Having just picked up crocheting after a 14-year respite, I wanted a few crochet magazines that had up-to-date styles in clothing. Needless to say, 14 years ago there wasn’t much in the way of stylish clothing you could crochet; but over the years new techniques have been employed and new designers in their 20s and 30s have begun to give crochet a new name. Here’s what I found.
There seems to be almost as many as knitting magazines as there are crocheting ones out there. A quick look in the magazine section of a bookstore will reveal maybe one or two crochet magazines. They are hard to come by at stores, but more than knowing where to look, you need to know when.
Better Homes & Gardens puts out an annual crocheting magazine entitled Simply Creative Crochet. It only comes out in the fall and hangs around on newsstands until January. I found my copy at the local grocery store for $5.99. This magazine is great for beginners and experienced crochet enthusiasts. There are ratings above each pattern so you can assess your skill level. The first part of the magazine has short articles about crochet in the world today, and the next part is cleverly laden with full-page photos of the various projects that the magazine contains patterns for. This is extremely helpful in seeing the stitches and how complex an item will be to make, as well as giving you a good idea how it will look in the yarns they’ve chosen. The back section, after the stitch guide, is the actual patterns, so you don’t have to flip through the whole pattern just to get to the next item when you are only scanning for possible projects to do. The patterns range from women’s and men’s fashions, children’s accessories, blankets, toys, and holiday decorating (there is a pattern for some super easy chenille and fun fur stockings in the 2006 issue). I assessed that most of these patterns will be wearable for the intended individual, and aside from the ugly purse patterns, there isn’t a pattern I wouldn’t try if I felt so inclined.
My next find is Crochet!. I assume that the exclamation point on the title is to emphasize that Crochet can be exciting when you have great patterns to build from. Although this magazine has a lot of fashions that are a little too trendy for my tastes and the yarn used in most projects is far to expensive without swapping, there is at least 5 good patterns I’d try from every issue I’ve seen thus far. The November 2006 issue is particularly packed with elegant jackets, and shrugs. The cost of the magazine is $5.99, but can be purchased as a subscription for less per issue. I would suggest buying it on the monthly basis to avoid getting issues that don’t have any projects you’d do. It’s a fine line, but it’s worth it to spend wisely when it comes to patterns.
Crochet! Magazine does not contain many children’s fashions or toys. If you want this kind of magazine you should try Hooked on Crochet! This magazine also has an exclamation point in the title. The issues are half the size of regular magazines to make it more convenient to travel with. This magazine has some cute stuffed animals and accessories for your home if you are at the point where you’d rather give your crochet away than wear it yourself. There are a number of doilies in most issues, so be warned. It’s not as stylish as its Crochet! companion, but caters to a different crowd.
And last but not least, there is Interweave Crochet. This is a quarterly publication, with an issue in the Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. It is pricier than the other magazines because it is packed with patterns-about three times the patterns than in most bi-monthly magazines. For $7.99 you will get a collection of patterns from a variety of designers who have published patterns for books, and have years of experience in fashion design. The great thing about this magazine is the stitch graphs. For all the delicate motifs used you can see a full diagram with a key. The clothing in here is very stylish, with strange and unique construction. This is for ambitious crochet enthusiasts.
Other magazines include Crochet World, Annie’s Favorites, and Quick n’ Easy Crochet. These magazines have very few patterns that are adapted to younger crowds. They are mostly afghans, children’s clothes (or grandchildren, as most of the cases may be), and women’s clothing that is neither for younger or older audiences-go figure. While you can find a few good patterns in each of these, you won’t find the quality you’d expect today for crochet enthusiasts who want to be challenged.