Panama: The Rowan Yarn not the Papers

I actually finished this cute little top quite a while ago but can now tell you, because I have worn it and washed it many times, that it has become one of my favourites.

Eloisa hand knitted and Crocheted top in Rowan Panama

It is versatile to wear looking great over jeans or dressing it up a bit more and wearing it over a skirt or smart trousers. The pattern was from last years Spring and Summer Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 57 and is called Eloisa. Designed by Marie Wallin using Panama, a cotton, linen and viscose blended yarn which creates a slightly textured fabric with a lovely soft handle and a subtle sheen.

Close up on detail of hand knitted Rowan Panama

Eloisa is relatively easy to knit, however the added difficultly is with the crochet flower motifs sewn around neckline, but maybe not if your crochet skills are as good as your knitting skills. You can see from the photo’s below that I altered the design slightly, making it longer, adding waist shaping and placing the flower motifs in a more regular pattern. Here’s a couple of photo’s of the original design.

Eloisa, Short-sleeved sweater designed by Marie Wallin

Eloisa, short sleeve hand knitted top, back view

I just don’t like asymmetry. So, I decided to crochet 3 of Marie Wallin’s flower designs but then created two of my own so I could make them fit nicely all the way around the neckline, front and back. What do you think?

Back view of Eloisa short sleeved top showing crochet flowers go all way around neckline

I’ve actually had loads of comments from people asking me where I bought Eloisa from; they are initially disappointed followed quickly by surprise when I tell them I made it myself.

Having worn Eloisa over the past few months I have come to love this little top and the yarn it is knitted with. Consequently, I have been wondering why I never knitted with it in the past for it has been around for many years. However, Rowan has just released a list of yarns they are discontinuing and sadly, Panama is on that list. With this in mind I bought another 10 balls in the shade Lotus but I think I will buy some more maybe in Cornflower, Icing or Blue Fog before it is gone forever.

Rowan Panama Shade Card

I may knit up Eloisa again in the dark blue “Lotus” shade, maybe omitting the crochet flowers and doing something a little different around the neckline like a picot trim? But then there are quite a few designs on the Rowan website and in various magazines that use Panama that I would love to knit up too like this one pictured below called Patty, a vest with cable edging designed by Kim Hargreaves which can be found in Honey, one of her many pattern books.

Patty, a cable-edged vest designed by Kim Hargreaves and knitted in Rowan Panama

Someday I will definitely make Liala, designed by Marie Wallin, another cute top with a wide round neck, cap sleeve detail and a beautiful lace crochet stitch pattern……..

Liala, designed by Marie Wallin and crocheted in Rowan Panama

What’s more, Liala is free to download but bear in mind when all the Panama yarn is completely sold out the pattern probably will be removed from the Rowan website….so login to Knitrowan and download it as soon as you can if you don’t want to miss out.

Or maybe I should make Creek, a short-sleeved cardigan designed by Sarah Hatton from the Simple Shapes Panama brochure and pictured below. Creek is knitted mostly in stocking stitch with slip stitch edges and moss stitch bands. Great for layering!

Creek, a short sleeved cardigan designed by Sarah Hatton and knitted in Rowan Panama

Or how about Ocean, shown below, which is also designed by Sarah Hatton and from the Simple Shapes Panama brochure. This stocking stitch cropped cardigan shows off the textured fabric produced by Panama and could easily be adapted to suit.

Ocean, a cropped cardigan designed by Sarah Hatton and knitted in Rowan Panama

I am leaning more towards this longer line cardigan pictured below called Loudres, stripes of lace and stocking stitch from Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 55 designed by Vibe Ulrik. Lovely!

Loudres, a lace and stocking stitch cardigan designed by Vibe Ulrik and knitted in Rowan Panama

If I want to knit up all of these designs I will definitely have to buy quite a few more packs of Rowan Panama!

Links you might like to click on:

Simple Shapes Panama Brochure

Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine 55

Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine 57

Subscribe to Knitting With Rowan Blog

And finally some questions…………………..

Eloisa, hand knitted short sleeved top using Rowan Panama

What do you think about my Eloisa top; would you have preferred the more randomly scattered crochet flowers?

Have you made anything using Rowan Panama?

Are you disappointed that Rowan has discontinued Panama?

Please let me know by leaving a comment below.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Esther x

Eloisa short sleeved top knitted in Rowan Panama

16 thoughts on “Panama: The Rowan Yarn not the Papers

  1. I saw your Eloisa top on Facebook this week and have to comment that I much prefer it to the original design. I love the longer length and the crochet flowers all around the neckline. It just works so much better. Thank you for sharing with us.

  2. I love Panama and have a beautiful drapy scarf pattern that I have made for other prople several times. I contacted Rowan re this and got the standard reply. I hear on the grapevine that Rowan are severely cutting back on the range of yarns and that there are big changes afoot!!

    • You are correct Linda……many many yarns have been discontinued. I’ll be sad to see Panama and Cotton Lustre, two of my favorites, go. So, if you like Panama watch out for some good discounts from retailers soon and stock up!

  3. Love your interpretation of the original design. I prefer a longer length too and often see patterns that I love but which are too short for my body shape/height. How do you judge how much extra yarn needed? I really want to make this too now I’ve seen what you have done with it. Any guidance you can give will be much appreciated.

    • Hi Sylvia, Thanks so much for your compliments on my Eloisa interpretation. With regards to buying extra yarn when lengthening the body, I generally just do a rough estimate…… Look at the size you want to knit up and how many skeins you need for that size. If you are increasing the length of the body by 1 or 2 inches you probably only need to add an extra skein. I am a small so usually look to see how many skeins are needed for a medium and buy that amount. However, if you are larger or are making an oversized design and maybe increasing the arm length too you may need much more and maybe it would be best to calculate more accurately. You need to know the number of yards/meters per ball of your yarn, the anticipated square inches of the garment with your added body/arm length, and the number of yards/meters used in your tension gauge. Here’s is a link which will explain all in detail: http://www.the-knitting-wool-store.com/calculating-yarn-requirements.html
      Hope this helps?

  4. Personally I love a bit asymmetry as in the original design, but I do prefer the longer length that you have made it.

  5. Wow, this is gorgeous and I think you’ve definitely improved it, I much prefer the flowers all the way round. I’ve never learnt to crochet unfortunately. But I do have a Louisa Harding booklet which shows how to make decorative knitted flowers, I wonder if tha would work.

    • Well thank you Kerrie and I’m sure you could make knitted flowers to sew around the neckline….it’s worth a go anyway. I would love to see the result if you do 🙂

  6. I think many of these are beautiful! I love the crochet detail. They look easy but interesting and actually doable before summer is over. Sometimes I laugh about being a season behind.

    • Thanks Nin. I actually finished this top last October and wore it all through the winter so I think this could really be worn anytime of the year 🙂

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