Daily fibre – Rowan pure wool dk

I find myself working with Rowan pure wool dk time and time again and the other day I asked myself why.  What is it about this yarn that makes me work with it so often?  It is such a great all-rounder yarn.  My stitches always look even and my colourwork crisp when I work with this yarn. Stitch patterns and cables have good definition when worked in Rowan pure wool too!

Often when I was learning to knit I heard people saying how good quality yarn can make all the difference to the finished fabric.  Most newbie knitters reach for the cheaper acrylic yarns, feeling that their early knitting efforts are not worthy of the pure wool price tag.  I was no exception, my stockinette stitch was uneven and  my colourwork was disappointing.  So many times I told myself colourwork  just wasn’t for me.  But I adore knitting Fair Isle, holding one colour in each hand,  working my way through the chart…. bliss.  I clearly remember working with a pure wool yarn for the first time and thinking ‘why didn’t I do this sooner?’

But the most compelling reason I turn to this yarn,  the colour palette.  I can always rely on Rowan to keep their shade cards on trend.

Oh and if I have not sold you on the virtues of Rowan pure wool yet, being superwash it is ideal for garments, especially kids and those given as gifts!

On my desk at the moment…..

rowan purewool2

Shades; Black, Anthracite, Shale, Enamel, Hyacinth

 rowan purewool shade card



Available in 26 shades you are spoilt for choice



Rowan pure wool is also available in 4ply and aran weight.  Do you have a favourite yarn? I would love to hear why.

Bleedin' Yarn!

I have knit LOTS of socks,  I have knit LOTS of colourwork projects,  I have knit quite a number of projects combining  variegated yarn with a plain yarn. It makes for an interesting and complex look which is beautiful and simple.

So I approached this project with an air of confidence,  I didn’t anticipate too many surprises,  I know, I know…. fool.

I would love to be able to post lots of lovely pictures,  but as this project is a magazine commission I am unable to disclose too much about the finished item,  but you’ve guessed it is socks, right?

What happened?

I knit my way down the first sock,  sat back and admired it for a while before taking the ‘plunge’ and blocking it.  Thank goodness I didn’t wait and block both socks together!  I wanted to check that my colourwork lay nice and flat and that the floats were long enough and not pulling the delicate motifs out of shape.  I sprayed the sock liberally with water,  gently patted it to make sure the water penetrated all the fibres and slipped it over the sock blocker.  I use fibre trends sock blockers (just in case you were interested).  As I was eager to see it dry I committed what I think was my MISTAKE, I stood the sock on its toe to dry and left it overnight.

bleedin sock1

Next morning to my horror, sock massacre had occurred.  The beautiful commercially dyed red sock yarn had bled down into the white yarn.  I did what every deluded knitter would do,  walked away, made a cup of tea and hoped when I stepped back in the room it had all been a dream.  Sadly it wasn’t so.    After the emergency cuppa and a biscuit for, well, erm, because I can,  I set to and ripped out the toe.   I must confess,  I really quite enjoyed the challenge.

How to fix it

So if you ever find yourself in this particular bleedin situation,  or have a hole in the toe of a precious hand knit sock,  this is my method  for ripping back and reknitting the toe.

Firstly, I worked a lifeline around the first row of white stitches as a safety net.   I use a smooth cotton 4ply yarn in a contrasting colour.  I always keep a ball of Patons 4ply 100% cotton yarn in my knitting bag for lifelines and waste yarn purposes. Take the time to find the beginning of the round and pick up the right hand leg of each stitch all the way round the foot.

bleedin sock tutorial image

Next, slip the stitches onto DPN’s as set in the pattern.  You will now have one round of white stitches on the DPN’s,  here is where my cautious nature kicks in.  The brave amongst you will have placed your lifeline around the last red round.  I prefer to rip back or ‘tink’,  the final white round.  It gives me the opportunity to makes sure that all my stitches are mounted on the needles in the correct direction, that I have the right number of stitches on each needle and that the beginning of the round is in fact, at the beginning of the round.  Now you are ready to reknit the toe from your pattern.

Learn from my mistake,  always lay your precious colourwork flat to dry.

Check out option 3 on this great video tutorial by Knit Purl Hunter on lifelines

Feel like treating yourself? Check out Craftsy workshop, ‘Knit Sock Workshop’ with Donna Druchunas, not only does she teach you about lifelines in your knitting,  she also covers:

  • Each step of the sock-knitting process
  • Lace knitting techniques
  • The Kitchener stitch (grafting)
  • How to do a figure-8 cast-on
  • How to read a colorwork chart and lace charts
  • Proper measurements from knee to toe
  • Shaping techniques for heels, toes and calves

knit sock workshop craftsy