I still have a copy of the very first knitting magazine I ever bought: Interweave Knits Spring 2004. It was an eye-opener for me, since I had spent most of my teenage years knitting from pattern booklets inherited from my grandmother, leftovers from the 1970s and 80s. Here was a whole magazine full of fresh, contemporary patterns, for garments that I would actually wear! In the years since then I've picked up knitting magazines here and there, but have become increasingly focused on the internet for sources of inspiration, rather than print media. However, when I was offered a copy of the most recent Vogue Knitting Magazine for review, I jumped at the chance.
And I'm so glad I did! Their new format includes wide pages, beautiful photos, and tons of articles and patterns. It makes me remember how nice it can be to browse through a thoughtfully put-together print publication. There are so many good articles in this issue, from interviews with designers to a detailed history of Shetland knitting. My favourite was "No Wool, No Vikings" which delves into both the historic uses of wool and the ways in which traditions are taught and carried on in contemporary Norway.
The main theme in this issue is colour-work, and it includes some stunning designs, such as Marie Wallin's Fair Isle ruana (shown above). Vogue has a reputation for being a bit more geared towards fashion and statement pieces rather than relaxed and wearable garments, and I would definitely include this and a few of the other patterns in that category.
This sleeveless sweater and mitt set for example, is beautifully worked and I love the colours, but I can't really see this combination of garments being particularly useful in my wardrobe...
Which is not to say there aren't wearable items in this issue too! Yoko Hatta's textured mitts are simple but elegant, and if you were to knit them in the mongolian cashmere the pattern calls for they would incredibly warm and luxurious as well.
Another pattern that I could more easily see myself in is Patty Lyon's Patchwork Cable Vest. The asymmetrical patterning on this one keeps it visually interesting with being too over-the-top.
There are so many patterns and articles in this issue that there is no way I could possibly describe them all, but one last thing that I really liked was this page showing the backs of several of the sweater patterns. This is such important information and shows subtle design details that may not be visible in the main photos.
All in all, I was impressed by this issue of Vogue Knitting. Even if I never knit any of the patterns from it, the inspiration that comes from thoughtful articles and contemporary designs is as worthwhile to me now as it was in 2004. I'll be definitely be keeping my eye out for the next issue!
It's a little bit hard to believe, but Sweet Paprika has been in business for exactly 10 years this month! We have a few things planned to celebrate our anniversary, but I thought it would be nice to start off with a little look at where we started, and where we've been, over the past decade.
It all began way back in 2007, when Elizabeth and I, and our other sister Margaret, were all living in Ottawa. We knew we wanted to put our skills to work in some sort of business, but we weren't exactly sure what direction that would take us in yet.
A few years ago Elizabeth proposed that we make the month of February each year "Finish it February": a time to pull all of our unfinished objects (UFOs in knitter slang) out of the closet or from under the bed and dust them off.
This is the third year we've done this, and I still have quite a number of projects to pull out and deal with each year, but I've noticed that although I still have many very old ones (which I keep swearing I'll finish one day), I've been much better about not accumulating new ones since we started this.