The new blog!

December 2, 2008 by

As promised, I’m letting you all know that the YF blog is moving. See here for details.

From now on, you’ll find the blog at:



Deadline day!

December 1, 2008 by

As Sarah mentioned in her previous posting, we are just finishing up the lovely issue #9. This has been a week of many deadlines, actually — an online knitting challenge I founded a few years ago called NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater Month) ended yesterday. Originally designed as a companion to the even-crazier challenge called NaNoWriMo, in which you attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in a month, I have to say the knitting is easier than the writing! You saw a preview of this sweater on the 17th of November…turned out nicely, eh?

It’s called Rivulet and it will soon be for sale on Ravelry and elsewhere.

Speaking of websites…as soon as I do final checks on this issue of YF, we’re turning our attention to the complete overhaul of the Yarn Forward website. You can expect easier to find errata, a new way to submit problems you are having with patterns and lots more. We’re also planning to transition the blog to the actual domain, copying over all the old posts and comments, but we will make sure to leave you a note here when that happens!

And here comes number nine…

November 28, 2008 by

Where things happen

Coffee. A Mac. A friendly rabbit. Everything you need to push through a deadline (well, the rabbit has gone home now, but thanks to his starring role in sister mag SEW Hip, his presence remains strong in the office). Yes, Yarn Forward 8 is still fresh on the shelves, but issue 9 is just now going through the final polishing process before we send it to the printers at the beginning of next week. There is so, so much exciting stuff in this one that I’d like to tell you everything now… but you’ll just have to wait and see, patient readers. Working with Shannon has brought a great sense of energy and direction to a magazine that was feeling pretty energetic and well-directed to begin with. We’ve got contributions of some of my absolute favourite designers, including Anna Bell (the sumptuous cardigan coat on the back of issue 8? That’s Anna’s), and what I think is the best selection of features we’ve brought together so far – so I’m really looking forward to hearing what you think of this one.

The perfect shirt for issue deadline days

November 24, 2008 by

Remember the iconic “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters from WWII? (Now available as t-shirts, tea towels and just about everything else you can imagine!)

Well, I’ve got just the t-shirt for those days when we’re closing an issue of Yarn Forward:


I’m only half-kidding, of course. It was all I could do to not order multiples. There’s lots of exciting news about forthcoming issues which I can’t share quite yet, but let’s put it this way — some of the designers on board will have you jumping for joy!

Woolly Thoughts

November 22, 2008 by

All of a sudden it has got all very wintery in Yarn Forward land, and sensible pre-Christmas ideas of getting on with the present knitting have been jettisoned in favour of a sweater in some rib-warming aran wool. Nothing like something cosy and sheepy to snuggle on your lap on a chilly evening. So, what are your favourite cold-weather knits?


Although when I do return to the present knitting, one of the first things I’ll be whipping up is the beautiful little tippet from the latest Yarn Forward: sweet, speedy, very wearable, and (vital, this bit) it will definitely keep the recipient warm of neck in frosty January. Check out the vintage mother-of-pearl buttons, too: a star find in editor Lou’s big tin of fastenings, co-ordinating perfectly with the delicately shaded yarn from The Old Piggery.



Hello from the new editor!

November 17, 2008 by

What’s on my needles right now…a new sweater design! it’s blurry because I’m knitting so fast — ha ha! I need a new photo, it’s almost done already…

Hello! I’m the new editor of Yarn Forward and in advance of my first print issue, thought I would take the time to say hello on the YF blog. We’ve already had a lovely discussion underway in the YF group on Ravelry (here), and I want to take this chance to let you all know that I really would like to have your feedback and constructive criticism about the magazine as we continue to grow.

You might already know me from my own blog, (here’s the post announcing my YF news!), or from my books — Knitgrrl, Knitgrrl 2, Spin to Knit, Felt Frenzy, Crochet Style, Just Socks, Just Gifts, AlterNation, How to Knit in the Woods, The Pillow Book and Alt Fiber. I also recently edited the second edition of Knitting For Dummies, though of course we know that knitters are anything but!

And yes, I do live in the US, but with modern technology being what it is, it’s actually working out beautifully so far — by the time I’m online in the morning, the other YF/KAL Media staffers have gotten through their inboxes and are ready to pass on anything I need to look at that day! There’s only a five hour time difference between the UK and where I live.

Obviously I knit, spin, felt, etc — but I also write quite a bit, and have been working on a new line of fiber arts books that hopefully will now come out next year some time. Right now I’m working on some new sweater patterns, and helping Kerrie with some redesign work on the Yarn Forward website, etc (any suggestions for what you’d like to see would also be appreciated there!) in addition to my editing duties. A big, big thank you is in order to Kerrie, Sarah, Lou and everyone else at KAL for making my first few weeks challenging but fun. (By ‘challenging,’ I of course mean “throwing me into the deep end of the pool right away).

