Books with Franklin: Looking Back

May 31, 2019

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  • Have just found 2 old Rowan magazines in a charity shop and I now want to throw out all the projects I’m working on and start on one or 3 of these patterns.

  • I’ve just returned to Rowan this year after a number of years knitting designs by various indy designers. After the last seamless sweater debacle (it hangs in a shapeless lump and slides off my shoulders) I have said “no more!” and have pledged to knit only traditionally constructed sweaters because they hang and fit far better than the garments designed to have as little finishing work as possible. Rowan is great for this — the majority of sweaters are knit in pieces and seamed. (Fine gauge stranded colorwork not included — that is knit in the round for very good reason!)

    • Hear hear. I love Rowan’s schematics too.

    • I hear you, Wendy, but I’m not sure I’m ready to backstitch a sleeve into an armhole again. It’s been a long time.

      • You can doooooo it!

      • Some of the best money I ever spent was on a class learning how to pick up stitches around the shaped armhole and knit the (also shaped) sleeve downwards. Perfect every time, and I haven’t come across a pattern (as long as it’s classically constructed) where this hasn’t worked. I’m sure you could still find out how to do this.

    • Amen! I will be so glad when the droopy dropped shoulder thing isn’t the only pattern design out there. I much prefer the look of a set-in sleeve…..more flattering to most body types.

  • When I saw that your book reviews were the subject of the day, my computer wouldn’t open fast enough. I ❤️books and I really . I just gave my best girlfriend my copy of Kaffe’s first book because she had never seen it and called me when she did. Thank You for your excellent reviews and support of my book and yarn problem

  • You never forget your first Rowan magazine. Mine was Issue 28 back in 2002.

  • grace and favor cottage………for knitting? Replete with old Rowan volumes. Oh to dream on

  • How I love all books of aspirational knitting! A friend’s mother used to have a subscription to Vogue Knitting – I loved poring over every issue, again and again. Mind you, this was at least 2 decades before I actually picked up needles myself! She had a few Rowan mags around too – how I wanted to move to an English cottage, looking through them!

    I think that those intricate gorgeous designs years ago convinced me that knitting was something for experts and not something I could ever do. I am so glad I eventually challenged that notion!

  • Love your book reviews

  • OMG, what a walk down memory lane! I’m also a huge Rowan fan (specifically Kaffe!) from wayback and have quite a few of those hard to find yarn books you referenced! I bought my Rowan yarn at the Tomato Factory Yarn Store in Lambertville, NJ. (It’s crazy but at the time I had no clue about their connection to Alice Starmore.) Even though I live in SoCal now, I still have my Foolish Virgins sweater, which I made in the year before I moved to LA. It only gets worn on the few (and getting fewer) cold winter days (sniff)

    Just ordered the book, which should arrive tomorrow – I hope I can sleep tonight!

    Thanks for the memories!

  • There is a great interview of Talitha Kuomi by Kristi Glass on You Tube which highlights the designs in this collection. They look fun as well as wearable.

    • That is a great video–thanks for the tip! Fun to hear about her unusual background and design ideas. What a brain.
      And reassuring to know that the “breakup” is not recent, she’s been happily married for a long time, but the memories are easily dredged up and put to work.

  • Sigh…..Martin Storey gets me every time

  • Your writing is just so enjoyable to read–hilarious and heartfelt. Another great article, and an introduction to a woman after my own heart: new-to-me designer Kuomi.

  • That sweater looks a lot like one that was in my father’s closet, actually.

  • I sent the first Kaffe book to my closest girlfriend. She has been too busy to knit and came across that life changing book She lives in Kansas and I am in Denver. Since it had been in my possession since 1987, I decided to part with it and it blew her socks off! Hurray for Rowan. A couple of weeks ago,she was hospitalized for pneumonia, pulmonary embolisms and a small heart attack. She decided to retire and start knitting again.