Monday, 2 June 2014

New Look Knit Today Review

Knit Today June 2014 issue
As I mentioned in a previous post I was fortunate to take advantage of an offer for a free copy of Knit Today magazine, which has recently had a redesign. On Saturday the issue came through my letterbox. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the issue I received is July's issue that on its arrival wasn't yet for sale in newsagents. I went out and bought June's issue as well because I'd been holding off buying it as I'd that that issue would be my free copy. June's issue came with a cute sheep tape measure and there was a jumper pattern on the front I liked the look of - both were reasons for me to spend the cover price of £4.99. I think its the same price as other two knitting magazines aimed at beginner and intermediate knitters that come with a cover gift: Simply Knitting and Knit Now.

I prefer reading British knitting magazines as there's no confusion with knitting style, needle size or pattern terms, and they give a great overview of British yarns and designers. When browsing the newsagent's shelf it's usually the free gift that catches my eye first and if it's not something I'd like then I confess I don't pay a great deal of attention to the patterns inside - I skip to the next magazine.

Knit Now's June issue certainly came up trumps with its relaunch cover gift. The sheep keyring tape measure is cute, handy and just the sort of essential tool to go in your knitting bag. It also came with a party pattern booklet with designs for children to dress up in. That's not particularly relevant to me but it was interesting to flick through.

July's cover gift is less desirable. Firstly there's a crochet hook. In a knitting magazine. Surely with a plethora of beginner's crochet magazines on the market, such as Simply Crochet and Inside Crochet, knitting magazines should stick to what it says on the tin? Secondly the yarn that comes with the hook is a cheap-looking vibrant orange colour. The supporting patterns are three crochet flower brooches. They may be OK for a practice but I certainly wouldn't wear an orange crocheted brooch outside my house. That's just a personal view though and others may like the summery colour.

The design of both issues is clear, bright and easy to read. The feel is modern and patterns are well-laid out. There's a good mixture of news, patterns, competitions and features. Both issues contain patterns from knitting books and those exclusive to the magazine. I've heard criticism in the past from readers who dislike magazines publishing patterns from books because they feel cheated if they have the pattern book already. I on the other hand like their inclusion: the more patterns the merrier and if I really like a particular pattern I'm tempted to go out and buy the whole pattern book.

Cinnamon
Such is the case with June's Cinnamon pattern from Sublime. It's a man's sweater knitted in tweedy aran yarn and will be one of my husband's Christmas presents in December. I took advantage of the 15% off offer and placed a yarn order for it online. The other pattern I have my eye on is a woman's short, slouchy sweater with intarsia stars. It's called Super Star.

Patterns are always a thing of personal taste and there aren't any in July's issue that I plan on knitting. It does, however, have a good range of patterns for different audiences and the editorial content makes the magazine an interesting read. I do find with most knitting magazines that it's hit and miss whether they include a 'must knit' for me. That's a good thing because my 'to knit' list is long enough as it is!

All in all I was very pleased with my free copy and the June issue I purchased. I probably wouldn't have bought July's if I hadn't have received a complimentary copy. I'm impressed enough, however, to take out a trial subscription for three months to see what the magazine brings in the future.

On 29 May the news was announced that Immediate Media, the publisher of Knit Today, is to buy Future Publishing's craft magazines. The knitting magazines affected are Simply Knitting, The Knitter and the general craft magazine that also contains some knitting patterns, Mollie Makes. Future Publishing's staff will transfer to employment with Immediate Media. I do hope the acquisition won't result in the axing of any of the knitting titles. Healthy competition is great for the British knitting magazine market, and the market has already shrunk due to last year's closure of Yarn Forward.

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