Rowan Winter 2017 Newsletter


The Autumn/Winter season is well underway and there has been lots of mid-season activity keeping us busy! In this issue, we review the last couple of months which have seen the launch of two new Rowan Selects Yarns and new publications including titles from Kim Hargreaves and Georgia Farrell. We'll catch up with designer Jem Weston whose latest title ‘Cute Comfort Knits’ is perfect for those cosy winter evening knitting projects and we talk to Quail Studio about their exciting Rowan restyle project and much more.

Winter Newsletter



Hello and welcome to the second issue of our new look

quarterly newsletter!

The Autumn/Winter season is well underway and there has

been lots of mid-season activity keeping us busy! We review

the last couple of months which have seen the launch of two

new Rowan Selects yarns – Camello and Sultano – and new

publications including titles from Kim Hargreaves and Georgia


The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace is always

an important date in our autumn calendar and this year was no

different. It was a great show and the whole team thoroughly

enjoyed the week!

Also in this issue we catch up with designer Jem Weston whose

latest title ‘Cute Comfort Knits’ is perfect for those cosy winter

evening knitting projects and we talk to Quail Studio about

their exciting Rowan restyle project.

Don’t forget to check out our technique ‘How To’ pages, which

in this issue focuses on Intarsia, with helpful step-by-step tips

and images.

Finally we hear from Debbie Abrahams and Jane Crowfoot

about their exciting 2018 projects and we also catch up with

two of our retailers The Wool Merchant and Web-sters.

As always, we hope you enjoy your new issue. We’d love to hear

what you think of the new website and collections, why not

visit our Facebook page to tell us your thoughts!

The Rowan team

Cover: Wilkie Hat & Scarf

by Martin Storey

Knitted in Cashmere Tweed

Cashmere Tweed

Rowan Yarns

17F Brooke’s Mill, Armitage Bridge,


West Yorkshire, HD4 7NR


All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or

any part of all material, including illustrations

and designs, in this publication/pattern is

strictly forbidden and is sold on the condition

that it is used for non commercial purposes.

No part may be reproduced, stored in a

retrieval system, or transmitted in any form

or by any means electronic, electrostatic,

magnetic tape, mechanical, photocopying,

recording or otherwise without prior

permission of the copyright owners having

been given in writing. Yarn quantities

are approximate and are based on average

requirements. Images and shades are for

guidance only as colours may not display

accurately on screen or in printed format.

Contact your local stockist to view a fringed

(not digital reproduction) yarn shade card.

© Copyright MEZ Crafts UK Ltd., 2017.

MEZ Crafts UK Ltd., 17F, Brooke’s Mill,

Armitage Bridge, Huddersfield, HD4 7NR,





Katie Calvert’s background is

in fashion and textiles, with

previous experience in trend

forecasting, public relations and

events before joining the closeknit

Rowan team as a freelancer

in September 2015. Although

her knitting skills leave much to

be desired, she loves fashion and

writing for Rowan means that

she is able to pass that passion

onto you!

Katherine Lymer is a knitting

tutor, designer and writer based

in the inspirational countryside

of the Scottish Borders. She

enjoys travelling throughout the

UK, giving workshops on all

aspects of knitting and teaching

people of all ages and skill levels.

Follow us on Social Media…








14 22







Novemeber Member’s Pattern

- Askham 6

December & January Members Patterns Preview 7

Bohemian Blues

- Jane Crowfoot Crochet Along 8

Jem Weston

- Designer Interview 10


- Knitting & Stitching Show 13

Debbie Abrahams

- Mystery Blanket 2018 14

Trends Round Up

- New York Fashion Week 20

Retailer Focus

- Web-sters 22

Mid Season Round Up

- Autumn Winter ‘17 24

ROWAN Style Edit 28

Retailer Focus

- The Wool Merchant 30

Festive Knits

- A Round Up of Festive Knits Past & Present 32

Tips & Techniques

- How to Knit Intarsia 34








By Martin Storey

Using Hemp Tweed



Upcoming in

December &






By Martin Storey

Using Kid Classic





By Sarah Hatton

Using Kid Classic







Bohemian Blues

Over the last 10 years we have seen a massive

rise in the popularity of crochet with Crochet

Along (CAL) style projects in particular having

a huge impact on the market. Jane Crowfoot has

been designing crochet along projects since 2011

and we are so excited to be able to show you Jane’s

newest project ‘Bohemian Blooms’.

