I’m a much nicer person when I knit and my sore shoulder/arm/elbow (the pain keeps moving), has dampened my creative enthusiasm a little of late. I’m not usually prone to low ebbs, but this has taken a little of the wind out of my sails, so to speak.
I think, fingers crossed, sod it! – fingers, toes and anything else you can think of crossed, it’s on the mend.
I thought this special edition of The Knitter would be the best way to kick off looking at the various different knitting and crochet magazines that are available to buy. At present (to my knowledge) there are six different UK publications for knitting and one for crochet, including:
Yarnwise (formerly Knit and before that Yarn Forward)
Inside Crochet – title speaks for itself methinks
All of the magazines have something to offer and what works for one knitter might not be what another wants from a magazine. They all typically contain approximately 10 patterns and tend to have a similar format of: letters to the expert, a rundown on certain yarns and a look at ‘what’s new’ in the world of woolliness. Some of them will have an interview with a designer or perhaps a shop owner or knitting group organiser.
The Knitter is one of my personal favourites and since January 2009 when the first issue came out I haven’t missed an issue. The magazine is aimed at the intermediate to experienced knitter or for those that want to take their knitting a little further. The patterns are at first glance a little more intricate but the magazine includes both written and charted instructions.
Back to the Lace Collection – This ‘special’, as the cover highlights, contains 24 gorgeous patterns for every season. Sadly, for me, they have all been in previous issues. However it does present them all in one handy publication. In addition, if you’re new to The Knitter or missed several issues, the collection would be a good addition to library.
Of the patterns inside, some of my particular favourites are the Deco Lace Jacket by Teva Durham.
Rather unusually the lace jacket is knitted in a super chunky on 9mm. The design was originally in issue 22 from August 2010.
I’d also previously added the Mulligan Stole by Tanis Gray to my ‘to do’ list as I think it’s truly beautiful and very wearable.
It’s made in double knit using a 4.5mm needle and was previously in issue 23.
The Elwood hat by Kirstie McLeod combines cables and lace in a beautiful 4ply hat and takes approximately 360 meters of yarn. Elwood was originally published in issue 16 in February 2010.
Lastly, I absolutely adore Susan Crawford’s Jan Sweater. It appeared as a supplement in issue 32 but originally appears in Susan’s book ‘A Stitch in Time : Vintage Knitting Patterns 1930 – 1959, Volume 2’. I think the boat neck and the way the lace pattern forms an increasing V is simply stunning. Truly vintage.
The Lace Collection contains a review of six lace knitting books and a Who’s Who of lace designers, which gives the reader a little insight into the best lace talent from around the world. There is also a great masterclass by Jane Crowfoot on how to create flawless lacework, which gives you tips on avoiding and correcting mistakes too. I have to admit to loving the showcase review of 24 different lace weight yarns available; it’s a great resource for me when it comes to shopping for stock for the shop.
Personally I love knitting lace but I’d be the first to say it can be time consuming and usually requires more attention than other patterns. I know many accomplished knitters that can knit cables with their eyes closed, but actively avoid knitting lace.
One of the easiest and most lovely of all lace patterns is Old Shale. It works great in most weights of yarn and it’s a four row pattern, with only one of those containing any yarn overs and working stitches together. I shall pop a pattern and some examples up here in the near future.
In the meantime I’d recommend The Knitter Lace Collection to anyone that wants to try lace or would like to go a little further with lace. However, if, like me, you already have the magazines, maybe you should consider whether the €15.12 I paid for my copy in Eason might be better spent on a different knitting book?