Monday, February 16, 2009

Dear Stash Haus – I was delighted to hear about your new subscription to the Economist. I know you’ll like it – because it comes in a paper envelope. (I hope that’s true in America.) It’s the only magazine that comes to our house in that way. Even the New Yorker has to be disembowelled from dreadful plastic.

And I think you’ve sold me on The Knitter. I first heard of it in Helen’s blog – she had had a fruitless search of the newsstands. The website makes it look interesting – and Britain certainly needs an interesting knitting magazine. I still doggedly subscribe to “Knitting” and they do try hard, but are let down by utterly banal patterns. I think I’m going to have to try this one.

The other two magazines I got on Saturday – besides the re-named VK – were a totally unexpected IK and the current Knitting, as aforementioned. The jury is still out on Eunny as IK editor, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know what I’m looking for, but I feel I’ll know it when I see it, and it’s not here.

(I saw a reference to Conde Nast in a Sunday paper yesterday, so they do exist. Perhaps they sold on Vogue Knitting and then wouldn’t let the buyer use the title word ‘Vogue’, at least in Britain?)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’ve embarked on row 11 of the 11th repeat of the Princess centre. If I do three rows a day, a repeat will take about a fortnight, plus of course any time spent in Strathardle and/or London. That sounds all right, as if I might one day finish the centre, even if I have to slow down to two rows a day (three weeks per repeat) at the end.

I’m not sure whether that’s a comforting approach, a breaking the task down into manageable segments and dealing with them one by one, or a stress-inducing daily goal. I did four rows yesterday, and they were slow ones involving double decreases – worse, much worse, double decreases with a stitch marker in the middle of the three stitches involved. Row 11 is the last such row. The rest should go faster.

The weather continues vernal, although not particularly pleasant at the moment. I am hopeful about reaching Strathardle this week.


  1. I was interested in your hopes for "The Knitter." Have you actually handled a copy?
    It is true that the weight of the paper and cover do match the £5.99 cover price. However, what it really points up is how low-level all those new titles on knitting actually are, apparently designed for reading on a tea-break, with the adverts showing much more interesting patterns than the magazine. Even in Issue 2 of "The Knitter" almost every pattern is taken from already published material and almost all the patterns are of totally traditional construction.
    Issue 2 contains a man's jumper, from a Rowan magazine. I defy anyone with normal eye-sight to use the chart given,which is crucial given that the pattern is created by slipping stitches.
    I'll be interested to hear what others think of this.

  2. Anonymous1:13 PM

    The disturbing thing about the new VK (at least in the North American edition) is those bulky knit garments which make the models look like Barbie dolls wearing garments made out of Aran weight yarn--but minus the grotesque bustlines.
    As for charts--I have a book given to me by DH where even an enlarging photocopier couldn't make the chart legible to the human eye. I think it's Brandon Mably.

  3. I browsed but did not buy "The Knitter" in Borders and was grateful for the chance to do so without the plastic wrap. I too liked the paper and the quality but noted that most of the patterns were from easily available books and the articles, though interesting, were similar to blog posts and Ravelry content. the adverts looked good though!There has been mixed discussion about it on Ravelry itself and as the editors have a presence there it may improve to include more of what the audience want.

  4. I haven't found The Knitter here in the US - what about Yarn Forward? I haven't seen it except on the website.

  5. Anonymous3:53 PM

    There are still people who knit who are not online, and those who read blogs but who prefer not to join Ravelry. Hard copy magazines that publish solid, traditional garment patterns have a place. However, illegibly tiny charts are a bad idea. They should be broken into logical chunks that the knitter could copy out and tape together if they need the full chart all at once.

  6. Thanks for the heads up on Issue 2, Shandy. I have no idea when we'll see it in the US as we just got issue 1 here, it seems.

    When I was buying the UK magazines (as a way to scout shops before heading to the UK a few years ago), I really didn't like that it was in a plastic wrapper and I agree with Jean's assessment about the patterns. There were none I would have knit. The Knitter is different - there were a couple of patterns that caught my interest and at the price of a single pattern, it was worth the purchase to me.

    I agree with GrannyPurple on the new YK. I think I'm going to let my subscription lapse on that one.

  7. I tend to agree with about IK. I like the current issue well enough (especially for a Spring issue), but it is missing Something. I recently went through all of my issues (which is close to the entire run) and came to the conclusion that it was at its editorial height with Melanie Falick as editor. I find her run to be a great mix of design, layout, and content.