Jane has based her new design on various

inspirations including English country gardens and

London’s garden squares, but the main catalyst for

her design was the paintings and iconic interior

designs of turn of the Century artists Vanessa Bell

and Duncan Grant at their home ‘Charleston

Farmhouse’ in Sussex and their murals at the nearby

Berwick Church. The project uses various yarns

from the Rowan palette including Baby Merino

Silk DK, Soft Yak, Felted Tweed and Summerlite

DK and Jane has also used beads from the Debbie

Abrahams range.

Rather than release this new crochet along style

project in the usual way - where the design is

issued in pieces monthly or fortnightly – Jane has

decided to release this project in book form giving

crocheters the chance to work through the project

at their own speed. The pattern book, which

accompanies Jane’s yarn kits, are laid out in a logical

order so that the crochet patterns get progressively

more challenging and can be worked through in

a CAL type way or in a more random sequence

depending on the preference of the crocheter.

The patterns include step-by-step images and are


written in Jane’s distinctive and informative style.

The design includes crochet flower motifs,

butterflies, circles and striped stitch motifs and

Jane has included an array of techniques, including

beading, 3D work and bobbles. To help with crochet

techniques and in order to offer crocheters a little

more guidance, Jane has also added technique

downloads to her website making this a perfect

learning tool.

The kits for this project are currently available

exclusively from Jane’s website, and a pattern only

option (in book form) will become available in the

New Year. Jane’s project packs include 31 balls of

Rowan yarn, 2 packs of beads, a sew in label and the

pattern book and are available at just £175, a price

which is based on the recommended retail price of

the yarns only which means that the beads, patterns

and label are included for free! Jane is also offering

free UK standard postage and reduced rates for the

rest of the world.

If you want to order a kit or take a look at Jane’s

portfolio of crochet design click the button below.






Jem Weston

Jem Weston is a freelance designer, author

and workshop tutor who has worked closely

with Rowan for several years. Jem’s latest book

‘Cute Comfort Knits’ is a charming collection of

homewares and accessories in Jem’s wonderfully

distinctive style. We caught up with her for a chat

about her new title and to see what else she has

been up to recently.

Cute Comfort Knits is your third book,

following on from the very successful

Cute Little Knits and The Knitted Nursery

Collection. What was your inspiration for this

latest title?

For me, there is nothing more comforting than

curling up on the sofa with my cats, a hot chocolate

and some knitting. I wanted Cute Comfort Knits

to capture the feeling of that contented sigh at the

end of a long day with projects that are comforting

to knit and add cosiness to your home.

You use a variety of Rowan yarns in your

work. Do you have a favourite and why?

Can I have more than one favourite?! I love working

with Felted Tweed – I think tweedy toys look

adorable. The colour palette is gorgeous, it goes a

really long way and it’s fabulous for colourwork as it


plumps into the stitches and is very forgiving.

I also adore Kid Classic. Canard is the most amazing

shade in the world! Kid Classic is the ultimate

fluffy, cosy yarn – it’s light, warm, quick to knit and

washes beautifully.

Cute Comfort Knits is a collection that

instantly makes you want to snuggle up with

your knitting on a cold winter night and

includes, cushions, throws, socks and toys.

Do you have a favourite project from the


I think I would have to say Haggis the Hedgehog

& Family are my favourites! I became a little bit

obsessed with hedgehogs when one temporarily

moved into our garden. They’re a nice quick project

that you can get done in a weekend and they make

lovely gifts.

I also really enjoyed knitting the Comfort Blanket.

It’s a very simple project, but sometimes that’s just

what you need. It’s made in three strips so it doesn’t

feel too challenging, it keeps you super warm and

cosy whilst knitting and it really is comforting to

knit and comforting to snuggle up in when it’s


You use a variety of techniques in your


2 3

collections, from colourwork through to

texture. What do you enjoy knitting the most

and why?

I like to have at least a couple of projects on the

go at any time so that I can choose what I’m in

the mood for. I love colorwork, such as the Deer

and Pheasant Cushions, but sometimes I just want

to knit something really simple that I don’t have to

think about – like the Comfort Wrap or Blanket.

The Cosy Floor Cushions have a good balance

with the cables across the centre requiring enough

concentration to keep it interesting…and then you

can switch off your brain to do the stocking stitch!

You recently exhibited at Yarndale and K&S.

How did it go? What do you enjoy most

about the shows?

I love everything about the shows! I enjoy the

planning, creating kits, playing with displays,

meeting lots of enthusiastic knitters and spending

time with my friends and colleagues.

