Thursday, 6 August 2015

Double the Magazine Fun

I went to the newsagency to buy one magazine …

Front cover of Interweave Crochet Magazine Summer 2015 issue
 … and came home with two!

Two magazines from left to right: Total Crochet Amigurumi Made Easy No. 3 (underneath) overlapped by Interweave Crochet Vol IX No. 2 Summer 2015
Two crochet magazines:
Total Crochet Amigurumi Made Easy
No. 3 (left)
Interweave Crochet
Volume IX No. 2 Summer 2015 (right)

Firstly, the Interweave Crochet magazine
(which I buy regularly)
Front cover of Interweave Crochet Magazine Summer 2015 issue

and then I saw this:

Front cover of Total Crochet Amigurumi Made Easy magazine, No. 3 issue

Total Crochet (No. 3) "Amigurumi Made Easy" 

Only the night before, I was thinking about what to make as a farewell gift for an exchange student.  I was looking through my book, Teeny Tiny Crochet and considering a little key chain with an Australian motif, perhaps a koala.

When I walked into the newsagent the next morning and saw the amigurumi koala on the cover, I could not resist!

Newsagency Delights

Front cover of Total Crochet Amigurumi Made Easy magazine, No. 3 issue

This Total Crochet magazine is designed for the UK and Australian markets.  This issue (No. 3) showcases the amigurumi designs of the Czech Republic's Katka Reznickova who also has a Ravelry store and has had some of these patterns featured in other publications (e.g. Zoomigurumi book series).

Rarely do I buy things on impulse but this was too much of a coincidence and I was feeling superstitious!
Front cover of Interweave Crochet Magazine Summer 2015 issue
I regularly buy Interweave Crochet when it is released and love to look at all the crafty offerings in the magazine display.

I wish I could afford to buy all of the attractive magazines because once upon a time, my newsagency didn't stock any crochet titles at all but ever since I asked the owners to order Interweave, they have stocked almost every crochet title available and now I am seeing more crochet than knitting titles on display! 

It is pleasing to see that the crochet magazines disappear from the shelves quick smart. Plenty of sales would be a fitting reward for my newsagents' willingness to order so many different titles.

I used to wonder whether they were so unfamiliar with crochet magazines that they just ordered everything with 'crochet' in the title just to be sure!

I know I could order the Interweave Crochet magazine online directly from the publisher and it would be cheaper and quicker but I want to reward my local newsagents for their efforts to satisfy their customers.

I love having a browse and keeping my eyes open for new publications. I like to have the magazine in my hands and feel the quality of the paper, see the resolution and detail of the photographs and charts, and importantly, the legibility of the text and layout before outlaying my cash.

Also, my postie is very careless and I don't trust that an online magazine order will survive undamaged. My son subscribed to National Geographic of which the international packaging appears to be designed to withstand almost any treatment short of a nuclear bomb*, (definitely Jodie-proof!) and yet it still manages to get damaged by our postie.

"You could download an electronic version!" I can hear you offering this solution which seems to be cheap, quick, convenient and obvious but for someone who doesn't have an iPad, smartphone, eReader or technology like that, I prefer to have the hard copy in my hands.

Screens versus Magazines

Front cover of book "Teeny Tiny Crochet" by Catherine Hirst.
Cute bedtime stories in
Teeny Tiny Crochet
by Catherine Hirst
[Cico Books]
Perhaps it is the Sjögren's Syndrome that makes my eyes tire quickly from reading text on a screen or watching television. Perhaps it is just ageing (but I am not that old!). Either way, I don't enjoy reading from a screen as much as from a paper page.

I can't take a computer to bed with me for a quick leaf through to relax before sleep. Bright lights (such as screens) just before bedtime can interfere with the body's circadian rhythm and make it harder to go to sleep.

I can't make the most of those 'quick five minutes' here and there with an eMag because it takes all of those five minutes for the laptop computer to boot up and then I am called away before I can even look.

Using the mouse or touchpad to scroll through electronic publications can be quite uncomfortable for my joints but I rarely experience the same discomfort with a magazine.

On the flipside, when I am too weak to hold a magazine, having the laptop positioned carefully can enable me to turn pages with very little movement but if I need to zoom in to something or scroll, it can be too fiddly and tiring.

I do admit that the ability to search through electronic documents can be much quicker and easier than leafing through volumes of paper magazines but with the invention of Ravelry, it is easy to locate any pattern using Ravelry's library functions.

I worry that perhaps I should get into the electronic age, especially since I live in a small home with limited storage space. What do you think?

Do you prefer electronic or paper publications?
How do you organise your patterns?

* Dedication: for Misako with love

When I first composed and scheduled this post, I was unaware until today that it would publish on the commemoration of 70 years since the bombing of Hiroshima and I was horrified when I re-read my words today!

In recognition of this, I dedicate this post to my friend Misako who was a Hiroshima survivor. She was a beautiful, kind and gentle woman who was expert at fine thread crochet.  

