I’ve written about Inside Crochet magazine before – and they’ve written about me! Isn’t that nice? But, I really LIKE this magazine. It’s only genuine US competition, in my mind, is Interweave Crochet. I read and enjoy all the US produced crochet magazines. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Some spend way too much time on designs that I think are responsible for the bad rap that crochet often gets – toilet seat covers and tissue box cozies. Nothing inherently wrong with those items, but crochet is so much more than the utilitarian (and sometimes decorative) crochet done by our grandmothers. Well, your grandmother, maybe. Mine was too busy in her garden and going fishing to crochet! Another mag might publish beautiful wearables – but ones that are suited only for the runway and not for real people. Gone are the days when we could be guaranteed an entire issue of wonderful thread designs like Crochet Fantasy. More crochet magazines have probably failed than have thrived. That’s sad. But, if we look at what’s inside those mags, we often see the cause of their demise. There are only so many potholders that anyone can make. Crocheters want, demand more!
Anyway, I wanted to write a bit more about this fantastic magazine which is now published monthly. That’s just one of the things I like about it. Surely there are enough crochet designs out there for the other mags to step up with more than 4 issues a year. I hate waiting so long for my next issue – then they all arrive around the same time. Those editors need to have a meeting and stagger their publication dates.
What’s inside Inside Crochet? Here’s a rundown of the pattern content of Issue 15, March, 2011:
a slinky beret
a wrap coat (sweater)
a cabled pullover
lovely vintage gloves
the Crawford necklace, a vintage beauty
a stuffed bunny
fingerless mitts for men or women
the gorgeous Hayworth bag, a retro clutch
the Bette gown, enticing in hairpin
a flowered barette,
an outstanding Asian inspired child’s short sleeve sweater
a pretty vest trimmed in red by Robin Chachula
a not water bottle cozy (really!)
In addition to the patterns, there are detailed crochet instructions for beginners and a great tutorial for cables (which I plan to use), several in-depth interviews, yarn and book reviews, and a couple pages of the latest goodies we’d all like to own from sheep earrings to shy little sheep mugs.
As a crocheter, I’m always looking for fresh ideas and new inspirations. Who isn’t? Recycling the same old granny square afghans year after year is not inspiring and certainly isn’t fresh. But, an offbeat but pretty crochet necklace or simple but smashing clutch bag set off with a special button really gets my creative juices roaring even if I wouldn’t crochet or use those specific items. Yarn descriptions and pictures along with suggested uses for the yarn are particularly helpful to me.
No one expects 25 brand new ideas in every issue of a magazine! We all have to work with the same stitch repertoire and there are only so many combinations of those stitches. New yarns alone are inspirational, but we can’t all afford to add the newest yarns to our stashes. We can’t all master every technique. We don’t all want to make doilies and potholders or berets and dresses – but we all want to be inspired. That’s the job of crochet magazines in my opinion.
Inside Crochet manages to publish a winning issue every month! Why? First because they always offer varying yarn choices for each design, indicating which will cost us the rent money and which we’re likely to find at our LYS without breaking the bank. Their reviews of books, yarns, and other products are not strictly limited to crochet, but are all crochet-related. And, there’s nothing wrong with promoting the notion of combining crochet with other art forms.
Further in each issue, there are likely to be vintage or vintage-inspired designs, a stuffed animal, pretty wearables, as well as accessories. They have the latest news related to the crochet world and do their best to promote crochet as an art form rather than a craft.
Now for the downside. The terminology in this magazine is all UK (which makes sense but is still in the negative column for us Yanks). The shop ads in the last couple pages are all located in the UK. I’m not in the UK and it frustrates me. However, it’s fun to check out their websites to see what I’m missing! The other downside is the cost. At 48 pounds sterling a year, the mag is pricey. We can purchase it for $9.99 on the newsstand in the US – if we can find it. I hesitate to subscribe for the print edition not so much for the cost but for the fact that I’m pretty sure each issue will arrive mauled by postal machines if they arrive at all. I routinely miss issues of all my crochet magazines and it is acknowledged that a lot of theft of magazines occurs. So, for now, since I prefer the print edition, I’ll buy it on the newsstand each month. I find it at Barnes&Noble regularly – but only 3 copies each month, so I make sure to get my copy before they’re all gone.
If I wanted to save lots of money, I could subscribe to their online version (39 pounds sterling/year vs 48 pounds for the print version). I have yet to subscribe to any magazine’s online version so I don’t really know if I’m missing out on something wonderful. I know some advertise that the online editions contain more content each month and I guess I’m missing out on those extras. But, I prefer to hold the magazine in my hands, in my recliner with a nice cup of coffee so I can drool over each design without appropriating the computer for hours on end. But, that’s just me. If I had an Ipad, my opinion might change. Maybe there’s an Ipad in my future……..
Note, online back issues are available at Yudu.com for about $8/copy. So, if you missed one or all of them, you might want to consider using Yudu. Go to www.insidecrochet.co.uk for more info on the magazine.
By jd wolfe