Me, me, ME!!!
As a knitter from England, I have haboured a love affair with Rowan Yarn since I first saw their display in my local John Lewis haberdashery department, sometime in the late 1980′s. A quality brand with wonderfully textured yarns in divine colour stories that made my mouth water, and my fingers twitch to get knitting. I eagerly awaited the twice yearly publication of the Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine – in my opinion, the most beautifully styled and photographed collection of patterns I had ever seen. I shared my Rowan magazines with my Mum and together we slowly flipped through the large pages, discussing which designs we wanted to knit. I don’t think my Mum ever started a project by herself, but at her request, I knitted a few of the designs for her. For myself, I used the patterns as a starting point and made alterations to the designs, slight changes in fit, trims or colour patterning. The written patterns became the style guide, which I later followed to create my own patterns, so Rowan has indeed been a huge inspiration to me in my hand knit design career.
A couple of years ago, I introduced myself to Martin Storey, a designer for Rowan, at a TNNA trade show. We chit chatted about designing and I mentioned my love of all things Rowan. He suggested that I should contact the Rowan team about designing for them, but I was too involved in other design projects. Around two years later, I still had a desire to design for Rowan and couldn’t put off the opportunity any longer. After writing to the Head Designer, a reply quickly followed and I submitted my first design ideas. I was thrilled to be told that I would be featured in magazine number 56, which is to be released this July – I’m still grinning like a Cheshire Cat and my Mum is as pleased as punch!
Last week, while on my extended working holiday in little England, My sister drove my Mum and I to West Yorkshire where I was to meet with the Rowan design team in their picturesque mill, nestled on a leafy, dry stone wall lined lane in Holmfirth.
David Macleod, Rowan’s Design and Publications Manager, took me on a tour of the mill and introduced me to the design, technical and marketing teams. Everyone was warm and friendly and seemed to enjoy working in such a lovely environment. My timing for the visit was perfect in that I got to see the samples of my designs which will feature in magazine number 57 – so exciting!
David and I chatted about some more design work I will be doing with Rowan in the future, and along with a sneak preview of magazine number 56, I was given a gift bag, filled with all sorts of Rowan goodies!
I want to thank David and everyone for making me feel so welcome, and also offer get well wishes to Marie Wallin, Rowan’s Head Designer, who is recovering at home after a recent illness. I know she is eager to get back to work, and I look forward to meeting her on my next visit.
Thank you, Rowan, I can’t wait to come and see you all again!