Autumn 2006 at Up Country
Rowan Magazine #40
Rowan #40 is full of promise, a positive pointer towards the future.
Two major shifts signal Rowan's tilt at 21st century handknitters: a new crop of brilliant young designers, and the policy shift towards realistic sizing for realistic women.
Yes, the stick -thin models are still there, but patterns across the board this season are sensibly sized from 8 to 22, so at least you can judge for yourself whether your bum 'looks big' in it.
There are 2 new yarns: Tapestry blends pure wool and natural soya fibre in eight rich, space-dyed shades, roughly a dk weight. Country is a soft, pure wool multi-colour superchunky for 9mm pins; a tweed for the 21st century
Two subsidary Rowan collections to tell you about: Arabesque features 17 designs from Martin Storey and new senior designer Marie Wallin. Photographed with a dance theme, the designs in Little Big Wool, Biggy Print and Big Wool Fusion focus on softness and ease of wear.
Country Escape again features Marie Wallin alongside Antoni & Alison in 15 new designs in Country, Rowan's new tweed yarn for autumn. The 8-shade palette includes rustic, earthy shades and a sprinkling of brights.
The Rowan Classic offshoot brand unveils four new Martin Storey collections in the Classic series: Classic Alpaca contains 17 garments and accessories in Baby Alpaca DK, new this season. Classic Landscapes showcases another new yarn, Alpaca Soft. Classic Spirit has 16 patterns in Cashsoft Aran, Soft Tweed, and Soft Lux. There are new shades in all these yarns. Classic Style contains 16 patterns in Silk and Wool DK, a new, soft 50/50 blend, in ten sophisticated shades
Where are the Jaeger handknit devotees out there? There's a new pure silk DK yarn, two new Jaeger collections in ExtraFine Merino Aran and Chunky, Natural Fleece and Fur (JB42) Matchmaker DK, Roma, Extrafine Merino DK and the new Pure Silk (JB41).
Debbie Bliss has a new design collection and a swatch of new yarns to support the patterns, including a fabulous pure Cashmere Aran.
Louisa Harding continues to embrace Life-after-Rowan with a dazzling fist of wild yarns and classic desgns to help shake off your knitting shackles.
Last year's addition to the UpCo yarn shelves was the range of Fair-Trade alpaca yarns from Artesano, steadily gaining converts. Artesano Inca Cloud provides a range of subtle shades to play with in this supersoft, all natural yarn, and this season it's DOWN in price.