I do not know why, but there are at least a few magazines that come out of Great Britain that include a small gift with each issue. Mollie Makes, which I subscribed to over the last year is one of them. I wrote about one of their gifts last April, in a post named "Not Knitting Needles". Other gifts were small very sharp scissors, a wooden handled crochet hook, buttons, ribbon trim and a couple more little kits for items like a cloth luggage tag.
Rowan sends their subscribers one gift each year. My first gift was a kit to make a scarf. It came with a very generous six skeins of Rowan Pure Wool 4-ply (which I had knit with before and liked quite a lot) in a great color called Eau de Nil. There were patterns included for two scarf possibilities: "Unisex Scarf", a thick heavy cabled piece worked with the yarn held double, and "Lace Scarf" a huge and pretty infinity cowl. Both designs are by Sarah Hatton. This is what is left of my kit now.
I did not make a scarf. I like my scarves smaller and lighter. I knew immediately that I would like to make a short sleeve sweater... a henley design by Véronik Avery seemed a good choice. I checked the yardage and put it away for another day.
My other two gifts from Rowan (good timing, on my part, to get three gifts in two years) were an eco-friendly bag, and then the hard-cover binding on Rowan Number 50.
The eco-friendly bag is partly visible on the right. It looks like burlap with a picture of birds in a tree on it. On the back it says, "Relax Handknit Create..." The tag said it was ethically produced in India and is made of jute. It is a nice sized bag for a knitting project, but has short handles so I mostly have used it at home. It has a thin plastic lining which makes me wonder, but I don't ask... It was a gift. I guess that plastic is a good thing for keeping knitting needles from poking through.
The hard-bound Rowan #50 was at least two gifts in one. It is opened to some photos of "Betty" by Marie Wallin. This was my favorite design in the issue. How is it possible that for my size, the main yarn requirement was six skeins of Rowan Pure Wool 4-ply in Eau de Nil, which thanks to Rowan, was waiting in my stash?
I happily went on an internet hunt for the other colors required (making only one substitution). At rather a fine gauge, it has taken a while to finish. I blocked it today and you will see it soon.
It was inevitable that I made Betty. It was my destiny. Thanks Rowan.