Monday, 11 September 2017

Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 62: A Review, Part 1

Rowan has released issue 62 of its knitting and crochet magazine. Let's have a look at the first 21 of the 41 patterns in it, shall we? ETA: Part 2 of this review can be found here.

Twilight. Classic cabled and bobbled sweater, and it doesn't hurt that the yarn used for this sample is Kidsilk Haze and Fine Lace in a beautiful colour.

Eve. I'm liking the stripes, but the shaping of this surplice cardigan is not particularly flattering, and it also doesn't look good when worn open.

Fishlake. Oooh, I really love this fair isle, with its baseball shirt-inspired design, and would knit and wear it myself without making a single alteration to the pattern. "Classic with a bit of a twist" is my favourite look.

Whispered. A nice cowl with an attractive slip stitch texture.

Gloaming. This cardigan has dowdy lines and makes even this very attractive professional model look frumpy. The pattern description calls this a "comfortable cardigan". I'm reminded of the truism that if a real estate ad is reduced to calling a place "clean", it means there isn't much else to be said in its favour. Like cleanliness in a place offered for rent or sale, comfort should be a given in knitwear.

Greenwood. This pullover has seriously cool chartwork. It's impossible to add waist shaping to this one because it would detract too much from the pattern, but I would fix the dropped shoulders and neaten up the fit.

Hutton. This crocheted shawl is a little too afghan-y for my liking, but I do like the colourway.

Daybreak. Fairly plain, but wearable enough. I think I'd add some ribbing or a picot edging at the neckline as it looks a little unfinished as is.

Lund. Nice piece with a very effective zig zag stitchwork pattern.

Sunset. Not liking the A-line shaping of this one, which is hella unflattering. Tellingly, all the sample photos show the model at an angle, never full frontal.

Evening. I'm liking the pretty cable and bead detailing on this one, and while I'm not crazy about the shaping and would turn this into a standard fitting long- or short-sleeved pullover, I also don't hate the lines of this top as they are. It has a poncho-like effect and works pretty well as a layered piece.

Cowlam. Nice! The texture's good, and the larger than usual turtleneck and elongated cuffs give it a bit of a lift.

Eclipse. I want to like this, but I can't help feeling that the proportions and balance are off. I'd add some more lacework to this rather than having that one isolated strip of it at the bottom.

Sweeting. A good-looking and wearable jacket.

Thackrey. Very cute and smart little cap.

Afterglow. Very pretty.

Foss. Love the cables in this but man, this thing is huge. Unless your dream is to make a sweater that can double as a sleeping bag, I'd scale it way back, and also close up the very long side slits, which extend to a few inches above the model's waist. I really like the concept of a cowl that is knitted separately and can be left off or worn with other items if desired.

Eastbury. Simple but smart and wearable.

Nightfall. The shawl collar and beaded stitchwork combined with garter stitch is a great look, but the shaping is really detracting. I'd fix the dropped shoulders and add a bit of waist shaping.

Sykes. Classic cabled pullover, but again I'd fix the dropped shoulders and neaten up the fit.

Mellow. This has a certain retro appeal -- I've seen some elegant 1950s jacket patterns in a similar vein -- although the unstructured look and unfinished edges also keep it contemporary. I like it, though maybe not enough to wear it myself, and I'd fix the dropped shoulders.


  1. I understand Rowan's thing is thin models in oversized sweaters, but as in Sykes, look where the models actual armpit is in relationship to the sweater. That's crazy ease!

  2. Surprised you like the Whispered cowl. If that doesn't look like a deflated bicycle tire around her neck...

  3. What do you mean by "fix the dropped shoulders." How?

    1. I wrote this post about how to fix dropped shoulders and add waist shaping back in 2014. Hope it's of some help to you:

  4. I can always tell what you will say about a design...fix the dropped shoulders and tighten up the shaping. Some of these do have too much ease, in my opinion, but I like an oversized sweater sometimes. Two different styles, fitted and not, two different looks.

  5. Foss is a hot mess in my humble opinion