Rained out at the photoshoot

September 12, 2008 by

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. 



It was a good day…

September 6, 2008 by

I Knit Day, that is. Kerrie, Lou and I knew that we had some wonderful things to bring to the show. There was the news about the magazine going 10 issues a year and being available in Tesco, WH Smith’s and Borders (amongst others) from October 6th. There was a sneaky peak at Sew Hip magazine, launching in October. There were samples for issue 7 – including wonderful exclusive pieces by Martin Storey and Liz Lovick. There were friends to see, new people to meet, and knitting treats to enjoy.

We caught up with a few stars of the knitting world: Mazzmatazz (of the Guardian knitting supplement), Just Call Me Ruby, Erika Knight, and the wonderful Yarn Harlot (she signed our book, you know)…

We met Ingrid Wagner, who was there with her sensational Big Knit project in support of Breakthrough Breast Cancer

My friend Jess helped me to make a stitch with the giant needles…

After that, we were quite tired, so we had to have a little rest.

We met these lovely models, wearing samples from the vintage knitting book A Stitch In Time, by Jane Waller and Susan Crawford – shortly to be reissued…

And Lou had a special moment with a wooden sheep…

If you were there, then you know what a fabulous day it was. Thanks to all our readers, old and new alike, who visited the stall to say hello. We’re looking forward to doing it all again for the Ally Pally show!


September 5, 2008 by

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 by

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 by

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 feedback@yarnforwardmagazine.co.uk 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 by

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 by

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. Read the rest of this entry »

And so to work

July 13, 2008 by

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 by

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 yarnforwardmagazine.co.uk 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 by

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