Tuesday 27 September 2016

Rowan Selects Cashmere Review

Back in August I wrote about the management changes that have gone on at Rowan and the yarns that the company has discontinued.

Image courtesy of Rowan
Amidst all the changes Rowan decided to launch some one-off speciality yarns under the 'Rowan Selects' brand, one of which is Rowan Cashmere. The company sent me a ball and two pattern books, one for children and one for adults, to review.

The yarn feels simply exquisite: soft, bouncy and very easy to knit with. Anyone who doesn't like wearing wool next to the skin because they find it itchy will love this blend of 95% cashmere and 5% wool - it's perfect even for a baby's sensitive skin. The colour palette is rather limited, having only six shades of grey, black, pale blue and a light pink, but for a one-off release that's understandable.

The two pattern books to support the yarn, both by Martin Storey, each contain five designs. The women's patterns include a cardigan, hat, mittens, beret and scarf; and the children's book offers a pair of bootees, two jumpers, a hat and a cardigan.

I received one ball of the pale pink yarn, which was enough to knit the Snowbaby Hat. This was a quick and satisfying project that took me only one evening to complete. It was a joy to knit with the yarn - it didn't split and it feels wonderful beneath the fingers. The only downside is the RRP, which is £9.95, plus also looking online I've found that only some of the websites that usually sell Rowan products are stocking the cashmere line.

Here's my finished hat! I knitted it on slightly larger needles, because the intended recipient, my cousin's daughter Ivy, is nearly one and I wanted to make sure it was big enough for her to be able to wear it all through the winter. There wasn't enough yarn left over to make the pom pom that's included in the pattern, but I personally think it looks better as a beanie.

The lighting isn't great on this photography unfortunately and it doesn't show the colour at its best.

Rowan Selects Cashmere is made in Italy and doesn't pass the British test on that front, but Rowan is a well-known English business (albeit now owned by a German parent company). One or two balls make for a great treat, but the ten balls needed to knit the smallest size woman's cardigan are too pricey for most knitters' pockets.

Cornish Tin II Update

Thanks to my fab godmother, who picked me up two skeins at Yarndale following them selling out online, I now have the three skeins of Cornish Tin II 4ply yarn in turquoise I need to knit the Hut 8 cardigan with. I originally started knitting it in a silky, raspberry 4ply yarn from Eden Cottage Yarns but found this wasn't robust enough for the pattern. Instead I'll use it for a summer t-shirt, perhaps Amelie. Another project to add to my ever-growing list!

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