denim,  durable twill-woven fabric with coloured (usually blue) warp and white filling threads; it is also woven in coloured stripes. The name is said to have originated in the French serge de Nîmes. Denim is yarn-dyed and mill-finished and is usually all-cotton, although considerable quantities are of a cotton-synthetic fibre mixture. Decades of use in the clothing industry, especially in the manufacture of overalls and trousers worn for heavy labour, have demonstrated denim’s durability. This quality also made denim serviceable for leisure wear in the late 20th century. See also

jeans, also called Blue Jeans, Dungarees, Denims, or Levi’s,  trousers originally designed in the United States by Levi Strauss in the mid-19th century as durable work clothes, with the seams and other points of stress reinforced with small copper rivets. They were eventually adopted by workingmen throughout the United States and then worldwide.
Jeans are particularly identified as a standard item of “Western” apparel worn by the American cowboy. After the mid-20th century, various adaptations became internationally a characteristic part of clothing for both men and women.

Some trivia about denim

Italian sailors from Genova wear cotton trousers and the french call Genoa and the people who live there, “Genes”. The nam “jeans” was applied to the pants as well.

The word dungarees (usually plural) is one of the few mainstream English words to have come from Hindi, one of the major languages of India. The source word in Hindi dungrï, and refers to a type of coarse cloth.

In English, dungaree is usually used to refer specifically to blue denim fabric, and in plural to refer to clothes, especially trousers, made of such material.

Archaeologists found cotton fabric 5000 years old in west Pakistan.

48% of the word’s trade in fabric is in cotton, from which denim is made.

Authentic blue denim takes its characteristic color from interweaving indigo and white threads. The term “bull denim” ref ors to colored/dyed denim.

The orange thread traditionally used to sew Levi Strauss blue jeans was intentionally selected to match the copper rivets that double the durability of the jeans.

A Bit of History

Denim fabric seems to have been reserved for work clothes, when both durability and comfort were needed. Common uses included overalls made of blue denim, worn by mechanics and painters.

Jean fabric was a sturdy fabric, but it did not offer the added benefits of denim, such as durability and comfort. Common uses included topcoats, vests or short jackets, and fine trousers in chestnut, olive, black, white and blue jean.

The U.S. Navy introduced the bell-bottomed trouser in 1817 to permit men to roll their pants above the knee when washing down the decks, and to make it easier to remove them in a hurry when forced to abandon ship or when washed overboard. In 1901 regulations authorized the first use of denim jumpers and trousers, and the 1913 regulations originally permitted the dungaree outfit to be used by both officers and enlisted with the hat of the day. 

Jacob Davis, a Nevada tailor, designed denim jeans with copper rivets at the picket corners to prevent seam tears. Unfortunately, Davis didn’t have the money to apply for a patent to trademark his invention. 

Bavarian-born businessman Levi Strauss had started a wholesale business in 1853 in California, supplying clothing to goldrush miners. Jacob Davis wrote him, asking him to pay for the paperwork. On May 20, 1873, they received a patent for the invention which included the ingenious pocket-rivet idea. Strauss and Davis began producing copper riveted “waist overalls” in blue denim fabric.

In 1936, Levi Strauss sews a little red flag next to the back pocket of its jeans. It is the first label sewn on the outside of a piece of clothing.

Denim became popular with young people in the 1950’s as a symbol of teenage rebellion, notably in movies such as Rebel Without a Cause and The Wild One. Some schools in the U.S. banned students from wearing denim fabric, but this only increased their allure. Denim came to identify a certain disaffected subculture, typified by the likes of James Dean.

Until 1960, “waist overalls” was the traditional term used for denim pants. By the late 1950s, however, teenage wearers were calling them jeans, so Levi Strauss officially began using the name, too.

Denim has made a comeback in recent years and in every possible form. Studded denim jackets, jeans, long skirts, pleated minis and even shirts were heavily featured on the runways of Dolce and Gabbana, John Galliano, Mui Mui and Prada to name but a few.

