Saturday, March 27, 2004

Magazine Review

I've never been a very big fan of Spring and Summer issues of Knitting magazines, so read this with a grain of salt, so to speak.

A "Fair and Balanced" Review of the New Magazines
I saw both the new Family Circle Easy Knitting (FCEK) and Vogue Knitting (VK) in the store this past week, and picked both of them up.

Here's are my thoughts.

For US$6.00, there are 42 patterns in the magazine. Of the 42, I thought about 10 of them were okay or good.

There's an article on Remembrances of Knitting Past - ugh!
There's an article on troop-related knitting - ugh!
There's an interview with Jil Eaton (of Minnowknits fame) - stupid questions, interesting answers
There's a listing of annual Knitting events, festivals and camps/retreats - it's missing MDS&W???

Of the patterns, there were some very nice, simple women's tops. I liked the colors and pattern in the Rowan Summer Tweed top, but not the shaping. There are a few midriff tops that are awful. There's a knitted sarong that is so wrong (think knitted towel). There's a Summer, fur-edged jacket...huh? There's a chunky cotton top (I don't get chunky cotton at all). The beach-wear is just plain ugly. The men's designs are uglier. The crochet garments are hideous.

For US$6.00, there are 32 patterns in this issue. Of the 32, 7 are good.

There's a mini-article on knit-related tattoos - I wish it was longer
There's an article on sibling rivalry in knitting - Tired discussion of knitting as a liberator or imprisoner of women
There's an article by Joy Fox on shopping for yarn in Italy which I found very interesting and useful.
There's an article of young school kids knitting which had pictures that made me bypass the article immediately.
There's a tutorial on some of the "traveling" pattern stitches used in the patterns which had good, clear pictures and instructions.

Of the patterns, there's a white, cotton, hoodie that I liked. A ratty t-shirt with skinny scarf (for Summer) - Uh, no. The beachwear was either stupid, impractical or boring, except for the cover sweater which I liked. There's a section on "Naturals" with very nice designs. Brandon Mably has an interesting sweater done in Rowan Summer Tweed (I must like that yarn), but I'm not sure about the shaping of his design. There's a crochet section that's not as bad as FCEK, but one of the bikinis has a matching sleeve pattern...uh, no.

Of the two magazines, I'd say both are worth the price. If I make just one design from either, it's worth a price of $6 to me.

Current Knitting
Now that the Morehouse Raglan is done, I am moving along smoothly on the baby blanket in Cashmereno.

As you can see, I've finished the second section of the blanket pattern repeat.

The drape of the fabric is very nice. I'm using a US6 needle with a DK weight yarn (which is looser than the US5 I would normally use).

The looseness of the fabric works extremely well with the softness of the Cashmereno. It's making the blanket doubly soft.

This blanket is destined to become the baby's favorite thing to sleep with.

Readers' Questions/Comments
Marilyn mentions the weather in Albany and the fading interest in AIDS/HIV work.

The weather is getting warmer (or my blood is getting thicker), and the AIDS/HIV charities are having a helluva time staying solvent. The result is a spiked increase in new HIV infections. Mostly in younger gay men in poor areas.

Eva asks about any listing of Knitting events.

As mentioned above in the FCEK review, FCEK has a decent listing of the events (except for one big one - the MD Sheep & Wool festival). The best on-line list I was able to find was this one:

Stephanie asks about the address to send birthday presents.

I couldn't possible publish an address for birthday gifts. It would look way too greedy.

However, if anything arrived at Simply Knit on 23 Church Street, in Lambertville, NJ 08530, I'm sure they'd pass it on to me.

Finally, thank you everyone on suggestions for charity knitting ideas. I have a lot of ideas to look into. Now I just need to find the time. Thanks again.