Winter is a gimme for knitting magazines, in my opinion. Chunky yarns, great textures, the willingness to hibernate inside with large piles of yarn in your lap…who wouldn’t want to be a knitter during the cold days of winter? Some of the past winter issues of Interweave have been my favorites.
The first collection, Out by The Wood Pile, featured mitts, four pullover sweaters, a hat, and a cardigan. Did you see that ‘four’ pullover sweaters? Yeah…the collection of patterns could have used more balance. Plus, three of the four had a round neckline. They were far too similar designs, all in utterly boring colors that, again, looked the same. A puke yellow, a gray, an oatmeal and then – in case the monotony of neutrals was putting you to sleep – an orange-coral. The theme of the three sweaters was supposed to be waffle stitch but, uh, the patterns just didn’t provide enough variety.
The hat was ‘eh’ and the cardigan would have looked great on an eighty-year-old man. Oops, wait, just checked out that pattern again and it’s actually a sweater with a really long button band.
Next collection was Below the Mesa – and thank God we have color! Of course, it’s a shawl…but it is quite pretty. And then we have four cardigans in a row. My God, new editor, are you unable to mix it up?!?! The dreamcatcher cardigan is not to my taste, though I might like it in different colors. Flip the page, and oh, look, grays/browns and oatmeal. Again. The Cerito Cardigan looks like it has promise but I’ll wait until someone else makes it in a different color and posts pics on ravelry. Cynthia’s Cardigan is fine but looks like something I could buy in a store, ie, it’s not very unusual. The final two pieces in the collection are the shawl featured on the first page (which does look like it has an interesting construction), and a hat.
Crossing Country is our next group of patterns. It’s worth noting that all the photos in the issue have had similar backgrounds (blurry grass/hills) and little to distinguish them. The first sweater – the Bread Basket Pullover – is made in a gorgeous maroon, which is one of my favorite colors, so of course I’m going to like it. The cables look really intricate and time-consuming, so not likely to be a quick project. I like the Swivel Pullover, the cables around the neckline and waist have an Irish knot feel which appeals to me. The back detail is super cool, too. State Fair Cardigan is nice, if not noteworthy. The two patterns on the next page were my favorites, I think, the NoBo Jacket and the Telluride Aran. The cables in the center section of the Telluride Aran look really neat and unusual and the teal color is gorgeous.
The next two pages feature some open front cardigan that I don’t really notice because I want that bird dress! No really, I want that dress. Then we have another hat which is boring on the bottom but has cool cables on the top. Which people will see if you’re petite like me, not so much if you’re tall. And then a cowl.
Thank GOD they added back the project index at the back. I bet they got a lot of feedback about taking it out, and none of it positive.My verdict? You’d be better off buying the one or two patterns out of this issue that I liked as individual downloads than purchasing the whole magazine. I’m really upset that this is two issues in a row that I haven’t loved, two issues curated by the new editor. (And the latest just arrived yesterday and the situation has not improved). This used to be my favorite knitting magazine and is, in fact, the only one that I subscribe to. I started reviewing the magazine on my blog because I loved it, but this is two negative reviews in a row. And I don't like being negative all the time. I may have to stop reviewing it if this keeps up. Oh, and not renew my subscription. - D