I’ve finished my tea and toast, and I really should be starting work (have I mentioned I have piles of other peoples’ knits and crochets in my studio waiting to be edited? It’s a little scary–I have them perched on high surfaces to protect them all from things like pets, kids, the odd natural disaster.) But anyway, instead of working, I really needed to tell you about the British knitting magazine Simply Knitting. I’ve been buying it occasionally for a while, but the most recent issue I bought convinced me to subscribe. It’s not just the patterns (the patterns are ok, but the magazine isn’t as beautiful as Vogue Knitting or Interweave Knits), it’s just full of great information… New Yarns I learned about a new French yarn company that folks in the UK are all very excited about–Bergere de France, lots of reader interaction (they give a free gift for every reader letter they receive.) They have crochet patterns as well as knitting ones–the January issue had a cute Crocheted Cardigan and a very chanel-ish purse, and they even have a knitting crossword puzzle! If you’re in Britain, the mag is even more useful because they list local events and things happening at shops and festivals. My favorite parts are the technique articles–a great one in Jan. about substituting yarns, and their stitch library-each month they “profile” two stitches. Oh, and finally–two other tidbits–it’s monthly unlike most other fiber magazines, and you get a little present with each issue. This month it was a needle sizer–can never have too many of those–this one was small enough to fit in my knitting bag’s toolkit.

In other magazine news, the latest issue of Knit It (sorry, they don’t have a web site, but they’re produced by Better Homes and Gardens), has an article by design guru Deborah Newton (author of the still in print after over 20 years, Designing Knitwear), about creating a custom fit. It has instructions for making a graph-paper scale model of your body. I find these things indispensable–I use one every time I make a garment–with my little model and some tracing paper, I can see how a garment is going to fall on the body, how much ease I need, how big an armhole, etc. And since one square of graph paper is like 1 inch, I can even work out my schematic and design. But even if you’re not designing your own sweater it’s very useful for seeing if a garment is going to fit you, and figuring out how to change what you don’t like.

In other “literary” news, I had a long train ride, and read The Friday Night Knitting Club from cover to cover. It was a treat for me just to have the time to sit and read, and I was definitely drawn in by the book–I enjoyed the characters, it was funny and moving–I loved the young girl, Dakota who is so much like the pre-teens I teach knitting to. I did have a hard time imagining it as a movie–I think it might loose a lot of the humor, but we’ll have to see. (Julia Roberts bought the movie rights before the book was even released–but the script has not been written yet, so the film isn’t expected ’till late ’08).

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Knit with the Brits