The website itself is colorful if a bit jumbled looking. Here are a few good features - an index of the first 59 issues, a bunch of free patterns, and articles on knitting techniques, but you really have to dig to find them. The most prominent content is advertising for their generally excellent publications and for their expensive Stitches conferences. They must make a lot of money from these if placement is any indication. It's like they don't care much about the really useful features their website offers. Or are their readers not Internet friendly?
Who would wear this? OK, granted, this is the worst of the bunch. It is called Prairie Patterns by Angela Juergens. But Media Man with its ridiculous zippers and pockets and Boxes and Bands with its loud stripes are almost as bad. Best of the bunch is the Kaffe derivative Meridian by Barry Klein which makes clever use of slip stitch patterning. But knit it for a woman. I don't see this on a man (although the model looks hot in it). In general, the men's patterns look like they were designed by a granny who is high on meth.
Speaking of granny, a few of the women's designs look like they are trying to be young and "kicky" but rendered by a designer whose taste has frozen in an earlier decade. To wit:
I can't help but wonder, are Knitter's patterns too old, even for a person of advanced years such as myself. That would seem to be the case looking at the patterns above and taking into account others from this issue such as the dull and baggy pullover Radiant Diamonds and the frumpy cardigan Honey Gold.
But while Knitter's has never run youthful designs, often their sweaters have been classic and ageless. The buried treasure in this issue are those women's sweater designs that do seem timeless to me. They include Kathy Zimmerman's Winter Wheat, a deliciously crunchy tweed in my favorite basket weave design. The sweater is too baggy and long to suit me, but would look good on someone else. Career Trends is a pin striped cardigan by Jean Frost who excels in jacket design. This jacket is not my favorite of hers, but it is credible. The best of the bunch:
This is Chased Silver by Sandi Rosner which makes subtle use of asymmetry in a two part design with an interesting under layer. Made longer, the over sweater would work on its own.
Getting into accessories, we again dip into the horrendous. The three dickeys in this issue, rendered in bulky yarn are unspeakable. The scarves are "novelties", one made of pastel stripes that is semi-wearable and one made of strings that is not. The treasure is a pair of lariats, necklaces combining beading and yarn. I don't know if I would make anything this fiddly, but they are very pretty:Worst of Knitter's: Prairie Patterns and Teal We Meet Again (which also wins worst name).
Best: Chased Silver and Beaded Lariats.
Knitter's has been edited by Rick Mondragon since the Summer 2001 issue. Before that Rick was a designer (Winter 99), photo stylist (Winter 00), and assistant editor (Spring 01). He might have needed a longer apprenticeship. I am not saying that the mag as gone steadily down hill since Rick replaced Nancy J. Thomas as editor, but I am flirting with saying that. Knitter's still occasionally runs patterns that I want to knit, but they used to run a lot of them. Do you agree? Disagree? Weigh in with your comments.