Whether it’s a small show where I’m exhibiting

independently or as part of the Rowan team on

a larger stand at K&S – the shows are always hard

work but fantastic fun!

Do you have a favourite design from the

current Rowan AW collection? What are you

knitting at the moment?

My favourite deign from Magazine 62 is Buttrick

by Martin Storey. It’s a lovely relaxed shape and I’m

keen to knit a garment in Hemp Tweed as I’ve only

used it for accessories so far.

I have a few things on the needles at the moment

– but the main project I’m knitting is the Meriden

wrap by Amy Herzog from Rowan Loves no.5. I

can’t wait to finish it - It’s going to look perfect

with my winter coat.

What’s coming up in 2018? Do you have any

new projects coming up?

I will be launching some new single patterns in

2018 and refreshing some old favourites….watch

this space!

Pop over to Jem’s website to follow her weekly blog

and social media and keep up to date on her new

designs, events and knitty ponderings.

1. Deer & Pheasant Cushions

2. Haggis & Family

3. Comfort Blanket

Cute Comfort Knits








4 designs for women by Quail

using ROWAN Selects Camello

Visit for more information




Knitting & Stitching Show

Alexandra Palace

The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra

Palace has always been an important date in

the Rowan calendar and this year was no different.

Joining forces with our partner retailer, Lady Sew

and Sew, weeks of planning led us to set up day

where the team worked tirelessly to create what we

believe to be one of our strongest stands to date!

Admittedly we are biased, but we did have lots of

lovely compliments and so we hope that you agree!

During the course of the show we were joined on

the stand by some wonderful designers including

our very own Lisa Richardson, Georgia Farrell

who was launching her new book ‘Inspired Knits’

(see page 26 for more info), Jem Weston with her

latest title ‘Cute Comfort Knits’ (see our designer

interview with Jem on page 10), Martin Storey

with his fantastic new cable titles, ‘Easy Cable Knits’

and ‘How to Cable’ and his fantastic menswear

collection, ‘Journeyman’. Dee Hardwicke also

joined us on the stand to promote her current title

‘A Story in Yarn’. Dee then hot-footed it over to

Liberty where she spent the next day at our flagship,

followed by a Rowan workshop at the Liberty

Sewing School.

A particular highlight for us was being nominated in

the Aceville Awards and we were absolutely thrilled

to win ‘Best Luxury Yarn Brand’ and ‘Favourite

Pattern House’. What a great way to round off a

fantastic few days!

All in all, it was a busy show but we all thoroughly

enjoyed it and hope you did too!





Mystery Blanket



After celebrating a decade

of Mystery Blanket

designs in 2017, Debbie is

back in the studio working

on her eleventh Mystery

Blanket creation for 2018. For

her tenth anniversary blanket

this year she took inspiration

from all her previous Mystery

Blanket designs, reworking

some of her favourite patterns

in new colourways. However,

for 2018 Debbie promises

her members a brand new

knitting challenge inspired

by a theme that promises a

rich mix of colours, patterns

and textures. The concept of

the Mystery Blanket Club

remains unchanged, and it’s

a very simple one. Members


The concept of the

Mystery Blanket Club

remains unchaged


receive the knitting kit in two

instalments which include all

the yarn and embellishments

needed for the whole project.

They then receive the patterns

in ten monthly instalments,

beginning in February and

finishing in November. The

theme of the project is kept a

secret, only to be discovered as

the squares are completed and

the blanket takes shape. And to

keep the Club exclusive and

more desirable to join she limits

the number of memberships

each year - when they have

sold out she closes the Club

so that the patterns are only

available to those who have

signed up to it. Debbie writes

a monthly blog on her website

which keeps the members up

to date with all the latest news,

advice and knitting tips for the


All ten of Debbie’s Mystery

Blankets have used yarns from

the Rowan collection, but for

her next Mystery Blanket she

is thrilled to have been offered

the opportunity to have her

own colours dyed up in one

of her all-time favourite yarns.

