In honor of their 30th anniversary, Rowan is touring a giant "trunk show" around the US this year, showing their history through 30 years of yarns, patterns and sample garments. Shop owner Karen traveled to Nashua, New Hampshire to see the show and participate in a talk and cocktail hour with Rowan's own Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably.
Kaffe's talk focused on his sources of inspiration, both for color and form. He showed photos of everyday objects and images from nature that inspire his designs.
The garments on display, many of them original samples that are dozens of years old, show the evolution of knitting design during this period of explosive growth in the handknitting market.
Interestingly, when Rowan was founded, it specialized in rug-making kits before turning to knitting and crocheting. To this day, Kaffe and Brandon do other kinds of designs in addition to knitting. Kaffe was showing some beautiful quilts which Karen, who also quilts, found irresistible.
The Rowan 30th anniversary show will continue to tour North America until it eventually closes out next Spring at Slater Mill in Pawtucket. This will presumably be an opportunity for the rest of us to see the collection. Karen says it's well worth it!