Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The perfect shirt for issue deadline days

November 24, 2008

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!


Hello from the new editor!

November 17, 2008

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!

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?

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

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)