This is what Debbie has to say

about her exciting new design

challenge for 2018:

“I have many favourite yarns

in the Rowan collection, but

one of my all-time favourites is

Cotton Glacé. It is a lightweight

double-knitting mercerised

cotton that has a fabulous

colour range and it knits up

beautifully, resulting in a very

flat, smooth, opaque fabric. So

imagine my excitement when

this year Rowan gave me the

opportunity to have my own

choice of unique colours dyed

up in it for my 2018 Mystery

Blanket! It’s been great fun

choosing the colour palette,

and I’ve opted for seventeen

shades, plus two shades from

the existing range. It’s a strong

vibrant collection of colours

for next year, combining deep

indigo blue with terracotta,

rich red, sunshine yellow and


A French Romance




emerald green – plus many

other shades which I am

going to keep a secret until

the launch in February! And

of course there are many of

Debbie Abrahams Beads in it too!


Its a strong vibrant

collection of colours for

next year,


These are the sorts of colours

that really inspire me because

of their vibrancy and depth. I

feel so excited about my new

Mystery Blanket design – the

inspiration, the colours I have

chosen and all of the new

textures and patterns I am

working on. Blanket squares

are the perfect vehicle for

my designing, giving me the

freedom to explore colour,

texture and embellishment

within a set number of stitches

and rows for each block –it’s

just pure adventure! “

The process of creating the

design for each of Debbie’s

Mystery Blankets is a lengthy

one, usually taking from eight

to twelve months to complete

each one of her blanket

designs. Her starting point is

a source of inspiration, from

which she takes all of her ideas

for colour, texture and pattern.

After creating a colour palette

she then works on a colour

layout to determine roughly

where the colours are going

Nordic Adventure



to be used in the forty-nine

squares of the blanket. Then

a rough sketch is drafted up

of the whole design so that

she has a plan to work to for

the placement of pattern and

texture. When all of this prep

work has been done, it is only

then that Debbie picks up the

knitting needles and starts to

knit samples of each square in

the blanket. And this can be a

lengthy process in itself, with


Designing a blanket is

all about balance and



many of the squares being

revised and reknitted several

times over before she is happy

with the results:

“Designing a blanket is all

about balance and harmony,

and my challenge is to create

something that is not only

visually pleasing to the eye,

but also has enough exciting

stitch patterns in it to keep

the knitter motivated for ten

months. I take care of the

design side of the blanket, but

I have a team of other people

that work alongside me,

without whom there would

be no Mystery Blanket Club.

I have three test knitters who

each knit a complete blanket,

three postal teams who deal

with the packing and posting

of the parcels, a local printer

who looks after all the printed

patterns, two graphic designers,

a web and technical support

team, plus my mother-in-law

who is my all-round assistant!

So there’s a lot that goes on

behind the scenes to make it

all happen for the hundreds of

knitters worldwide who take

on my challenge each year.”

Debbie’s Mystery Blanket

Club is open to all knitters, and

it has become a truly global

project with members joining

her from all over the world:

“It is such a joy for me to see all

the different countries across

the world that my Mystery

Blanket kits have been sent

to, from as far afield as South

Africa to New Zealand! And

what is really lovely is the

number of new friendships

that have been made through

the Mystery Blanket Club,

with many people meeting

up regularly to knit up their

blanket squares together.

The Club has also been

especially useful for people

with disablements or mobility

issues as all of the materials and

patterns are sent directly to

your door, so you don’t even

need to leave the house to take

part in it!”

If you are interested in joining

Debbie’s 2018 Mystery Blanket

Club then you can sign up

straight away by visiting the

online shop on her website.

Memberships can be purchased

for UK, Europe and the World.


Perugian Perspectives



Arabian Nights








12 designs for women, by Sarah Hatton, using

Alpaca Merino DK.

Now available from knitrowan as digital

purchasable patterns.





by Sarah Hatton

using Alpaca Merino DK









Trends Round Up

By Katie Calvert

This September, New York delivered another

great fashion week for spring summer 2018.

Floral designs were in evidence, it wouldn’t be

spring without them, but, this time, the romance

they created was more modern and colourful, like

those seen at Tory Burch. Although it’s doubtful that

there will be many people challenging Moschino’s

all-in-one flower look...

NYFW is such a fast paced week, it would be

impossible to talk about every trend, but a select

few really shone through, in particular, the colour

yellow. It was everywhere, dominating the catwalk.

Not a light shade, but a bold spring daffodil yellow,

illuminating any item. At Calvin Klein, satin

yellow trousers were the order of the day, whilst at

Matthew Adams, yellow cable knits, usually more

suited to the winter season, were present. We all

know that springtime doesn’t always bring us the

warmer weather that we yearn for, but this yellow

will shine through.

