Monthly Archives: February 2015

Dear Vogue Knitting

Two posts in one week, wow.  This may be a first, but honestly, I’m too lazy to actually check!  😉

I am currently going through all of my patterns and sorting them out digitally, so I can easily find what I have and what I want or need (both on Evernote, and Ravelry, which is great for sorting out patterns).  And as I was going through my knitting magazines  (so I know what I like in them and what I don’t)  I realized something, and so I am making a note to Vogue on my discovery.

Dear Vogue Knitting:

While your patterns may not be as practical as Interweave or as easy for beginners as KnitScene, I do love the fashionably of your patterns.  They speak to the fashionista in me, and while there are some that I would never ever wear, there are those that make me want to run to my LYS and spend ungodly amounts of money on new yarn.  Also, currently, yours is the only magazine subscription I currently hold.

I have an issue though that needs to be mentioned.  Your pictures, while pretty, are less than useless.  There is a pattern I wanted to make in the Fall 2013 issue that is nothing like the picture it shows.

Picture from Vogue Knitting Fall 2013 as found on Ravelry’s project page

This top is absolutely gorgeous.  I want it for myself (maybe a bit longer, I would hate having my tummy stick out like that) but the picture is misleading.  This is actually a top AND a cowl.  Whaaaaaat?!  This would be fine if there were any other pictures to tell me this!

The pictures are wonderfully and artistically done, but they are not enough.  This is also not the only pattern like this, and I think that it explains why there are so little projects done for most of Vogue Knitting’s patterns on Ravelry.  Nobody knows what the actual product looks like because the pictures are “artsy” and not “useful”.

I’m not asking Vogue Knitting to change their identity, because we do need a more “fashionable” knitting magazine.  Of all the other knitting magazines I can think of, Vogue is the only one to stay on or ahead of the fashion curve because most try to include projects for all skill types.  What I do want is an inclusion of more detailed pictures, maybe in the back with the instructions, so I don’t have to google all over creation to find that one person who knit that piece.  There is a beautiful sweater in the magazine with a contrast panel in the front and there is not one picture of what it looks like from the back.  Apparently there is also a contrast panel in the back.  I found this out from my Ravelry organizing.  Who knew?

As I said earlier, I’m lazy.  I want to look at some pictures and knit.  I don’t want to have to dig to find out what a pattern looks like before I get the yarn, I want to know what I’m diving into.  Please add more detail pictures!

-ACoC

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A Note on Swatching

We’ve all heard it. “Swatches are essential.” Well, are they?

Long answer short: yes.

But we’re stuck, because swatches are lying little b****es. They’ve stabbed us in the back so many times that we’ve forgotten how to trust. That too long sweater? For once I actually followed the pattern, but that sneaky b*****d lied and told me that I was doing things right on schedule. 

I know why they do it (sometimes), they stretch more with more weight or they shrink (that one I don’t get). 

Which is why I always swatch, they just usually come out looking very “project-shaped”. I am one of those knitters that don’t mind reknitting a few times (more than three, and I’ll be asking “what project?”). The reason I do this is because when the swatch is a part of the project, it lies less.  Yes, sometimes the yarn changes when washed or colors bleed, but I have a simple work-around: small swatches for color-work to test bleeding or separate washes for first time items (or until I’m satisfied that all of the dye is safely in place).  As for changes in washed items, I haven’t really had a problem. Sometimes I make a hat or something where gauge doesn’t really matter if I’m worried, but it’s still almost always a usable project.  I’m going to be honest: I don’t dislike swatches because they lie or because they’re sneaky, it’s really because that yarn is pretty much gone.  Sure, you could rip it out and combine it with other similar yarn or swatches, but I don’t.  I even keep the yarn used to tie together skeins.  I don’t cut it (if I can), I put it into a baggie to use as stitch markers and scrap yarn.  None of my yarn is “wasted”.

So what prompted my rant on swatches?  I actually swatched.  Multiple times.  Why?

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I’m designing a sweater.

Oh, and once I was done with the swatches, I turned a few into dog sweaters, so still no waste.  🙂

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