Jeannie and I took off on an impromptu trip to Philadelphia earlier this month to meet with Rowan. We had a splendid time! Honestly, after 26 years in this business going to yarn things is usually a snooze-fest. So it takes a lot to impress me. Rowan did not disappoint, and completely blew our hair back!
We first met up with two long-time friends, Linda Pratt and Trisha Malcom. Linda has been the behind-the-scenes brains behind many a yarn company for as long as I can remember. A true yarn genius. Trish recently stepped down as the long time editor of Vogue Knitting. I was delighted to see that she is now working with Linda at MEZ Crafts, the parent company behind Rowan. Just catching up with these two made the trip totally worth it, but we were just getting started on our weekend.
Over the course of the next two days we were treated like royalty as Rowan’s brand manager, Sharon Brandt walked us through the history and future of this iconic brand. Martin Storey, one of Rowan’s lead designers, was also there and gave a delightful presentation as well.
A few fun facts we picked up during the weekend include:
- Sharon Brandt designed the knitwear for all of the Harry Potter movies
- Martin Storey graduated from design school alongside John Galliano (Givenchy, Christian Dior, Maison Margiela)
- Stuart Vevers, the head designer for Coach, studied Kaffe Fassett in design school and brought Kaffe on board to consult for their fall 2019 line. So if you thought you saw something that looked a bit familiar, you were right. You can see the runway show on Kaffe’s website. Sitting right next to Kaffe and his partner Brandon Mably is my friend Trisha Malcom, with Anna Wintour sitting right across the runway. How exciting!
Rowan rocked our world, and get ready…we’re going to rock your world too. We have some big, exciting things in the works but you’ll have to stay tuned. That’s all I can share about what we’re up to, at least for now.
What I can share with you is a very exciting Beaded Cushions & Throw Knit Along that starts next month with Martin Storey. Four beautifully textured and designed squares that can be beaded (or not) and combined to create a lovely cushion or throw. Knit in Rowan Pure Wool Superwash, and all twenty-three gorgeous shades will be arriving this week. You’ll have plenty of time to select your shade before the pattern release begins on May 13.
This is such a wonderful way to learn cabling, pattern reading, and even beading that we thought it would make a perfect class. Join us on Saturday, June 15 for the Beaded Cushions/Throw class! By then all four squares and the throw pattern will have been released, so you can pick what you want to make and we’ll help get you started.
This is one of the squares that Martin was knitting on while in Philadelphia. We sat right next to him, and he was very delightful!
No SWAK excursion would be complete without a few shenanigans! Once our plane landed Jeannie and I took off in search of the interesting. One of our first stops was in the Reading Terminal Market where we enjoyed an authentic cheesesteak at Spataro’s.
Afterwards decided to get a sweet treat from the Flying Monkey Bakery, where I discovered Philadelphia butter cake. It was all I could talk about for at least a week. I’m tellin’ ya, it is some of the best stuff I’ve ever put in my mouth. I tried replicating it at Easter, and while tasty it didn’t measure up. I’m going to take another stab at it again soon, otherwise I’ll just have to wait until October when it cools off so the Flying Monkey can ship some to us.
We dined at the historic City Tavern, and it was so incredibly good. Three cookbooks walked out with me! We piddled around Valley Forge and stumbled upon the Justice Bell, so that was pretty cool. #girlpower
Stay tuned, we’re nearly giddy with excitement! In the meantime, please join us for this really cool Martin Storey Knit Along. It’s going to be a lot of fun.