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  • Thanks for this excellent overview of wonderful Rowan- for many years the go-to place for yarn and patterns. so much diversity and competition out there now though. But personally I am so sad about today’s Rowan. The last magazine was very light on editorial compared to its previous editions. And the patterns are pleasant but nothing like the innovative style we loved. The majority of them in just one yarn! Rowan had such an enticing way of using several textures/colour blends and now it seems rather middle of the road.Hope it gets its mojo back!

  • What a beautifully written story of such a historic icon. Thanks!

  • Good story – thanks. I can’t say I’ll miss the chenille.

  • What an outstanding article on Rowan. As a history buff, I found it to be very informative.

  • Love everything Rowan!

  • I started knitting in the early nineties after seeing Rowan magazine. I even met Kaffe at my knitting store. They still do a beautiful job. But they need to bring back Donegal Lambswool Tweed.

    • Lordy, yes. Bring back Donegal Lambswool Tweed

  • Karin: what a great article! Thank you for a trip down memory lane and behind the scenes with Rowan. I look at my shelves of Rowan Magazines everyday – they really set the bar for design and the knitwear lifestyle. Rowan has a special place in my heart!

  • Great piece– I love reading about the history of knitting.

  • Thanks for that interesting and informative piece, including the lovely pictures! I’ve been a huge Rowan fan since their beginnings. Still wear the Seaton sweater and Summer Tweed top I knit in the 1990s. Drawn in by the colors and yarn (and Kay’s appreciation of Rowan Denim!) I made a couple of garments from #59. What a disappointment! The patterns were poorly written & edited; the schematics were too sketchy and the sizing was off. I had to totally rewrite the sleeve cap on a Kaffe Fasset sweater & the sleeve on a Denim sweater ended up way too bulky (still trying to figure out what to do with that).
    Patterns from independent designers and companies such as Brooklyn Tweed have led me to expect precision pattern writing, detailed information on gauge, ease etc, and comprehensive schematics. If Rowan are to continue to engage 21st century knitters, they need to up their game.

  • I really loved this article – don’t know when it appeared. I had no idea when Rowan was started – but I must have used ithemt from the onset. The magazines were so lovely and I could not wait for the next one to be published. I sold some of them on ebay, but still have some. It makes me nostalgic to think about them and the feeling they gave me.

  • All is lost. They’ve cut back on the wool content of felted tweed (Aran anyway).