When I was given some Rowan Island Blend samples at last year’s Rowan Roadshow, I instantly knew I would turn them into a very special hat. I had experimented on an unusual shape before and was sure that this soft and drapey yarn was the perfect choice for my idea.
I wanted a hat that can be worn either as a beanie or as a tam. There also was this idea of three-dimensional segments that add dramatic volume. Voilà, Opulence was born. The hat looks extra spectacular when worked in different colours, but due to its unusual shape, it also looks stunning in one single colourway without the colourwork. Opulence is worked bottom-up in one piece using intarsia in-the-round if you opt for the multi-coloured version. A folded hem contrasts the opulent crown.
My sample uses Rowan Island Blend (70% Falkland merino wool, 15% baby alpaca, 15% silk; 137 yd / 125 m per 50 g) in Empire as main colour and Jet as contrasting colour. The DK weight yarn is very soft and drapey, light enough to wear the hat in spring, yet warm enough to also wear it in winter. However, if you prefer another DK weight yarn, just make sure you meet gauge and surprise me with your interpretation! The pattern comes in six sizes to fit to fit 14 (16, 18, 20, 22, 24)″ / 35.5 (40.5, 45.5, 50.5, 56, 61) cm head circumference. As usually, you can buy the pattern in my Ravelry store. I am looking forward to all your colourful Opulence hats!
I still remember how I spent some of my childhood days in Britain. When I was exploring the city with my mum, I would always stop at the local yarn shop and gaze at the windows in wonder. None of us was knitting back then, but both of us admired the stranded colourwork, heavy intarsia and cable knit jumpers in beautiful, muted colour palettes. The pattern books that also were on display indicated a yarn brand called Rowan which was responsible for the designs I instantly had fallen in love with.
More than a decade later when I finally started to knit, I was happy to learn that this company still existed and was pretty famous for their high quality yarns and exquisite designs. I browsed their patterns on Ravelry and started to collect older issues of the knitting and crochet magazine. My first Rowan sweater followed soon. It was knit in Kid Classic, a wool, mohair and nylon blend I still like a lot. Currently, I am knitting a yoked sweater in Kidsilk Haze, but I will tell you more about it another time.
I am glad to have been invited to the Rowan roadshow in Hamburg where I had the opportunity to learn more about a brand that has been inspiring me for such a long time. The company still follows its heritage of quality yarns in paintbox colour palettes paired with timeless design. I was a bit ashamed that I had missed the launch of two pure British yarn qualities, Valley Tweed and Moordale. Both are spun in Britain from British Fleece and are featured in this autumn’s British Made pamphlet. You may have noticed already that the Knitting and Crochet Magazine now is divided into a main collection and the Focus magazine. This season, Rowan focuses on natural fibres but the topic will change every season. You can purchase these two publications bound together with a wrap or individually which I find a pretty cool idea.
A completely new concept is Mode at Rowan. This collection is a capsule wardrobe in a contemporary design that reflects current fashion trends. The patterns are intended to fit easily into your wardrobe and beginner-friendly to knit. This fall, Mode at Rowan consists of a large pattern book with 18 patterns and four smaller publications showcasing one yarn quality each.
concept is the 4 project pamphlet. Each issue has four patterns in one yarn
quality and is yarn shop exclusive, so not available online. But talking online
availability, I am delighted to find the patterns of all other new Rowan
publications for individual purchase on their website! An exception is the
Rowan Magazine which is available in a digital version only in the Rowan App.
One of my personal highlights this season is Arne & Carlos’ remarkable men’s collection. It is called New Nordic Men’s Collection and interprets classic Norwegian knits in a fresh and modern way. Vegard, Vidar and Jens are my favourites, but all designs are really clever. I would definitely wear them myself as they perfectly work as unisex designs.
There are two new yarns for this season, Cashmere Haze and Island Blend. Cashmere Haze is a laceweight blend of 40% alpaca, 30% cashmere and 30% silk with a meterage of 230m per 25g ball. It is a sister yarn to Kidsilk Haze but even softer and more luxurious.
Island Blend is a DK weight yarn composed of 70% Falkland merino wool, 15% baby alpaca and 15% silk. It is super soft and has a beautiful stitch definition.
I also was
allowed to take a first glimpse at the SS20 collection, but at the moment, I am
mainly looking forward to fully indulge in winter, my favourite season. I will
let you know more later this year.
Thank you, Rowan, for the wonderful and informative meeting in Hamburg! Also thank you for the product samples, I am looking forward to try them out!