Recently I received an email with the sad news that Vogue Knitting will be reducing its number of issues to three per year and completely discontinuing the publication of Knit Simple. Vogue Knitting and many other fashion and sewing magazines have held a very special place in my heart for much of my teen and adult life. It saddens me if they are beginning to slowly fade away.
For many decades of my life, a magazine arriving in the mail was like a mini vacation and the kickoff for preparing what I would manifest over the next 12 weeks. I saved new arrivals until my children had gone to bed, savoring every article and scrutinizing every photo, dreaming about what I’d find time to actually make.
Over the course of my adult life I have had subscriptions to Vogue Knitting, Sandra, Burda, Threads and would occasionally score an issue of Pingouin, McCall’s Knitting, Anna, Knit Simple, among many others. Today, like everyone else, I turn to the internet for my inspiration and receive much less joy through the traditional mailbox. I am sad to see a classic like Vogue Knitting financially hurting and reducing issues when I know how much joy and inspiration it has given and continues to give creators like me.
I’m not saying the internet and all its riches aren’t wonderful. It’s fast, bountiful, doesn’t take any storage space or use paper and ink. But the permanency a magazine captures for a season and the memories it conjures up when you revisit it weeks or years later serve as a wonderful reminder not just about what was fashionable at the time, but about what was going on in your life when you read it. They are mini time-capsules in a way the internet, by its constant refresh, new-post nature, as of yet, cannot offer.
Looking back on a Pinterest page I made several years ago, everything there was of my choosing and taste. Nothing there could surprise me, nothing was an unexpected and delightful gift, that stretched my perception of myself and what was possible. Magazines are easy to take for granted, but each one is carefully curated by a team of people aiming to capture a segment of time. When we page through them, we are invited to absorb their possibilities for change and inspiration. Often we go on to make something because of them, which enrich our life immensely and sometimes we don’t even know it until we revisit that magazine and the dots connect why we did what we did.
My love for creative magazines grew into a conscious decision to sell magazines, no doubt. I will continue to sell magazines for as long as I can, but as a visit to my clearance page will prove I am pretty much giving away some issues simply because I cannot bear to recycle them. I do not have a crystal ball to predict if magazines will go the way of the rotary phone. I hope they don’t. What I know is that I will continue to buy and read knitting magazines for as long as artistic people continue to create them.
On a happy note, this email also announced that Nora Gaugh is taking over at the helm of Vogue Knitting. I have admired Nora’s impeccable designs and exquisite engineering as long as I can remember and I will be watching, buying and rooting for her and her team to give us what we crave: knitting news, expertly demonstrated techniques, and fresh designs to mark a very important time of our collective creative journeys: the present.