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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  1. Wouldn’t mind taking a look if you’re ever out this way.

  2. Thanks for posting a review, I just received my copy this afternoon and am left feeling a little flat. I agree with all your comments, it’s a beautiful layout but I paid £11.25 in total for what I thought would be a big thick ‘quarterly’ magazine.
    I would never have paid that much if I’d seen it in a shop. No wonder you can mostly only buy it online.

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