Lets Talk Magazines Part 2


So in the last post I covered 6 of the many knitting and crochet publications available in the UK and Ireland.  I’ll have had a yarn shop for 10 years in August and my love of knitting magazines goes back further than that.  I remember buying the first few issues of Knitting Magazine from The Guild of Master Craftsman Publishers when they first came out in 2003.


Actually, thinking back I can remember looking through my mums copies of Golden Hands from the 70’s.  Not strictly a knitting magazine, they covered lots of different crafts too like crochet and dressmaking.  I’m now the keeper (yes I read fantasy) of 5 full binders of them and I occasionally pull them out to have a look through them for ideas or to reminisce.

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I digress, I’m here to talk current publications and Knitting Magazine seems like as good a place as any to begin with.  Knitting, is one of my favourite publications, there’s a good mix of everything you want in a knitting magazine.  More recently, Knitting has had a bit of a refresh and the new look magazine is even better.  The patterns are laid out in sections now, so all the women’s garments are together, the men’s, children’s, accessories, etc.  There’s often a ‘How To’ based on an unusual technique and there’s also the usual yarn and book reviews that you see in many of the other publications too.  The magazine is very often pattern rich with an average number of 20 or so each month, but ‘bumper’ issues can have over 50 💕 One interesting thing to note – Knitting doesn’t have a web page as such to support the magazine.

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Next up is Simply Knitting, which in truth is actually very similar to Knitting, but doesn’t appeal to me quite as much.  Perhaps it’s because the publishers, Immediate Media Ltd. produce another of my favourite mags – The Knitter.  Simply Knitting can quite often seem a little ‘light’.  It’s a personal thing I’m sure, there are still lots of lovely patterns, reviews and editorials, but I think it probably lost something when The Knitter came out.

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The Knitter on the other hand is usually so inspiring, it is the only knitting magazine deliberately aimed toward 😉 The More Experienced Knitter 😉 Whilst not strictly true, the designs inside are more likely to contain lace or cable stitches, stranded or intarsia colour work, or be of a less than standard construction.  There is usually a master class, book/yarn reviews and everything else you’d expect form your knitting magazine.  As with most of the publications nowadays they can also be found on all sorts of digital platforms like Facebook and Ravelry too.  The actual magazine is quite different to the other knitting ones, it seems to be printed to a higher quality and this is probably reflected in the price of £5.99, I pay €9.16.  It is a little pricey, but for me there have only been the odd month where I wouldn’t consider making any of the designs within.  It’s usually quite the opposite if I’m honest, in the issue above (81) there are at least 5 patterns I could easily be persuaded into making and I’m in ♥ love ♥ with the extra free pattern for a Swedish Shawl by Donna Druchunas.

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Whilst the colours aren’t me, I absolutely love the concept.  it’s the first in a new series from The Knitter, so I can’t wait for the next issue to see what it brings.

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Knitting & Crochet from Woman’s Weekly Home Series has turned into a monthly magazine after Time Inc (UK) decided to increase the number of issues from 4 to 12 per year.  It is actually quite a good magazine and the one where you’re more likely to find licensed projects.  By that I mean jumpers with Peppa Pig on them, or toys like Paddington Bear or Bob the Builder.  Producing licensed patterns can be extremely expensive for companies now as there are all sorts of issues surrounding distribution rights, which is why you don’t see them so often now.  The Woman’s Weekly has been around for as long as I can remember and many knitters will have used a pattern that they found in it.

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Knit Now from Practical Publishing International and edited by Kate Heppell is one of the newer magazines to join the family with the first issue dating back to 2011.  I can distinctly remember having a conversation with Dina when the magazine first came out, about how we wondered if it would continue to be new and innovative and in the main it has.  It has a much more independent feel to it, with far more designs worked in yarns from the smaller producers. The magazine is committed to supporting the British yarn industry and they promote British yarns, even dedicating one whole issue every year to them.  An important feature of the magazine is that the garments include sizes up to a 26.

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It just so happens that the latest issue was the British yarn Industry issue and it contained an exclusive pattern book of 25 baby knits with it.  Lots of little babas bedecked in knitting to coo over, oops I mean lots of knitting ☺️

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Inside Crochet is one of two newish monthly crochet publications to hit the shelves, the other is Simply Crochet.  As the names suggest they are dedicated crochet magazines, which cover all aspects of the craft so don’t be surprised to see projects using hairpin, broomstick or Tunisian crochet too.  There are usually somewhere in the region of 20 projects in either mag, for anything from cardigans to dishcloths.

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Like it’s competitor Inside crochet is a bright, cheerful publication aimed at making crochet fun and accessible.  There are much fewer single patterns designed by the big yarn houses like Sirdar and King Cole available, so both of these publications go some way towards dragging crochet into the 21st century.  Credit where credit is due though, the big boys have been trying to develop more designs of late, probably in order to grab you pennies.

Both magazines have web pages but, Simply Crochet has an app too, The Granny Square app is an added bonus and it’s free on the apple operating system so anyone can use it.  Android users can access the patterns by signing up for the monthly newsletters here.

For me, as a knitter in the main, I find there’s little between both magazines.  I love to look at the pretty pictures and read about what’s new in the crochet world and have to confess to being inspired by the rainbow granny squares on more than one occasion too.  Both Simply Crochet and Inside Crochet cost £4.99/€7.49 each making it even harder to separate the two.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that as I’ve covered 12 different magazines so far that, that must be it, except it’s not.  There are magazines from America that have traditionally been quite difficult to purchase here, but are much more readily available now and then there are the ones that I subscribe to too.

Another post me thinks?

Happy knitting!

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The Knitter: Lace Collection

The Knitter Lace Collection

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:

Simply Knitting


Yarnwise (formerly Knit and before that Yarn Forward)

Let’s Knit

Knit Today

The Knitter

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.

Elwood Hat

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.

Jan Sweater

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?