Author Archive

Subscriber magazines

November 12, 2008


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

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

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!

Rained out at the photoshoot

September 12, 2008

It was a wet, wet day last week for the photoshoot.  My plan of taking lots of lovely behind the scenes pictures was foiled due to the fact that we were outside in the POURING rain juggling umbrellas, samples, hairbrushes and babies.  It was not a fun day – very unglamourous and makes you realise how hard models work for their money.

This picture just about sums up the whole day.  Manda and Sarah and our model hiding under brollies looking over at Lou and I while we tried to find somewhere to shelter.  We’ll try and get a more interesting behind the scenes look for you next time. 



September 5, 2008

Today is the 2nd of our photoshoots, the first one was done last week in Bath with Lou and this one is being done in Hertfordshire with me.   Marianne is taking the photos for this one again and I’m really looking forward to the day.

I’ve got a series of blog posts planned starting next week with one all about our photoshoots, how we plan for them, what goes on behind the scenes etc.  Then the one about commissioning patterns and articles, let me know if there is anything else that you’re interested in that we can tell you about.  

I’ll share some behind the scenes pics next week and the preview for issue 7 (available in Smiths, Tescos etc from Monday 6th October) will be up very soon as well.  We have 1 pair of socks in this issue and no shawls, that should please about half of you and annoy the rest.  Some of the comments from the survey were funny, we have 8 people say no more sock patterns and 9 people say more socks please!  I think we’re going to try and keep it to 1 pair of socks and 1 shawl pattern per issue plus a good range of cardigans, sweaters, kids clothes, men’s designs.   Something for everyone each time, we hope.

Our survey says…

August 31, 2008

Well, our survey results are in and counted and organised and I have to say that we are really really pleased both with the level of response we received but also with the comments that were made and that information that we were given.

The areas for improvement that were raised were broadly these :Improve our proof reading, less silly spelling errors and other mistakes, tighten up on the design and look and feel of the magazine and ensure that communication remains as high as it has been this year and that it doesnt drop

We’re really thrilled that we already have solutions in place for the first 2 and that communication has been recognised as being good this year.  That means a lot to us.

Below are some more pieces of information that we obtained from the survey.  We hope that the next time we ask for your comments we are able to do it in a way that allows us to offer prizes to thank you for your time in completing the survey.

Yarn Forward subscriber survey, August 2008

We asked over 700 of our subscribers a set of 10 short questions, no identification was asked for and no incentive was offered to complete the survey.  We received 256 replies which is a 37% response rate, well over the industry average response rate of 26%.

A selection of great comments  :

Best knitting magazine I’ve seen since Vogue knitting in the Eighties.

Fantastic! wish I had subscribed sooner.

Brilliant!  The best knitting magazine available in the UK at the moment, I absolutely love it. 

I love your magazine and wouldn`t want to miss an issue.

Love it.  Yarn Forward is just what the UK has been waiting for all these years.

More detailed results :

71% spend more than 10 hours a week knitting

34% spend more than 3 hours reading each issue of Yarn Forward

76% have been knitting for longer than 15 years!

51% spend between £30 and £100 a month on knitting

35% have an average household income of over £50,000

Average age – between 31 and 40


Our readers are in their 30s, high earners with a good level of disposable income.  Experienced knitters who know what they want and spend a significant amount of time and money on their hobby.  Yarn Forward is seen as a leading magazine for the more experienced knitter, people really appreciate the yarn substitutions, large size range and detail of articles.

Long time..

August 26, 2008

I hadn’t realised it had been so long since we updated here, a combination of new staff, office moves, summer holidays and a full on production schedule have had us all running around for the last few weeks but I think that we are all settling into a good routine now.  That should mean more time to blog (and hopefully not too often at 4.30 in the morning!)

Issue 7 is well underway, we have photoshoots planned for both this week and next and the samples are currently piling up in the offices.   Its always interesting to see how the designers interpretation of the sketch and swatch that I see when I commission a design turns out, sometimes it looks exactly as expected and other times its slightly different.  I’m thinking about writing a series of blog posts about how designs are commissioned for the magazine, would anyone be interested in that?

In other news we have just closed our subscriber survey, thank you SO much to everyone who replied.  I’m processing the results now and they should be available in email to all subscribers and on the blog later on in the week.  If you are a current subscriber who does not receive our emails please drop a note to and we’ll add you to the list.  We don’t send out too many emails, a couple a month maybe, and as a subscriber you’ll find out interesting pieces of news before we tell the rest of the world.

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!

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