The British Invasion - Knitting Magazines From Across the Pondcomments (3) August 18th, 2008
I love receiving my knitting magazines in the mail on a regular basis. In between time I find myself wanting just another fix of crafty inspiration. Personally, the internet is a good tool but is not a satisfying substitution for a glossy, slick magazine. Scanning the dozens of craft magazines offered by my local Barnes & Noble mega-store, I spied some knitting titles that were unfamiliar to me. Happy day, they were the knitting magazines I pick up on my annual trip to London. I snatched up 3 different publications and rushed home to check out the latest knitting news and fashions from abroad. Three different publications with three different styles, I found that they all had their charms and flaws. From newsy tabloid to sophisticated elegance they were all worth the time and money invested in checking them out.
Touted as being Britain’s best seller, Simply Knitting is a tabloid style magazine full of newsy articles, give away contests and a small range of patterns from a simple summer tank to a whimsical knitted toy. It amazes me that there is a free gift attached to every monthly issue with a pair of straight bamboo knitting needles being the gift for the July 2008 issue. Diving deeper into the publication you get a sense of warm familiarity in the tone of the writing and the comfortable jumble of the layout. The eight knitting patterns offered are dispersed among the knitting advice columns, yarn reviews, subscriber project displays, numerous adverts and even your monthly horoscope. This magazine communicates the joy and fellowship inherent in the knitting community combined with tools to help you become a better knitter in the form of helpful hints and clear step by step instructions and photos.
Knitting magazine offers a range of lovely patterns in a decidedly British style and delivery along with in depth articles ranging from knitting history and current knitting events. To keep their readers up to date on the latest in the industry they offer monthly reviews on British LYS, books and yarns. Their monthly yarn review features a range not available in the U.S. like Twilleys and Stylecraft but also an American favorite like Cherry Tree Hill. A bit on the refined side, there is still enough fun and style substance to keep your attention from cover to cover.
On the European front, Verena Knitting has recently launched their North American edition with their summer 2008 issue. A longstanding fixture on the European knitting scene, Verena offers a decidedly sophisticated Continental flair to the over 50 patterns that grace their first New World issue. The advertisements may be familiar to American readers but the sweater designs bring to mind the sophisticated runway fashion of Paris & Milan. The patterns are clearly written and each offer a measurement schematic to help you keep score of your knitting dimensions as you build your garment. I only wish they would label the patterns with the level of skill required to successfully complete the project.
Among all three publications there are several patterns earmarked for future knitting and I have bookmarked their home pages to keep up to date on their offers and events. Annual subscriptions are available for all three publications with Simply Knitting and Knitting mailed from the UK at a hefty subscription rate of $125- $140.Verena’s North American edition is a bargain at only $19.97 per year. Check them out for yourself and expand your worldview of the art and craft of knitting .
Knit well and often,