Rowan Studio issue thirty one

In this issue Rowan also shows a tribute to denim which is seen everywhere at the moment, both on the high street and on the catwalk. In this issue Rowan Designer Lisa Richardson shows her interpretation of what to wear with your denim favourites using Wool Cotton 4 ply.

She used a subtle palette of blues, greys and creams for this pieces, so they can be used to work your denim for any occasion with sloppy joes and grandad style cardigans for lazy Sundays to pretty polka dot cardigans and lace fronts for playsuit cover-ups.




Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th-most extensive and the 23rd-most populous of the 50 United States. At 1,300 miles (2,100 km), Alabama has one of the longest navigable inland waterways in the nation.

From the American Civil War until World War II, Alabama, like many Southern states, suffered economic hardship, in part because of continued dependence on agriculture. Despite the growth of major industries and urban centers, white rural interests dominated the state legislature until the 1960s, while urban interests and African Americans were under-represented.

Following World War II, Alabama experienced growth as the economy of the state transitioned from one primarily based on agriculture to one with diversified interests. The establishment or expansion of multiple United States Armed Forces installations added to the state economy and helped bridge the gap between an agricultural and industrial economy during the mid-20th century. The state economy in the 21st century is dependent on management, automotive, finance, manufacturing, aerospace, mineral extraction, healthcare, education, retail, and technology.

Alabama is unofficially nicknamed the Yellowhammer State, after the state bird. Alabama is also known as the “Heart of Dixie.” The state tree is the Longleaf Pine, the state flower is the Camellia. The capital of Alabama is Montgomery. The largest city by population is Birmingham. The largest city by total land area is Huntsville. The oldest city is Mobile, founded by French colonists.




alabama is a cardigan with lace front. The pattern is suitable for beginners. Here photographed in Aqua 487.


CarolinasThe Carolinas” is a term used in the United States to refer collectively to the U.S. states of North Carolina (NC) and South Carolina (SC). Combining NC’s population of 9,968,930 and SC’s of 4,723,723, the Carolinas have a population of 14,692,653 as of the 2012 U.S. Census Estimates. If the Carolinas were a single U.S. state, it would be the fifth most populous state, behind CaliforniaTexasNew York, and Florida.

The Carolinas were known as the Province of Carolina during America’s early colonial period, from 1663–1710. Prior to that, the land was considered part of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, from 1609–63. The province, named Carolina to honor King Charles I of England, was divided into SC and NC in 1729, although the actual date is the subject of debate.

The Roanoke Colony on Roanoke Island in Dare County, present-day North Carolina, United States was the first European settlement in the Carolinas. The Colony was a late 16th-century attempt by Queen Elizabeth I to establish a permanent English settlement in North America. The enterprise was financed and organized originally by Sir Humphrey Gilbert, who drowned in 1583 during an aborted attempt to colonize St. John’s, Newfoundland. Sir Humphrey Gilbert’s half brother Sir Walter Raleigh would gain his brother’s charter from Queen Elizabeth I and subsequently would execute the details of the charter through his delegates Ralph Lane and Richard Grenville, Raleigh’s distant cousin.

The final group of colonists disappeared during the Anglo-Spanish War, three years after the last shipment of supplies from England. Their disappearance gave rise to the nickname “The Lost Colony.”

Sir Robert Heath (1575–1649) was an English judge and politician that was also a member of the English House of Commons from 1621 to 1625. Sir Robert Heath was granted charter over the lands 36 degrees north, to 31 degrees north from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. Heath’s patent required he plant a colony that was never fully realized.

