Your cart
Close Alternative Icon
Be inspired Be encouraged and inspired

Crazy for Ewe

Why Rowan?

Why Rowan?

People start knitting for all different reasons. I started when I was in college because I always loved sweaters, and I wanted to make my own. Sure, I loved having it as a creative outlet since I had run out of places to put my needlepoint, and yes, it was enormously helpful to knit while I put off all the papers I had to write. There’s a word for that, by the way - Procrastiknitting.

Since I came to knitting from that sweater-making route, I’ve always considered knitting a fashion-oriented hobby.  Lots of my sorority sisters were knitting cute little tops and vests and more.  So I was shocked, perhaps naively, so, when I found that knitting has a reputation as a hobby for old ladies, and that handknit garments are frumpy and unattractive. I was crushed, outraged even.  Ever since, I've been on a personal crusade to show the world how beautiful and fashionable hand knitting is. And I love it when I have partners in that effort. One of my favorite is Rowan Yarns.

I’ve been featuring quite a bit of Rowan lately. They really blew me away with their Mode line last fall, and I've been all in ever since. After our Rowan yarn tasting Saturday, Rowan Brand Manager. David McLeod, and I stayed on the line to chat a bit, and I asked him what he thought set Rowan apart.  He said that it's because Rowan has always been designer lead. What that means for to me is that instead of having a bunch of business executives come up with a yarn and choose a color palette they think will have broad appeal and sell well, Rowan starts their whole process with a team of talented designer. The designs come first.  

Designers and their stylistic vision guide the development of the yarns and the palette.  They’re not creating patterns to promote a yarn, but rather bringing the vision of a fashion collection to the table that the entire team works to realized with yarns.  The primary focus is the knitter and how she can re-create the stylish aesthetic presented in their collection and make it her own.  A I said in the tasting, the Rowan line is cohesive--their offerings make sense.  Nothing is random or out of place because they're all designed by talented and experienced professionals who share our goal of creating beautiful garments we can knit ourselves..Additionally, these designers understand that a hand knit wardrobe needs to be built on pieces that both look modern but also stand the test of time.  Pieces that last and we're proud to wear

We spend a lot of time creating our handknits garments, and  there’s no reason in the world did they shouldn’t be stylish and smart. Thank you, Rowan, for supporting fashionable knitters everywhere. 

If you would like to see the Rowan Trunk Show in person, we still have it in the shop for a few more days. If you can't make it in person, take a look at the video presentations here and here on Facebook Live.

I look forward to seeing you soon -- you are always welcome here

~Ellen

Back to 23 June 2020 Newsletter

Continue reading

Serapes - Stylish and Easy to wear

Serapes - Stylish and Easy to wear

The friendly folks at Nordstrom's and Neiman Marcus sent me an email about the latest fall trend - Serapes. 

The one on the left from Brunello-Cucinelli is $3995. The St. John's version on the right is a steal at $1095.  Both are available for convenient pre-order here and here.  

What's interesting is that both of these fabulous garments bear a striking resemblance to Caledonia, from Berroco's Cotolana collection. 

Nice, wouldn't you say.  I always say that we knit not to save money, but because we love to.  In this case, you can do both.  There's a lot of knitting in Caledonia, sure, but it's an easy meditative stitch pattern you can work while you're watching tv - especially nice to have something calming to knit when there's a tense moment in the game (or the debate).  

Continue reading

A modern silhouette

Lovely Bronwyn was in today wearing her Flames Hat. 

In her bag she had Folded and wasn't at all happy with the fabric she's making.  I looked at the pattern which calls for a fingering weight yarn.  Bronwyn was using the right weight yarn, but she was carrying it double because she was afraid it was too fine on a size 6 needle and that her sweater might be see through.  I showed her some fabric worked with that weight yarn at that gauge, and that it wasn't see-through, just nice and drapey.  Even though she'll have to pull out what she's done so far, she went away happy because drapey and relaxed is what this garment is all about. 

It's really interesting to see how the the characteristics of knitted fabric and gauge change with the styles.  Once hand knits used fine yarns worked at a very firm gauge.  The idea was that they should keep you warm, hold their shape, and last a long time, which garments knit at a firm gauge will do.  But styles change, and many of today's most popular sweaters are more relaxed and less structured.  I never imagined I'd like this kind of fabric, or this kind of garment, but I do.  Ribbed borders, tight cuffs, and stiff lapels have given way to fluid fabric that drapes over the body. Loose flowing fabric, deeper armholes, generous front panels, and swingy A-lines make these garments comfortable to wear, and interestingly, flattering to women of all ages.  Bronwyn, a thirty-something mother of two little girls, looks fabulous in it, as does as does our own beautiful Mary, who's has kids Bronwyn's age. 

Here are a couple of designs from CocoKnits, one of my favorite designers, to show you what I mean. 

 

 

 

Don't these designs look modern and fresh!  They're the kind of thing you would buy at the store, if you could find it in a nice quality yarn for a decent price.  Oh, right.  You can't.  Yeah.  That's why we knit. 

 

 

Continue reading
Tags