Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

Simply Crochet magazine review

on April 9, 2013

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I was so excited about this new mag, I subscribed almost from the start (I was just too late to subscribe from issue one but got issues two, three and four for £5!)

I wanted to wait before posting a review, judge a few issues rather than just one.

You all know how excited I get about magazines and it’s always seemed odd to me that there are so many monthly knitting and so few monthly crochet.

Combine that with a very good subscription offer and I was floating!

Anyway…

First off, I really like the feel of the magazine. It’s not glossy like others but has really nice smooth covers

And a classic A4(ish) magazine size is always a good choice

There is a distinct uniformity in the layout of the covers but it’s a bit cluttered so your eye jumps about a bit and some of the colour combinations jar a little.

But it all makes for an eye-catching cover!

The inside always has a similar layout too and the colours are more subtle so less eye-catching but more pleasing.

There are always a couple of pages of tidbits, upcoming events, etsy finds, book reviews and the like.

So far, they’ve been ‘decorating’ a certain room each month and they show lovely full pages of pictures before moving on to the patterns.

That’s quite a theme throughout the mag, like having a cover page for the pattern.

It almost seems like a way to bulk out the mag but there are still plenty of patterns to choose from.

There’s also a funny feature at the back, showing pics of old crochet garments – some are actually quite snazzy but others are just dire!

The articles are well written and informative and generally link to a project in the magazine.

As for the patterns themselves…

There seems to be a pretty good mix of accessories, homewares and toys but few garments as yet and nothing substantial for the (grown up) man in your life.

Every month, the mag focuses on one shape, gives the pattern for different sizes and shows you some ideas of what to use it for, along with relevant instructions.

There’s also a motif section, again one a month and some examples of how to use them.

It’s a little disappointing to see patterns reprinted from Crochet Today and there has been one in every issue so far.

I’ve tried out several projects and, to be honest, more than a few have been problematic.

I’ve already posted about my trials with Jane Crowfoot’s egg decorations.

Then when I tried to swatch for the lovely shawl in the latest issue, there is a blatant mistake that I’m hoping is just a typo but still shouldn’t have made it through proofing

And I’m not convinced the right hook size is shown but I suppose with a shawl it doesn’t much matter.

I also have problems with a lot of the photography, some of the pieces have been so badly shot that you can’t get an idea of how nice they really are.

The lovely shawl I mentioned is a prime example.

Jpeg

This was the picture shown in issue three, advertising the next issue. I instantly fell in love!

But when issue four finally dropped through my letterbox, I was surprised to see that it wasn’t the cover project (looking back through, it’s been the same every month)

I turned straight to the pattern and was vaguely horrified by the photos.

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The styling of the model is okay although I’m not sure about the flashes of pink. But the setting is so wrong and the styling of the shawl itself just makes it look unflattering and, frankly, elderly.

I have my reservations but I still plan on making it and the yarn for the project arrived this morning (that’s a post for another day I think)

Oh and there was another oddity. In issue four is a nice cap sleeve cardi. I was checking the yarn used and there are two colours listed even though only one is shown.

Looking at the pattern, there’s a note that says the colour shown isn’t available in the UK so an alternative has been given as well.

I’ve never come across anything like this and I think it could have been handled a lot better.

So, overall, I do like the mag and some of the patterns are simply must-makes.

But some aspects definitely need tweaking and, to be honest, I expect a bit better from an established craft magazine publisher.

I’ll definitely keep the subscription for a while longer, the last issue in particular has been filled with inspiration (as you can tell by the amount of sticky notes attached!) but I really hope things improve

P.S. You might have noticed the blanket in the background of the pics but don’t get too excited – it’s not finished but has been pressed into service in the hope that it’s inadequacy will induce me to finish it (not looking likely, too much other crochet to play with!)

Oh and UK readers don’t forget episode two of The Great British Sewing Bee tonight at 8pm on BBC!

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9 responses to “Simply Crochet magazine review

  1. Nice to read an honest review about a magazine. I have not yet bought it and have an issue about the way they have brought it out. I have been a subscriber to Simply knitting and they often had crochet in it. No more but they forgot to tell us! Again this could have been handled a lot better. You should finish the blanket – it is looking great from what I can see.

    • Vix says:

      Hi,
      It does all seem rather strange, especially considering how established the publishers are. Sorry you’re missing your crochet fix in Simply Knitting, it was a supplement a couple of years ago that inspired me to try crochet so they really should be more careful.
      The blanket is pretty snug and it just feels so good to be curled up under something I’ve made myself. Maybe it’ll get finished in time for the autumn (after I’ve finished all the ‘spring’ crochet projects 🙂
      x

  2. cross(stitch)yourheart says:

    Sounds a little ridiculous to have told in a magazine like that. Maybe being new they’re just working out the kinks

  3. *Wisher* says:

    i love this magazine too… like the photos… i’ve only got a couple of copies of it. thanks for sharing the review..

    • Vix says:

      To be honest, it might get relegated to the ‘if there are a few nice projects in, I’ll buy it’ list (along with every other magazine) but for now I’m finding it a brilliant source of inspiration!
      x

  4. […] think I mentioned it during my review of Simply Crochet and showed a little pic in my latest progress […]

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