Rowan makes wonderful yarns, and we have been proud to stock Rowan Felted Tweed and SoftYak DK. They are both high quality, versatile yarns that will make garments and accessories that can be passed down to future generations.
Rowan is a company with a bit of a fraught history regarding distribution in the US. The difference between what you would pay for it in the UK and what you pay in the US has always been larger than one would expect. It does make sense that the international shipping will factor in, but Rowan has always had a bigger gap than other European yarns I have been familiar with.
When I worked at The Knitting Diva, Rowan was distributed by Westminster, which was the first company to bring it to the US. I believe that at that time, the yarn was still being manufactured in West Yorkshire, UK (details are hard to come by - I'm sure the company thinks some things are best not discussed). Rowan was acquired by MEZ in 2015, and it whether or not that was when manufacturing was outsourced, I don't know. It would make sense. Felted Tweed and SoftYak DK in recent years have said "Made in Italy" on the label.
When I opened the shop, Rowan had been purchased by Sirdar. Having never been a fan of Sirdar yarns, I was concerned, but what arrived seemed to be the same as I remembered.
Almost a year ago, I saw that Sirdar had sold Rowan to DMC. There seemed to be no real changes, until a couple of weeks ago when I tried to reorder the Rowan yarn. As I mentioned in the newsletter, the price jumped a ridiculous amount - I would have to charge over $2 more per skein. I'm so not ok with that! However, the pandemic, yada, yada, yada....
But today I got a new corporate policy sheet from DMC. They have made changes and instituted fees on retailers that I just can't go along with. As a small shop, I have to make sure that the yarns I carry earn their place on the shelf. I know Rowan has a place in many people's hearts, but I'm afraid it's time to find a replacement for them.
At this point, I don't know where we turn for a replacement, but it will be happening soon. Feel free to reach out if you have suggestions.