Around that time I got an email from Future Publishing to advertise a new magazine, Simply Crochet, at an introductory price of £5 for 3 issues (usual price £4.99 an issue). I thought it was a good deal and signed up, after all who doesn't like getting a new magazine in the post very month? I did have some reservations as it looked to be along the same lines as Mollie Makes (same publisher and style - my thoughts on Mollie Makes are here) but £5 was too good a deal to miss out on.
I got my issue a few days ago, so thought I'd share my thoughts:
What I liked
- Information about different yarn types. As a new crocheter this is useful for me
- The patterns - I felt it was a good range, from a cardigan to amigurumi, throws and more simple shapes like hearts. Compared to Mollie Makes, there are a lot more projects (I counted 26) and less twee filler.
- Crochet shown as modern and fashion-related (eg. crochet collars) and not solely twee
- How to Crochet section includes information and photographs showing step-by-step for left handed crochet as well as right. I'm not left handed, but my Mum is, and so I know that it can be very different making the stitches as a leftie.
- The step-by-step stitch guides and Crochet Essentials were good, but I wonder how this will be developed in future issues. There were 10 full pages devoted to that in this issue plus little snippets elsewhere
What I didn't like
- Some of the language - very reminiscent of Mollie Makes e.g. "If in doubt, crochet a cushion" and "We love a bit of retro styling; a funky vintage accessory or a silk scarf tied the old-fashioned way." I feel this is lazy, poor quality writing with what I call 'empty sentences' that don't really say anything. The word "funky" makes me cringe, and what is the "old-fashioned way" of tying a scarf exactly? However I didn't find the twee factor to be as high as in Mollie Makes, which is a blessed relief.
(This photograph of the magazine makes the picture of this blanket appear lighter than it looks in print)
Would this be enough to encourage you to make this throw? It looks lovely but I'd like a picture that shows it more clearly, not just crumpled on the model's knees!
This baby blanket looks nice but would you make it, based solely on this photo?
- Some of the project photography is dark or doesn't show the item very well. There's only one picture of the lovely-looking purple throw for example and only one of the baby blanket - I would have liked to see the stitch pattern closer up. A couple of the projects are from books and so haven't been photographed especially for the magazine, but the ones made for Simply Crochet should definitely be a lot better.
- Maybe this is a personal gripe but I don't like covering things in crochet/knitting, like this coat hook. How are you supposed to clean it?
What is this supposed to mean? I thought it was a bit unnecessary, and confusing, especially as it first appears on a page that doesn't have a pattern on it. If you can't work out when to start crocheting when making a pattern, I don't think you should be allowed to wield a hook.
And Another Thing!
Have they been reading this blog and picked up on Pattern Monday?!!
I was pleasantly surprised. As someone who has just started crocheting and who crochets as a secondary craft to knitting and sewing, this magazine was at a good level for me. It would probably be too basic for anyone more competent, and the space devoted to 'how to' would be unnecessary. I liked the range of projects included and will be looking forward to seeing how it develops over the next couple of issues.
I think it's too early to judge it just yet but keep a lid on that twee language, improve the photography, keep up the good range of projects, and I think this magazine would be worth checking out.