I've been waiting for months to post this and so happy I can share it today.  About a year ago I heard a whisper of a hint that Rowan Yarns might be talking to Swarovski about a possible collaboration.  My heart almost skipped a beat when I imagined how fantastic it would be for hand knitters to knit fine jewels into fine yarn.  In spring I went to the needlearts trade show, bee-lined to the Rowan booth and glimpsed what was in our future!  I'm writing this post remotely and in September, and using my schedule option, so at this time of writing I don't have the links yet from Ravelry and Rowan.  However, today is the release day and all the patterns and shine products are up on the knitrowan site and Ravelry.  The  Rowan front page will have all the Shine info for you, and I'll bet Rav has been updated today too.  Fiberwild has done an awesome job gathering the Swarovski/Rowan Shine products in one spot.

 Here's what you need to look out for...

The pattern books

Swarovski Evening

There are several free patterns too.

The designers

Jennie Atkinson
Martin Storey
Lisa Richardson
Marie Wallin
Sarah Hatton
Lois Daykin 
Theresa Venning

Fiberwild has done an awesome job gathering the
Swarovski/Rowan Shine products in one spot.

 You can view the collection overview here.
Only the finest yarns will do!

View all the yarns here.

Swarovski Crystals Bead Sets

Fiberwild has done an awesome job gathering the
Swarovski/Rowan Shine products in one spot.

 You can view the collection overview here.

You'll see in all of the designs below, ways that you can embellish your favorite patterns with crystals.  The sky is the limit, and a little goes a long way.  Just a bit of sparkle around the neckline, or a tiny bit on a cuff could speak volumes.  My lys, Uncommon Threads is going to carry much of it.  I hope your local Rowan Stockist does too, but if not, this is worth a road trip to a store that does.  I'm sure you'll be able to find many online stores that will carry it too, and Fiberwild is leading the pack!

Betty has two versions, both using Rowan Finest and incorporating faux pearls and teardrop crystals.
Marie Wallin, Daytime.  The flowers are very similar to what Chanel has shown in her recent collections.

With Chanel and other designers loving embellished flowers, this is right on trend.
Crocheted Delicate Scarf from the Daytime Collection by Martin Storey
using Kid Classic with crystal beads and faux pearls.

Frilly Collar from Evening by Jennie Atkinson uses Fine Lace and black diamond crystals.

I saw this at the show and blurted out loud, "knitting this!"
Ribbed Cardigan from Daytime is by Jennie Atkinson
and uses Rowan Finest and small topaz crystal beads.

A classic fitted peplum jacket from Jennie Atkinson uses Rowan Finest and
small black crystal beads.  From the Evening collection.

 Above and below, an elegant evening sweater from Jennie Atkinson.
Rowan Finest and Kidsilk Haze are used in this gorgeous sweater,
along with over 1,000 tiny crystals.  Swoon.

Waterfall Cardigan by Jennie Atkinson from Evening uses Kid Classic
 and three different crystals: clear classic, black diamond, and topaz.

Jennie Atkinson uses lustrous Truesilk in her Diamond Vest from the Daytime Collection.

 Sarah Hatton designed this flattering pullover for Daytime using Rowan Finest
and two colors of faux pearls, cream and rose gold, plus small crystals.

Two pretty bags by Lisa Richardson using Kid Classic and pretty pearls and crystals.  Daytime.

And then there is a wedding dress!  I saw this in person, it's breathtaking!
Kidsilk Haze and crystals galore.  Fiberwild put together a wedding dress kit.

I love this beaded bag so much.
Gorgeous ruffled collar.

A poncho made of Kid Classic!  Swoon!

There are several brooches too.

There are several lovely Rowan yarns the pattern books are using to showcase the crystals, but the most obvious choice was Kidsilk Haze, a blend of kid mohair and silk. Shine above and below,  is created by plying three strands of Kidsilk Haze and one strand of fine cotton, and to top it all off, Swarovski crystal beads are added about every four inches. Add a touch of Swarovski crystal elegance to your next knitting or crocheting project!

You can purchase the crystals in different colors and sizes.  They come packaged in sets as above 
and come in a dozen colors, shapes and sizes.  Here's just a tiny peek of some of what they offer:


Weekend is a new book from my friend Jen Geigley that features simple, modern knits you can whip up in a weekend to wear all weekend. Jen is a busy mother of two littles, and lives in the cold mid-west, so her knits, using chunky and bulky weight yarns, are meant to fly fast off the needles and keep you warm.  This is a great gift book for a young, beginner knitter, and for anyone who wants to wear something stylish in a flash.  My favorite is the kimono!

The yarns used: 


a perfect sweatshirt and what I wear

A few years ago I took stock of my knitted sweaters and nailed down what I like to wear.  No, not really so much what I like to wear, but more, what I actually do wear.  Because I think I like to wear little lightweight cardigans with frills and lace, but my everyday life tells me something else.  Poking around my sweater closet I had to be honest with myself.  What gets the most attention?   What sweaters are worn most often?   I had to admit, simple and slouchy won, hands down.  No contest.  So while I will never ever never ever stop knitting the beautiful, delicate, fitted, negative ease, Kidsilk Haze and Mohair Haze sweaters that I love to knit and love to wear, the truth is, my everyday sweaters are something quite different--more like sweatshirts.  So knowing that, and knowing that Rowan came out with some super nice superwash yarns this year, I decided to make a few sweatshirts--sweatshirts that can take a lot of wear and can go in and out of the washer and dryer without a whimper. 

This is Clayton by Martin Storey from the Easy Aran Knits book.  I used the suggested yarn, Super Fine Merino Aran made with 100% superwash wool.  This was my first time using it and  I love it.  It was lively on the needles, and with just a little flick of needle action, the stitch snapped into place.  The yarn itself feels round in the hand, and like it was made of rubber coated with velvet.  It is so completely soft I think even those with the wool itchies will approve.  Super Fine comes in three weights, a fingering weight, a DK weight and this Aran weight.  I played with all three and really did love them all.  The yarn is multi-plied and round and was not needle fussy, but as I like to touch-knit stockinette, I found I did need to use bamboo needles to slow it down a bit.  If I lost a stitch while not looking, it was easily picked up on the next row.  This soft yarn is also machine washable.  Rowan claims this to be a great "core" yarn, and I would agree.  Super Fine is an easy to knit, elegant yarn that can take some hard wear.

While the ball band will tell you to dry flat, I will tell you what I did with great results: Step one:  turn inside-out.  Step two:  put in a sweater bag.  Three:  Wash on gentle cycle with cool water.  Four:  Still inside-out, remove from sweater bag and tumble dry on LOW until almost dry.  Five:  Turn rightside-out, lay flat and pat to shape to finish drying.  Rowan does not recommend the above, but I just wanted to share what I did with success.  So there you go.  I do want to say, that even though a sweater may be machine washable, it is still a hand-knit, and I respect that.  I make sure that I don't wash it very often.  I find I can get some distance between washes if I hand wash the cuffs only or dab out a spot.  I don't throw it into the wash basket willy-nilly.

I took the last two pictures so you could see the fabric close up. One was taken before the wash and one was taken after, but I don't know which is which.  I just did it to compare the fabric and there was no change.  It did not shrink.

See you soon with many more finished knits!