm) positive ease

Materials

  • Quince & Co Sparrow: 6 (6, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10) skeins
  • 3.75 mm/US5 – 24” circular needle
  • 3.75mm/US5 double pointed needles
  •  Tapestry needle

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Gilead COmbo.jpg

PROJECT Davis

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Davis

My friend Dawn was looking to take advantage of our summer sale and made a summer sweater, so I pulled together a Ravelry search for her and when she came across Davis she kind of made a swooning sound. I figured if it was swoonable for her, everyone should eyeball it. It’s an oversized pullover, which means it’ll have lots of room to move and lots of casual elegance. It’s made with Quince & Co Kestrel, a gorgeous chunky weight, 100% organic linen tape – one of my favourite summer yarns because it’s easy to knit with, works up fast, and washes and wears extremely easily. Plus, it’s ON SALE NOW!

Size

  • Finished bust: 41½ (44¾, 48, 51¼, 54½, 57½, 60¾)” [105.5 (113.5, 122, 130, 138.5, 146, 154.5) cm]
  • shown in size 44¾” [113.5 cm] with approx 11″ [28 cm] positive ease

Materials

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We currently have the following colours in stock in sufficient quantities (depending on size desired):

  • Aegean 511 (lot 2)
  • Ash 515 (lot 20)
  • Bordeaux 520 (lot 1)
  • Pebble 504 (lot 20)
  • Senza 500 (lot 6)
  • Terrapin 523 (light khaki green, lot 1)
  • Wave 516 (lot 2)

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Kestrel Davis Combo .jpg

 

 

 

 

KAL Carbeth

Carbeth BLOG COMBO

Photos: Kate Davies

Carbeth KAL

I love the simple lines of this casual, oversized sweater (Carbeth), and after a few people told me chatted me up about it I thought I should definitely share.  Mason Dixon Knitting is hosting a “Bang Out A Carbeth” KAL (knit-along), and should you want to join, I’ve got a few post-holidays affordable yarn suggestions …

Cascade Eco

  • 2 skeins (holding 1 strand) … all sizes come to about $60
  • This 100% Peruvian wool is great for an oversized sweater, and you can’t beat the price!

Berroco Vintage Chunky

  • 4(5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7) skeins (holding 1 strand) … $40 to $70
  • Soft, comfortable and machine washable, Berroco Vintage Chunky is a great choice for people with sensitive skin who can’t wear wool, or anyone who may not be inclined to wash by hand. Plus, it comes in a full palette of gorgeous colours!

Berroco Remix Light

  • 3(3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4) skeins (holding 2 strands together) … $46 to $62
  • Wool-free, soft, pretty, comfortable, machine washable and environmentally friendly, Berroco Remix Light is a great option for a sweater that will carry you from winter through to spring (I don’t know about the climate where you live, but where I am it doesn’t really get particularly warm until mid-May).
  • The Carbeth pattern was originally written for two strands of yarn held together, so doing this with the remix shouldn’t be a problem, and the yarn’s tweedy texture will blend well. Plus, using two strands gives you the opportunity to use two different colours at the same time to create a marled effect … I think i may do this with mine.

Size

Finished measurement at bust: 92.5 (101.5, 110.5, 122, 133.5, 142, 151) cm / 36½ (40, 43½, 48, 52½, 56, 59½) in.

KNIT HACK & FREEBIE & Store Hours

Cozy Weekend

Since we’re looking towards the Labour Day Long Weekend (how did THAT happen so fast?!) I thought it might be a good theme. This sweater is super cosy and a VERY quick knit on 10mm/US15 needles with affordably priced Cascade Lana Grande.

KNIT HACK: A Note on Ease & Thick Yarns

When choosing a size in a sweater made with a very thick yarn you should always account for a good amount of positive ease (the space between you and the sweater) for it to fit properly. This extra space sounds like it will make the garment too large, but it is actually eaten up by the thickness of the fabric itself. 4″ to 6″ of positive ease is not uncommon. Another thing to consider is that garments made with thicker yarn require space for you to move comfortably in. Looking at the finished measurements of this sweater, a 41″ bust circumference for a size small is not unheard of, especially since the style is a little oversized and casual.

Materials

  • Cascade Lana Grande: 7(8, 9, 10, 10, 11) skeins
  • 10mm/US15-29″ circular needles
  • 9mm/US13-29″ circular needles
  • 9mm/US13 double pointed needles
  • FREE Pattern

Sizes

  • S (M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL)
  • Circumference at bust: 102(112, 120, 128, 138, 152) cm or 41(45, 48, 51, 55, 61) inches

Labour Day Long Weekend Hours

We will be closed from Sept 2 to Sept 4 for the Labour Day holiday.

  • Saturday Sept 2 Closed
  • Sunday Sept 3 Closed
  • Monday Sept 4 Closed
  • Tuesday Sept 5 11am – 6pm

Return to Fall/Winter Hours

Starting September 18 We will return to our regular Fall-Winter store hours (open Sundays) and our SnB groups will return to their regular dates (Tuesday 12-4, Wednesday 5-8, Sunday 1-5).

Haley Takes a Holiday

I’m taking a week off before the fall rush hits, and Liane will be minding the store from Monday Aug 28 to Friday Sept 1, so please drop by and keep her company! We won’t be shipping anything from August 27th to September 4th, but you can still pick up your online orders in store. I’ll try and post during my R&R, but if I don’t please don’t feel abandoned, it only means I’m very busy relaxing.