Crochet + Knit

Aug 27, 2010

Thanks for all the terrific response to our special section on Crochet + Knit designs in the Fall issue of Interweave Crochet!

We recognize that putting in this special section was a bit bodacious. We totally get that there is a peculiarly American schism between crocheters and knitters. We get that not everyone likes peanut butter in their chocolate.

But we also know that there are a goodly number of people out there who love fiber and love to learn new and innovative ways of twisting that fiber into interesting designs. We haven't seen this kind of fusion in any other publication. So, in our continued spirit of bringing innovative design to you, we asked our very skilled designers to bring the two crafts together in the best way they could.

And they delivered. Our goal was to move beyond using crochet as mere adornment or finishing technique for knits. We considered bringing you crochet alternatives for these designs, but the fact is the knit and crochet elements are fused in such a way that they are just fabulous as they are.

One of my favorite designs is the Coco-Holly Topsy-Turvy Doll, because it combines knit and crochet in a fun, engaging way, resulting in a project where Crochet and Knit are BFFs. This is such a great retro project, though, that we wanted to enable all-crocheters-all-the-time to make this fun doll. So, we'll be bringing you an all-crochet adaptation. As soon as it's available, I'll post a note to let you know where to find it.

We hope you engage in exploring the beauty that can happen when a crochet hook and knitting needles get involved in the same project. If you want some guidance on the knit elements, just drop us a line. And please join in the conversation about knit/crochet designs in our forums  to let us know what you think.


p.s. Right now, we're busily finishing up Crochet Accessories and the Winter issue of Interweave Crochet—together, they have 70 all-crochet projects.

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faye@22 wrote
on Aug 28, 2010 2:34 PM

...this issue is like putting  recipes for beef stew in a vegan magazine.

avidbeader wrote
on Aug 28, 2010 4:20 PM

"p.s. Right now, we're busily finishing up Crochet Accessories and the Winter issue of Interweave Crochet—together, they have 70 all-crochet projects."

And "Crochet Accessories" is not included in our subscriptions.

I'm not really feeling the customer service for the crocheters that are presumably the bulk of your audience. I feel it would have been a much smarter decision to include the accessories patterns in magazine issues and create a special of cross-craft patterns. That way those of us who do not or cannot knit would have gotten the maximum amount of usable patterns for our money.

Right now I am regretting having begun a subscription.

NorahW wrote
on Aug 28, 2010 4:23 PM

You said "Our goal was to move beyond using crochet as mere adornment or finishing technique for knits."  Wouldn't something like that go better in Interweave Knits?  Readers of Interweave Crochet already know that crochet is much more than an adornment or a finishing technique.

karlia wrote
on Aug 28, 2010 4:55 PM

Thank you for recognizing that there are crocheters like me who do not want any knitting in my favorite crochet magazine.  I look through the magazine section at my favorite big bookstore, there are probably a dozen knitting magazines any day of the year.  There are usually one or two crochet magazines at any one time.  I actually considered tearing the knitting pages out of my new Crochet, but that was probably just reactionary.  I made a comment about it on Facebook and I got an OMG reaction post.  

What saved you in my eyes is that the crochet content in the Fall 2010 issue is so good, it almost makes up for your glaring error of stuffing knitting down my throat.  

I like the comment made by NorahW that a better way to do this would be to include these items in a knitting magazine.

Please don't do it again.

suse@5 wrote
on Aug 28, 2010 7:10 PM

"Our goal was to move beyond using crochet as mere adornment or finishing technique for knits"

hmmm...but this is exactly the idea the patterns in the issue promoted.  Knitting was the fabric and crochet the embellishments. I am interested in using crochet as the fabric element and that is why I subscribe to IC.  I find it a bit ironic that also included in this issue is an excellent piece on the innovative uses of slip stitch to create fabric...this is what I look to IC for...not furtherance of the idea of crochet as embellishment.

"We totally get that there is a peculiarly American schism between crocheters and knitters."

I don't think the reactions you are hearing are about not liking chocolate with our peanut butter. Its more about the fact that IC is in existence precisely because of the divide between crocheting and knitting in America.  IF there were a plethora of publications that offered both, as you see in other cultures, then our need for IC would be minimal. But that is not the case.  If Interweave is interested in changing the culture, then the logical move would be to fully integrate all its publications and create niche publications based on taste and  style rather craft.

Until then I would hope you would reconsider your POV on this issue and listen more closely to your readers' POV .  

T.S.B wrote
on Aug 28, 2010 7:32 PM

The knit patterns are less than exciting and the crochet concept of them is non-existent.

