Features Review of Rowan Magazine 54 and How to Win a Copy

I mentioned in my last blog that Rowan’s Knitting & Crochet Magazine 54 had lots of other interesting content besides 39 wonderful patterns so in this blog I want to look at these features in a bit more detail.

The first one you come across, Inspiring the Generations, informs you all about the Knitting Reference Library (KRL), located at Winchester School of Art and Design and part of the University of Southampton Library and the University itself. I was surprised to read that the KRL was launched only recently at the first In the loop conference in 2008 and is founded on the bibliographic collections of Richard Rutt, Montse Stanley and Jane Waller. The article goes on to explain the history of these three collectors and their distinct collections and how bringing them together resulted in a library containing nearly 2000 books, 425 journals and magazines and an estimated 12,000 knitting patterns and knitting books from the 1830’s and right up to the present day.

Knitting Reference Library

Knitting Reference Library

This article, written by Linda Newington, has now left me wishing I was living in England again and would now be planning a trip down to Southampton for a visit. However, the University’s online catalogue is accessible via the internet with digital versions of Richard Rutt’s Victorian knitting manuals available to be viewed by clicking here.

Following on from the KRL feature is an article about Rowan’s newest designer, Kate Davies, where Kate describes her journey from researching and teaching Eighteenth Century History and Literature at the Universities of Sheffield, York and Newcastle to becoming a knitting designer. Reading this article is not only inspirational but also encouraging; it’s never too late to become a knitwear designer!


Kate Davies

The next two articles are both written by Kate Davies. The first, Circles, Steeks & Stitches, is a thoroughly researched and engaging feature about steeking and it’s etymology, history and use. Additionally, I also found the introduction to this piece an insightful read as it covered the opposing views held by many knitters of knitting back-and-forth and knitting-in-the-round (where you would add a steek). I have heard many knitters voice these opinions and it was refreshing to read an unbiased point of view.

Kate’s second feature, Steeking How To, is a step by step guide on how to steek. The instructions, including pictures, show you how to convert any jumper (sweater) pattern into a cardigan. This is a great informative article and I will definitely be trying this one day!

Love…….mohair, written by Marie Wallin, is the next article in Magazine 54 and is a continuation of Rowans series of write-ups on interesting fibres. Read about mohair’s history, qualities and character and why it is an important component in many of Rowans yarns including Kidsilk Haze, Cocoon, Kid Classic and their new sock yarn which I am knitting with at the moment, Fine Art.

Harpers Twinset by Meghan Lewis

Harpers Twinset by Meghan Lewis

The last feature, Rowan Design Awards 2013, includes the results of the ‘Between the Wars’ brief given to the students of Winchester School of Art and Design and set by Rowan’s head designer, Marie Wallin. There were six finalists chosen (see the design by Meghan Lewis on the right) and the patterns illustrated in the magazine are free to download if you are a Rowan member.

Click on the links below to view more from the online collection and all the designs from Magazine 54.

Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 54 – Exclusive Rowan Free Patterns

Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 54

There are, of course, 7 other regular features including: Travel Journal, with information and pictures from Haddon Hall, Derbyshire where the photographs for the Romancing designs were taken; What’s New, with a review of current publications, exhibitions, events and products; Sizing Guide, with help to determine which size is best for you to knit; Patterns, the pattern instructions to all the designs; Information, how to achieve the perfect finished garment; Rowan Website, a preview of another 6 exclusive free patterns; and Gallery, a quick reference guide of all the designs in the magazine.

If you’d like to win a copy of Rowan Magazine 54, all you need to do is subscribe to my blog. I will pick a winner at random from all my subscribers at 12pm (US Mountain Time) on Thursday 1st August.  All package and shipping costs will be paid for by me…..wherever you live. Good luck!