Postcards From Holmfirth

6:43 AM

I've been home a week now and have finally gathered my pictures of the Rowan Ambassador trip to the Rowan Yarns offices in Holmfirth in Yorkshire.  We all had such a lovely time, and hope you don't mind me indulging myself here and sharing way too many pictures, but I can't help myself.

But first, for those of you that don't know, here's the Rowan Ambassador story:  About a year and a half ago Rowan Yarns sent out word that they were looking for ambassadors, or "champions of the brand".  From the applicants they chose 14 hand knitters from around the world.  Rowan sends us samples of yarns and books and only asks that we honestly review them on our social media sites.  We do this without pay.  In recent years, this kind of relationship between consumers engaged with social media and different trades such as fashion and others has become common practice.  In my case, I was already promoting Rowan because I had been a huge fan for a dozen years, so this was nothing new.  But having early access to new releases has been a dream for me.  I can assure you that none of the 14 ambassadors feel any obligation to promote Rowan, but we have been chosen because we are all Rowan fans.  Rowan has made it very clear that they expect us to be honest.

So with that said, Rowan recently invited the ambassadors to England, to their offices in Holmfirth in Yorkshire to attend the first ambassador's conference.  It was to be a chance to finally meet the other ambassadors with whom I've come to be friends with online and also to meet the Rowan team.   It was LOVELY!  Rowan is such an admirable company with the most talented and generous people with whom I am very thrilled to be associated!  I came home and told my husband I had certainly hitched my wagon to the right star!  Our time flew by, but it was very exciting to be with the some of the most influential people in the hand knitting industry. 

Over the next few weeks and months I'll share some of the things I've learned such as their design and yarn selection process, but for now, I'll just share some photos and footnotes in captions.


Here is the first night, when we all meet each other for the first time.  Surreal.  Exciting.  Memorable.  It was so great to finally meet IN PERSON friends that you "talk" to almost daily on FB.  What a wonderful group of people, and they all knit!


The Rowan designers spent every day with us, as if they had nothing else to do in the world.

An impromptu lace designing class led by lovely Sarah Hatton.
Sarah is coming to California, see the footnote at the end of this post for more information
regarding her classes.


Linda on left and Dayana on right brought their finished KAL afghans to the mill for us to see.

I love this picture of dear Karl schlepping us to and fro, never once losing his smile.



The town of Holmfirth and it's inhabitants were lovely.







Holmfirth was decorated for the Tour de France which would travel through the center of town the week after we left.





Our first hour there we found a knit store!  All of us entered en mass to this tiny, pretty store stocked with Rowan.

Every morning we were picked up for the 5 minute drive to the mill.

Seriously, my heart skipped a beat when we drove up to the hallowed doors on that first day!

This sign says it all, they were so welcoming.

Kate showed us her collection of Rowan magazines, starting the Mag 1.  I loved going through the early ones.


The secret stash.

My sentiments exactly.

Samples everywhere!  Trying on like crazy! Hope we didn't leave them in too much of a mess!


Haha, I love this one.  Konrad deserves a kiss.

Martin, Marie, Lisa, Sarah, Gemma, Kate.  Nicest people ever.

Palling around with lead designer Marie Wallin who conducted a design workshop, more about that later.

Karl, the ever congenial, reasonable and patient RA handler.  My, he has his hands full with us!

Just me and Martin having drinkies.  Old buddies.

Martin Storey, I love this man, here with the original KAL afghan.
 He spent 3 days with us, milling around, chatting, helping out,
 answering questions and offering advice in his amiable and elegant way.  
What a charming, talented and lovely man.


Here I am between Lisa Richardson and Sarah Hatton, two favorite designers and now friends.


The last day we sadly said our goodbyes, but it was sweetened by some champagne and cake!


I was so happy to hear that Sarah Hatton is visiting Calfornia this month.  She will be at Ball and Skein in Cambria, a lovely little beach town and shop if you've never been there.   Sarah will also conduct a knitting retreat in Lake Tahoe for Jimmy Beans.  My friend Leah and I are taking her professional finishing class in San Francisco at Imagiknits on the 22nd and then on the 23rd we'll be at her lace knitting class at our local yarn store, Uncommon Threads.  Hope to see you there!

Coming up, some FOs, maybe even an afghan!


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8 comments

  1. Kristen, thank you so much for these photos!!! What fun!!!!! Am looking forward to reading more in the coming months… (i.e.: a bus tour???) And thank you for the photo of the sheep!

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  2. I am so proud of you and so privileged to be your friend. Rowan is also privileged to have you as an ambassador.

    Carole

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  3. It was exactly how you have described it! My blog is very similar!

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  4. Amazing!!!! What an amazing experience and opportunity....

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  5. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us -- I'm sure it was amazing! I think the Ambassador program was a very savvy marketing move on Rowan's part -- I know that it's made the company feel much more "accessible" to me. I've certainly bought a lot more Rowan yarns in the last year or so, haha. :)

    And how cool that you'll see Sarah Hatton again soon! I've got a growing list of her designs in my Ravelry queue.

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  6. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing these fantastic photos! Holmfirth is such a beautiful place, you have really brought it to life for us. What a wonderful experience to share in vicariously. Of course, the secret stash of yarn photo is my favorite! Glad they celebrated your contributions, you totally deserve it Kristen!

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  7. Gosh! This looks like an amazing trip! Wow. Impressive!

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