Magazine Review: Rowan Magazine 66

by Hannah Gilly

September 3, 2019

This week’s video may sound like an advert for Rowan magazine,

but I’m hoping you’ll see that I’m giving a balanced view, sometimes playing the admirer, sometimes the devil’s advocate.

As with everything in life there are pros and cons. Just as with some profiles on Instagram, you’ll think first time you see it, that the front cover is perfect. An amazing feast for the eyes, perfect photos, maybe illustrating a realistic life or maybe you start to perceive that it’s a carefully-chosen behind-the-scenes shot by a professional photographer!

Rowan is no different.

There’s a long history of designing amazing yarns and patterns, which cannot be forgotten by any stretch of the imagination. So its reputation is laid in history, much further back than any social media profile can provide. And sometimes I feel that there is a little stickiness. Maybe too much history that it can’t let go.

Choosing Cambridge UK for the photo-shoot grounds the knitwear collection in classicism. But it also feels like reinventing the wheel. Some of the knitwear designs also feel like a reinvention.

Yes, we all expect fairisle ‘wow’ knits from Rowan, but I understand now why I last bought a Rowan magazine ten years ago. This one is so similar. It’s the same yarns and such familiar designs.

If you’ve never owned a Rowan knitwear magazine before, then this may be the one for you. But unless you’re likely to knit through it and then never knit the same items again, you’re not likely to need another one.
This is especially true as whenever you see a Rowan pattern that you like you can likely purchase it singly from the Rowan website. While some are kept for larger publications, there are many that are available in this way, so it’s always worth looking.

Back to the admiration

Rowan is also known for being willing to reinvent itself as the world changes. It’s kept up with social media and has a navigable and contemporary website. Not every knitting-focused brand can boast that, by any means.

And unlike many magazines, which rely solely on the monthly editions for income, Rowan understands the long game well. We don’t need new collections every month, we need yarn, inspiration and knitting time. You’ll only find a new Rowan magazine on the shelves twice annually, so you can always bet the best yarns and patterns are saved for these rare issues. And you get the time you need to knit through the patterns while inspiring yourself with a colourful, creative, coffee-table-worthy edition.

In today’s video I’m going to give you a peek and what’s inside issue number 66, for Autumn/Winter 2019/20.

It’s an extra long video today as I go through the details of how the editor’s have changed the format and added some new yarns. If there’s a particular part you’d like to see, check out the time stamps below:

1:16 overview of magazine
1:43 main magazine no.66
2:35 flipping through photos of patterns
7:50 article on new yarn
9:37 sneaky peek at Dee Hardwicke’s ‘Season Palette’ book
10:39 article introducing Mode at Rowan
12:42 flipping through the patterns
17:10 last few pages of magazine
17:33 Focus magazine flip-through
21:07 Focus flipping through patterns


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