Last season was all about embellishment, and this

season echoes that. Yellow embellished dresses

could be seen at this season’s Marc Jacobs and

Prabal Gurung shows. Usually a bold evening

statement for winter, adding a touch of decoration

to spring shades makes it perfect for day. Just take a

look at the shades that Coach 1941 has used with

embellishment. So don’t save your embellished

knitted shawl for evening, throw it over a dress for


You might need a cover up for your fancy garment.

With spring comes spring showers, so what better

piece than a trench coat. It’s both lightweight and a

good cover up. Why not go a bit bolder and ditch

the sleeves. It’ll let you show off your summer

sweater and still keep you dry, just don’t forget your

umbrella. Phillip Lim has a few to choose from, and

one even comes in yellow! If you don’t fancy that,

the traditional trench could still be seen at plenty

of shows, including Michael Kors and Derek Lam,

who has even designed one in, yes you guessed it,



Trench coats are often belted, but this won’t be the

only thing that you’ll want to add a belt to. For

spring summer 2018, belts are a core accessory. The

size and style is your choice and it can be worn over

any piece of knitwear. A comfy, oversized sweater

can be transformed into a statement evening, or

day, piece with just the touch of a belt. Diane von

Furstenberg steers away from their famous wrap

dress by defining the waist with a belt over shirt

dresses and romantic styles.

Romance is another firm favourite for spring

summer 2018, illustrated by many floral designs,

bringing these trends full circle. Oscar de la Renta

and Marchesa showcased some of the most beautiful

pieces, with eye watering prices to match, no doubt.

More subtle romantic looks were seen at Victoria

Beckham and Carolina Herrera, with long skirts

the go to style. But Brock Collection typified just

why florals never go out of fashion. Their romantic,

floral, lace designs are so versatile that they could be

worn for a wedding or simply thrown on for the

beach. They even feature belts!

All images sourced from ready-to-wear








Now in their 34 th year, centered in beautiful

Ashland, Oregon, The Web-sters began as a

retailer of yarns and supplies for knitting, spinning

and weaving. Owner Dona Zimmerman, who

raised sheep (and continues to do so), sought to

marry her love for the fiber arts with the growing

population of her community – new residents

who mirrored the New Age trends of healthier,

thoughtful and natural living.

Taught to knit at the age of seven, Dona was one

of the first retailers to embrace the Rowan brand

in the Pacific Northwest. From the beginning,

she was drawn to the way that the colour palettes,

story stylings, yarn construction and pattern designs

inspired her and her customers to create their own

signature knitting styles. 30+ years later, with a full

Rowan library, Dona still believes that these factors

are key to the quintessential Rowan brand.

Tweed yarns have always been popular at The Websters.

Dona believes that they are more visually

interesting to use and confided that her favourite

Rowan yarn was Edina Ronay’s Silky Tweed. She

has great hope for Rowan’s new Cashmere Tweed

and featured it at her stand at Vogue Knitting Live

in Seattle this November.

The Web-sters has a full schedule of classes and

special events monthly. Currently there are beginners

classes in knitting, socks and needle felting, as well

as drop-in classes for spinning and knitting. Trunk

shows from suppliers revolve around each season to

keep the shop, which also sells handmade jewelry

and wearable art, looking fresh.

Ashland, Oregon (population 25,000) hosts over

350,000 tourists each year, many for their Oregon

Shakespearean Festival. To stay in touch with

visitors, the Web-sters started producing a catalog

in the 1990’s, which is still updated twice annually.

With the addition of a comprehensive website, the

shop can easily stay connected to knitters across the


Rowan is pleased to have partnered with The Websters

and looks forward to supplying their customers

for years to come.







Mid Season

Round Up


by Lisa Richardson

using Camello

Rowan Selects Camello


ROWAN Selects



ROWAN Selects



Camello is a limited edition yarn for AW17/18.

A beautiful blend of 68% extra fine merino, 18%

baby camel and 14% nylon, which was added to

give strength to the chainette structure of the yarn.

This lofty yarn has long yardage and is available in

ten beautiful shades, including rich jewel-like tones.

It is accompanied by a collection of 8 designs by

Lisa Richardson and Sarah Hatton.

Sultano is a highlight of the Rowan autumn/winter

collection and like Camello, it is a limited edition

for AW117/8. Composed of 38% silk, 38% kid

mohair and 24% cashmere this is a super soft and

luxurious yarn ideal for small exclusive accessories.

It is available in 4 stunning shades. We have recently

introduced the Rowan Pom Pom to our range

and this is a perfect fit with the Sultano collection,

especially the classic beanie hat!












