Wednesday 7 September 2016

Review of Let's Knit Magazine's Best of British Edition

Image courtesy of Let's Knit magazine
Issue 110 of the popular mainstream knitting magazine Let's Knit, aimed at beginners, contains a Best of British special with what the mag says are 18 cosy makes in homegrown yarns. Sadly the whole of the issue isn't focussed on British yarn and designers but, for those of us who champion locally produced yarn and the British wool industry, it's certainly a start.

It's a common misconception that British wool is artisan and expensive, one that Louise, editor of the KnitBritish website, has disproved over the years.

In it's October 2016 issue Let's Knit features eight British yarns, some well known and others less so. Prices range from £3.20 for a 25g ball (Jamieson & Smith Shetland Heritage) to £9.70 for 100g (West Yorkshire Spinners Bluefaced Leicester DK Prints). There's even a 500g cone of Frangipani 5ply from Guernsey that'll set you back 25.

The yarns listed are:

  1. Jamieson & Smith Shetland Heritage
  2. West Yorkshire Spinners Bluefaced Leicester DK Prints
  3. Erika Knight British Blue
  4. Wendy Ramsdale DK
  5. Coco Alpaca Double Knitting
  6. Lily Arne Wool
  7. Blacker Westcountry Tweed
  8. Frangipani 5ply Guernsey.
Elsewhere in the magazine there's a feature on three of the best hand-dyed British yarns from Watercolours and Lace, Baa Baa Brighouse and Twisted Stitches. Plus there's a great article on why we should be buying British yarn. 

How about the patterns? It's slightly confusing to work out which is which, as non-British patterns are intermingled with British ones. Look out for the union flag to demarcate the British ones. Projects range from a pom pom hat and cowl; short jacket; comfy sweater and faux cable scarf. My favourite is the light and lacy layering sweater knitted in Woolyknit Bluefaced Leicester, and it's one of the more challenging patterns in the issue.

To top off the British theme there's an interview with Kerry Lord from Warwickshire-based yarn company Toft Alpaca and 15% off its yarns, books, patterns and workshops. 

All in all it's a great issue but can the next British special be completely British please? Plus it would be perfect if the cover gift, yarn to knit a princess and a dragon toys, was British too - or even better still if the giveaway was a ball of one of the British yarns featured in the issue.

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