rowan

Back Cover Intrigue

Except for a few lapses here and there, I’ve been a subscriber of both Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits for many years. And in all that time, Classic Elite Yarns has sponsored the back cover of both magazines.

Subscriptions don’t pay a publication’s light bill; advertising does, and both the inside front cover and the back cover are the biggest, most prominent, and most expensive spaces you can buy. Ergo, Classic Elite spends a significant portion of their advertising budget to have their marginally interesting patterns featured back there.

I have a few magazines, and this sponsorship goes back years and years. From my own library, I see that they’re on the back covers of Interweave Knits’ Spring 2001 issue and Vogue Knitting’s Fall/Winter 1988. Probably even further back. They’re also on the back cover of the few issues I have of Knitscene, Knit Simple, and Knit.Wear.

So that means that Classic Elite has been sponsoring the back cover of VK for at least 26 years. They’ve changed the typeface they use, their style and styling, the placement of their name in the ad—center, sideways, top, bottom—and their models. But that four-color ad has always belonged to Classic Elite Yarns.

Until now.

The back cover of Vogue Knitting’s Spring/Summer 2014 issue

I always hold my cowl up with my hand, don’t you?

is sponsored by

Good thing she’s wearing tights.

We’ll be in suspense for a few months as we wait for the next issue of VK. Was Rowan’s sponsorship is a one-time thing, or has Classic Elite been toppled for good? If so, then the question is, what happened?

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Organizing 134 Knitting Magazines

A couple of years out of college and into my “career” in the 90s, I had lost interest in knitting, so (it still makes me queasy to think about this), I gave away all of the needles, magazines, and yarn I had accumulated since the early 80s.

And it wasn’t even to a knitting friend. I didn’t have any at the time. I threw everything into bags and dumped them at a thrift store. Yes, years’ worth of now-vintage Vogue Knitting.

When I picked up knitting again—on a trip to Monterrey, Mexico of all things—I had to rebuild my stash and library. And since I had money and an eBay account, it happened pretty quickly. According to my Ravelry library, I have 134 magazines, which seems like a low count compared to what I can see on my shelves.

Eventually there came a time that I needed to organize them, which was on January 6th, apparently, because that’s when Amazon says I bought eight of these magazine files—with two-day shipping because I was motivated. But the files have been sitting on the floor of my studio since January 8th because I’m not sure how to go about organizing them.

By publication, in issue order is the obvious answer, but that’s not how I like to use my magazines. Sometimes I’ll grab a bunch of fall and winter issues and look through the designs, or I’ll want to compare Vogue Knitting‘s spring designs with the spring designs of Interweave Knits. (I don’t know why; I just do.)

So, do I break them up into seasons? Or split them into two types: warm weather, which includes the spring and summer issues, and cold weather, which includes fall, winter, and holiday. How do I handle all the different publications I have? I own one or two copies of other magazines, like Knitscene, Knit Simple, Rowan, etc. Do they get their own magazine file or do I mix them in with the big ones? And what about all those kitschy vintage leaflets?

I also have to consider that I’ll have to put them back where they came from after I use them, so I need a system that allows me to do that easily or I won’t do it and I’ll be back to the same mess I have now.

I looked online to see what other people had done, but it appears that no one but me has this problem. I had a glimmer of hope when I found this post about organizing magazines by month, but these are for home arts magazines that offer seasonal ideas, so in that case, it would be helpful to have every July magazine filed together when it’s time to plan a picinic for the 4th.

After much thinking and mulling, considering and rejecting, and a glass or two of merlot, here’s how I finally decided to file them: by publication, in issue order. Yep, the obvious answer. It’s really the best way, because of how I use them most of the time. I’ll do a pattern search on Ravelry, looking for, say, pullovers with cables in worsted weight yarn, and choose the option to show me patterns in my library. So, chronological order is what’s going to work best when I go hunting for the magazine.

After purging almost every vintage leaflet and several of the magazines that I know I’ll never use, the onsie-twosies are lumped together in one magazine file. Rowan gets its own section because its size demands it. And Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits each have their own shelf.

On the bottom shelf, notice that Vogue Knitting changed from colored spines to white around the year 2007.

My Ravelry library is now accurate, reflecting 150 magazines. (I hadn’t added absolutely everything to the database, apparently.)

How do you organize your magazines?

Where I Won’t Be This Summer

I was sitting around minding my own business, when the Knitting folder in my Inbox lit up. I get a lot of knitting emails, most of them from yarn companies or online stores. I don’t even read the ones that use! an! exclamation! point! after! every! single! sentence! (That would be you, Tahki Stacy Charles. Just stop it, would you.)

This email was from the British yarn company, Rowan, that always sends out good stuff with appropriate punctuation. Beneath a photo gallery featuring some of their beautiful, moody models (I would so love to see that red-headed girl modeling one of my sweaters), it told me about:

A wonderfully relaxing knitting holiday in the beautiful Tuscan countryside, with leisurely knitting days, spectacular scenery, wonderful food and wine—and learning new skills with Rowan’s Head Designer, Marie Wallin.

“Knitting and La Bella Vita” they’re calling it.

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La Bella Vita means Too Bleepin’ Expensive in the parlance of my times.

Prices start at £1,310 per person per week, which is about US$2,200. They’ll supply the yarn, but we have to bring our own needles.

Marie Wallin is one of my mostest favoritist designers in the knittiverse, but I have plans to pay off my mortgage within three years.

So, I’ll be cabling and slip-stitching in the beautiful Texas countryside, enjoying carrots, cauliflower, and cacao as I watch cardinals, roadrunners, and white tail deer out my window.

I might even knit up some of these silly little chickens from Rowan.

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Esther, Ernie & Enid are in my budget.