We have a lot of discussions about crochet magazines in our on-line communties, and I thought to myself why not take a gander at the three that CLF members often choose to read. These three are in alphabetical order (not preference).
Taking all three and really looking through them with an eye to the following I created this special Fearless Leader Report.
Art Direction (This is how pretty the pictures are, the color theory involved in the side bars etc)
Layout/Readbility (This is how the text is presented, how the photos line up, use of white space etc)
Use of charts/diagrams and how they fit into the layout scheme
Quality of patterns (are they cute/fashionable/usable/well written/easy to understeand).
Now I get nothing out of this, and I'm not going to slam anyone, I just want to make a few observations. Let's keep this possitive.
Let's work out of order on my list here for a second. Pattern Quality.
To be honest, all three of these magazines have good patterns. All of them share designers. I think what is the difference in presentation of the finished articles in the photos has a lot more to do with the yarn companies that commission designers than the designs themselves. Yarn companies (Especially Coats and Lion Brand) STOP giving away your UGLIEST dye lots to the designers for their crochet patterns. Color and fashion are matters of personal taste, but if I was someone who did not know how to substitute in a pattern, I'd almost never make anything out of these two companies yarns. They have LOTS of fab colorways, time to use them.
So, all three magazines have good patterns, so why do people say Interweave is better most often? (At least CLF members). I would say it's about the fashion items. I think IC has more fashionable wearables, in better color ranges making them visually appealing. I do not think the patterns are better written than in the other three magazines, I think they are all on par.
To be honest I think Crochet Today! Probably has the best art direction and layout. I find it a very easy to read, well planned magazine. It's proprietory though, owned by Coats and Clark, and so it will always be limited to those yarns. Not that I think Coats has bad yarn, I buy my fair share, but it shall always be limited to that.
Interweave Crochet is next on my list for Art Direction, I think they have some of the very best photography though, and the magazine is always visually appealing. I think there could be more done with the white space, but in general I think IC is a beautiful magazine which aids it's popularity.
Crochet! Ok, this is where things need to change up. The patterns in this magazine are every bit as good as what you find in the two above. And I love how they often include quick and easy projects along with fashion items. BUT and a big but, they really need to work on their art direction. The color schemes often do not work with the photographs, and it is some of the worst photography I've seen. You do not use the same color background as a garment in this kind of work...and it happens over and over and over. The worst offense yet was a really cute sweater with ruffles, but the photo showed NONE of the ruffles. This is a big n0-no. Crochet! Needs to understand that MOST crocheters are very visual and rely as much on the photos as they do the written words.
Crochet! Also needs a cleaner layout, and better color useage in sidebars etc. Again the QUALITY of what is in the magazine is great, if you get past the art mistdirection. And you know most people don't have time to sit pouring over a magazine to see what I was looking for.
I think Crochet! has had some great articles on construction and crocheters, and Interweave does as well. I have a harder time finder Crochet Today! in my area, but when I do find it I enjoy reading it.
This is just my opinion, and we know that opinions are like noses, we all got 'em and they all smell :) But, frankly, I do buy all three magazines when I can find them, I think all three of them offer enough different to warrant their purchases. But with a little more detail Crochet! could vastly improve it's market share, and it's following.
See it wasn't too painful, and next time you get your Crochet! magazine take a closer look, because I think the patterns are lovely. (I just use other colors most of the time, especially for blankies!)
ABOUT THE CLF
- Fearless Leader of the CLF
- Everywhere, No where
- I started the CLF as a joke on Ravelry, back in July of 2007. The joke was on me, we're a real group, that seeks to liberate ourselves from stereo types about our craft and ourselves. Other than being called "Fearless Leader", I'm a designer, mother, editor, wife, hand spinner, yarn addict, incessant reader, and over all geek in the coolest of geeky ways.
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- Beautiful Offerings by Bonnie Pierce
- Designer Karen Whooley's Site
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