Thursday, 11 February 2016

Review of Knit Now Magazine 100% British Edition

Image courtesy of Knit Now
Every year the mainstream knitting magazine Knit Now devotes one issue to British designers and yarns. As you can imagine, with my love of all things knitty and British, it's an issue I can't wait to get my hands on.

This year this proved to be difficult. I'm not currently a subscriber, so had to go to the ships to buy a copy. I much prefer to have physical copies of knitting magazines rather than a digital one, firstly because with digital copies you don't get the free gifts, and secondly because I want to be able to mark my progress on a pattern when I'm knitting it, without having to print out a copy first.

I live in a small town. First stop was Sainsbury's where there weren't any knitting magazines. Waitrose only had another knitting magazine title. WHSmith finally came up trumps and I bought my copy, which came with free baby book. After having knitted multiple baby blankets for friends I'm taking a break from kiddy knitting, therefore will be giving the baby book to my local charity shop. Has anyone else had trouble finding a copy of their favourite knitting magazine?

Patterns in the 100% British issue courtesy of Knit Now.
As well as containing lots of patterns this issue goes behind the scenes at West Yorkshire Spinners to report on how their yarn is made; gives the results of the magazine's knitter of the year awards (congratulations to fellow blogger Louise Scollay, creator of KnitBritish,  your fabulous site is an inspiration to me and I can only dream of reaching the number of readers you do); and a useful tutorial to making i-cord edges that are needed for my favourite pattern in the magazine, the editor Kate Heppell's Kitty Mitts.

The designers featured in the magazine and those interviewed are a veritable who's who indie British knitwear. These include an interview with vintage aficionado Susan Crawford as well as her beret pattern; a spotty blanket by Erika Knight; patterns using West Yorkshire Spinners yarn and Blacker Yarns hit release of last year, Illustrious. BritYarn, a website dedicated to British wool, offers readers 10% off Illustrious, an offer I have already availed myself of!

Downsides? Due to my personal taste there is only one 'must-knit' pattern for me, which is the Kitty Mitts. I'm not interested in knitting the St George and the Dragon characters or baby clothes. There is a great range of patterns though, from sweaters to toys or scarves. For me, however, the interviews and information about British yarn and designers make the cover price of £5.99 worthwhile. The BritYarn discount on my Illustrious purchase itself nearly paid for the copy.

What did you think of the issue? Please let me know in the comments section below.

My Knitting Update

It's time to finish half-completed projects. At the end of January I finished Kate Davies' Owligans using the fabulously-soft Toft DK. I knitted the largest child size on bigger needles to fit me. The cardigan's construction is in the round, a technique I much prefer to sewing the arms to the body. I went slightly wrong with the grafting under one armhole but, due to its position, no-one can see.

Now I'm a ball away from completing a summer sweater in Blacker Yarn's linen-blend Lyonesse. I knitted half of it last year and then was distracted by other projects. With just the end of a sleeve and a second one to knit I've run out of yarn - cue emergency internet order with the Illustrious thrown in so as not to pay a delivery charge. What do knit with the aforementioned Illustrious will be the subject of a future blog post ...

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