This issue makes me sad and frustrated.

saw730 wrote
on Aug 28, 2010 7:51 PM

I would have preferred that the magazine space devoted to the combo patterns and the learn-to-knit pages had gone to more of the great crochet designs we love IC for.  I was disappointed that such a large section was devoted to patterns I won't make.  I wish some of the patterns reserved for the crochet accessories issue, which is not included in my subscription, had been in the regular issue.  I think a better choice would have been to make the combo patterns their own issue.  

I also agree with the other comments, that us IC subscribers already know that  crochet is "more than mere adornment or finishing technique for knits" and we don't need to be convinced of that.

Please keep the crochet we love in IC and don't devote so many pages to knitting again.  Thank you for listening.

AdrienneV wrote
on Aug 28, 2010 8:00 PM

Marcy, I heartily encourage you to read the threads on the Interweave Crochet group and the Crochet Liberation Front group on ravelry.  This issue has been discussed in a no-knit-bashing way, and I congratulate my fellow ravelry members on keeping that atmosphere.  

I have heard crochet and knit described as fraternal twins, and I really like that comparison.  Please take the time to listen to your readers.  The majority of us are NOT angry that you combined crochet and knitting, because each of them has their strengths.  It is just that we feel that those patterns are at the expense of purely crochet patterns, that there are seven of them, and that this would never ever happen in an issue of IK.  

Am I going to cancel my subscription? No.  However, if this isn't properly addressed you shouldn't bank on my vote in next year's Flamies, and we know how proud Interweave is about those two trophies.

NorahW wrote
on Aug 28, 2010 8:53 PM

I agree with saw730--the combo patterns should have gone in a separate special issue, while the crochet accessories should have been in a special section of IC.

It's not that IC subscribers hate knitting, or don't like mixtures.  It's that there are so few crochet magazines out there compared to knitting magazines.  There are so few stylish crocheted clothing patterns, especially sweaters, compared to knitted ones.  We buy IC because we want to crochet sweaters and other items.  Some of us may have never knitted before and maybe would like to try, but there are also many of us (like myself) who can knit but prefer to crochet.  This doesn't mean that we hate the look of knitting, or have anything against knitting or knitters, just that we like to crochet better than to knit.

An occasional combo pattern would be fine, but not seven in one issue (unless there were alternate directions for a version fully in crochet).  .  It does feel as if knitting is being forced on us, or that we're being told we're not fully fiber people if we don't try knitting with our crochet.   As I said, many of us *have* tried knitting, and we don't like it as well.  A couple of the patterns actually seemed to be more knitting than crochet.   I don't see IK publishing a lot of combo patterns, and I think if they did there would be a similar reaction to the one crocheters are having.  

Please continue to publish great *crochet* patterns in IC with maybe an occasional knitted trim or embellishment, but please, not this much knitting.  

AlisonM wrote
on Aug 29, 2010 3:42 AM

"We haven't seen this kind of fusion in any other publication."

Rubbish. Crochet! Magazine tried this in their November 2008 issue, that's less than two years ago. Your researchers didn't look very hard.

Crochet! Magazine is supposed to be the face of CGOA, so you can imagine the outcry when their flagship publication effectively put forth the message "we don't have enough decent crochet content for a full issue, so here's some knitting to make up the numbers". It went down like a lead balloon amongst the readership, and strangely enough, the publishers haven't tried it again.

IWP would. not. dream. of pulling a stunt like this on their IK readers, the howls of indignation would echo across the country until the next issue appeared. And yet, IWP seems to think the same stunt is perfectly acceptable for the IC readership.

A better solution would have been to offer the patterns as a web-only supplement, highlighting them as a 'bonus' and therefore avoiding the perception these patterns displaced regular crochet-only content. IWP could then gauge the actual level of interest by the number of pattern downloads, rather than guessing and then having to deal with the current public relations fallout.

Perhaps the reason this fusion doesn't appear more frequently, is because the demand is just not there?

girlglory wrote
on Aug 29, 2010 6:04 AM

I just learned how to crochet in December2009.  I have purchased every issue of IC this year, but I certainly won't purchase this one.  

Putting 'learn how to knit' into a Crochet magazine is condescending at best.  If I wanted to learn how to knit, I would look to a knitting resource.

Perhaps if you offered each of the knitted patterns in the current IC issue available as a crochet-only option (for free) you would show that you understand and respect crocheting as the separate artform that it is.  

muscidae wrote
on Aug 29, 2010 9:34 AM

I must agree with faye@22 here: this is like 7 beef recipes in a vegan magazine. Some subscribers may eat meat, but the vast majority is looking for a trusted source of meatless dishes. At least give me some substitute I can use!! You know, like that great slip stitch technique you introduce us to? The crochet alternative would have made everybody happy and ALL could have used these great patterns. I agree the patterns are fabulous; unfortunately, they are also useless to the majority of your faithful subscribers.