So thanks to them, and thanks to you, because without the readers, where would we be? I look forward to bringing you new, exciting fibery fun in the pages of Yarn Forward in the months and years to come!

It’s here!

November 14, 2008 by

That gentle thwack you’ve been hearing all around the UK and in discerning areas throughout the world? That’s the sound of the latest Yarn Forward hitting the doormats of the knitticenti everywhere.

It's here!

It’s been great to see this one come back from the printers, and really exciting to hear the comments of readers getting their first taste of issue 8. With every issue, we try to make the best knitting magazine we can, and we’re very proud of this one. The cover pattern (by the delightful and talented Claire Montgomerie) is as beautiful in the yarn as it looks on the page: anyone else thinking that a beautifully patterned and stylishly coloured piece of Fair Isle is exactly what they need to keep the chill wind out of their ribs?

There’s more Fair Isle from Yarn Forward fave Liz Lovick. Our colourwork expert offers a frankly gorgeous pattern for a cushion which would make a splendid introduction to standed techniques for anyone spurred on by the informative and entertain article she’s written on the history and practice of the Fair Isle technique. Or if you’re looking for a speedy project, check out the nifty cabled hats that feature on the cover. Bright, lightweight and lovely to look at, they’ll do a champion job of warming your ears as the frosts encroach.

Little things are just what you need with Christmas coming up. Maile Mauch has a sparkling selection of knitty notions that you can make by hand with just a few simple jewellery making techniques. The perfect introduction to a new craft, and you can polish off a few items on the present list while you’re at it.

Perhaps the most fun in this issue (and partly because I got to do it) is the interview with Nicky Epstein. If you’re charmed by her books and her delightful patterns, you really should meet the lady herself: she’s as entertaining and gorgeous as the projects she makes, and in the interview she projects so much of her inspiring attitude to the craft of knitting.

We’ll give you more previews and sneaky peaks in the coming weeks! Right now, we’re deep into preparations for issue 9, but we’re still dying to hear what you think of the new one. Let us know in a comment, by dropping us an email, or leave a comment on the Ravelry group. The more you tell us, the closer we can get to being the magazine we want to be!



Subscriber magazines

November 12, 2008 by


One of the very nicest things about being a small company is that we are all very hands on and get involved with everything.  Yarn Forward subscription mailout day is an all hands on deck day with Lou and I sitting down with the rest of the team, stuffing envelopes, printing out letters and packaging up boxes for the postman.  This time we had rather more magazines to send out than usual thanks to our first month on the news shelves.  Mailout day didn’t start too well when the delivery driver was unable to help us carry in 40 boxes of magazines but Lou and I pulled together and worked our muscles.  You can see the boxes are stacked a little precariously here but within no time they were all empty and off to be recycled anyway!

Then it came time to putting the 2,000 magazines in their envelopes which we had already prepared and labelled.  This took us pretty much all day with just a wee break for a KFC junk food fix at lunchtime!  By 3pm they were all ready and collected and should be arriving with UK subscribers and yarnshops any minute now, and on the shelves in newsagents Friday this week.  WH Smiths and Borders placed larger orders than anywhere else this month so if I were you I’d check there first.

Rocking New York

October 1, 2008 by

Lou and I have just returned from a whirlwind tour of New York City and I think I can safely say that its been one of the most pleasurable business trips we have ever taken.  Even the hours spent waiting in immigration after a long flight and then arriving at our hotel to find only one bed was made up and having to wait for them to bring us up sheets and duvet for the other bed wasn’t enough to dampen our spirit.  We spent a brilliant 3 days, walking miles every day (our record was about 45 blocks total on the first day), visiting gorgeous yarn and fabric stores and having so much fun.

The very nicest Yarn Store that we visited had to be Point.  Alissa and her staff were the most welcoming people (which says a lot as generally we found the US hospitality to be amazing in shops) and we stayed for a couple of hours and knitted, chatted and (of course) bought some yarn.  We made a few purchases of yarns that its hard to get hold of in the UK for us to review and or use in designs and just a few small purchases for our own stashes as well.

The whole weekend was fantastic.  We arrived back in the UK jetlagged and exhausted but so inspired by all that we saw and motivated by the fantastic response from everyone who we spoke to about Sew Hip and Yarn Forward.  Here are a few pictures from our whirlwind visit.

Gorgeous wall of yarn at the Point

The window of a handbag store using big balls of yarn and needles as props


Anthropology’s window display using hundreds of books (BTW – this is now our ultimate favourite shop)

Pink fluffy sheep in a Juicy Couture window!

Me knitting in a gorgeous deli on 5th 

Gorgeous new hair cuts for both of us, how much more perfect could it be than having a 24 hour hair salon next door to our hotel?

Issue 7 – Preview

September 23, 2008 by

Want to see a preview of the designs and features in issue 7?  Clicky here.  Hope you love the designs as much as we do!