Pom Poms


Inspired Knits

by Georgia Farrell


Rowan Pom Poms… are handmade, using 100%

vegan fibres & 100% animal friendly.

A wonderfully tactile and soft alternative to fur.

Each Pom Pom has a ribbon, so it can be easily

attached, and offers the perfect finishing touch to

any knitted hat, scarf , shawl or simply as a bag

accessory. Available in five natural shades

Inspired by her love of modern architecture and

mathematics, the result is a fabulous collection of

knitwear with a strong, modern aesthetic. Georgia

has used a range of Rowan’s core yarns including

Felted Tweed, Kid Classic, Hemp Tweed, Cocoon

and Big Wool.







by Kim Hargreaves


4 Project



This is the latest collection from Kim Hargreaves

and features 21 designs including garments and

accessories. Kim has used Kidsilk Haze, Fine Lace,

Brushed Fleece, Alpaca Merino DK, Superfine

Merino 4ply, Cocoon and the new Alpaca Soft DK.

The ‘4 Project’ booklets from Quail Studio have

been a great success and this season has seen the

launch of three further titles, all capturing the latest

high street trends – Mohair, Colour Block and










By Quail

Autumn/Winter 17 and Rowan Magazine 62 sees

the launch of the ‘Rowan Style Edit’ by Quail

Studio. Taking current Rowan designs, Quail

Studio re-style the collection to offer a different

take on the original Rowan photography.

Drawing upon streetstyle trends, styling choices are

aimed to allow you to take your wardrobe favourites

and pair them with your hand knitted garment to

get the complete look!

Launched twice a year, for the spring/summer and

autumn/winter seasons, selected designs will feature

seasonal trends as well as timeless classics.


by Lisa Richardson

originally from

Knitting & Crochet

Magazine 62

In this first edition, a selection of designs from

Magazine 62 including the stunning Hutton Scarf,

Georgia Farrell’s Wilshaw Coat and the fabulous

front cover garment by Galina Carroll have all

been restyled to create an alternative look. Designs

using our new Valley Tweed yarn – Braden, Dearne

and Wold have also been styled to offer another

perspective. Other garments to be given the restyle

treatment include Irma in our new Alpaca Soft DK

and our eye-catching ‘Rowan Yarns’ cardigan in the

ever popular Pure Wool Worsted.

Quail Studio bring to life the designs with catwalk

videos and a technical hints & tips youtube channel

Watch out on social media for behind the scenes

sneak peaks and exclusive additional content.




by Martin Storey

originally from

Cashmere Tweed



by Martin Storey

originally from

Timeless DK


by Sarah Hatton

originally from

Knitting & Crochet

Magazine 62

Farnley Scarf

by Emma Wright


by Georgia Farrell

both originally from

Knitting & Crochet

Magazine 62


by Martin Storey

originally from

Cashmere Tweed






The Wool Merchant


The Wool Merchant is located

in picturesque Dartington,

Devon, on the edge of the

rural Dartington Hall Estate

near Totnes. It is situated in the

arts and crafts shopping centre

‘The Shops at Dartington’, with

history and the beauty of nature

right on the doorstep, along

with some great places to find

coffee and cake and of course the

wonderful shop itself crammed

with woolly goodness!

The Wool Merchant stocks a

wide range of yarns, patterns and

accessories and Dawn and her

team, Chris and Jane, are always

on hand to offer help and advice

and to share their experience

and knowledge. They hold a knit

group on Friday mornings which

is continually growing and new

members are always welcome!

They also offer a workshop

programme which covers a

broad spectrum of subjects from

Fair Isle and Lace to Weaving and

Crochet. Next year’s programme

is currently in the pipeline and

so keep an eye on the website.

Dawn offers popular one hour

session for beginners.

Dawn shares her thoughts with

us on the craft, the sharing of

knowledge and skills and knitting


“A strong tradition of creativity

combined with the need to

provide protection from seasonal

changes in the weather have over

generations produced a wealth

of knitting techniques which

until recent developments in

information technology have

been confined to within each

geographical and social area of

their conception. Now however

there are fewer barriers and I

am constantly discovering that

my personal dislike of modern

technology is rapidly being

replaced by excitement and

curiosity as I discover how these

advances are working hand

in hand (literally) with many

crafters desire to search for new

ideas to bring many hitherto

little known traditions and

fascinating techniques to greater

numbers of people than could

ever previously been envisaged.

