Magazine Review: Interweave Knits, Spring 2010.

Usually when I get a new Interweave Knits issue, I have a little ritual: I flip all the way through once, ooo-ing and ahhh-ing over patterns and articles that look especially good. Next, I go back through very thoroughly, reading each article, then taking care with the patterns I want to knit and mentally “knitting” them, thinking about the yarn and possible substitutes. Finally, I go through once more time and check out the ads that look extra-appealing. This process takes place over the course of a day or so. At most, a week.

Well…I’ve had this copy of Spring 2010 for two weeks now and just cracked it open today. Take from that what you will.

Firstly, the cover is a snooze-fest. The green, yellow, and red color scheme of the photo and text isn’t my favorite. Beige yarn was chosen for the cover sweater, and it’s not exactly a color that catches the eye. I actually hate when patterns are knit in drab neutrals, because I tend to skip over them, and I think that does an injustice to perfectly nice patterns. The pattern, the Braided Hood Tunic, isn’t awful. It’s a cabled beige vest over a white t-shirt. Zzzzzz.

There were some new features I’ve noticed in the past few issues that are helpful. In the back, they’ve added a visual index so you can quickly locate the pattern you’re looking for, by both image and name:

There’s also a quick recap after a set of patterns that points out cool details or pattern features you may have overlooked:

Patterns as always are a matter of taste! My favorites from this issue were the Double V Cardigan by Melissa Wehrle and the Seaweed Cardigan by Cecily Glowik MacDonald. The breakdown of patterns from this issue:

  • 1 Estonian lace stole
  • 2 tees
  • 5 cardigans
  • 1 pullover (airy laceweight)
  • 1 man’s cardigan
  • 3 tanks/camisoles
  • 1 tunic with a hood
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 kids’ dress
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 hat
  • 2 bags
  • one afghan (which is online only…if you like it you may want to download ASAP in case it ever goes away)

And the articles. Oh, the articles. Positives first: the “Bookshelf” column by Clara Parkes was as always helpful in piquing my interest in knitting books, especially older volumes, that I’ve not yet read. This time, she compiles a list of the essential knitting books every knitter should read. I added a lot of them to my library list! There’s also an in-depth explanation of kitchener stitch by Techknitter, which could be helpful if that’s a tricky technique for you. I also learned that the stitch was named after Lord Kitchener. Cool, huh?

The rest of the articles were…less useful. Most knitters really don’t need (lengthy) reminders that cotton is inelastic or that natural fibers are nice to use. I’ve also found myself skipping the profiles of famous knitters/designers, which tend to be looooong and gushing and (sorry!! I’m sure these are perfectly nice people) a tad boring. Interweave also seems to employ a lot of writers who are fond of the “crack open the thesaurus and pile on some more adjectives” style of writing. The effect can be…irritating.

I’m a big Pam Allen fan girl, and I always loved Interweave issues when she was editor. I really have found myself turning more to independently published patterns from designers’ blogs or publications like Twist Collective in the last year or so. Just one girl’s opinion, but this issue gets a “meh” from me.

One quick final note – here’s my next sweater project! I decided to keep going with the 12 sweaters project, and cast on Monday for the Whisper cardigan by Hannah Fettig. I’m loving it so far!

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2 thoughts on “Magazine Review: Interweave Knits, Spring 2010.

  1. I was just mentioning the other day how I would love to — and just might with this issue — have at it with mah red pen and mail it back to them, perhaps with “Dear Interweave,” scrawled on the front and “Love, Jessi,” on the back. Because, holy crap is the writing terrible. If you wanted some textbook example bore-you-to-tears stuff, you couldn’t do better. I feel like I’m reading C-level 8th grade book reports most of the time, and then I realize, “I’m paying $6 an issue for this drivel. Hire a freaking editor already.”

    • Hasn’t it gotten bad?? I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s noticed the writing…I can hardly make it through some of these articles. I think they’re making the mistake of contracting designers, bloggers, and other people whose primary job skills are knitting-related to write articles rather than, you know, professional writers. I used to really like some of the articles too, especially the ones reviewing new yarns. Now it’s like they don’t even try the yarns, they just repeat what’s on the ball band. One of the reviews said something like, “This cotton will probably become more absorbent after washing.” Well, why don’t you KNIT A SWATCH and WASH IT so you can tell us??

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