annie's spring sweater (and a giveaway)

April 15, 2016

I knit my granddaughter a new sweater.  Confession:  I meant this to be for me, but as I was knitting it and finding the yarn was so soft, and since my granddaughter loves soft (who doesn't?) and she loves my hand-knits (love her for that!) I knew this must be gifted to her.  She tried it on Easter Sunday and loved it. This color is beautiful on her it made her green eyes go even more green!  Plus she looks much cuter in it than I do.

The pattern is Tochigi by Lisa Richardson from the spring/summer Rowan 59.  The original is so beautiful in stripes and Purelife Revive, however I had this new Rowan Softyak DK that I was desperately wanting to try, and since I got gauge and knew the drape would work, I made a switch.  Softyak DK, with 76% cotton, 15% yak and 9% nylon is a new spring/summer introduction.  This is an absolutely gorgeous yarn that checks all the boxes:  machine washable, very easy to knit with a fine handle, great yardage and is very well priced plus it makes a fabric with an even tension that is extremely soft and can be worn next to the skin even by the most finicky people.   I am a big fan.   The yarn has a chain construction making it very lightweight and airy.  It will take you no time at all to get into your knitting mojo--this is touch knitting at it's finest with no snags.  While I didn't find this yarn needle fussy at all, if you do have any problems with a yarn...any yarn, first thing to do is change your needles.  Some needles are fast, some slow, some in-between. Factoring in your particular knitting style + pattern + the yarn will determine which needle to use.  While I would imagine this would be lovely and crisp in lace or cables, stockinette is plenty lovely enough.  The sweater above is unblocked, it did not need it, the stitches came off the needles lined up like little soldiers.   Once I seamed it, I did turn it inside out and gave it a little touch with the steam iron.  A sweater always looks so much nicer with that little bit of attention.

Since yak fiber is relatively new to me, I decided to do a little research.  Yak fiber is mainly sourced from the Himalayan Mountains where it is combed or gathered in spring, not sheared.  It is comprised of stiff guard hairs used mainly for tents, ropes and belts, and the soft down, used for clothing.  Yak yarn is warmer than wool and as soft as cashmere.  It's breathable, odorless, durable and non-allergenic.  Western clothing made from yak fiber has been a boon to the Himalayan region.  Yaks were traditionally kept for milk and meat, but now the yak herders can sell the down to garment and yarn manufacturers benefiting their financial situation greatly.  This was all good news to me.  Now I'm intrigued and would love to try a 100% yak yarn.  Any recommendations?

And how about this wisteria?  What a magnificent year our lovely wisteria is having!  I made a post on it last week after spending a week trying to get the best pictures with my iPhone.  My son was here on Easter Sunday and with his new Christmas present drone, got this great overhead shot of the wisteria trellis.  For my mother's day gift I'm asking him to take pictures of my vegetable garden, and if they come out ok, I'll share them here.

Annie is 15 now.  She has grown into a competent and lovely young lady who is doing some very awesome things.  I'm going to interview her this summer and share that interview on my blog.  You'll be impressed with what she is up to.

Sniff, sniff, I was sad to see this go but I was thrilled that my granddaughter loved it so much.

You can find Rowan Softyak at your local Rowan stockist.
My LYS, Uncommon Threads, carries it in the shop and online here.

Softyak DK
50 grams=135 m, 125 yd
76% cotton, 15% yak, 9% nylon
Made in Italy

Tochigi by Lisa Richardson is from Rowan Spring/ Summer 2016 Magazine 59.
The entire magazine has many designs to love.

My Rav project page has all the details.

Now for the giveaway.  I have one skein leftover and perhaps you'd like to try it?  To enter, click here to make a comment and leave either you Rav ID or your email.  For a second entry, go to my Knitionary Facebook page and leave another comment under the post with Annie's picture. This giveaway is open to all my international readers too!  I'll keep the giveaway open until the middle of next week.  Good luck!

Until next time,
happy spring--happy knitting!

To make a comment, click here.


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  1. Not only does your beautiful granddaughter look lovely in her Tochigi but I am very happy to hear of someone else extolling the virtues of Rowan's Softyak yarn. I have just finished knitting Karma from the Softyak brochure for my sister's birthday pressie and I couldn't agree more with everything you say about it. I have one ball left over too and if I was lucky enough to win the ball I would use the two balls to knit a stripy summer hat. If I can find the time this year I would love to knit a jumper too for myself with it.

