After searching high and low for months, and pestering the staff of two local B&N stores, I was finally able to get my mitts on a copy of the latest issue of The Knitter. I missed the first issue, since even though the B&N shops had it in their system, and should have had it on their shelves, they never did. But they also only have 3 issues at a time, so in all likelihood they disappeared before I got there.
But today I was crafty: I called ahead and the woman said they had one copy left, but that she was not allowed to hold it for me. She did, however, hide it behind several copies of a sewing magazine on an adjacent shelf and I was able to find it, no problem. Now, normally a $13 price tag would make me hesitate, but I have only heard good things about the magazine from various online sources (until, of course, I got home with my magazine yesterday and read this post), and I liked the preview photos they had up from the first issue. And if this is truly the magazine for experienced knitters, then it's worth checking out, right? Besides, it is a large magazine printed on heavy, glossy, high-quality paper. From my initial glance-through, it seemed well laid out, with some OK patterns (that would hopefully become super cute! when I spent more time looking through them at home).
Sadly, the cringe-worthy design on the cover is pretty indicative of what I found inside, too. There are only 13(!) patterns in the issue, and EIGHT of them have been published elsewhere, in many cases several years ago. For this price, and with re-purposed patterns, I would have expected some earth-shattering articles too. As you can probably guess, those were non-existent as well. There was some paltry "article" about two-handed fair isle knitting, suited more for a beginner than something I would expect to find in a magazine aimed at the experienced knitter. There was also some blurb about favorite new yarns (which I don't pay much attention to because they're really advertisements in disguise), and favorite novels (wtf?).
Even though I used a gift card from my birthday last month, I'm still annoyed that I paid full price for this magazine, instead of spending my money on the issue of Yarn Forward with the cute tee pattern that I like. I have never read Yarn Forward, so I can't speak to its quality quite yet. (With an $11 price tag, I have always hesitated before.) But I like that they are starting to publish online. It makes the issues easier to get (no more calling a store a million times and having the staff member hide the magazine for me!), and you can order back issues cheaply and easily as well. The digital store doesn't quite seem to be working yet, but I will likely purchase Issue 11 once I get the chance.