The 1663 charter granted the Lords Proprietor title to all of the land from the southern border of the Colony of Virginia at 36 degrees north to 31 degrees north (along the coast of present-day Georgia). In 1665, the charter was revised slightly, with the northerly boundary extended to 36 degrees 30 minutes north to include the lands of the Albemarle Settlements along the Albemarle Sound who had left the Colony of Virginia. Likewise, the southern boundary was moved south to 29 degrees north, just south of present-day Daytona Beach, Florida, which had the effect of including the existing Spanish settlement at St. Augustine. The charter also granted all the land, between these northerly and southerly bounds, from the Atlantic Ocean, westward to the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

The Charter of 1663 chartered the territory as an English Proprietary colony assigning rights to eight English Noblemen. These noblemen are known as the Lords Proprietors of Carolinaforming the Province of Carolina.

Between 1663 and 1729 there were many disagreements relating to defense, governance and the difference between the two differing agrarian styles employed by the inhabitants of the Colony of Virginia and that practiced by the planters arriving to Charles Town from the West Indies and Barbados.

In 1729 the Province of Carolina was divided when seven of the eight Lords Proprietor’s descendants re-vested their shares in the Crown for compensation. Only the heirs of Sir George Carteret retained their original rights to what would become the Granville District. Both the Province of North Carolina and the Province of South Carolina became English Crown Colonies in 1729.

It is therefore correct to:

  1. Use the term “The Carolinas” as a geographic area.
  2. Use the term “The Carolinas” to mean South Carolina, or North Carolina, or both.
  3. Use the term “The Carolinas” to describe a culture.



carolina is a round neck, cropped cardigan with three-quarter sleeves. Photographed here in Antique 480 and Aqua 487. This knitting pattern is suitable for the average knitter.



Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. Named after King George II of Great Britain, Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788. It declared its secession from the Union on January 21, 1861, and was one of the original seven Confederate states. It was the last state to be restored to the Union, on July 15, 1870. Georgia is the 24th most extensive and the 8th most populous of the 50 United States. From 2007 to 2008, 14 of Georgia’s counties ranked among the nation’s 100 fastest-growing, second only to Texas. Georgia is known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the SouthAtlanta is the state’s capital and its most populous city.

Georgia is bordered on the south by Florida; on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and South Carolina; on the west by Alabama; and on the north by Tennessee and North Carolina. The northern part of the state is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a mountain range in the Appalachian Mountains system. The central Piedmont extends from the foothills to the fall line, where the rivers cascade down in elevation to the continental coastal plain of the southern part of the state. The highest point in Georgia is Brasstown Bald, 4,784 feet (1,458 m); the lowest point is the Atlantic Ocean. Georgia is the most extensive state east of the Mississippi River in terms of land area, although it is the fourth most extensive (after Michigan, Florida, and Wisconsin) in total area, including expanses of water that are part of state territory.



georgia is a sleeveless, belted cardigan with zig zag design. Photographed here in Misty 496 and Antique 480. This knitting pattern is suitable for the average knitter.



Tennessee  is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. Tennessee is the 36th most extensive and the 17th most populous of the 50 United States. Tennessee is bordered by Kentucky and Virginia to the north, North Carolina to the east, GeorgiaAlabama, and Mississippi to the south, and Arkansas and Missouri to the west. The Appalachian Mountains dominate the eastern part of the state, and the Mississippi River forms the state’s western border. Tennessee’s capital and second largest city is Nashville, which has a population of 609,644. Memphis is the state’s largest city, with a population of 652,050.

The state of Tennessee is rooted in the Watauga Association, a 1772 frontier pact generally regarded as the first constitutional government west of the Appalachians. What is now Tennessee was initially part of North Carolina, and later part of the Southwest Territory. Tennessee was admitted to the Union as the 16th state on June 1, 1796. Tennessee was the last state to leave the Union and join the Confederacy at the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War in 1861, and the first state to be readmitted to the Union at the end of the war.

