Tuesday, February 14, 2006

On the other hand, there's RYC

One of the goodies we got in at Rosie's over the weekend was a box full of RYC yarns and books, "RYC" being "Rowan Yarn Classics," a spin-off of Rowan. Given the direction of the lines, and given the way they keep shoving the word "classic" down our throats in every RYC book, I can't help but wonder if there was a conscious decision to shunt off knitters like me -- fill in your adjective here: over 35, more experienced knitters, less trendoid -- to the RYC line, leaving Rowan Magazine to be more trendy and hip. (Query whether we trust Rowan to make these kinds of fashion decisions, upon seeing the sorry state of the R2 line that debuted two years ago and landed with a thud.)

Regardless of the motivation, I was delighted by the new RYC books, which feature some really lovely and interesting designs. Certainly they are not as cutting edge as the stuff in the Rowan Magazine, but I quite like them. Classic Summer features the Cashcotton DK and 4-ply yarns. This is exactly the kind of Skippy vest my dear husband would love (maybe in some less fey colors):



Here's a lovely textured sweater for the gals:



And a cabled sweater that doesn't look baggy, boxy and unattractive:



Am I deluding myself? or does this baby NOT have dropped sleeves?

The Classic Beach book is devoted to the new Natural Silk Aran, which I definitely want to try soon (after the fifty-five other things I need to finish), and here's a cropped scoop-neck top that I think nicely straddles the line between looking contemporary without too outre to wear:



And a lacey eyelet/texture pullover:



And -- dare I say it? -- a clever shrug that is more than just a rectangle sewn together for sleeves?



This one's from the Classic Art book.

Again, the thoughts of my commenters are always welcome. I have to cut this post a little short today, as my daughter is suffering from an ear infection and therefore I am suffering from it, too.

17 comments:

Cynthia said...

R2 died on the vine because you can not mass produce hip. Teens and young adults spot a fake marketing ploy immediately. When will companies run by old people learn this and focus on the demographic they can serve with mass production--the knitters you describe. Not to mention, we often are the ones who can afford to knit Rowan (although it is a stretch at times).

Mindy said...

I'm going to be looking for the Classic Beach book- thanks for showing. Never saw R2, but Cynthia has a good point about affordability for that age group. Lots of hugs to Grace- I hope she's better soon for both your sakes ;-).

ivyleaves said...

Actually, I think R2 died because no one wanted to pay the ridiculously steep prices for paper and bias tape.

choomon said...

Those do look like they have potential. I hoep that you (and you daughter) are feeling better soon.

Sherry W said...

I can't wait to see them. I love Cashsoft and have been dying to make a sweater with it.

Lisa M. said...

You're not hallucinating--that's an actual sleeve cap on that aran! I'm so excited.

Angel said...

I have actually really liked a lot of RYC books that they have been coming out with- its just that being a poor grad student, I usually cannot knit them out of Rowan yarn. I typically look for the best substitution possible for my money and go with that.

On the earache: being a veteran of many an ear infection (I get them twice a year and I'm 26- I also had tubes as a kid- my eardrums are so badly scarred I have lost 10% of my hearing in one ear and my doctors always wince when they look in them) I can say a warm compress does wonders- (You might already know this) put it up against the side of her head, and just keep the warmth coming. It really does ease the pain better then anything else I have tried (including drugs).

Maria said...

Apparently, I am the target market for RYC because these are much more my taste. Thanks for showing them, Carol. A welcome respite.

That said, I would still not plunk my money down for this book if this is the best look I get at each pattern. I can barely see the stitch patterns on the cropped top, and is that lovely-looking lacey eyelet/texture pullover a raglan? Boat neck? Hopefully, there are schematics to clarify.

As someone said here recently, I expect more from a book. It's what I expect in a ca. $5 magazine (which I love for their inspiration, or snickers, as is often the case), but not in a book.

My favorite pattern book of 2005 is "Luxury Knits" by Amanda Griffiths. Very classic, perhaps too boring for some of you. Plenty of artsy fuzzy photos, but enough shots to get a clear idea of what the thing actually looks like. However, their schematics leave a lot to be desired. I guess we can't have everything.

Carol said...

I agree. In some of these books, there's a "thumbnail" page which includes teeny reprints of some of the photos from the front. Why don't they replace this page with thumbnails of one clear shot of each garment, or put one clear shot in a box in the corner of the artier shot, or even where the directions are? By the way, Rowan is very good about including at least a basic schematic. Debbie Bliss, however, is not.

Marg B said...

Obviously I've become an old fart because I think RYC appeals to me far more than their other stuff this past year.

Marg B said...

Obviously I've become an old fart because I think RYC appeals to me far more than their other stuff this past year.

Maria said...

Okay, so now I know that I'm going to have to check out all of the RYC pattern books at my LYS. I don't usually look at any manufacturers pattern books (perhaps I've been scared off by the covers of some German lines my eyes have accidently strayed to) or maybe it's my general fear of patterns and all of the errata one finds on web pages. Good schematics are very reassuring. Thank you, Carol. This could be really fun (if expensive)!

Kathy Merrick said...

May I point out how odd I find it that these days so many knitters's first impulse is to run to errata (not even erratum!) pages when considering a pattern?
Rally, you know you can frequently see small errors and fix them yourself.
Assuming there are giant multiple mistakes in all published patterns is something I find a little worrisome and alot obnoxious.

Well, some designers do deserve that rep. For example, a certain sufferer of Munchausen's comes to mind.

Sherry W said...

Urgh, you made me look closer. I really like that cable/eyelet pullover. Maybe my first project when it gets warm (of course it's 50+ degrees today).

Gail said...

I really like Vanessa in Classic Art, but the other designs in that particular book isn't doing a lot for me. But, the RYC patterns are very appealing.

lisap said...

Seems like the RYC patterns are top-notch. A few seem more obviously geared toward the over-35 crowd, but they're lovely-over-35, and many patterns are so "classic" that women of many ages would wear them. I don't know if women of many ages /will/ knit them (as aforementioned, the money issues, and I personally lack the skill and time), but I certainly like them.

bluecanary said...

Well I am in the "under 35" crowd and I like these designs a lot better than the weird s*** in the new Rowan mag. What I like is that these seem like a good balance between interesting to knit and wearable. Shaping on the aran, very appealing. I'm not particularly a fuddy duddy, but I can wear Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, and these knits seem like something I could actually wear to work, for a long time -- long enough to justify spending the time making them.