Archive for the ‘Behind-the-scenes’ Category

The new blog!

December 2, 2008

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:



And here comes number nine…

November 28, 2008

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.

Woolly Thoughts

November 22, 2008

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.



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.

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.

Best photo forward

May 21, 2008

The patterns are written, the samples are in, and last weekend, we had the photo shoot for the summer issue. Marianne is our talented photographer (she’s the one with the camera, of course), and Barry (up there in the blue) is her lovely assistant – toting equipment and wrangling lights. To see what they’re snapping, follow the jump… (more…)