I was excited when I saw the cover of Number 52: to me, the lovely model with the English rose complexion boded a wealth of classic British designs. Sure enough, the first story is titled "Hebridean," filmed on the grounds of a Scottish castle overlooking the firth, and featuring gorgeous stranded knits inspired by the north.
For starters, take a look at Marie Wallin's Harris, combining Celtic intarsia motifs with a striped background;
Julie Frank riffs on a plaid-like pattern in the Kirkwall Wrap:
and my bestie Martin Storey opts for intricate overall motifs in Tiree.
At the top of my list is the luscious Bute sweater, women's version, by Lisa Richardson, with a delightful muted palette mixing Colourspun and Felted Tweed. Wow.
I think I would skip the elbow pads, which are shown in some of the other photos, because it would kill me to sew something over that gorgeous stitchwork.
Bute is rivaled only by Kintyre, by Marie Wallin, in whichWool Cotton, Kidsilk Haze and Pure Wool DK create this beautiful meshing of multiple motifs, with simple lines,
and Orkney, also by Wallin, with traditional motifs in a brighter set of colours.
Okay, I also really love Uist, a cardigan with textured sleeves and colorwork body, by Jennie Atkinson,
and the Tobermory vest, by Marie Wallin. Hurrah for stranded knitting!
There are some other men's garments in this story, too, like Martin Storey's Mull, another riff on plaid, knit in Rowan Fine Tweed (left, below), and Brandon Mably's fabulous vest Skye (on the right):
The second story is called "North Sea," inspired by the Scottish coast and traditional fishermen's knits. That minx Josh Bennett is back, saucily mixing traditional stitch patterns in the wonderful Fastnet:
The gorgeous Sarah Hatton gives him a run for his money in the terrific guy sweater department with Plymouth, knit in Pure Wool Aran:
Men will also want to check out Martin Storey's cabled Fisher
and cardigan Viking;
Marie Wallin's Lundy, knit in the scrumptious Cocoon, comes in a men's and women's version (women's version is left, below) and Lisa Richardson uses the favorite Creative Focus Worsted in the clever colorshifting Fitzroy (right):
Ladies, do not be worried, there are plenty of cabled and textured goodies for you, too, like the cover sweater, by Ruth Green (right below), as well as Wallin's Shannon, knit in Kid Classic (which is a wonderful yarn that I think people sometimes overlook simply because it isn't brand-new):
Sarah Hatton's Utsire, also knit in Kid Classic (I might keep going on that one, in order to cover my belly button with a longer length, but I am way older than sweet Sarah);
and Amanda Crawford's Dover, which would knit up in a jiffy given its cut-out front neckline.
By the way, the gorgeous background for this photo shoot was Fife, Scotland.
Last, the Essentials feature is back, showing "key shapes and textures on trend," helping people figure out which designs and styles are the must-have looks for the fall season. This is a fun feature, as the sweaters are shown in a less styled manner, and several of them aim for a more trend-conscious look, rather than a classic style. You'll find a chunky fisherman's rib tunic:
|Ruby, designed by Marie Wallin|
a highly-textured turtleneck pullover (left, below); a long mesh sweater with central cable panel (in purple on the right);
|Ebbe, by Marie Wallin (L); Fala by Martin Storey (R)|
a charming bobbular cardigan;
|Beatrix, by Sarah Hatton|
an Eileen-Fisheresque "weave texture sweater," and a tank or vest with an interesting colorwork/textured stitch pattern, among others.
|Addison, by Amanda Crawford (L); Igy, by Lisa Richardson (R)|
As usual, the articles are interesting, particularly the one on Kaffe Fassett's jubilee celebration, which also contains a special Jubilee Throw and sweater, designed by him:
Which brings me to an important reminder: you'll want to pay attention to the downloads that are available on the Rowan website (you'll need to register). The two Kaffe Fassett patterns, above, are only offered via online PDF download, but several other lovely garments are also offered exclusively on the Knit Rowan website, like this crossover cardigan by Sarah Dallas.
Back to the Magazine: you'll also find an interview with artist Shauna Richardson, and her cultural Lionheart project in crochet; an article on "heritage knitting," i.e., fair isle, aran and gansey knits; an interview with new Rowan designer Ruth Green; a feature on wool, part of a new series highlighting facts about fibers used to make knitting yarns; a preview of the book Kaffe Quilts Again (coming this fall); and background information on the castle where some of the garments were photographed.
Rowan 52 officially went on sale July 15th and should be arriving at a yarn shop near you soon. (For my Philadelphia friends, Loop Yarn will have Rowan 52 along with other new fall goodies from Rowan in early August.)