Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Bookworm's Picks

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The last book I reviewed was a crochet book, so I think this week, I'll go with a knitting... magazine! ... or two or three...

There are so many books out there about knitting. Many cover patterns, others cover techniques and stitch patterns and yet others are a combination of both. There is also a huge selection of magazines that can be purchased but which one to buy. Since most of us are on a budget, if we were to purchase every single knitting magazine out there, we'd need to be at least millionaires!

Personally, I rarely buy knitting or crochet magazines. Simple reason, unless I see at least 2 patterns that I know I will knit, it's not worth the almost 10$ plus price tag of most of them.

I have a few suggestions for how to figure out which magazine will work for you if you've never considered buying a knitting magazine. 

Think about what style of clothing or accessories you like to knit, consider your skill level as well. There is no sense purchasing a magazine that carries only advanced patterns if you're a beginner. The only thing that will happen is that you will become discouraged.And the opposite works as well, patterns that are too easy will bore an intermediate to advanced knitter.

One of the best places you can turn to get a taste of what a knitting magazine will carry is the internet. Just about every magazine has a website, a place where they showcase that month's patterns, articles, etc...

Another place you can ask for guidance on what magazines other knitters read is Ravelry's Forums. There are all kinds of groups there whom will be more than happy to answer your questions about specific magazines or even in general. It's free to join and you get access to all kinds of patterns, some free, some you purchase plus all the great support on the forums.

What I usually do is go online, check out that month's run down of patterns and articles. If I see things that I like, then I may look for a copy in a store, but since many stores only carry a few selections, I usually see if it's sold as a digital download. The advantage of this is you're saving a tree, and it's much easier to store magazines digitally than in paper format. If you decide to use a pattern, you can always print it out. It's a lot less paper than having 80 glossy pages sitting on your shelf of which you'll only actually use anywhere from 1 to 8 pages at best.

So out of all the knitting magazines out there, there are a few that I will look at seriously. Mostly because they cater to what I like to look at and my style of knitting as well as my skill level. Since I consider myself anywhere from intermediate to advanced, these are my favourites to look at. 

NB. I'm not receiving any kind of remuneration for naming these magazines, I just like them :)

Produced by Interweave Press in the US. Six years ago, I bought my first copy. At the time, I would have considered myself a beginner skill wise so to be honest; back then, this magazine was over my head but today it isn't. Today I consider many of the projects to be early intermediate to intermediate. The patterns are concise, and assume you know your stitches. They are well written with little long-winded explanations, the photos are usually well taken with clear views of each project. The articles are also of interest and further your skills. It can be purchased as a digital download.


Produced in the UK. it contains a variety of projects that are suitable for many levels of knitters. From the beginner to the expert, this magazine has a project to suit your skill level. For those who love Alan Dart patterns, this is the magazine to turn to since every month there is a featured pattern by this premier designer of the whimsical. Again, this is another magazine that can be purchased as a digital download.

This is the longest running free online magazine. Based in Canada, they feature patterns ranging from mellow to extraspicy. They will publish a new edition online two to three times a year and the selection is always interesting. They feature new designers from all over the world so be prepared for some interesting patterns. You can subscribe to their email update which let's you know when a new edition is coming out. You can print off whichever pattern you want to make and they keep all their patterns available through their extensive archives.

These are my go to favourites, but if you do a google search for knitting magazines, you will find page after page of magazines covering just about every taste a knitter has. So it's up to you to go out there and look at what is available!

What is/are YOUR favourite knitting magazine(s)?

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