Tennessee furnished more soldiers for the Confederate Army than any other state, and more soldiers for the Union Army than any other Southern state. In the 20th century, Tennessee transitioned from an agrarian economy to a more diversified economy, aided at times by federal entities such as the Tennessee Valley Authority. In the early 1940s, the city of Oak Ridge was established to house the Manhattan Project’s uranium enrichment facilities, helping to build the world’s first atomic bomb.

Tennessee has played a critical role in the development of many forms of American popular music, including rock and rollbluescountry, and rockabillyBeale Street in Memphis is considered by many to be the birthplace of the blues, with musicians such as W.C. Handy performing in its clubs as early as 1909. Memphis was also home to Sun Records, where musicians such as Elvis PresleyIsaac HayesJohnny CashCarl PerkinsJerry Lee LewisRoy Orbison, and Charlie Rich began their recording careers, and where rock and roll took shape in the 1950s. The 1927 Victor recording sessions in Bristol generally mark the beginning of the country music genre and the rise of the Grand Ole Opry in the 1930s helped make Nashville the center of the country music recording industry. Three bricks and mortar museums recognize Tennessee’s role in nurturing various forms of popular music: the Memphis Rock N’ Soul Museum, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, and the International Rock-A-Billy Museum in Jackson. In addition, the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, an online site recognizing the development of rockabilly in which Tennessee played a crucial role, is based in Nashville.



tennessee is a lace cardigan with fabric pocket detail. Here photographed in Antique 480. This knitting pattern is suitable for the average knitter.



Kentucky officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth (the others being VirginiaPennsylvania, and Massachusetts). Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States.

Kentucky is known as the “Bluegrass State”, a nickname based on the bluegrass found in many of its pastures because of the fertile soil. One of the major regions in Kentucky is the Bluegrass Region in central Kentucky which houses two of its major cities, Lexington and Louisville. It is a land with diverse environments and abundant resources, including the world’s longest cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park, the greatest length of navigable waterways and streams in the contiguous United States, and the two largest man-made lakes east of the Mississippi River.

Kentucky is also home to the highest per capita number of deer and turkey in the United States, the largest free-ranging elk herd east of the Mississippi River, and the nation’s most productive coalfield. Kentucky is also known for horse racingbourbon distilleries, automobile manufacturingtobaccobluegrass music, and college basketball.



kentucky is a sleeveless funnel neck top. Here photographed in Antique 480 and Marine 495. This knitting pattern is suitable for the average knitter.



Louisiana (French: État de Louisiane, Louisiana Creole: Léta de la Lwizyàn) is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Louisiana is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local government’s equivalent to counties. The largest parish by population is East Baton Rouge Parish, and the largest by land area is Cameron Parish.

Much of the state’s lands were formed from sediment washed down the Mississippi River, leaving enormous deltas and vast areas of coastal marsh and swamp. These contain a rich southern biota; typical examples include birds such as ibis and egrets. There are also many species of tree frogs, and fish such as sturgeon and paddlefish. In more elevated areas, fire is a natural process in the landscape, and has produced extensive areas of longleaf pine forest and wet savannas. These support an exceptionally large number of plant species, including many species of orchids and carnivorous plants.

Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, being so strongly influenced by an admixture of 18th-century FrenchSpanishNative American (Indian) and African cultures that they are considered to be somewhat exceptional in the U.S. Before the American purchase of the territory, the current Louisiana State had been both a Spanish and French colony. In addition, the pattern of development included importing numerous African slaves in the 18th century, with many from the same region of West Africa, thus concentrating their culture. In the post-Civil War environment, Anglo-Americans increased the pressure for Anglicization, and in 1915, English was made the only official language of the state.

Louisiana was named after Louis XIV, King of France from 1643–1715. When René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the territory drained by the Mississippi River for France, he named it La Louisiane, meaning “Land of Louis”. Once part of the French Colonial Empire, the Louisiana Territory stretched from present-day Mobile Bay to just north of the present-day Canadian border, and included a small part of what is now southwestern Canada.



