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  • I imagine “the Fassett Effect” to be the omg feeling I get when I see the stunning interplay of pattern and color in a Fassett design

  • Is Rowan still viable?

    Will Rowan survive in this day of shawl and sock knitting? Of indie dyers of superwashed bases? Of Ravelry…which gives everyone the opportunity to step into the knit design world? Of digital publications?

    As a knitter of an age, who has a shelf groaning under the weight of 61 beautifully printed magazines, and a historic stash of vintage yarns…

    I hope so….

  • Could the fellow on the left possibly be Martin Storey?

    • The fellow on the left is my X husband O’Hara Burne wearing a “Ribbons” sweater, we set up Sasha Kagan Knitwear together and this pic was taken when Kaffe gave his first talk in Wales for the Montgomery Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers.

      • Is the Ribbons sweater available as a pattern? I rather love it!

  • I treasure my Rowan Knitting Magazines. I heard Kaffe Fassett’s first ever lecture in the US in Birmingham, Michigan, and have been smitten ever since!!

  • I love a good yarn cliffhanger.

  • I look at Fassette’s work like I look at A Monet. Both beautiful artists that I could only dream of recreating.

  • I too am a Rowan devotee, though my collecting only started with issue 20, but I was given 17 a couple of years ago by a decluttering knitter.
    Like many others, the Rowan website forums were my entree into the online knitting world.
    Found Kaffe when given a copy of his first book Glorious Knitting in 1987. Browsing through it, I felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole!
    Looking forward to the next exciting episode, and fingers crossed that the conclusion (and reality) is that Rowan is a viable brand for at least another four decades!

  • As a quilter who is rapidly falling in love with knitting, my first exposure to Kaffe’s genius was through his gorgeous, color-splashed fabric designs. He is a major rock star in the quilting world, and his fabrics are iconic. So fun to see this early picture of him as a young man!

  • Bev Mazzarella and Trillium, her New Jersey yarn shops, is where I first met and fell in love with Rowan yarns. My yarn stash lives primarily on shelves but the Rowan yarns live in hand made baskets kept near me and when I’m ready for a new project, my first thought is always….what can I made with one of my Rowans?

  • What a fascinating article. I love history, I love knitting, so reading about an aspect of knitting history feeds two loves. I don’t own any Rowan yarn and have never seen one of their mags, but I’d certainly like to change that. So looking forward to the next installment.

  • Serendipity! Last weekend, after years of procrastination, I finally cast on for Fassett’s China Clouds cardigan, from my favorite issue, Rowan #28. Last night, combing Youtube for good tips on intarsia, I stumbled upon this nice video from an other obsessed Rowan-o-phile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djC8aSfpnVA

  • Despite my pledge to take a hiatus from spending, you inspired me to order a copy of Rowan 60, the anniversary issue! It’s been a long winter here, trapped by snow in central Washington, with no access to yarn stores carrying Rowan anything!

  • Skyloom Fibers in Denver. It was THE “it” yarn shop. Carried Rowan, Phildar and Pingouin. Shopped there in my salad days when Kaffe Fassett exploded knitting.

  • I can’t wait for the next installment and I look forward to what you have to say about their beautiful yards.

  • Back in 2003, I was a very new knitter, and I discovered Rowan 34, the one with Birch in it. I had never done lace, but I went right out and tracked down some Kidsilk Haze in Majestic. I cast on but realized I was in over my head. What I didn’t realize was that I had just begun my yarn stash! Ever since then, whenever I run across those 4 skeins of KSH in a stash dive, I think that I really should knit Birch, even though now what frightens me about it is the lack of charts!

  • Although I’m not a knitter of a certain age (I was born in the late 80s), Rowan was my first entre into nice yarns. I have always loved the Magazine, even as I am deeply frustrated by their desire to never introduce steeking into a stranded pattern. It was a special torture to knit Orkney flat a few years ago, even if the results were easily the most stunning sweater I’ve knit.

    Even though I have explored many yarns and patterns beyond Rowan since I started knitting some 18 years ago, Rowan Felted Tweed DK is still my home yarn. And I may have just bought the yarn to knit Heilen, which I’m absolutely going to modify to be knit in the round.

    Thank you for this series! I’m so excited for the next installment.

  • Ah… that picture! I knitted two of those and another Sacha Kagan which was in white with pansies – same sort of mohair bands as shown. I used J&S, not Rowan, as I recall.

    • Hi Shandy, glad you recognize my “Iris” cardigan, I designed a collection of flower prints for my first book The Sasha Kagan Sweater Book , which came out in 1984, the “Pansy”, which you knitted was very popular. The yarn was Jamieson and Smith Shetland mixed with mo-hair and silver lurex.

  • ::sigh::

  • Have loved Rowan since the 1980s. still mourn the day they stopped producing LDK…though I’ve got a decent-sized stash…
    (Some of those sweaters from the ’90s are big enough to wear over a down vest, which I’ve done happily.) I shopped at Tomato Factory Yarn in NJ and UpCountry in Holmfirth and now haunt eBay for DDK…

  • Thanks for this wonderful story – I’ve been a Kaffe fan since I saw his design for a vest in Creative Dressing many years ago. Lovely to see the photo of the designers as youngsters. Do you know the name or availability of the vest pattern for the vest Kaffe has on in the picture?

    • Hi Fran, I’ve seen that pattern referred to as “Zigzag Stripe” and “Toothed Stripe.” (That book Creative Dressing got me started, too)…check out the book Kaffe Fassett’s Pattern Library- you’ll see a chart for it- looks he used his standard vest pattern.

  • I feel like I need the sweater O’Hara is wearing in that photo. Does anyone know what it is and if the pattern is available?

    • Nevermind…sometimes I just have to read the comments first!