"Beach Dress" is definitely a pattern for the avid Rowan and Kaffe Fassett collector/historian. The design was published in Rowan book 5 in the summer of 1988. The dress features Kaffe's hallmark 'baroda stripe' pattern on the top, separated by a border of scallops with crosses, then a skirt inspired by his days of working with the Missoni's in Italy. Still classic and stunning decades later. The photograph didn't scan particularly well, so we've included a copy of the shade card so you can see the richness and subtlety of the original Rowan wool/cotton shades. Combining pastel blues, greens, pinks, coral, oyster, sage, yellow and natural with dove grey accents, the design is a masterpiece of Kaffe's use of similar tones. The dress features simple shaping and a scoop neck collar. It is rated for intermediate knitters and is suitable for anyone comfortable with both the intarsia and faire isle techniques. The pattern comes in one size to fit up to a 36 inch bust. Given the geometric nature of the design it would be very straightforward to size up or down. In fact we would be happy to assist the knitter who wants to convert this into a jumper. Knit as a sweater, we think the colors would be equally suited to a man as to a woman. Beach Dress is knit from the original Rowan Wool/Cotton, a blend of 50% botany wool and 50% pima cotton. Wool/Cotton was a bit finer and softer than the Wool and Cotton in the current Rowan line. It came in 40 or 50 gram balls and was somewhere between a 4-ply and sport weight. It has long been discontinued and assembling the full range of colors specified can take years. The pattern calls for a tension of 30 stitches and 30 rows to 4 inches (10 cm) on US 3 (3.25 mm) needles.
Technique: Intarsia and Fair Isle
Rarity: Although Wool and Cotton is still produced by rowan, this design uses the original Wool/Cotton which has been out of production for decades, making it a collector's challenge to assemble the kit with the original shades Kaffe specified.
In total the kit contains a copy of the pattern and the following shades and quantities of original Rowan Wool and Cotton (40 gram balls):
2 Briar (915)
1 Kashmir (910)
2 Water Lily (917)
1 Natural (908)
3 Dove (911)
2 Coral (916)
1 Primula (919)
1 Sage (912)
2 Alabaster (909)
2 Hawthorn (914)
2 Sea Nymph (918)
1 Musk (913)
Where multiple balls are required, we have generally but not always selected matching lots. Given the nature of this design, separate lots will not make a difference to the finished garment. We have additional yarn available for the knitter who would like to create the design in a larger size.
As with all of our RareRowan kits, this pack has been carefully stored in a non-smoking home, and these vintage yarns and fabric will arrive to you in pristine condition. We stock our kits in two locations and ship daily from Austin, but only on weekends from Katy. If you need a fast turnaround on shipping, please inquire before purchase so we can make a firm committment on a ship date.
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