Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year, New Stuff

As promised, this post is a little update on new knitting-related stuff I have acquired. No, I did not go overboard and buy a lot of yarn or anything, but it's fun (for me) anyway!

First off, my amazing husband, The Brain, got me a Namaste Malibu bag for Christmas! It's not quite as bright green as it looks in the photos--it really is a nice, sedate olive color, which is exactly what I had wanted. (It helps to leave magazine clippings on the gifter's desk with the color choice circled and several shop choices highlighted.) I loooooooove this bag, and I don't usually carry my knitting with me anywhere, but for some reason I had to have it. Right now it's sitting on my couch, holding my current WIP. I can imagine carrying it around as a regular purse, but since I'm not much of a KIPer (by choice--I just love knitting in solitude on my couch, generally), it probably won't be used the way it was intended too much.

Secondly, when I returned home from the cold and snowy Minneapolis winter, I found a package from Alana at the Never Not Knitting podcast at my door. Yippee! She had a blog contest a couple weeks ago, and I won! Inside the package was a copy of the latest Interweave Knits (my favorite knitting magazine) and a skein of what I think is her own handspun. Thanks, Alana! I tried to get a close-up of the yarn, but I need more practice with my camera because it kept coming out blurry, but those colors are so bright and spring-like that I think they're perfect for driving away winter blahs. I can't wait to find just the right project for it! If you haven't checked out the Never Not Knitting blog or podcast (linked from blog) yet, you really should. Alana is so relatable with her projects and her yarn choices, and her little daughter is just the cutest model ever!

And finally, my latest acquisition also involves a magazine review. I was in the bookstore the other day picking up a copy of the latest Knit.1, when I inexplicably grabbed the winter issue of Verena as well. I first heard about this magazine when their fall issue was hitting the newsstands, and since I'm always interested in checking out new stuff, I picked up a copy. For those of you who are not familiar with this magazine, all I know about it is that it has been published in Europe for a while now, and the latest issue is only their third in North America.

I don't know how I feel about this magazine. On the one hand, each issue is stuffed with patterns, and many of them are cute. But on the other hand, there are so many patterns crammed in with no real information about them (and the designers' names are conspicuously absent). The end effect is a blizzard of patterns that makes it hard to focus on any one piece that I would want to make. They have the same ads that are found in other knitting magazines, but they also have "advertorials", in which yarn companies pay more for an ad that reads more like an editorial, and they also highlight designer clothing and accessories that are used in their photo shoots. It feels like I am reading a giant billboard, rather than a magazine interested in its content.

I have not made any of their patterns, and I have not scouted out anyone who has on Ravelry so I don't know what the pattern-writing quality is. My final judgment is that I probably will not be purchasing this magazine in the future, mostly because there are so many other cute patterns out there that are designed by people that I want to support, not this anonymous advertising mill. But on the plus side, each magazine features over 50 patterns so if you just want a wide variety of options for a mere $7, I say go for it.

No comments: