I've been a subcriber to IK orever. I subscribe to Spinoff as well. But I'm not planning resubscribe when my subscriptions runs out. Many of my friends have said the same. Things have changed at Interweave and not for the better in my opinion. I have not seen a pattern that I have liked in IK for the past 2 years. Knitting Daily is now just a very thinly veiled marketing campaign gone wrong. The new books are full of very odd and rather ugly patterns or a regurgitation of previously published patterns. Even the staff projects don't have the flair they used to have.
I see so many amazing patterns from up and coming designers on Ravelry... Jared Flood, Ysolda Teague, Anne Hanson, the list can go on and on. Interweave seems to focus on the 'cutting edge" fringe designs that perhaps appeal to a small segment of their market, but leave a very large share of knitters out. The Fall 09 issue was very disapointing indeed. Too many wierd designs that I would never. ever knit. What is wrong with including some amazingly beautiful designs that are timeless and appeal to everyone from 18 - 88?
The patterns that are getting the most attention on Ravelry are classic and beautiful designs that have been updated with intricate stitch patterns or make use of the properties of modern yarns. They came close with the Nordique Swing jacket, but it has a really ugly neckline. That seems to be true of most IK patterns. If I like one, it has an element to it that I really dislike. The short sleeves that were prevalent in this issue was another poor design choice that ruined several designs.
Many of the IK "modern' designs end up looking like a beginners project gone bad. Like the Rosamund's cardigan. Those bulky cables ruin the design as do the cap sleeves Cap sleeves look great on 14 year old girls, beyond that, the rest of the female population hate them. And please, what does it take to make sure the test knitter knits the size needed to fit the models ? The Berry and Bramble cardigan is far too small for the model as is the Trellis and Vine Pullover and the Rosamund's Cardigan.
All I know is that I used to think that any thing from Interweave was the gold standard. but not any more. I don't know if ythey will will take any comments seriously enough to change anything. I know I am not alone in my opinion. But we wouldn't say anything if we didn't truly care.
By the way, in case you are wondering if I am just a grumpy old granny that needs a nap, I am 36 years old and have many ,many years of knitting and spinning to look forward to. I hope Interweave will flush out the their problems and once again be the source of quality designs they had been in years past.
I can agree with some of this, however, I do believe that the more "modern" style mixed with updated classics is what sets apart IK from Knitter's (which tends to lean classic knits that remind me of the stuff my mom knit in the 80s) or Vogue Knitting (which I consider way to be so trendy, you have to be a speed-knitter to finish projects before they go out of style). I'll definitely resubscribe to the mag, but I do agree that I find just a few patterns I'd LOVE a year, but when it comes with as many accessory knits to go along with the 1 sweater an issue I like, the value of the mag is there considering how much I would pay for those patterns individually. I agree that knit fashions in general are becoming much more a la mode,
but appealing to a wide age range is really difficult in a time in
knitting marked by shaping and adding accents to make your handknits
compete with off-the-rack looks. As a 28-year-old knitter with just a couple years of casual knitting under her belt (and VERY into classic looks I can wear for years and years and owning a vast majority of the back issues of IK), I do have to say I love that I get tips and tricks in each issue that have great pictures and tutorials online (many being clips from Knitting Daily TV... don't get the show here, so I get to miss the marketing that they FILL the e-mails with and I'm not a huge fan of either), and the interviews with popular designers are kind of neat too. Not to mention that they give you pics of the yarns used so you can more easily see twist and textures if you regularly subsitute yarns-- I think the mag is still good and has improved overall from their early days, but also agree that there are lots of looks that are classic yet to be explored by most mags in the hopes of attracting "fresh, hip" knitters... but that's where carefully choosing my knit pattern books (i.e. Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard, Knitting Classic Style by Veronik Avery, and other "timeless-yet-stylish" designers) has really helped me fill that gap.
I have to agree with you - in the five years I've been knitting (and I'm 56), I've yet to find something in Interweave Knits that I like or can knit without bringing me to utter frustration or tears. BUT! I absolutely love Knitscene - the last few issues have had patterns that are both classic, age-spanning and trendy, not to mention sized so a mature body would look good in them. My copies of Knitscene are completely dog-eared and well worn from pouring over the patterns and trying them out, finding inspiration. I also love the fact that the designers are using my favorite yarn brand - Berroco.
It's true that marketing and manufacturers are forever geared toward 18-35 year olds - and I've stopped using certain brands because of this - but Knitscene hasn't gone off that edge.
Classic pieces that are made with different or unusual yarns or given new and exciting design elements work for everyone.
I really love the Fall 09 issue. I admit to being disappointed in recent issues, but this one is a hit. I don't agree that only 14 year old girls like cap sleeves. I'm 43 and am currently knitting Rosamund's Cardigan. I loved it at first sight. Lots of other patterns in the issue are on my list of things I really want to knit. Farmer's Market Cardigan, French Braid Pullover, Berry and Bramble Cardigan, Clasica Jacket. All beautiful knits that I would definitely wear.