Louisiana is a moss stitch v-neck sweater. Photographed here in Celanden 482 and String 481. This knitting pattern is suitable for beginners.



Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a U.S. state located in the South Atlantic region of the United States. Virginia is nicknamed the “Old Dominion” and the “Mother of Presidents” after the eight U.S. presidents born there. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; and Virginia Beach is the most populous city.

The area’s history begins with several indigenous groups, including the Powhatan. In 1607 the London Company established the Colony of Virginia as the first permanent New World English colony. Slave labor and the land acquired from displaced Native American tribes each played a significant role in the colony’s early politics and plantation economy. Virginia was one of the 13 Colonies in the American Revolution and joined the Confederacy in the American Civil War, during which Richmond was made the Confederate capital and Virginia’s northwestern counties seceded to form the state of West Virginia. Although the Commonwealth was under conservative single-party rule for nearly a century following Reconstruction, both major national parties are competitive in modern Virginia.

The Virginia General Assembly is the oldest legislature in the Western Hemisphere. The state government has been repeatedly ranked most effective by the Pew Center on the States. It is unique in how it treats cities and counties equally, manages local roads, and prohibits its governors from serving consecutive terms. Virginia’s economy has many sectors: agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley; federal agencies in Northern Virginia, including the headquarters of the Department of Defense and CIA; and military facilities in Hampton Roads, the site of the region’s main seaport. Virginia’s public schools and many colleges and universities have contributed to growing media and technology sectors. As a result, computer chips have become the state’s leading export.



virginia is a long-sleeved sloppy joe sweater. Here photographed in Marina 495. This knitting pattern is suitable for beginners.



Texas is the second most populous and the second-largest of the 50 states in the United States of America, and the largest state in the 48 contiguous United States. Geographically located in the South Central part of the country, Texas shares an international border with the Mexican states of ChihuahuaCoahuilaNuevo León and Tamaulipas to the south, and borders the U.S. states of New Mexico to the west, Oklahoma to the north, Arkansas to the northeast and Louisiana to the east. Texas has an area of 268,820 square miles (696,200 km2), and a growing population of 26.1 million residents.

Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States, while San Antonio is the second largest in the state and seventh largest in the United States. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest United States metropolitan areas, respectively. Other major cities include El Paso and Austin—the state capital. Texas is nicknamed the Lone Star State to signify Texas as a former independent republic and as a reminder of the state’s struggle for independence from Mexico. The “Lone Star” can be found on the Texas state flag and on the Texas state seal today.

Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes that resemble both the American South and Southwest. Although Texas is popularly associated with the Southwestern deserts, less than 10% of the land area is desert. Most of the population centers are located in areas of former prairiesgrasslandsforests, and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, and finally the desert and mountains of the Big Bend.

The term “six flags over Texas” came from the several nations that had ruled over the territory. Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony in Texas. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845 it joined the United States as the 28th state. The state’s annexation set off a chain of events that caused the Mexican–American War in 1846. A slave state, Texas declared its secession from the United States in early 1861, joining the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. After the war and its restoration to the Union, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation.

One Texas industry that thrived after the Civil War was cattle. Due to its long history as a center of the industry, Texas is associated with the image of the cowboy. The state’s economic fortunes changed in the early 20th century, when oil discoveries initiated an economic boom in the state. With strong investments in universities, Texas developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century. As of 2010 it shares the top of the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with California at 57. With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture, petrochemicalsenergycomputers and electronicsaerospace, and biomedical sciences. Texas has led the nation in export revenue since 2002 and has the second-highest gross state product.



texas is a short-sleeved polka dot effect cardigan. Photographed her in String 481, Aqua 487, White 483 and Celanden 482. This knitting pattern is suitable for the average knitter.

Over the coming month, visit the Rowan website to download two FREE patterns from this collection. Exclusive to ROW@N members only.

The free pattern will be:






Happy knitting!


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