    PS: Loving the photos of your wisteria too.
    PPS: Rav ID Blackmorerose

  2. I would love to try it! Seems so unusual!

  3. A beautiful sweater on a beautiful young woman! I'm intrigued by the yak yarn and would love to try knitting with it!
    lindarumsey on Ravelry

  4. All great photos and a very cute granddaughter.
    I would like to try this yarn, thanks for the giveaway. Ohlalalaine on Ravelry

  5. Such a lovely girl in this cute Sweater, the yarn looks very tempting
    and I would like to give it a try.
    Have a nice week-end
    Sapho (on Ravelry)

  6. A beautiful sweater for your lovely granddaughter

  7. I like Shokay shambala. Is 100 percent yak and aran weight. I made a hat out it when I first learned to knit, zero itch omega my sensitive forehead and neck. It's pricey, but lovely and one day I will make a whole sweater out of it.
    Your granddaughter looks so pretty in the sweater.

  8. I enjoy your blog so much. Although it makes me miss my childhood home terribly. I grew up on the central coast and now live in Nebraska. The sweater (and model) are lovely. Would love to try the yarn! Rav amchart

  9. The Rowan Softyak Dk yarn that you will give away comes in such a pretty shade of pink. And looking at the picture of your beautiful grand-daughter in the well-knit sweater really makes me want to win that yarn. I am Jenchung on Ravelry.

  10. I love this color and it looks beautiful on your grand daughter. txlady129 on Ravelry.

  11. Love this sweater and it looks beautiful on Annie and the perfect background is your garden with the awesome wisteria. Both winners.


  12. That's really beautiful and what an amazing setting. Does Annie knit too? Carol x

  13. Pretty sweater, I'm sure your granddaughter loves it.
    sparky136 on Ravelry

  14. Beautiful sweater and a pleasure to find your blog. Haven't bought a Rowan magazine for ages but I will buy this one,so many patterns I would knit. I am nicmag45 on ravelry.

  15. Beautiful everything....yarn, sweater, wisteria...and especially granddaughter!! Thanks for keeping us all inspired.

  16. I love all of your items! Most of the things I knit go to my family too. I want to make a knitted sweatshirt for my 13 yo niece. It would have to be super soft next to her skin. I was just at my LYS, which for me is 40 miles away in Fort Worth! I like to treat myself to some yarn for my stash on the way to see the oncologist (good reports so far).This time I bought a skein of Jojoland 100% Cashmere and actually had a skein of yak yarn in my hand but put it back! Even if I don't win, I'll put it in my list for next time. RavID: eeaajj2207

  17. Love the wisteria and the pretty sweater! I'm julia123 on Ravelry.

  18. I think the simplicity of the sweater pattern and makes it flattering for any figure type. The yarn takes it up a notch!

  19. Beautiful sweater! Thanks for the giveaway!

    JKnits51 on Ravelry

  20. Your granddaughter is lovely, and I am very envious of all that beautiful wisteria! I'd love the chance to try a new-to-me yarn.

    greyowl (ravelry id)

  21. Beautiful color and sweater
    Rav id: knittingdancer

  22. Yak sweater what could be better
    Rav id - janwho

  23. Love the sweater, love it more on your beautiful granddaughter! I'd love to try that yarn, it sounds heavenly. And the color is perfect!
    rav id: laineyhf

  24. That is a beautiful sweater! (asimplehomestd on Rav)

  25. How lovely! And what a perfect spring sweater!

    tktl on Ravelry

  26. What a gorgeous sweater and your granddaughter looks lovely wearing it. Thank you for the info about yak yarn, it sounds wonderful.

  27. Hi there, always enjoy your blog. Lovely sweater, your granddaughter is a real cutie.

    Carol (ceejay on Ravelry)

  28. Gorgeous yarn, gorgeous sweater and gorgeous granddaughter!

  29. Lovely sweater! Such a great texture! Perfect for spring.

  30. What a great combination! A beautiful yarn in a great color for a very beautiful girl!
    asteride on Ravelry

  31. Thank you for the chance!

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

  32. Would love to try this soft yarn.

  33. Would love to try this soft yarn.

  34. OH, so cute. Would love to make this.

  35. Love to discover new yarns. Your sweater is perfect.

  36. Annie looks lovely in her sweater. :) I haven't tried 100% yak, but I did really like The Plucky Knitter's Traveler Aran, which has 15 or 20% yak. It comes in sport and DK weights, too.

  37. Hi there! Just sitting in my knit shop and read your post. How nice to see a sweater knit out of the magazine. It's gorgeous and have sold most of my copies. You did a lovely job of the sweater. Glad she likes it

  38. I stumbled onto your doll clothes patterns on Ravelry.
    I started knitting and sewing for my granddaughters' dolls. I like yours alike and would like to thank you for them. You inspire me.


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