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Archive for August 1st, 2007

Vogue Knitting 25 year special issue

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

Are the other knitters out there enjoying the Vogue Knitting 25th anniversary issue as much as I am? Wow. Great articles, interviews, photographs. I’m not one who knits from patterns in magazines but I buy every one, for inspiration. This one is just full of inspiring ideas and looks. I’m loving it.

Annie Modesitt (pronounce similar to Model-knit), who was my roommate at the Michigan Fiber Festival three years ago, designed a pattern they included in their top 10 hits of the last 25 years. How cool is that? I’m so happy for Annie. If you have the magazine, it’s photographed on pages 136 (first version, it was the front cover sweater in 2005) and 137 (silver anniversary colors). The design is called a twisted-float shrug but it looks like a sleeved sweater with the body constructed as a circle which centers on mid-back. Lots of folks have knit this one, and I’m sure they will be joined by more now. Cool!

I also am thoroughly enjoying the long-enough-to-satisfy chatty articlies/interviews with Knitting’s “Old Guard” and “New Guard.” Our beloved “Yarn Harlot,” Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, is included in the latter group. She always makes me laugh out loud, even as just part of a group being interviewed. Stephanie improves my quality of life in a real way.

I am enjoying the fashions here. Lily Chin has an elegant red lace (knitted) dress, Michael Kors has a cabled capelet which mysteriously is double-breasted and made of cashmere… a huge amount of money for a layer of fabric nobody will see, but a beautiful piece where no doubt substituting more affordable yarns will be no problem.

I’m also delighted at the number of tunic-length garments shown. I’m short-waisted and tunic length is very flattering on me. For a while the only garments ready-made in this length were maternity tops (I even gave in and bought a lightweight cotton maternity sweater once… nobody ever knew and I was definitely not expecting)!

The DKNY very-long cabled sweater originally shown in 1991 is made over beautifully as a minidress on page 138. I came of age when the model Twiggy was in vogue and the silhouette of this dress (and the photo styling) remind me of that time.

The issue is intriguing in that it has 11 “covers” though of course only one is on top front. Each features a specific yarn company and a design with their yarn in the “silver” theme. Great designs, especially the skacel “fairisle” stranded-colorwork black and silver mini dress. Wow. I swear I saw this dress at TNNA in Ohio and I loved it at first sight. Of course, I’d want it in brighter colors but the black/silver is spectacular.

Another cool feature is that they brought back instructions for a good number of old favorites. Some of these are impossible to find as back-issues on the used market, some are pricey that way. A notable example is the Map of the World Sweater shown on page 140. The charts for this are many so the words of the pattern are in the magazine, but you can either download the graphs/charts from Vogue or order them by mail. By doing this, they can put more photos in the magazine. I like this idea.

In the front “covers” section, they also have small photos of popular back-issue patterns which they are making available as single-copy patterns for pay, as downloads through http://vogueknitting.com. What a great idea! This can make a popular design available long after an issue is hard to find. I’m sure their contracts with their designers had to be re-discussed at the point where they did this, but as a designer I’d be thrilled to have my work become available for a longer period of time if it hit the public’s happy-button that long. Wonderful. (No, I have no idea what the contracts look like or how much they pay, and I am not in any way opening up a discussion of copyright here on my blog, OK? Just in case someone feels inclined to go there, you can find a very few Yahoo groups that might allow that discussion.)

I love magazines, any kind of knitting mag can make me happy. Color, sihlouette, new ideas, techniques and interviews all make me happy even if they detail features/styles that are not really my thing. I love the variety and inspiration. Even if you do not usually buy this knitting magazine… if you knit, and if you ever bought a knitting mag, I think you will want to make haste and get a copy of this one.

No, you will not like everything. It’s Vogue, you know? That means strong fashion statements and you are guaranteed to not want to wear at least half of it. But it’s inspiring and chock-full of designs and more, and the quality is better than ever. On this very hot day, I highly recommend a tall iced tea, a hammock and this magazine. What else could be better?