The New Face of Knitting

by flowergirlknits

Toby wishes I'd put down the yarn and get out the catnip

I’m sure this is old news to everyone, but just in case you missed it, there have been a couple exciting new developments in the world of knitting the past couple of weeks.

Isobel, Destroyer of Houseflies

One is Twist Collective, an online magazine of patterns and articles. It doesn’t require a subscription, but you pay for any of the patterns that you want. It also has ads, but I rather enjoy these too – they’re all ads for yarn or yarn shops or knitting accessories of one sort or another, so they’re pretty interesting. The layout and design is, in my opinion, stunning – the photography alone is amazing. I also love how the magazine functions, taking the best of technology and creating a seamless online experience. You click at the edge and the page turns, just like a hard copy magazine; if you want more information about a particular pattern – say, what kind of yarn is used or how the garment is constructed – click on the picture and a window appears with all kinds of additional information. You can also jump to different articles and sections of the magazine from the table of contents at the beginning, or through tabs across the top.

And by the way, the quality of the patterns is outstanding – several well-known designers (Anne Hanson, Cookie A, Veronik Avery among others) have contributed and the designs are sophisticated and modern.

Toby can hardly stand the knitting excitement

What I find particularly interesting about Twist is that the money for the pattern sales goes entirely to the designer; it is an attempt to compensate designers more fairly for the work that they do. I believe this is the wave of the future; knitting and handcrafts of all kinds have traditionally been downgraded in terms of value, that somehow there isn’t as much creativity or artistry in quilts or sweaters or socks (and they’re often seen as “womens’ work” or “unsophisticated” which also tends to de-value them) While I”m not exactly comparing socks to a Van Gogh, I do believe a beautifully written knitting pattern is a work of art and deserves to be treated as such.

Another great development is the unveiling of another online knitting magazine, Knotions. Although there are slightly fewer patterns in Knotions, they’re free. They also (this time) had more of a variety than Twist, that is, some patterns for children and one each for men and for the home. One cool thing technology-wise in Knotions is that when you look at the pattern page of something you’re interested in, there are ads and banners around it (which is typical of online magazines) However, when you print it off, only the pattern and pictures of the finished item print off – no ads. It just happens, magically. Cool. Tabs within the pattern show charts and additional pictures (it’s always good to have multiple pictures) They also have book reviews and knitting techniques, and have archived some of the patterns from MagKnits which has been discontinued.

Yes, I am beautiful, aren't I?

And of course, there’s Ravelry which is almost old-hat by now. New features are added to Ravelry constantly (I keep trying to show it to non-knitting people and they won’t look at it because it’s “just knitting” – if only they knew!) Did you know that you can look up a pattern, see that it’s in a book, then either purchase that book from amazon or look for it in your local library? Ravelry will connect you to the online catalog of your nearest library. Amazing! Ravelry is the best reason to take up knitting since yarn!

I find it fascinating that an ancient craft such as knitting has adapted to and fit into the world of technology so beautifully. It’s almost as if they were intended for each other.

Of course, the bad thing about all of this technological advancement is that you can’t drag it into the bathtub with you to study while you soak! (I suppose you could do this with a laptop, but I wouldn’t recommend it)