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Book Review: Rowan 43

Thursday and Friday are my days off, and while usually I am anything but an early riser, I found myself awake at eight this morning, happy to sit around with my coffee and knit.  This Friday is for swatching – I am trying out several new yarns for Spring, and I will post about those once the swatches are blocked.  Later on I’m going to walk up to the coffee shop (Marc has the car today) and then walk over to a house we might go to see, in order to decide whether it’s worthwhile (exciting news for yesterday: we are finally dealing with a realtor, and I am so relieved to not be in charge of everything.)  I’ll go to the grocery and buy ingredients to make this chili for dinner – after all, it is snowing a little today (well… in a vague sort of way, it won’t be staying) so we need some good warm food for dinner, and it will taste even better if I have to walk in the cold to get it!   In short… it is an excellent way to spend a day off.

I have worked on some projects…


To the left are the gloves I posted in my last entry – they are from Louisa Harding’s Knitting Little Luxuries for all the people who asked!  They are knit flat, but could easily be adapted to be knit in the round.  I did not do the picot cast on, because I really did not like how it was coming out, so I will add on the picot edge at the end, or maybe just do the picot bind off (which is easier) and leave this end plain.  The yarn is Grace, a wool/silk blend that is simply wonderful to work with, although I think these will pill in about 10 second flat.

Wednesday, to my surprise, Rowan Magazine 43 came in the mail.

My overall impression is just… blah.  It’s not a negative review because most of the designs just don’t register that strongly with me.  Bland colors, bland styling, bland designs.  There isn’t much that’s awful (except for the 2 granny square tops… seriously Rowan?  If it’s going to say “Knitting and Crochet” on the top we deserve better.  There is a dress, but I don’t think it looks very well fitted either.)  Most of the designs are just kind of boring to me.  Sizing in general seems a bit larger, with plenty of designs (such as the cover) which are oversized in ways which would not be at all flattering to me.  Not hugely oversized, just… not fitted, in a way that reminds me of the way I dressed through most of the 90s.

I do like the bamboo soft sweater below (1st sweater) but I shudder at the thought of all that stockinette.  I also like the striped sweater, but it’s a bit too expensive for me… it is nice though.

Of course, YMMV, as always with these reviews, but I would take a look at this one in person before I bought it.  As for me, my queue is long enough as it is, so I’m not too sad that I won’t be making anything from this yet!

My next post will include swatches!

7 thoughts on “Book Review: Rowan 43

  1. That bamboo sweater is super cute. And I seem to be on a roll with endless stockinette sweaters, so why stop now?

    Thanks for the answer to ‘where did those fabby gloves come from’! I actually have that book and suspected they might have been from there.

  2. That’s funny, I picked that same sweater a favorite in my review of #43. I also was mostly unimpressed. And you are right, that crochet was AWFUL.

  3. OH my – that granny square thing looks like a cropped afghan from the 70’s worn as …. clothing?? Sometimes I wonder if the designers have just run out of orig. GOOD ideas. I’ve felt the same disappointment with some VK and IK designs, kind of a “that’s it???” response.
    I hope you find the right house. You’ll know when you see it. Just don’t buy a total fixer-upper, we’re still not done over here and it cuts into the bank account, not to mention valuable family and knitting time.

  4. I was all excited to see the Rowan mag in my mailbox yesterday, but had the same take that you did … blah. I was pretty disappointed. I thought the last fall issue was great, so this one was a let down … overall pretty boring. I just didn’t see anything new or exciting.

    Looking at the spring IK, however, I see quite a few that I like… so I’ll add them to my queue of things I’d like to make (which is so long I think it will take me years to get to all of them as well as to knit all my stash)

  5. The very worst Rowan book I have ever seen- OMG! Look at that cutaway longline tunic- utterly hideous!
    I love Rowan but the ’60’s’ section is a collection of the worst Sirdar style 80’s type dross I have ever seen! Long stripy sweaters suit sausage dogs- not humans. Even the model is too lumpen and thick-waisted, and I speak as a good size 16!
    Errr- twiggy is the look for the 60’s!
    Who designed these? Have they heard of Twinkle? Have they seen Michelle Rose Orne’s designs? Have they been to another shop other than Primark? Knitters-Do yourself a favour- buy Kim Hargreaves new book…. Or bid on ebay for some older Rowans!
    Rowan – get your act together please. Der-eadful stuff.

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