Since I know there are a lot of Rowan-heads out there (Rowanaphiles? Rowaniacs? Rowannabes?), here's the scoop on what you can expect for fall from Rowan. In fact, rumor has it that some of this stuff is already arriving at Rosie's.
Rowan Magazine No. 40
features designs from Kaffe Fassett, Martin Storey, Marie Wallin, Sarah Dallas, Amanda Crawford, Carol Meldrum, Leah Sutton, Jennie Atkinson, and Lois Daykin. In other words, the usual gang of suspects. As I mentioned before, No. 40 includes revised sizing for its designs: I've read that something like half of the women's designs will go up to a size 22, and the rest up to size 18. An XXL size has been added to the men's designs.
Rowan Magazine always features themes, which they call "Stories." This year, you'll see "Fade to Grey," which focuses on designs in black and gray. "Kindred Spirit" is an autumnal theme, with an English country feel. "Legend" is a more glam theme, with brighter, richer colors and more drama. For some better pictures of specific designs, and Lisa Myers' impresssions, you might want to visit RosieBlogs' archives (just click on this link).
New yarns include Little Big Wool, a less bulky version of the popular Big Wool, and comes in ten colors, about evenly divided between pastel tones and brighter shades; Country, 100% wool in tweedy kind of color blends, 8 or so shades, 2.5 sts to the inch; Tapestry, a wool-soy blend, in eight space-dyed, self-striping shades (the sample garments at their fashion show looked lovely); and Romance, a chunky yarn with some metallic in it, in pastel shades.
A pattern booklet called Arabesque (above) is devoted to the new Little Big Wool (anyone else reminded of General Custer?) and as my discerning readers may have guessed, features a dance-ballet theme. A second booklet called Country Escape
is devoted to pattern suing, you guessed it, the new yarn Country.
Rowan's offshoot, RYC,
introduces some interesting new yarns, including Silk & Wool DK (half wool, half silk); Baby Alpaca DK (100% baby alpaca); and Alpaca Soft (a wool/alpaca blend, in a chunker weight). For those of you who like CashSoft Aran, but found the palette dreary, RYC is introducing some new colors to expand the range (and better compete with similar yarns, like Debbie Bliss's Cashmerino Aran). Martin Storey -- whose designs I quite like -- takes the helm with four RYC design books:
Classic Style (devoted to the Silk & Wool DK), featuring women's garments; Classic Spirit, featuring both home dec and women's items in some of the bulkier yarns; Classic Alpaca (you guessed it: featuring the new alpaca DK yarns, which includes menswear and women's designs, and traditional techniques like cabling and fair isle; and Classic Landscapes, women's and men's designs in the chunkier alpaca, including bulkier cables and outerwear.
Jaeger, Rowan's sister company, is introducing Pure Silk, a DK-weight which I am forced to assume is 100% silk. (The promotional materials on Jaeger were much less detailed.) Jaeger is releasing two pattern booklets, both by Lois Daykin;
JB41 (catchy title, innit?) appears to be women's sweaters and accessories in Jaeger's DK yarns, including the new Pure Silk. JB42 contains jackets, sweaters and accessories in the bulkier Jaeger yarns.
Just what you wanted to hear in the middle of a heat wave, right? All about wool.