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Crochet Magazine Reviews

Normally I reserve Sunday’s for book reviews. The book gods know that I have a lot of books and I am always coming across more. Today I want to talk about the various crochet magazines. There are a number of crochet magazines out there, each one different from the others. With crochet being a niche market – unlike, say, Women’s Day or Golf Digest, which you can find in nearly every doctors office or hospital waiting room – you would think that there wouldn’t be enough to write about across a number of magazines. Surprisingly, there is.

Until very recently I didn’t buy a lot of crochet magazines. I am rather short (I tell everyone I am a tall dwarf), and crochet magazines are always put on the top of magazine racks in stores where I can’t reach, even standing on my tip toes. Stores would sell more of them, I am sure, if they put them where their audience can reach them. Just sayin’. Of course, my timing of going into places like Joann’s or Michael’s when new issues come out is always off.

As much as I love e-books, I don’t love e-magazines as much. Working from a digital pattern it’s easier to get lost and forget where you are unless you print it out. I also like being able to write on my patterns in case I need to make a note. I also tend to forget where all my digital magazines are stored. Some are on my computer, some on my tablet. Digital also, I have found, makes it harder to find what you are looking for when you find yourself going through back issues looking for a pattern. However, I have had to turn to digital for my magazines. The upside is I don’t have to worry about finding a place to store them or the cat trying to eat them.

I am going to do my best to keep my ‘notes’ on each magazine short where we aren’t here all day.

Let’s start with Crochet World. This is probably the easiest of all the crochet magazines to find. It’s also probably my favourite. I have seen it at grocery stores as well as craft stores. You can purchase a subscription through Annie’s (not an affiliate link).

What I like about Crochet World is it’s geared toward the average crocheter. Anyone, regardless of crochet experience, can pick up Crochet World and make anything in there. If you need to know a new stitch for something, they teach it to you. In fact, I learn a new stitch or technique or something crochet related every issue. The current issue has 19 projects, each using a different techniques, and many related to the fall season. If you pick up a copy of the magazine in the store, you can flip to the back and see pictures of each of the featured projects. I may have to start printing out these pages and putting them in a binder to find what issue projects are in easier. My only complaint is I do wish that features on designers were a little bigger.

 

Also published and purchasable (I guess purchasable is a word, spellcheck didn’t yell at me) through Annie’s is Crochet! Magazine (also not an affiliate link). I find this one occasionally in stores

Crochet! is a bit bigger than Crochet World, by an average of about 20 pages. The current issue has 20 projects and also has that wonderful page in the back with pictures of all the projects contained within. I seriously love this part of both magazines, can you tell?

Crochet! is what I would call the ‘big sister’ of Crochet World. It feels directed toward a bit more advanced crocheters, who do more than make the occasional project as a gift. It is a magazine for those a bit more serious about the craft and want to learn more. Not only are there yarn reviews – always cool, you can find out about yarn that you didn’t know existed – but each issue gives an in depth lesson on an advanced stitch and gives you a project or two to work on to master it. You will also find more fashion type projects in the pages of Crochet! Defiantly not as “general” with something for everyone as Crochet World, but a wonderful magazine nonetheless.

Inside Crochet (still not an affiliate link) comes from the UK. For this reason I suggest getting it digitally. You don’t have to worry about magazine delivery that way. I’ve had magazine subscriptions in the past that came from overseas and when they showed up the covers were usually ripped or otherwise mangled. Plus, you don’t have to wait weeks to get your magazine after it’s released. Inside Crochet has it’s own app through Google Play.

