An unlikely story

An unlikely story

This is the tale of the most improbable thing that’s happened to me since that one time my Morse Code Cowl was on Stephen Fry’s TV show. But first, we have to flash back to May 4, 2014. I remember the exact date because it was the morning Anna and I woke up and got dressed for the trade show and found that we were both wearing army-green pants and a denim shirt. We thought it was funny — especially since we were doing our Tag Team Sweater Project photos that day — so off we went, dressed like twins.

You may be familiar with Sarah Hatton, one of the designers for Rowan, the illustrious British yarn and pattern company that crops up often in these pages. While Anna and I were sitting on a couch in the Rowan distributor’s booth that day, poring over upcoming patterns and partaking of the dime store candy on the coffee table (there were Jots!), Sarah spied us and said, “I know you two! You’re Tolt and Fringe. I follow you on Instagram!” Which was pretty astonishing, for Sarah Hatton to be recognizing us. But that’s not the story.

Flash forward to a few weeks ago on Instagram. Sarah posted this photo from her latest Rowan booklet, the one up top, and I hit the like button. As in, hey yo, congratulations! She responded and said — I hope she doesn’t mind my repeating this — “Glad you like it @karentempler – the model was kinda an ode to your good self.” To which I responded in my characteristically urbane fashion, “Whut?!” I’ve since seen other pics from the collection, on her feed and elsewhere, and it’s full of girls dressed in army-green and denim (and grey), which, being far from alone in my penchant for that palette, I would never have thought had anything to do with me, or with how Anna and I were dressed the day we met Sarah. After asking if that seemed creepy, Sarah went on to say that the styling on that first photo was “supposed to be a bit Karen and a bit Isabel Marant.” And there you have it: The first (and presumably last) time anyone ever put me and Isabel Marant in the same sentence. And a story so improbable, I had to share it.

The Rowan Loves Kidsilk Haze & Felted Tweed collection is now available, and you can see it in full at Ravelry. Pictured here are Vicky, Paula, Davina and Gemma. And for the record, I would be happy to have this whole outfit:

An unlikely story

New Favorites: Martin Storey’s pioneers

Martin Storey's Pioneer sweater pattern collection from Rowan

How did I miss this? Apparently in July (!) a new Rowan collection by Martin Storey came out, called Pioneer, aimed right at my Midwestern-farm-stock heart. If you’re reading this and own or work in a yarn store that has a copy of this available, will you please let me know? It’s crazy-making to me that Rowan collections — much less individual patterns — can’t be bought in digital form. (Although my bank account is glad of it.) But this is one little Rowan booklet I definitely need to have.

TOP LEFT: Shelter cardigan, amazing long, cabled, pocketed cocoon to live in

TOP RIGHT: Wilderness pullover, would you look at that crazy texture?

MIDDLE LEFT: Dwell, and I will be dwelling on this until it is MINE

MIDDLE RIGHT: Crockett pullover and Quilt cardigan, both available in his and hers versions

BOTTOM LEFT: Almanac cardigan, beautifully shaped in front, giant feather in back

BOTTOM RIGHT: Homeland, that hip detail is gorgeous

You can see 14 patterns at Rowan or Ravelry. Really magnificent stuff.


New Favorites: Marie Wallin’s Autumn

Favorite patterns from Rowan Autumn Knits by Marie Wallin

You know how you never want to buy the knitting magazine or pattern collection because there’s only one thing in there you might want to make? And then along comes Rowan with their Autumn Knits issue, and wow, what don’t I want to make?

Still, I have favorites:

TOP LEFT: Wye turtleneck, (so Chloé!), also my lifelong back-to-school fantasy outfit
TOP RIGHT: Derwent bat-wing, great shape but it’s that cable detail that’s killing me
MIDDLE LEFT: Hassop vest, yes to vests
MIDDLE RIGHT: Ilam pullover, dude
BOTTOM LEFT: Hope pullover, pretty chic fair isle
BOTTOM RIGHT: Monyash cardigan, geometric splendor

All designed by Rowan’s head designer Marie Wallin, to whom I hereby send a virtual curtsy.