Unfortunately, she died from complications of her radiation exposure.  She had no major symptoms (that she ever mentioned) until 3 weeks before she died and it was a shock to everyone in our craft group.  We still feel her loss.

Large rectangular wicker basket with rounded  ends and one central handle containing a collection of crochet project bags.
Misako's basket

Misako's special craft basket full of fine threads was bequeathed to me, because she knew they would be appreciated and I have made some pretty things with them in her honour (including most recently, the Tiny Flower).  

Misako's basket is now my Special Basket and it is used and treasured every day.

 In many ways, this is an appropriate post to dedicate to Misako because the Summer edition of Interweave Crochet has many light and lacy projects which Misako would have enjoyed and the amigurumi projects we enjoy today derive from Japanese crochet culture.

As I crochet today I will be thinking of Misako and the legacy of Hiroshima.

References & Links, Zoomigurumi 3: 15 amigurumi patterns from 12 great designers, paperback in Dutch or English, Meteoor Books, February 2014:

Hirst, Catherine, Teeny Tiny Crochet: 35 adorably small projects, Cico Books,, an imprint of Ryland Peters & Small, London, UK, 2012.

Lupey Loops, "Tiny Flower", blog entry, 12 July 2015:

Lupey Loops, "A Crochet Christmas", blog entry, 29 December 2012, for a review of Teeny Tiny Crochet by Catherine Hirst:

Reznickova, Katka, crochet designer, Kamlin Patterns:

Reznickova, Katka, Total Crochet: Amigurumi made easy, No. 3, Bromleigh House Ltd,, Suites 1–3, 70 Queen Street, Newton Abbott, TQ12 2ER, UK, 2015.

Smith, Marcy [editor], Interweave Crochet, Volume IX No. 2, Summer 2015, magazine, Interweave,, F+W Media Inc., 4868 Innovation Drive, Fort Collins CO 80525-5576, USA 2015:

Total Crochet: Amigurumi Made Easy, magazine:


  1. I am not one for buying magazines about knitting - they overwhelm me, (but I like to look at them at my sister's place). I do love ravelry for organizing my patterns - and I have bought quite a few through ravelry but I print out the ones I am working on. I have binders for my patterns that I have printed out - I don't like to follow the patterns on the computer - I like the chart or pattern in front of me where I can write all over it.
    So I have a binder for sock patterns, one for baby patterns, one for shawls, one for sweaters.
    and I do have a number of books with patterns in them - so they are right there on the shelf next to the binders
    Semi- organized, I guess you could say.
    Having said that about the magazines, I would totally want that one about Amigurumi - they look so cute and I have always wanted to try it.

  2. Hi Mary-Anne, how do magazines overwhelm you - too many to choose from or the complexity of some of the patterns? We have similar organisational methods: like you, I like to work from a printed sheet that I can write all over.When finished, the printed pages go into a binder. I began collating patterns in binders before I discovered crochet online. My binders are more general: Toys & baby items, clothing, household items, blankets & cushions, fashion accessories; and then there is the growing library of books. I keep my magazines in cardboard holders but occasionally there will be a specialty magazine that is so large, in-depth and well bound that I can't decide whether to file it with books instead because it will be more like a reference book than a periodical.
    If you have a look at the site (publishers of Zoomigurumi books) you will be able to download free amigurumi patterns by registering your email address. The site offers patterns for free and for purchase.
    When you try the amigurumi technique for the first time, it is probably easiest to start with an 8- or 5-ply yarn (DK or light DK) and a smaller hook than you would normally use for that yarn weight.
    Good luck! Have fun with it. :-)

  3. I love Interweave Crochet magazine and get it in the mail. Although I love Ravelry and Pinterest, there is just nothing like holding the magazine in my hands, with a cup of tea and taking some time to look at all the beautiful projects.
    Hugs and enjoy,

    1. Exactly! You are a crocheter after my own heart - crochet, magazine, tea - what more could we want? Thanks for saying hi and leaving a comment, Meredith. It's nice to see you. I wonder sometimes whether I am part of a dying breed, resisting the change to e-formats but you have reassured me that there are probably a lot more like us than we realise. Happy hugs xx

  4. I was going to comment on how I LOVE real magazines in this day of digital EVERYTHING, although digital is easiest for me, with such unreliable post here in Algeria. I LOVED reading about Misako and it's so beautiful that her basket was bequeathed to you!

    1. G'day Fruitful Fusion! I am happy that you have said hello today! I have been reading your blog for a long time and love your postcards and crafty community activities. Your Eid sweets look delectable too. Your description reminds me of Greek Baklava. Yum!

      Regarding unreliable postal services: I hear you! The postal service where I live is becoming increasingly unreliable and slow while getting more expensive. Meanwhile the postal service wonders why it is losing business.

      The benefit of digital download is it is almost instant but that can be dangerous - too easy to make impulse purchases, especially when one cannot see the money changing hands in real life. It would be very easy to overspend!

      Misako was beautiful and I am very privileged to have received her basket. I feel a responsibility to make beautiful things with her thread.

      Thanks again for your feedback. Wishing you joy in every day.