close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Friday, April 12, 2013


Rowan Denim is one of my favorite yarns.  Any misgivings I have about knitting with pure cotton go straight out the window in the face of this beautiful stuff.

As a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal, I am drawn to the whole rustic-turns-to-butter characteristic of denim, and this yarn washes and dries like your favorite pair of jeans.  As it wears over the years, the dye slowly fades to reveal the white core of each individual ply of the yarn.  Any textural bumps will fade a little faster, revealing a beautiful, worn, and loved effect.

I've used Denim for a few projects that are in heavy rotation.  I made a large sweater for my brother several years back.  After receiving it, he admitted that he doesn't wear sweaters.  Lucky me, he sent it back to Oregon to be loved.  It is way too big, but I wear it anyway.
I created my own pattern for this using Ann Budd's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns.

I also made a little gansey for my older daughter when she was tiny, and the younger daughter gets to wear it now.  The pattern is Scamp from Rowan Pipsqueaks, and it will be around for generations.
The purl bumps really pop and add so much satisfying texture to the design, and I have often considered making a grown-up size of this sweater for me.
But there are so many great designs in Rowan's classic Denim People.
Here are a few of my favorites.  These pieces are: Ticking, Bret, Lush, and Paris.

Some brave souls even BLEACH their Denim pieces.  Check out Slouch.

You'll want to machine wash and dry anything you make out of Denim, so it's important to be prepared for the 10-15% shrinkage in length that will happen.  The designs written for Denim take this into account, but you'll need to add length if you are knitting a pattern that was not written for Denim.

We had a knitter stop by this week who was considering making Jared Flood's Guernsey Wrap with Denim.  Brilliant!  Now I want to make that, too.

P.S.  Bolt is having a big ol' sale this weekend!  Come to your favorite spots in Portland for some spring crafty fun!

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