Archive for July, 2008

The Guardian

July 26, 2008

Have you seen the guardian newspaper today?  They have published a whole booklet of knitting patterns with lots of interesting information about knitting in their Saturday paper.  They anticipate selling between 300,000 and 600,000 copies of the paper today – that’s a whole lot of people learning more about knitting which can only be good, right?

You can read the article on line here but if you actually buy the newspaper you’ll get to see the lovely full page advert for Yarn Forward on the back page of the supplement.   How exciting!


Yarn Forward Profiles: Lou

July 18, 2008

Lou Butt became involved with Yarn Forward in December last year, when Kerrie invited her on board the nascent magazine. As it happened, the timing was perfect. Lou had left Simply Knitting earlier that year, anticipating a relaxing life as a “yummy mummy” with the occasional book project to break things up – but after a few months, she found herself missing the busy schedules and creative activity of publishing. And with Yarn Forward about to go ten issues a year, Lou expects to be very busy indeed: “The best times have to be when we get such fantastic feedback. Going 10 issues a year was a very scary concept, but all our readers and advertisers are 100% behind us. The worst times have to be the deadline when I’m up late designing pages and trying to do the 101 other things that come with running a business too. We’ll have an art editor soon, so at least that pressure is reduced.”

Step into a UK newsagent, and you’re likely to see several home-grown knitting magazines. Lou thinks that YF is more than able to stand up to the competition. “There is so much that makes us different”, she says. For a start, there’s the approach to advertising, limited to just 10% of the magazine each issue: “We don’t feel it’s right to make our readers pay for 20+ pages of adverts.” Lou adds, “We’ll have no book extracts or designs from yarn companies. Because we’re independent we don’t feel pressurized into reproducing designs for the sake of advertising.”

Instead the emphasis is on providing original designs, put together with a real love for the crafts of knitting and crochet – and because restricting the advertising makes more room for editorial, Lou says “we can be gluttonous with our space and have lots of large charts on the patterns.” There are also at least five in-depth features in every issue: “There is so much out there in the knitting world, that 2 pages just isn’t enough room to really do something justice.”

After the jump… “battleship grey acrylic chunky”, Uri Gellar, minuscule slippers, a “scary block of flats”, and the projects that Lou loves best of all. (more…)

And so to work

July 13, 2008

In most jobs, a visit to the office is just a part of the daily grind. For a Yarn Forward freelancer, it’s a rare and lovely treat. My small assistant and I took the train to Bradford-on-Avon (which is a good deal prettier than your average business park, for starters) to see what goes on at the business headquarters of the magazine.

Lou (right) and Dee (left) kindly took a little while away from attending to subscribers and suppliers to show us around. (Kerrie and Shirley are based at the second office in Bishops Stortford.)

Lou’s “creatively organised” desk – “Dee likes to tease me about that”, she said. Dee’s desk is so organised that there was nothing to photograph, but I did find…

a secret stash of chocolate.

We’re knitters, though, so the edible treats are a lot less exciting than the yarny ones. Piles and piles of gorgeous wool (that’s the subscriber yarn, ready for dispatch)…

plus useful books, and beautiful handknits. Oh, and spray cleaner.

The YF staff are a self-reliant bunch. Not only do Lou and Dee have to clean up after themselves – they even had to build their own desks!

It was hard to say goodbye, but at least we got to take a little bit of Yarn Forward home with us. Hang on, what’s in the bag? Could it be yarn?

Oh, it’s chocolate. Note to assistant: go for the wool next time.

Job advert – editor for yarn forward magazine.

July 7, 2008

Lou and I are advertising for an editor for Yarn Forward Magazine to replace me, my time will then be freed up to work on all our other plans for world domination.  Full details below, email me on kerrie at if you have any questions.  I’m happy to talk the job through with anyone or answer questions before you apply if you want to send me your phone number. 

Job Title: Editor, Yarn Forward Magazine


Salary and benefits: Competitive salary, 4 weeks holiday, flexible working plan, bonus scheme and other benefits.


Preferred start date: 6th October 2008


Work Location: Bishops Stortford office.  Flexible work from home options available after probation period.


Roles & Responsibilities:  We are looking for an experienced editor to take ownership of and develop Yarn Forward Magazine.


The editor will be expected to both write content and also edit content received from other contributors.

The ideal candidate must amply demonstrate both strong creative flair and sound organisational ability.


A strong emphasis will be placed on visual awareness since the ‘look’ and point of sale impact is critical to the success of this magazine.

The role will require the identification of trends in the UK craft market and the ability to respond to customer requirements to produce an exciting and modern magazine.


The candidate will be responsible for commissioning all projects and designs for the magazine. 


The Editor should be an ambassador for Yarn Forward magazine, maximising public and trade relations.


