Rowan Yarn

By Megan Goodacre

A yarn and design company in the UK, Rowan has played a significant role since the 80s in setting the bar for the aesthetics of knitting design and luxury yarns. 

Nowadays, with the internet, knitters and crocheters have a world of options in knitting patterns and luxury yarns. But a couple of decades ago, well, let's be honest, the menu was a little thin. A lot of acrylic, some wools, a handful of brand names. But extra fine merino and silk blends? Nope. Organic cotton and milk protein? Nuh-uh.

And, a couple of decades ago, well, it was post 80s, so maybe not the pinnacle of humankind's fashion sense, so the knitting pattern books weren't always stylish.

But Rowan had visual style, with gorgeous landscapes, natural, dewy-skinned lasses and lads with wild hair, and sweaters that you actually wanted to wear. (And maybe some lads that you might actually want to take home with you, but I digress).

Beautiful colours and heathers, classic lines, comfortable fit, teamed with beautifully photographed, beautifully printed high-end magazines.

And Rowan promoted their star designers by name, designers who have since become brands in their own right: Kaffe Fassett, Kim Hargreaves, Debbie Bliss, Louisa Harding, Erika Knight. And they picked star fibers too, like Silk, Merino, Cashmere, Baby Alpaca, Linen, Lambswool, Cotton, Kid Mohair, and more.

While I love my affordable yarn, I also believe in treating myself. (You can see the evidence in these recent acquisitions). Some popular Rowan yarns worth trying:

Kidsilk Haze. A very fine yarn, 70% super kid mohair 30% silk, extremely versatile. Recommended needle size from 3.5 to 5.0 mm. These slight, kittenish, 25 gram balls go a long way with 210 meters.

Belle Organic DK by Amy Butler. One of my favourites. Beautiful to the touch, easy to work, 50% organic cotton 50% organic wool, and a gorgeous colour palette. Also comes in Aran weight.

Summer Tweed. A lovely nubbly yarn, with incredible colours, in a warm weather blend, 70% silk 30% cotton.

Felted Tweed. Comes in DK, Aran, and Chunky. 50% merino wool 25% alpaca 25% viscose. Pretty colour choices.

Cashsoft. A hand-washable blend of 57% extra fine merino 33% acrylic microfibre 10% cashmere.