Rowan is introducing three new DK weight yarns this season. I previewed Alpaca Merino DK last week and today's previews are for Pure Wool Superwash DK and Super Fine Merino DK.
Pure Wool DK is similar to their Pure Wool Worsted in every way except weight. PWDK will knit up to a standard DK gauge of 22 sts. per 4 inches. It has the same even stitches and is of course machine washable. I consider this a family type yarn suitable for garments that will get a lot of wash and wear. I am finishing up a baby sweater knit with this and the stitches are very even and the yarn is very well behaved. I'll show you next week. This is a sturdy, hard-wearing yarn.
Rowan has come out with three weights of Super Fine Merino: 4 ply or also known as fingering weight (28 sts. per 4 inches), a DK weight, and an Aran weight (19 sts. per 4 inches). We often see merino on a wool label and knitters know that to mean a high quality yarn. Merino wool's elasticity and softness make it popular for knitters. But of the worldwide production of merino, only 5% can call themselves superfine. Superfine is next-to-the-skin soft and even the most wool sensitive will want to give this one a try. The fingering weight is great for baby sweaters and when Martin Storey was in town he showed me his newest book of baby designs featuring this yarn. I can't wait to get my hands on it.
Both of these yarns will remain crisp when knit in cables or colorwork. Both are machine washable, but always use care when machine washing your precious hand knits. I never fail to use a mesh sweater bag with cool water and a gentle cycle. The ball bands on both yarns say to dry flat. I'll be honest and admit I often sneak a superwash into a low temp. dryer. My method is to dry it flat until it's half dry. Next, it goes in the dryer on low for 15ish minutes to fluff it up but I'll take it out before it's bone dry. Then I pat it flat to dry the last bit. I generally think the ball bands tend to be more cautious than is necessary. Even when clothing labels say to dry clean, I often just don't see any reason why I can't hand wash, so I will and have success. I think you just have to be practical.
The 12 designs below are from Martin Storey's supporting book called Easy DK Knits. The look is casual and the knitting is easy. Let's begin!
I saw Barbican below at TNNA. The entire sweater is just reverse stockinette with stockinette and garter stitch stripes. It was stunning and the color, Marl, is soft and heathery.
Brixton above has large sideways cables sandwiched between ribbing.
Dulwich below, with deep dolman sleeves, is in my queue.
At first glance I looked past Greenwich, above. But then I thought, what a comfy slouchy weekend pullover! The texture is easily made with a simple rib-like stitch. It would be heaven in the Super Fine.
Hampstead below has rolled stockinette hems and neckline. It would showcase the even stitches that hallmark a bouncy merino like Super Fine Merino DK.
Holborn above is my favorite. I have perfect yarn in my stash: one strand of KSH Stripe and one strand of Fine Art Lace held together. It's going to be pretty.
I really do love cables, but sometimes wonder if I really look all that great in the bulk. Here is a nice way to add cables without adding bulk. It would be easy to lengthen Hampstead, below.
I have some Kidsilk Haze Eclipse in a dark charcoal in my stash that is a perfect sub. KSH held double makes a perfect DK gauge, plus it's heaven to knit and makes a gorgeous fabric. Sometimes I just need something small to wear over my shoulders and I'll be happy to have this in my wardrobe.
A few of the new books have a yarn conversion chart at the end of the book! So handy when substituting!