This is another general magazine for everyone of every level with 20 designs in each magazine. The “worst” part of the magazine is the adverts for British items that we may not be able to find here in the US. Nothing worse than seeing something and saying, “I need that for reasons!” and not be able to find it. Yarn reviews, product reviews (like hooks), book reviews, designer spotlights, and a page of things that are not crochet related, but related to the theme of the magazine. The newest issue is going with the beach theme and they have a page of other beach-y things like pillows with sardines on it and sea life buttons. That’s kind of a neat idea but I also feel like it’s filler, that they don’t really know what to put in the magazine. There is also a write up on a fiber festival that we all wish we lived close enough to go to. What I don’t like about this magazine is the layout. It’s set up first as a look book type thing with what can only be called fashion spreads. So you get the pictures of everything first and then you have to go further in the magazine to find the patterns. I personally find that annoying. It’s not a deal breaker though, because the look at crochet from another country is pretty cool.

Another magazine out of the UK is Simply Crochet (nope, still not an affiliate link). I like this magazine more than Inside Crochet because it’s layout makes more sense. It also seems more serious about being a crochet magazine. Again, I recommend digital just because it’s from overseas.  Simply Crochet also has it’s own app through Google play. Reading the reviews, some people have had a lot of trouble with the app not working. You can also order the magazine through the Pocketmags app, also available through Google Play..

Simply Crochet comes with 25 projects, also somewhat themed. The latest issue’s theme is “In the Garden”. Crochet adorned river rocks are explored (I have been collecting river rocks for this purpose, I need to get on this), as well as yarn bombing and other things that are garden-like without being actual flowers. They also come up projects that are off the beaten path, like crocheting with wire, and teach you how to do it.

This magazine has a different take on designer profiles. They actually have designers write what amounts to a journal entry for the magazine. They seem to go with popular designers rather than someone who has a design in the magazine. Every other magazine asks “How did you come up with the design we are featuring this month” so this is a nice break. Speaking of designers, they have a feature where they give two designers the same yarn and tell them to make something with it. It’s interesting to see what they come up with. They also print the patterns for both projects.

Interweave Crochet Magazine is up next. (Guess what? Still not an affiliate link.) I actually don’t have a subscription to Interweave. This one I get for free through the RB Digital Gateway provided by my local library.  It is actually the only crochet magazine they have. The cool thing is, being digital, I can check them out forever and not have to return them. If your local library offers access to digital books and magazines, it is so worth getting a library card. I have found things that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

The thing about Interweave, is that’s the more professional of the magazines. It’s for the serious or professional crocheter and features home decor items and clothing. We have all read how lace was originally made via crochet. You will find stuff like that in the pages of Interweave.

The layout is much like Inside Crochet, with look book pictures prior to the patterns. They also have yarn reviews and book reviews. When they do a feature on a designer or business, they go in depth with them. You have a real article to read and just not one page. Interweave is a good addition to the crochet magazine library, since it’s focus is a bit different than the other magazines.

 

Lastly is I Like Crochet. (This one is the affiliate link.) Unlike all the other magazines, this one is web only. It’s set up more like a website that you get a subscription to than a magazine.  I still don’t know how I feel about that but there is a lot of good information through I Like Crochet. Being web only, they aren’t stuck sticking to a template and page count. They can use however much space they need.

The web only format allows for full coloured picture tutorials and longer articles including detailed write ups on yarn stores that make you feel like you are taking a virtual tour. Also included are book reviews, product reviews, and the Crochet Corner that has crochet tips that we can all use. This month there are 28 patterns (more than any other magazine). In fact, you won’t find less than 25 patterns per issue and sometimes it runs over 30. This is what makes the web format so wonderful.

The website is easy to navigate. You can go through it by issue or by category. All the patterns are arranged in an easy to find format with categories for everything. Meaning, all the amigurumi patterns are together, all the afghan patterns together…you get the idea. All the articles are arranged blog post style. Once you subscribe and have access to the site, you aren’t stuck with just 2 years of back issues, like most magazines. You have access to everything they have ever published since their inception in April 2014.

So, there you have it. Crochet magazines. There may be some that I missed. There are others that I have back issues of that are no longer in existence. I recommend each of these for different reasons. Each has their pros and cons. I suggest taking advantage of the free issues many of them offer just to see what they offer and if it fits your crochet style and/or needs.

 

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