A generation ago it would have

been the norm to learn from

mother, grandmother, aunt

orneighbour the local traditions

of knitting or crochet and to

continue for the rest of your life

in blissful ignorance of any other

methods, variations or traditions.

The advantage of this isolation

was that over generations some

very diverse and beautiful


techniques and traditions

developed. What I see now daily

in my shop The Wool Merchant

at Dartington Devon is the way

that social media and the internet

have given knitters access to

countless traditions from all

corners of the globe. The effect

this is having is to enlighten and

embolden the once insular craft


Another aspect of change I have

seen over the course of my 56

years of knitting experience is that

now rather than knitting being a

necessity to provide cheap warm

clothing for every member of

the family it has become a leisure

activity of choice. This has meant

that the type of knitting that

my customers do has changed.

There are some who wish to

create heirlooms to be passed

down through their families and

others who just want to be able

to knit something simple whilst

watching the television.

In a world of mass produced

goods produced from synthetic

materials in far flung places it is

becoming more important than

ever to a lot of my customers to

make something unique and to

choose yarns made with love and

care from natural fibres.

I specialise in yarns made from

natural fibres which are not only

better for the environment but

are more enjoyable to knit with

and more comfortable to wear.

We all need to think hard about

the effect our wasteful society

is affecting the natural world

so let’s do our bit and knit

conscientiously and thoughtfully.

By supporting your local shops,

spinners and dyers and farmers

you are helping the environment

and the local economy. MAKE


MAKE IT LAST. Be mindful of

how you knit and what you knit.

The Wool Merchant has over

4,500 lines for you to choose

from. Come and enjoy the

colours and textures.”






A Round up of

Festive Knits Past &


For the Home…

This Christmas Bauble by Lisa Richardson is

crocheted in Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze. Choose from

over 30 shades to create a stunning addition to

your tree! There are plenty of festive shades to

choose from and so you’ll be spoilt for choice!


Sarah Hatton’s Christmas Wreath is the perfect

addition for your home this Christmas!

Choose five shades of Kid Classic to create this

wonderfully festive decoration!

What could be mor

Isle scarf! This stunn

Richardson is work

Rowan Selects Ca

of extra fine merin

ensures the lucky

warm and cosy this




Knitting for a gift…….

The Charlotte Beanie Hat in our luxurious

Rowan Selects Sultano would make an ideal

gift this Christmas. Sultano is available in a

range of four shades from a frosty grey to a

rich deep plum and one of our new Pom-

Poms would make a perfect finishing touch.


e festive than a Fair

ing design by Lisa

ed in six shades of

mello. This blend

o and baby camel

recipient will be


Rowan Felted Tweed is the

perfect choice for these Fair Isle

leg warmers by Jem Weston. Her

signature style combined with her

wonderful eye for colour, these are

a welcome addition to any winter







Tips & Techniques


How to To

Knit Intarsia

by Katherine Lymer


by Martin Storey

using Pure Wool Superwash Worsted

Timeless Worsted

Intarsia, Its mere mention

can prompt strong,

polarised opinions: We

seem to love it – or hate it!

Years of teaching knitting

workshops suggest that any

negative reactions are often

due to a fear of falling foul

of the commonly cited, yet

avoidable, pitfalls. We hope to

debunk some of these in this


Sometimes known as “picture

knitting”, intarsia is often

associated with bold motifs

where the contrasting colour is

concentrated to specific regions.

Unlike stranded knitting, this

provides greater control over

pattern placement and produces

a fabric of single-thickness –

perfect for worsted-weight yarns

or garments for our springsummer

wardrobes. Yet this isn’t

the limit of its uses. Martin

Storey’s striking “Jensen”, in

“Timeless Worsted”, uses the

intarsia technique to create a


stylish diagonal stripe where the

edges of each colour are locked

together in a satisfyingly even,

seamless line.

As with any successful project,

thorough preparation is essential

and this is particularly true for

intarsia. Before casting-on, we

need to study the chart, identify

which yarns are worked where

and in what order, estimate the

amount of each yarn that will be

used and wind shorter lengths as

needed. Embrace the process:

You’ll better know your pattern

and your yarn – allowing for

a more satisfying and pleasing

process and, ultimately, an

improved finished object.

The chart is key to intarsia. It

is the most effective method

of displaying the shape, size

and position of the motif (or

colour change) within the

knitted fabric. Each square of

the chart represents a stitch.

