Friday, February 15, 2008

45. Interweave Knits Spring review

I've been seeing a lot of chatter about the Spring issue of Interweave Knits. And most of the comments I've read have not been complimentary. While at the book store yesterday, I looked through a copy. And I can understand what everyone has been complaining about. Most of these sweaters would look great - if you were a slightly 20-something and very thin. There is at least one sweater that I just can't understand why anyone bothered. But that's personal, and on the right person, the sweater would probably (maybe? anyway...) be fabulous.
Central Park Hoodie has been a wildly popular pattern. So popular in fact, that Knitting Daily (part of Interweave Press) has released the CPH as an individual pattern for sale. In expanded sizing up to a 52. So obviously, the people at IP has some idea of who their demographic is. So while the target audience for this issue seems to be quite young (and slim) they do seem to understand that is not the only people reading their magazine. So I really don't understand that part. Although to be fair about the sizing, there is at least one pattern that goes up to a 48" bust - a spaghetti strap tank top. Hmmm.....Oh, wait. Most of the patterns do seem to be written in larger sizes (most I checked went into the 47/48 - 50/52" size). I can't wait for Knitting Daily to publish their edition where they show the sample sweaters on different models. What I would really like to see is endowed knitters in these garments knit to their size. Maybe I'm way off base here, and I'd love to be proved wrong.
But I do have positive things to say after all that. Anne Hanson of Knitspot fame has a lovely stole published in this issue. I totally enjoy Anne's blog. Her designs are fantastic and she can make her yarn just sing. There is another stole and an interesting sock pattern in this issue. Ok, that's three attractive patterns for the price of one. Not too shabby. The Yarn Review is about six brands of linen yarn. I've never used any, so this is of interest. To round out the issue, there is an article about stitch dictionarys that are not in the English language (including the wildly popular Japanese stitch books), a review of a silk and wool blend yarn, and an article by Veronik Avery on finishing details. I haven't read the article (I did actually buy the issue after all that complaining way above. For the reasons in this paragraph.) yet, but wonderful finishing is a skill I think we would all love to acquire.

I've obviously left out many things in this issue. I really like many of the ads! Ravelry is mentioned (actually, it has its own article which seems much better than a "mention"). I think if I had been a subscriber, I would have been initially very disappointed in this issue. And please remember, this is my personal opinion and I am well aware that this review is neither going to increase or decrease sales for Interweave Press. But I'm not a subscriber so I had time to look through the issue and think about what is within the pages. And while I may never understand the "why" behind several patterns, I willingly forked over the cold hard cash to buy it.


Minerva Zee said...

I agree with you. I was pretty disappointed with the issue, too. All those short waisted, flat chested sweaters. You could scale them up to larger sizes, but why? They would look awful! They miss the point of providing larger sizes. The fit needs to change, not just the measurements...

I liked the skirt, but then I read it and saw you knit it from the hem up. What the heck?!!

Marguerite said...

Enjoyed your review. You made an excellent point mentioning the popularity of the CPH and why don't they get what we want?

I've been a subscriber for about three years and the only thing I've ever knit from a Knits pattern is socks. I almost didn't renew my subscription, but decided it was worth it just to be able to see what people were talking about on their blogs. And some of the articles are interesting and I like to see the ads.

Being older and a bit thick in the middle, I'm not going to wear those styles no matter what size they come in. And there's way too much stockinette. I would die of boredome knitting some of those patterns. When I want a stockinette garment, I buy it. It's no fun to knit it and buying it is cheaper.

Sorry to rant on. I've still got my issue on my nightstand and I scowl at it almost every evening.