Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn CrawlΒ is on through Sunday, September 25.

Rowan 34: Deep Sighs

Dear Ann– I know, I know! Mine came on Friday too. I sank down on the sofa with it, oblivious to the wails of little children, and did not look up again for a couple of hours.
I try not to get too excited about the even-numbered Rowans, because they always break my wool-sensitive heart. Sure, you can sub All Seasons Cotton and the rest for some of it, but why would you want to?? It’s the Felted Tweed that kills me the most. I really, really want the Elfin cardi in charcoal Felted Tweed with all that fluffy Kidsilk Haze ruffling around the neck and cuffs (so Not Me, and therefore so compelling). But alas it is not to be. I shall pick up my Number 5s and my charcoal FT from the Liberty Sales (thanks Polly!!), and make it for some poor undeserving soul. Because that’s the kind of person I am. Giving, caring, selfless….and addicted.
Other, perhaps unworthy, thoughts on 34: isn’t Louisa Harding’s hubby a doll?
And Kaffe!! Kaffe’s back! I’ve pretty much decided to stash the wools for Stone Argyll, as the hubby would look so great in it. Sure, it will take a year out of my knitting life (perhaps that’s optimistic)–cause you know they gave it 3 skeins for difficulty only because they don’t HAVE 4 skeins– but in the XXL the Hubster will look positively regal. (At 6 foot 7 he can display a LOT of argyles.)
I also love Kaffe’s Powder Puff sweater, and probably could wear it as I’m not allergic, so far as I know, to goats. But it IS a bit of a statement and I cannot break my vow never to tweak a Kaffe colorway.
It will take a while for it all to sink in. I too adore Rapunzel and think a silk might be substitutable for the Kid Classic. The chart is a bit, er, daunting. Editorial Note: MDK must post some realistic difficulty ratings for these supposedly 3-skein Rowan patterns. Rapunzel is a 6. (Anything over a 5 risks visual impairment and should only be attempted with written authorization from Pat Clack.) (See Pat Clack’s alarmingly expert knitting on Picturetrail.com, RowanInternational album.)
As for Reveal, well, the Rowanettes’ search for a way of spotting each other in crowds and yarn stores is now officially over. I guarantee that there will be no mistaking a Rowanette decked out in her (or his!) Reveal. Jill, Emma, Polly et al., let’s get the word out. The Official Rowanette Identification Sweater is Reveal. Those allergic to Cork can sub Summer Tweed.
As for Bet, how can you NOT follow a colorway that calls for Sludge and Blood? Break down and buy some yarn. Love, Kay




  1. Kay–Gee, I’d really hate it if you cranked out an Elfin for, say, ME. Long about that 450th ruffle increase you’d be hating everything about that project. But I would post endless pix of it on Mason-Dixon Knitting, all with tender and grateful comments.
    Yes, Louisa Harding’s hubby is adorable. She prolly knits for him all the time. Maybe that’s what I need to be doing for Hubbo.
    Speaking of which, the thought of you doing Stone Argyll in XXL for yer hubby blows my freakin’ mind. I was going to nominate that one for the head-busting hall of fame award, right up there with that Pebbles sweater from Rowan past.
    Here’s a Kaffe thought: some of his creations are fantastic as works of art, but I can’t imagine wearing some of them. Powder Puff is a perfect example. The little fellas would be watching for me to come out of a very tiny car with twenty other Powder Puff wearers. Also–never having knit a Kaffe, I imagine that I’d be so squirrely about getting latte on it or guinea pig poo that I’d never wear it.
    And yes, there should be a Rowan difficulty rating called simply “Pat Clack.” How does she do it?

  2. Ann–Mind you, I’m just armchair knitting (problem with that coinage is that there is no distinction between armchair knitting and actual knitting). I’m building sweaters in Spain. I think my madness for Stone Argyll is the fact that 2 old kits for similar Kaffe sweaters (Roman Blocks and Grid)in discontinued Yarns Ann Loves just went for big money. So I was thinking, I’ll buy all the yarn for Stone Argyll, sit on it for 8-10 years (by which time Felted Tweed and Rowanspun 4 ply will have been long since replaced by the ‘new’ Tweeded Felt and Rowanply 4-Spun)–sitting on yarn being something I do really well–and then sell it to some shmo like—me!—on eBay. And if all else fails and I run out of yarn in the meantime, I’ll knit it up for the Big Guy.
    xox (I speak Fair Isle), Kay

  3. Lis was just saying the same thing about Kaffe’s stuff being art and not necessarily clothing. While Powder Puff makes that case very well, I would rebut it with Courthouse Steps, Kilim, Arizona Stripes and many others. Those gigantic Georgia O’Keeffish flowers are probably in the Art Only category, although I occasionally see them in coat form on the streets of New York, worn by very well-off looking older women. (Do I stop them and ask if they knitted them??? Of course I do!! I keep waiting for one of them to say their Danish friend Thomas made it!) xox Kay

  4. I soooo want to knit Rapunzel, but I’ve looked at the kid classic in my LYS and thought “yuck, I don’t like…” Ok so the chart looks a right nightmare, but at least it’s even changes…
    What are you tinking of substituting the Kid classic with?
    mind you… having stashed half of Colinette (or that’s what the bank account thought!) last month, I’m on a yarn diet for this month so can’t rush out & buy – yet! also, I’m really not sure that I’m really Rapunzel it’d be a cring shame to do something with a Pat Clack difficulty rating and then hate it!

  5. I think Rapunzel would look great in silk. Having said that, I’ve never actually knitted in silk before, and thus have no idea how well it would sub. I have to thank you guys (and Emma and Lis) for opening my eyes to Rowan. New designs and more yarn to check out! Wheeee! Well, my yarn habit thanks you. My bank account is going to go off in the corner and cry for a while. πŸ˜‰

  6. kay, i can see it now, you in your summer tweed version of “reveal” at a dance party somewhere in berghampton…”its getting hot in here….!”

  7. One thing is certain: ‘Reveal’ is the only sweater, in any Rowan magazine or leaflet since the beginning of time, that one can really dance to Nellie in. It’s so hip-hop, so gangsta, so J. Lo, and yet so Britney!!!
    Rene, apologies for getting you into Rowan. Rowan is a jealous mistress. It causes you to speak an arcane language and suffer from delusions. Right now, for example, I firmly believe that Kaffe is a friend of the family. Note to self: make Kaffe’s favorite dish in case he drops in for supper tonight. Oops–phone’s ringing; maybe it’s Kim! Kay

  8. Ok all, esp. Kay, at least Reveal has some sangfroid, unlike the ASC cherry boob sweater, no?
    Kay, in my ongoing battle of big v. small needles, and the Elfin in my head, I seriously considered paying someone to knit it for me today, I want it sooo bad! So if you really can’t find a single soul to knit and bequeath it to, you know where to find me (PS–I will pay for yarn! πŸ™‚
    And agreed, maybe we should petition Rowan to create a Pat Clack only category, and I nominate Rapunzel to be the first pattern to earn that tag…..


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