We start reading the chart from


the bottom, right-hand corner

square and then read across, from

right to left, as we work our right

side (RS) row. After turning our

needles, to work the wrong side

of our fabric, we “turn” direction

on our chart, now reading from

left to right – and so continuing,

in a smooth, “Ƨ” type pattern.

For the meaning of the symbols

used in the chart, consult the

key provided in the pattern. In

colour knitting, symbols (or

coloured squares) indicate the

yarn colour to be used.

The chart also allows us to

plan ahead by winding-off the

required length(s) of yarn into a

bobbin(s) – an approach that can

be essential when working the

same colour multiple times across

the same row, as in the wonderful

Rowan Yarns Sweater”, also

from “Timeless Worsted”: Of the

ten colours used in the jumper,

only two of these are required

in quantities of more than one

ball. Hence bobbins become

our friends, particularly when

we learn how to reliably estimate

the length required: Try counting

the squares on the chart to be

knitted in the contrast colour

and then wrap the yarn around

the needle (of the same size as

specified in the pattern) the

appropriate number of times.

For example, to knit the letter

“O” block from the “Rowan

Yarns Sweater”, the chart shows

that there are 88 knitted stitches

in the contrast colour to form

the letter. Rather than wrapping

88 times, instead wrap the yarn

around the needle eight times

and then multiply this length by

11 to calculate the initial length



Rowan Yarns Sweater

by Martin Storey

using Pure Wool Superwash Worsted

Timeless Worsted



by Brandon Mably

using Cocoon

Timeless Cocoon



Working intarsia in straight, vertical


a, Drop working yarn at position of

colour change

b, Pick up the new yarn from

underneath the old



Working intarsia on a diagonal with

the slope to the left

a, Pick up the new yarn from

underneath the old, knitwise

b, Pick up the new yarn from

underneath the old, purlwise

required for all 88. A “wrap”

uses less yarn than a “knit” so

we can refine our estimate by

multiplying that number by

1.25 (increase by 25%). We also

need to add additional lengths

for each tail (perhaps another 2

x 10cm) to provide us with the

total length of yarn needed for

that section (remembering that

too much yarn is better than

too little!). Then wind into a

bobbin – or onto a commercially

available plastic version. For a

demonstration on how to wind a

bobbin, watch the Rowan Yarns

YouTube video, “Calculating

yarn amounts and making a

bobbin”. Repeat for all other

yarns in your chart/chart section.

Ends – and their sewing in –

can quickly become a timeconsuming

side-effect of

working with multiple colours,

so it is advantageous to try to

eliminate these as we work. One

method is to introduce the yarn

a stitch before the chart specifies

and weave-in its end, in a similar

method to weaving-in our floats

in stranded knitting (please see

“How to knit Fair Isle” in the

last newsletter). Thus, at the

point where the chart states to

start working the new colour, it

is already secured into our work.

A similar approach can be taken

to weave-in the “tail” of the

contrast colour at the end of its


When it comes to changing

colours, care needs to be taken

to ensure that no gaps form

between the two colours by

twisting together the yarns at the

point of the colour change. In



Working intarsia on a diagonal with

the slope to the right

a, Pick up the new yarn from undeneath

the old, knitwise



b, Pick up the new yarn from

underneath the old, purlwise

vertical blocks of colour, such as

Brandon Mably’s “Kukiko”, we

work to the position of the new

colour. Drop the working colour

yarn and then pick-up the new

colour from underneath the old

colour and continue to knit (a)

/ purl (b). By “catching” the old

colour at the back of the work,

we ensure a tight join between

the two sections.

A similar approach is taken for

colour changes on the diagonal,

such as in “Jensen”, though here

we have to resist the temptation to

over-twist the yarns, which could

distort the work. With RS facing,

when the colour on the right is

increasing (shown here as blue),

we adopt the same procedure of

dropping the working yarn at

the colour change and picking

up the new from underneath

it knitwise (a) and purlwise (b).

When the colour on the left is

increasing (shown here as pink),

we do the same again knitwise

(a) and purlwise (b).

Blocking is an essential step

in producing a professionally

finished piece of intarsia. Use a

method in keeping with the care

instructions on the yarn’s ball

band before pinning-out your

work to the correct dimensions

and leaving to dry. In doing

so, your stitches will sit evenly

together creating a smooth,

unitary finish.

For consolidation of these

techniques, consult the Rowan

calendar for a workshop

convenient to you.





To view a full list of workshop dates visit by clicking the button





More magazines by this user