September Magazine Round-Up: The Knitter and Inside Crochet

I’ve gone a bit crazy on the magazine buying this month. I don’t know. Something to do with the night’s drawing in, it’s a bit colder… who knows but most evenings this month I been reading about crafting rather than actually doing any! I’ve taken full advantage of some great subscription offers out there at the moment – Future Publications (Mollie Makes, The Knitter, Cross Stitcher Magazine) are doing three magazines for £5. It would be rude not to!

Landing on my doorstep this month were the aforementioned Mollie Makes, The Knitter and Cross Stitcher Magazine supplemented with Crafty Magazine and Inside Crochet. The last two aren’t usually on my monthly magazine reading list but I was really drawn in by some great comments and reviews via Twitter for Inside Crochet and a great front cover from Crafty Magazine.

So first up Inside Crochet. I’ve never bought this magazine before (not sure why, its great!) but the front cover really sold it to me. I really like the photo shoot styling – not too twee or over-stylised. The up front, In The Loop section was really interesting, I didn’t feel like I’d read any of the stories anywhere else. Loads to read too. My favourite projects from this issue were the Bella Necklace Trio, Leonie Cardigan and Little Bo Mittens.

inside crochet

The Knitter is another magazine I don’t buy often. I purchased the first couple of issues but found them a bit too advanced for me and not that inspiring either – lots of lacy shawls and Intarsia cardigans. I did, however, like the fact that they had loads of ‘stuff’ to read. Not just little nibs either but real, meaty features and interviews with industry experts. Issue 62 doesn’t disappoint. Rosse Woodland’s Greenwich Village socks are gorgeous and I love Lynne Barber’s Stacked Necklace – this will look great for work teamed with black or navy. Overall, I feel like The Knitter is a little grown up for me to buy every month but its nice to dip into once in a while.

The Knitter

Next up, my review of Mollie Makes, Cross Stitcher Magazine and Crafty Magazine.

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Simply Crochet Magazine Review

Simply-Crochet-1-cover

As if I haven’t got enough to read, buy, make and download (!) there is now a new craft magazine out there – Simply Crochet.

Published by the makers of Mollies Makes, Simply Crochet has been launched this month and is aimed at all of us crochet lovers out there; newbies, old hands and everyone in between. As you’d expect from a magazine from the same publishing house as Mollie Makes, the magazine has beautiful styling and photography. The layout is clean and uncluttered and makes for easy, leisurely reading.

This first issue had two free crochet hooks in bright fluro colours which I’ve added to my growing hook collection.

The best thing about the mag is the sheer amount of patterns on offer. At £4.99, this represents great value for money – 36 patterns ranging from classic granny squares and baby blankets through to a beautiful collar to jush up your wardrobe and cute amigurumi (cute teeney crochet animals) creatures.

On my ‘to make list’ from the magazine are;

1. Crochet bunting – am already thinking about this for Missy’s bedroom

2. Padded coat hanger – great gift

3. Pretty crochet collar –  seems really simple to make and looks great

4. Amigurumi dragon – of course for Missy

5. Heart sachets – great gift again

Patterns are both written and charted, next step for my crochet learning is to get my head around the charts. One thing I’d like to see more of is some guidance as to whether the patterns are best for beginners or advanced crocheters and also some more advice or tip led content – perhaps a workshop section tackling common mistakes, tricky stitches or just holding us newbies hands whilst we try to pick up the basics.

Other than the patterns, I love the NoteBook section – a double page spread of notes, musings and thoughts on crochet. It’s like having a nosey into someone elses to do list. I’d love to see more content like this. Who are the people and artists who are driving the world of crochet craft? Who are the ones to watch? Bloggers to follow?

Overall I love it! It’s made its way onto my list of must buys each month. I’ve taken out a trial subscription which is £5 for three issues, so really looking forward to issue two, out Thursday 7th February. Log onto www.simplycrochetmag.co.uk for more info.

Mollie Makes

I heart Mollie Makes magazine. Its my must buy magazine each month and sits neatly on my bedside table alongside Vogue, Grazia and Red. Admittedly to start with, there wasn’t much I felt I could make in Mollie. The patterns were quite complex or had no real function or remote practical use (felt animals or replica custard cream anyone?) BUT were cute to read about and I marvelled every month on the imagination and ingenuity of the contributors.

This has changed as the magazine has matured and, I assume, listened to what its readers want via Facebook and Twitter etc. Issue Twenty, out now, is one of the best to date in my humble opinion. The projects are practical, fun, doable and there’s enough of a balance between features with inspirational crafters, news items and product reviews.

Here’s what I’ll be making from Issue Twenty;

Home Sweet Home nail art – we’re in the process of decorating Missy’s bedroom so am tempted to do this in her room.

Emerald Headpieces – another glue gun job. This isn’t something I’d normally attempt but i’m tempted to try a new craft like this. I think the shooting star pattern would be lovely for an embroidery or cross stitch project too.

Cross Stitch Motto – this is soooo simple, I love the fancy lettering the maker has used. Rather stitch about creative clutter ( I don’t think I can really gift this to myself!) I’m thinking of doing some family names, or home related mottos for friends and family. The combo of grey fabric and red thread is great too, so my brain is now wiring with the right colour combo to go for.

Thanks Mollie Makes for making my life even busier!

You can follow Mollie Makes on Twitter https://twitter.com/@molliemakes , on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MollieMakes.

Super Quick Baby Sampler

Congratulations are in order. Our friends have just had their second child, a baby boy called Aaron Joseph, a brother for our daughter’s best friend, Emmie. A new baby is always a great craft opportunity but what to do when the parents don’t find out the baby’s gender? Rather than knit a cream blanket, I decided to stitch a quick cross stitch sampler.

Using some simple but effective alphabet patterns and cute toy motifs  from Cross Stitcher Magazine, I was able to rustle up a gorgeous little sampler in an evening or two. I’m really pleased with how it’s worked out. I’m so used to creating girly pieces, I had to have a good root around in my stash box to find a more appropriate boy colour pallette – blues, greens, purples, yellows and a splash of red.

It’s so quick, I think I could be on to something here…perhaps a bespoke baby sampler business? Could be the start of another crafty comission! And here’s the finished result, framed in a wooden hoop and backed with navy blue felt.

Princess for a princess

Cross stitch comes a close second to knitting for me as my favourite craft. I love the way a pattern or picture develops from a series of tiny ‘X’s. The texture to a finished piece is lovely and it really has that homemade feel to it. Its also something I can really relax into (unless its a particularly tricky pattern) and after working for an hour or two you can really see the difference.

I whipped up this little Princess motif in an hour or so one Sunday afternoon for my little Princess. It was from an old Cross Stitch Magazine issue, complete with castles, frogs and a variety of crowns and tiaras. Whilst I can’t see myself sitting for hours on end stitching a castle picture, this little one appealed to me. I love cross stitched words and this one in particular with the large ‘P’ is so cute! Instead of making it up into a door hanger as the magazine suggests, I’ve turned it into a picture.

Once finished, I cut the aida to size and pressed the sides down and around the cardboard insert, pulling the opposite sides towards each other with embroidery thread and securing the ends with tape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place into the frame and tah dah! *jazz hands*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m slowly but surely completing all my cross stitch makes so more to come soon.