Friday, December 19, 2003

Great magazine week!

Whenever I'm in a bookstore, I check for knitting magazines -- usually in vain. In early summer I found an issue of Knitters, and in November, in a different store, I found Family Circle Easy Knitting, but to date those are the only English knitting mags I've come across in Taipei. (My mom sent me the holiday issue of Vogue Knitting, too.) I've never made anything from these magazines, though I have referred to the back pages of Knitters on occasion for technical reasons.

Bill was looking at the issue of VK the other day, and he remarked that it didn't reflect the fact that lots of knitters are hip, happening women. "Look at these models; they're not knitters." It's true, and it's the reason that we're all going gaga over Debbie Stoller's book, isn't it? All I've seen of Stitch 'n [sic] Bitch is the little pages here, but it seems to me that it makes handknitted items look like things one can actually imagine wearing as she walks down the street.

Anyway, the usual U.S. knitting mags aren't doing anything for me. The Japanese knitting mags, on the other hand, are glorious. Here's the one I bought this week, called Kussy's simple sweaters & knit goods (which Babelfish translates helpfully to "Foppish book of handmade"):

Kussy's simple sweaters & knit goods

Everything in this magazine is beautiful. There's a great cabled vest, a ribbed turtleneck, a really sharp seed-stitch jacket, a few more sweaters (all gorgeous in a plain and simple way), cabled pillows, cabled toques, berets, handbags, scarves, and socks. I think if I really took the time, I could figure out the patterns; every one includes a chart, even the k2p2 ribbed scarf. But the photos are just fabulous. Not too posed, not overdone. Western magazine designers would do well to learn from the Japanese. Here are some other magazine covers:


These magazines make knitting look fun! I bet Japanese papers don't feature stories once a month with the shocking discovery that "knitting isn't just for your grandma!!" They know it's cool. You want to look inside, don't you? Yes, of course you do:

Last night Bill and I went to the 24-hour Eslite Bookstore to buy magazines (the biggest selection in town). For the first time, I found an issue of Bust, so I was pleased with that. I also picked up a copy of Fruits magazine: every page is a photo of a crazily dressed Japanese youth. (You may have seen the book, put out by Phaidon Press.)

At 11 degrees Celsius (and no central heating), it feels awfully cold here today. But it's Saturday! My plans include coffee, track pants, new magazines, and knitting (maybe a quick & toasty hat?). Ahhh....

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