Fair Isle – Free Patterns from Rowan

I’ve not been busy enough with my scanner this weekend as I’ve been determined to finish a cardigan, so as a blog stop gap, here’s what Rowan have to offer for free on their website. You have to register with the site (which doesn’t cost anything) and log in to be able to download the free patterns. Detracting from this pro-Rowan blog post, below the jump is an explanation for why I’m no longer buying their magazine.

Ross Cardigan

Land Girl Fair Isle Sweater

Rowan have also made a new part of their website for buying patterns (by which I mean they don’t show up in the normal pattern search, because that would be too straight forward).  There isn’t anything on there that I’m wild about, but I have noticed the amount of available archive patterns has increased. They haven’t yet added my favourite pattern, the many times knitted simple cardigan – Hedda by Martin Storey from the out of print “Classic Winter Solace”, which I posted about here, here, here and here, and have made around 8 times (and I’m just finishing up another).

I’ve also recently given up on my subscription of their magazine. It has high production values, interesting articles, but nothing I want to knit. For a start, there aren’t that many women in the world still rocking a shawl, but Rowan keeps throwing out patterns for them. Their pattern designers are like a catwalk designer or an artist, in their own world of inspiration. I think the world of knitting needs artists, but I also want to make stuff that is for me to wear, either vintage style or in a contemporary style that is just a bit more normal than some of their stranger creations. They also specialise in the overly complicated knit, which is like the self-indulgent guitar solo of knitting and also lack a keen eye on what shops are selling in knit wear and what’s going on in fashion. No matter how many times they feature a batwing sleeve, it’s never taking off as a fashion (frankly if I’m wearing a jumper it’s winter and I want to be able to wear a coat too).

To illustrate, here is a tiny gallery of wrong – click the picture to begin the slide show with snarky comments.

(PS I am sorry Rowan for poking fun at you, your yarn is super lovely, but you discontinued  your alpaca cotton, so we can never be friends again.)


  1. Your subscription money is better spent on yarn 🙂 Thanks for the snark collection, I got a good laugh out of that one! Those are some seriously flawed designs… Who sits around all day, not using their arms?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.