Archive for June, 2012


The OTHER Pompom

26 June 2012

I’m getting lots of people coming to my blog to get information about Pompom Quarterly, a new UK knitting magazine.  I managed to buy the first issue when in London recently and promised to tell you about it.

Well, it’s small – 23 x 16.5 cm – and has 32 pages, so it’s easy to carry around in your bag.  It’s printed on high quality paper with a stiffer front and back cover.  The layout is very good – well-designed and easy to read. 

There are two articles – one very short on the history of the word “knit”, and the other longer one, an interview with Lilith Green, a dyer in Scotland.  There’s a recipe for a cocktail (which actually looks quite yummy) and the instructions for embroidering an insect (!). And five knitting patterns – a cardigan, a shawl, a pair of socks, a pair of fingerless mitts with flip-over tops (to make them into mittens) and a pair of plain garter stitch fingerless mittens. 

Unfortunately, the content is of little or no interest to me.

All the patterns specify indie-dyed yarns which is a great promotion for the dyers but less experienced knitters unable to obtain the yarn specified will have to substitute and may find that a bit scary or not get the result they hoped for. 

One friend I showed it to suggested that I’m not the right demographic, which is probably true, but I’m not exactly sure who it’s aimed at.  Experienced knitters would find it all a bit basic and novices may have difficulty coping with the yarn substitutions.

But the big downside as far as everyone I’ve shown it to can see is the price.  It costs 9.50 pounds (about $16 at the present exchange rate) which is a great deal more expensive than magazines with 5 times the content.  And that’s before any postage is paid for subscription copies. Similar patterns are available elsewhere for little or no money – Ravelry for instance has over 2,000 FREE patterns for fingerless mittens.  And the Kipper socks are practically identical (same stitch, same toe-up construction) to the Leyburn sock pattern (also available free on Ravelry).  The magazine has no advertisements which may seem a ‘plus’ to some but in specialist magazines, ads are part of the pleasure.  They keep us informed about what’s new and where to find it for a start.  I think they’re going to take ads in future issues. 

I’ll put it in my knitting bag so if you’re interested in looking at a copy and you attend any of the groups I go to in Sydney, just ask.

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And So It Starts Again

25 June 2012

I’m sorry about the lack of updates on the continuing and never-ending story of KAL Media/All Craft Media/Kerrie Allman but I’ve been away for five weeks.  But for those of you waiting with baited breath, here goes.  If you’re easily confused, read no further.

So Tailor Made Publishing bought all the titles from the Administrators of All Craft Media and announced they would be publishing Yarnwise (formerly Knit, Inside Crochet and Handmade Living).  They appointed new, and very well thought of editors (two of whom I was delighted to meet while in England).  They also announced that they would sell on the other titles.

On 1st June, a new business, Craft Magazine Shop, owned by one Derek Barnes, issued a statement that it had bought the other titles – Sew Hip, Simply Beautiful, Modern Quilting and Handmade Fashion, AND that it would also be launching a new magazine, Handmade Weddings.  It has a website – interestingly the domain name was registered on 10th May 2012 by none other than All Craft Media.  This date is AFTER that company was placed in Administration and without the knowledge of the Administrators. 

Who is Derek Barnes?  Heaven only knows (but if YOU do, please let me know).  He hasn’t been heard of since and no announcements and emails from this company have been issued in his name. 

HOWEVER, Shirley Rycroft (Kerrie’s mother) answers the telephone number, Kerrie’s sister works for this new business and despite all protestations from Kerrie herself, all the evidence and information from those who know her would lead me to believe that she is also working there (or running the show?). 

So if you’re thinking of buying any of these Craft Magazine Shop magazines (should any of them actually make it into print, that is), please think twice about it.  If you’re thinking of submitting designs or articles, I would suggest you just donate money or time to the charity of your choice – past experiences would show that you’re unlikely to receive payment on time if at all, and your samples will be lost in the post.  And if you’re a previous advertiser with any of these titles, you can ignore the email that has been sent which heavily implies that your advertising contracts are still in force.  They’re NOT. 

From what I’ve seen and heard, the Tailor Made titles look good and will be hitting the shops in the UK in the next week or so.    

And on another note, the person who sent a string of abusive comments my way before I went away will be sorry to read that my plane did NOT fall out of the sky as they wished.

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