Saturday, February 11, 2012

Preview: Rowan 51

It's that time again:  a brand spankin' new Rowan Magazine is out. Are you ready for a preview?



The cover photo on the magazine (Marseille, a crocheted cardigan designed by Marie Wallin) screams "vintage" to me, and there is indeed a strong vintage feel to the Spring/Summer magazine. You'll find a total of 47 designs in this Magazine, divided into three themes or "stories," as well as three articles (two designer interviews, and a piece about an art college graduate working with a women's shelter in India).

Scout (Julia Frank)

The first story is called "Artisan," and is inspired by "ancient tribal and traditional textiles of Africa and the Middle East."  These pieces are designed to be casual, worn in layers and have a relaxed feel, like Crusader, a sort of draped poncho-style sweater by Marie Wallin.

Crusader (Marie Wallin)

Kaffe Fassett's muted Settler gives the boyfriend sweater some staggered rib and delicate stripes while retaining a comfortable but not sloppy silhouette:

Settler (Kaffe Fassett)

One thing I love about Rowan designers is the way they mix yarns from different Rowan lines together in the same garment, and there are several interesting choices that do this in the first story; Tamarind, by Lisa Richardson, creates vertical stripes in different yarns,

Tamarind (Lisa Richardson)

while Lead uses one yarn as a striped embellishment on the bodice.

Lead (Marie Wallin)

Another great characteristic of Rowan designers is their use of stranded knitting in less conventional ways, and Marie Wallin does this by cleverly using a band of colorwork to break up a striped pattern;

Posse (Marie Wallin)

then interprets the tribal motif in a more delicate way in this summer top:

Tribe (M. Wallin)


But best of all are the designs which are elegant, classic, and wearable, like the lovely Sarah Hatton's Quest

Quest (Sarah Hatton)

and friend of GKIYH Martin Storey's Discover, two of my favorites in this Magazine.

Discover (Martin Storey)


The second story is titled "Riviera," evoking the glamour of 1950s-60s resorts. The colors are brighter and the styling harkens back to the days of pedal-pushers, waved bobs and big sunhats.  The Mary Tyler Moore in you will enjoy polo-styled Monte Carlo;

Monte Carlo (Sarah Dallas)

while your inner Grace Kelly will look smashing in this lace tunic-tank,

Cannes (M. Wallin)


or playful striped cardigan;

St. Tropez (Erika Knight)


and when you want to relax on the veranda, you can reach for scalloped Vence,

Vence (L. Richardson)

the part-sheer and part-matte Nice,

Nice (M. Wallin)

or the drapey Toulon.

Toulon (L. Richardson)

Just as he managed to sneak his way into my hotel room at VK Live in January, hipster-bon-vivant-designer Josh Bennett managed to sidle into Rowan Magazine 51.  I am  not sure if it's possible for a man to be a minx, but if it is possible then Josh Bennett surely is a minx for getting a whopping six (6!) of his designs into the Magazine, along with a special interview.  With this bohunky Elvis-meets-Billy-Ray-Cyrus model, we've got lots of colorwork

Hell's Kitchen (Josh Bennett)

and texture, with all the patterns named after NYC neighborhoods.  Indeed, I could not help but opine that Mr. Go-Knit-In-Your-Hat would look hot in this good-looking sweater in Creative Linen:

East Village (J. Bennett)

Last is thestorywhere Rowan presents alternate versions of the new designs. The designs are simplified or reworked in different colors and styles.  For example, if you found the full-on intarsia bow version of Amber a little much for your personal style,

Amber (M. Storey)

check out how different it looks in a more muted colorway, sans bow:

Amber v. 2 (M. Storey)


Not sure about the draped poncho-top? How about in a very neutral cream, with loose-fitting floral pants and top?

Summer (M. Wallin)

Like the lines of the two-color Lead sweater, above? How about a version done in a single yarn, with the texture as the only contrast?

Mia (M. Wallin)

I know that a lot of knitters have trouble envisioning patterns in different colors or with slight modifications from that shown in the sample, so I think this feature is a terrific way for knitters to gain some confidence when it comes to making patterns their own rather than copying them exactly as shown in the photo.

Crocheters: there are only a few crocheted garments in this issue; I saw two (including the cover design and this lovely tunic)

Mission (M. Wallin)

plus a knitted garment with crocheted embellishment.

For the Philadelphians in the crowd, note that Loop now carries many of the fine Rowan yarns used in these patterns, as well as Rowan Magazine 51. . .

Shop Update

Please note that I have restocked the luscious new base yarn Devon, a DK blend of 70% merino, 20% baby alpaca and 10% silk -- just $40 for a whopping 600+ yds. hank.....

First Light (Devon base)

Orange Marmalade (Devon base)

and I've dyed 2 matching skeins in each colorway:

Rosedamson (Devon base)

Aegian (Devon base)

There are also some freshly-dyed skeins of fingering-weight CashSock (also dyed in twos in case you'd like to tackle a shawl):

Old Dog (Cashsoft)

Flannel Plaid (Cashsoft)

Pretty in Pink (Cashsoft)
So pop on over to the Black Bunny Fibers website if you are tempted....free shipping on orders of $25 or more in merchandise with the code "FACEBOOK".....

1 comment:

AllisonInPhilly said...

LUV the Old Dog and Flannel colorways, lady! Can't wait to see you on Ssaturday!