KAL Media have a solid team of designers and advertising executives who will provide support to the editor, the successful candidate for this role will be expected to use these resources to ensure that all deadlines are met.

Skills and Experience Required :  Proven track record in a relevant publishing field

Good management skills

Solid creative background, this can be demonstrated in either a personal or business capacity.

The ability to both create new projects and follow them through to completion

Knowledge of both the publishing and the creative magazine industries

To Apply:
Please send the following to Kerrie Allman, KAL Media, Thremhall Park, Start Hill
Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, M22 7WE


  • Current CV
  • Covering Letter
  • Any supporting documentation (copies of magazines you have worked on, articles that you have written, details of any websites that you own, blogs that you write, any craft experience that you have, projects that you have worked on etc)


Please do not send originals, photocopies are acceptable at this stage as we cannot guarantee being able to return everything.


Closing Date for applications :  Friday 15th August


Next Steps: Successful candidates will be contacted by phone or email within 2 weeks of the closing date.  Unsuccessful candidates will be contacted by post within 2 weeks of the closing date.


  • First interviews will take place by phone
  • Second interviews will take place at our offices in Bishops Stortford, this will consist of a formal interview with both partners of KAL Media and we will also ask you to give a presentation to us.  Full details of the presentation requirements will be provided to you after the first interview, giving you time to prepare.



July 3, 2008

We’ve sent out the magazines to our stockists this week, you should be able to get a magazine from any of these lovely shops from next week onwards

Interknit Cafe
Knit Wits
Knitting Hut
Get Knitted
Loop (London)
Farfield Mill (Sedbergh)
Stitching Time (Hamilton)
Craft in the bay Cardiff
More are going out next week to other stockists.  If you think that your local yarn store would be interested in stocking the magazine drop us an email and we’ll send them all the information that they need.  x

Fabulous Woolfest!

July 1, 2008


I feel like I haven’t stopped for days. First there was the news at the beginning of last week that WHSmiths and Tesco want to stock the 10 monthly issues of Yarn Forward! We’re still on a high. Then we made all the announcements on Wednesday to the knitting world – thank you everyone for all your supportive comments. Then Thursday was the loooong drive to Cumbria, Woolfest stall set up and checking in to our very lovely hotel – The Ouse Bridge, Bassenthwaite.


On Thursday night we had really big, flappy butterflies in our tummies. We’ve not had a stall at Woolfest before, so didn’t know what to expect. Would it be busy? Would people like the magazine? Would people buy subscriptions? Would there be a good chocolate stall?

Well, yes it was busy, the stand was packed with people most of the day; we barely got time for a loo break and eating lunch took two hours as we stopped to talk between bites. It was lovely to see and chat to so many of you when you came to collect your issue, and it’s great to put names to faces on the subs list.

We’re happy (and relieved) to say that everyone liked the magazine. Everyone shared with us the fantastic news of YF going on the shelves of Tesco and WHSmiths. The most important thing we wanted to get across is that our principles are not changing. Yarn Forward will still continue to have only 10 pages of advertising, it will always have 100% original and interesting patterns, and we will always include fabulous features from all corners of the fleece and fibre world. We’re passionate about yarn and we want to convey that to you.

And we did sell lots of subscriptions. Our database is expanding so quickly now, it’s a good job that we’ve got Dee onboard to help send them out. This morning, the first job in the office was to make sure that all the subs copies for those who didn’t come to Woolfest were sent out. Expect them in the post by the end of the week. (The lovely ladies in the Post Office were so quick at stamping up all the envelopes, they really deserve a medal.)

Finally, there wasn’t a chocolate stand per se, but there were some fab treats on offer. The ewe’s milk ice cream was just divine! And the homemade cakes on the stand next door just melted in the mouth. Think I’ll be getting out the Davina  fitness DVD again to work off those gained pounds!

Unfortunately we didn’t get as much time to look around as we’d have liked, but did manage to escape on the odd occasion. There were so many fabulous yarns on offer, and I’ve started my foray into the spinning world. I bought a cheaper drop spindle and after one night I was hooked and invested in a faster more balanced one. Maybe next year I’ll get a wheel…

Another great part of the show is the animals that are on display. I became very attached to the angora goats – I’m ‘just looking’ at the property pages for a local small holding, as DH shakes his head. Kerrie was keen to smuggle out a cute Herdwick sheep. Luckily I’d bought too many rovings to fit anything else in the back of the car. And you have to feel sorry for the Alpacas. They turned up all fluffy and cuddly, then after the shearing demos, they were reduced to very skinny creatures.

So that’s Woolfest 2008 over. Thank you so much to the Woolclip team for all your fabulous organising skills. The atmosphere in the building was fantastic.

Next stop iKnit London on 6th September, will we see you there?


(posted by Kerrie, written by Lou.  WordPress is not co-operating on Lou’s mac at the moment)