Two weeks ago on Monday I started my wonderful three day adventure up in Yorkshire, well, the Rowan Mill in Holmfirth to be precise and what an adventure it was!
It was just wonderful to catch up with all my colleagues and friends. We all work all over the country and very rarely have a chance to meet and truly catch up, those three days were exactly what was needed not only to refocus when it comes to work but have a proper good old gossip with good friends. Of course it wasn’t all a giggles and Pimms, we were there to work after all! However; playing with yummy yarns, trying on knitted garments, seeing the whole amazing Rowan Autumn/Winter collection and all the exciting things to come can hardly be called work, but work we did…..incredibly hard.
Rowan Mill is incredible, you enter it and feel like in woolly wonderland. The meeting hall is full of gorgeous knitted garments, yarns, fabrics and anything crafty, I could truly have happily moved in there. The hotel we all stayed in, Bagden Hall, was originally built by Benjamin Norton a wealthy mill owner, who made his fortune running weaving mills which supplied yarn to weavers, very fitting. Quite an impressive hotel, but the best bit was the lovely lake and old house at the back of the hotel.
Let’s talk about the new Rowan A/W 15 collection…….
In two words….LOVE IT!! And I’m not just saying that, I’m saying that because it’s absolutely true. This is Rowan back to its best! For the past few years the collections have been good, but this is GREAT. You can really see the refocus in the magazine 58, the freshness, new ideas, every design is stunning!
As always the magazine is split into three stories Tranquil, Frost and Essentials, what is different this time is that a different designer was the art director for each story.
Directed by Sarah Hatton and is all about texture and delicate tones. From traditional fair isle to slip stitch textures, all worked in Rowan’s great variety of tweeds and flecked yarns. ‘Aldernay’ is just beautiful!
Yell Aldernay Unst
Directed by Lisa Richardson is shot in the stunning Copped Hall in Essex which dishalvened look provides a perfect back drop for the rather romantic collection. Frost is my favourite story in the magazine, the garments have simple shapes with lots of textures, from wrap stitches, fair isle, cables and few interesting yokes, loose fitting cardigans and coats perfect for layering to keep the cold away. Few interesting colour work pieces with delicate colours. I’m starting ‘Snowy’ as soon as I finish all my other projects, not only has it got the most fantastic yolk, but it’s also made in my favourite
Rowan yarn, Kid Classic.
Frosty Frozen Snowy
Directed by Marie Wallin, it is a collection full of key shapes with subtle textures and a touch of colour work, easy to wear styles. ‘Brannagh’ is rather wonderful.
Bevan Brannagh Sheenag
And if the 40 designs weren’t enough, there’s also a very interesting article about history of Swarovski crystals and an exciting glimpse of collaboration between Rowan and Swarovski.
Also an article about textile designer Zandra Rhodes who has created two fab garments for Rowan, which are available on knitrowan.com.
Let’s talk about the yarn…..to me this season’s winner is most definitely Hemp Tweed. A blend of 75% wool and 25% hemp, wool and hemp create ‘breathable’ knitted fabrics which are cool in warm weather and warm in cold. Hemp is a great fibre as its resistant to stretching and with its stunning texture and gorgeous colours it’s a must have yarn, it knits incredibly well as well.
Second favorite is Rowan Big wool Silk, its bit more luxurious sister of the original Big Wool yarn is 70% wool and 30% silk, giving a beautiful sheen to the knitted fibre. Very soft to touch I’ll be knitting some house socks in this yarn very soon.
The all-time favourite, Pure Wool Superwash DK has returned, just new and improved in a massive range of 32 colours!! And last but not least is the Super fine Marino family, 4 ply, DK and aran weight, 100% wool made with high quality extra fine merino, it’s a yarn which is incredibly soft and perfect for any knitting, from baby to adult.
I truly adore the full new collection, it is really a pleasure to see Rowan back doing what they excel at.
I really miss Yorkshire and Rowan Mill a LOT!! I’ve been back for two weeks now and it’s has been non stop busy, but busy is good. I’ve done some great tutorials for Love Crochet which I’m sure you have already seen. I’m so ridiculously happy with how they come out and the great response I had about them. I’ll write a lot more about it in next blog.