Wednesday 18 April 2018

Review of Knit Now Magazine's 2018 British Knits Issue

Image courtesy of Knit Now
Every year Knit Now magazine publishes a British special featuring all British yarns and designers. Since we've been up-and-running A Woolly Yarn enjoyed reviewing these - and this year is no exception. Rest assured that being awarded an Online Innovator knitting award from the magazine this year hasn't affected our impartiality.

What proved difficult with this year's review is finding a copy of issue 86, and therefore there are only a few days left before issue 87 comes out on the newsstands. In the small town where I live the supermarkets don't stock Knit Now but a well-known high street newsagents always has done. This month that newsagents didn't stock the magazine and nor did a larger branch a few miles away.

Finally I managed to buy a discounted second-hand copy on eBay. Knit Now's publisher, Practical Publishing, does sell copies online but charges a £2.49 P&P fee on top of the cover price. If you have the same difficultly finding a copy it may be worth your while signing up for the current subscription deal, which offers three issues for £6.

Image courtesy of Knit Now
Back to the review. The issue comes with two free gifts, a plastic row counter and a classic knits supplement with a cute exclusive child's Paddington jumper on the front. The classic knits supplement contains the Pandora jumper pattern from West Yorkshire Spinners, which I already have as it's taken from WYS' Illustrious Pattern Book, but I don't recognise any of the other patterns in the supplement.

For me the standout article in this issue is the feature by Louise Scollay, who runs the KnitBritish website and podcast. She busts myths about British wool, such as that it's scratchy, expensive and always brown. The magazine also challenged real knitters to test British yarn at different price points and score them on areas such as enjoyability to knit with and the colour.

The news pages are good too with a round up of book reviews, expert advice (how do you stop your cat from ruining your work?) and latest releases from British wool brands.

Image courtesy of Dots Dabbles
Apart from the Paddington jumper (if you have a child you could knit for), however, none of the patterns this issue stood out, with the possible exception of a pair of socks called To The Lighthouse made with Kettle Yarn Co. Baskerville (see left).

It goes to say that a knitting magazine's patterns can't please all of the people all of the time and each knitter has their own personal taste and preferred projects. For me April isn't quite the time of year to start knitting heavy duty scarves, hats and cowls and, not being a knitted toy fan, I won't casting on the shepherd or horse and rider. There have, however, been lots of patterns in previous issues I've knitted up and I've certainly enjoyed reading the news and features in issue 86. The row counter will come in very handy too.

All-in-all it's great to see British designers and yarns being championed and not overlooked for cheap acrylic imports.

Previous Knit Now Best of British special editions

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