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February 09, 2006

Not Just For Grandmas Anymore

I've been feeling rather unexcited about Rowan 39. The crazy hair, the make up, the (what do you call that?) headdress. In fact, today's post started out with a "not so impressed" theme.

But as I looked through the pics again I realized -- there's a lot of possibility in there. Sure, I'm not going to wear 18 layers of clothing with my knitted garments, but there's a lot of things I would really wear -- just in a different context.

Rowan39_crinkle Crinkle by Martin Storey
Rowan Cotton Glace

I'm a sucker for a good stitch pattern, and this all-over one seems to have struck a balance between girly and revealing (no huge gaping YOs). I wouldn't include the gathers (not right for my body type) and I'd lengthen it. But I rarely look at a pattern and say "I'd knit that exactly the way it's been made".

jinny Jinny by Amanda Crawford
Rowan Cotton Glace

The cover design! And once you get past the headgear and the bad 80s belts, it's really quite a lovely design. This could just have easily been made in a softer color and photographed in a setting similar to last year's Butterfly.

The flirty ruffle gives it just enough romance, the 3/4-length sleeves make it perfect for in-the-office, and the button up cardi makes it nice layering option for slipping on over top of a tank in a chilly restaurant.

I wouldn't use the beads (I *think* I see beads) but that's because I'm just not a bead girl.

Rowan39_gwen Gwen by Leah Sutton
Handknit Cotton

Leah always surprises me with something different. I love the little braids (i-cords?) across the midriff. I can't tell if they're functional or purely decorative, but they spice up a pretty basic top. She's also added in some puckering at the sleeves to give them a slouchy, casual look. I'll bet this would work up nicely in a denim yarn as well.

RYC Beach

I read Ann's latest post and saw that RYC (btw, *love* their site! much better than rowan's> released a few new books. I'm particularly fond of Beach. Beach makes liberal use of a new RYC yarn -- Natural Silk Aran -- a blend of 73% viscose, 15% silk and 12% linen. I haven't seen it yet in person but the pics remind me of Tahki Willow. Nice!

There are two designs I'm really fond of from Beach.

Scallop by Martin Storey
RYC Natural Silk Aran

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this top! It's the kind of thing I could see being washed and worn week after week. The shaping and yarn give it a laid back feel, and the edgings -- which look like they're crocheted -- give it just enough wimsy and girly frill to make it not feel like a frumpy sweatshirt.


Maggie by Martin Storey
RCY Natural Silk Aran

This little top would work nicely paired with jeans and a cotton tank underneath. It'd also be just as lovely with an a-line dress for something a little bit dressier.

I would make the top with a square neckline, as I think that shape suits my body better. I'd also increase the length of the garter/rev st st yoke so it didn't cut across my bust.


February 9, 2006 in project ideas | Permalink


"Scallop" reminds me of of a Gedifria pattern I recently saw somewhere - can't remember though. I'm not sure why they make it so hard to "see" the knitwear in Rowan. Kind of annoying!

Posted by: Stacey | Feb 9, 2006 10:48:35 AM

Did you see this post?


So funny.

Posted by: Scout | Feb 9, 2006 10:57:22 AM

Thank the heavens for RYC. I agree that the cover pattern from 39 looks nice. I don't understand what they were thinking with the REST of the clothes in each shot.

Posted by: Lauren | Feb 9, 2006 11:17:59 AM

I love Scallop! I'm a sucker for bell sleeves. I might ditch the openwork pattern at the hip and do a simple hem.

Posted by: colleen | Feb 9, 2006 11:22:38 AM

Yeah, the Rowan pictures are just crazy - it's not good when it takes you a while to figure out what exactly IS the knitted item in the picture!

Posted by: Chris | Feb 9, 2006 11:35:36 AM

I'm old enough to be a g-ma and I LOVE the new Rowan. I can't wait to get one and pick something fun to knit.

Posted by: margene | Feb 9, 2006 12:34:53 PM

I got a little sneak preview of the RYC Natural Silk Aran yesterday. Oh it is nice! The only downfall is that it doesn't have great yardage, and they are $9 a skein... often needing close to 20 skeins! Despite that, it is SO nice! I hope a store near you chooses to carry it, otherwise you'll have to take a trip to Boston!

I'm surprised that you are the first one I've seen to review the new Rowan mag. I'm never impressed by Rowan Mags, but always love the little books. The only think I'd consiter making is the pretty toupe colored one out of Calmer (on p 22 I think). I like the beaded one too, and I would do it with beads!

Posted by: Johanna | Feb 9, 2006 1:54:32 PM

I'm a big fan of RYC also, having used their Cashsoft DK and I have a classic cafe' booklet. I like all those designs you depicted in your post, save Jinny, because I have big hips and hips+ruffles=bad news. But, I LOVE Maggie, although I'm worried the hands on her hips are hiding something.

Posted by: Christina | Feb 9, 2006 2:08:26 PM

I really like Jinny and have it on my must-knit summer list. I also like the Victoria wrap and have ordered yarn to knit it for my niece who is getting married in April. All in all, I like this Rowan Magazine much better than this year's Fall/Winter magazine. I didn't find one thing in that magazine I wanted to make.

Posted by: Kristy | Feb 9, 2006 2:21:37 PM

I like that one with the cabled shawl collar. Sorry, but knitted chains to accessorize my bikini just don't work with my lifestyle. :)

I've seen the Natural Silk Aran in person - it's really nice, very pretty soft colors and nice pattern support.

Posted by: Mary Beth | Feb 9, 2006 7:09:25 PM

I haven't gotten my copy yet but honestly most of the mags are more starting points and idea generators rather than knitting the patterns as written. I love the few you highlighted tho :)

Posted by: Debi | Feb 9, 2006 11:40:21 PM

I've got to take a closer look at Gwen. I might just used my already-shrunk (i.e. washed and ripped) denim which should work out to be the same gauge as Handknit Cotton.

Posted by: Siow Chin | Feb 10, 2006 1:43:16 AM

I got to look at that Rowan issue when I stopped by Yarns International. I just couldn't get beyond much with these funky headgear and layers of clothing - I think these distracted more than focused on the knitwear.

Posted by: Lola Lee Beno | Feb 12, 2006 8:37:38 AM

Thanks for the review. I quite like that Jinny sweater, and happen to have a boatload of Cotton Glace on hand....

Posted by: claudia | Feb 12, 2006 3:26:58 PM

I really love 'Beach' as well, can't wait to get my hands on it!

Posted by: Marisa | Feb 13, 2006 12:43:08 PM

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