We have a subscription to a crochet magazine which largely features wearables; we KNOW crochet is for more than embellishments! This blog post and this special section should be aimed at knitters and IK subscribers, not crocheters.

Although I would normally be ecstatic at the idea of a “crochet accessories special”, this upcoming newsstand only issue is a slap in the face. You take my subscription money to stuff 7 knitting patterns down my throat, and expect me to pay extra for something I have demonstrated interest in? No, thank you.

on Aug 29, 2010 10:10 AM

Knitting is physically painful for me. I know how, but my handwork time is limited due to old RSIs, and knitting makes them worse: I can crochet if I'm careful to do so in an ergonomically healthy way for limited amounts of time. I treasure my limited crochet time and I love quality patterns. I've been an IC subscriber since 2008, because it is a crochet magazine; it is the only magazine to which I subscribe, and I've been very pleased with it till now.

I was frustrated to discover that my subscription money went toward sending me an issue that has a lot of patterns I cannot make. For me, that's not just annoying: it brings up my grief over my physical limitations. What's annoying AND frustrating is that the accessories issue with patterns I can make is not included in my subscription.

I'm not buying the accessories issue; it's not in the budget. I will not resubscribe if the crochet magazine to which I subscribed continues to be a mixed knit and crochet magazine. This is about truth in advertising: someone who subscribes to a crochet magazine has a right to expect crochet patterns.

Less wrote
on Aug 29, 2010 10:14 AM

I agree with AllisonM when she said "A better solution would have been to offer the patterns as a web-only supplement, highlighting them as a 'bonus' and therefore avoiding the perception these patterns displaced regular crochet-only content. IWP could then gauge the actual level of interest by the number of pattern downloads, rather than guessing and then having to deal with the current public relations fallout."

Try a single page photo spread in BOTH IC and IK advertising/hyping the exclusive online BONUS! content of combo patterns. Use the secret code idea like they do in Crochet (or Crochet Today, I forget)

Also agree that if your goal was to show combo patterns that were something more than knit fabric with crochet decorations, you really failed.

RosindaM wrote
on Aug 29, 2010 10:34 AM

It was those Crochet + Knit designs that kept me from buying this issue of IC.  I buy IC because of its beautiful crochet designs. In my opinion, IC was filling a need we crocheters had for quality crochet designs we could feel proud of making in a world where crochet is considered a lesser art compared to knitting.  This issue has made me rethink about subscribing to IC (I have let my subscription lapse).  I will check the coming issues before I consider paying for a subscription.

P.D. I can knit too, but I would rather crochet.  

on Aug 29, 2010 11:06 AM

BTW, did you mean bodacious or audacious?

kcrochet wrote
on Aug 29, 2010 12:21 PM

Well, I like this issue.  I may utilize some of the ideas in the patterns that include knitting, in my own work.  As usual i like the articles and yarn reviews.  

I do wonder whether IK is featuring similar combination patterns?

As for publishing a crochet-only pattern for the doll, that seems a bit gratuitous, as the only thing that will have to be added is a bit of crocheted skirt.  

KarenO@9 wrote
on Aug 29, 2010 2:23 PM

I have been a subscriber since fall 2008 and have enjoyed each issue, always finding several patterns to make until this issue ( fall 2010). I am very disappointed in this issue and am considering not renewing my subscription. The  pattern that looks most interesting to me is the Blue Ridge Hoodie, which is a free download, of the patterns in the issue only the slip stitch hats ( one of which is a download) look like fun projects.  In looking  at the combined knitting  and crocheting patterns I like the Oak Leaf Vest and although I do knit, I think I will single crochet (possibly back loop only) the knit sections and create a front that can be buttoned.  I agree with other posters that a section in the accessories issue or a special download would be more appropriate than the knit/crochet projects in a regular issue, especially  since they seem to displace crochet only projects.  Sadly it seems IC missed the mark with this issue.

on Aug 29, 2010 3:28 PM

My bad--didn't realize bodacious can have that meaning. Learning!

breadgirl wrote
on Aug 29, 2010 5:47 PM

Please keep IC all crochet all the time - we know crochet is more than an embellishment already and don't really need our minds opened up. I subscribe to this magazine because it has such beautiful and innovative crochet patterns - there is not another magazine out there like it. Don't turn it into a knitting magazine!

on Aug 30, 2010 3:19 PM

I crochet.  I don't knit.  I don't want to learn.  If I did, I would buy IK.  But I spend good money for a great crochet magazine; in fact, a subscription to IC was a holiday gift I asked for last year.  In the last 3 months, I have received no fewer than 5 mailed requests to renew my subscription -- how curious it is that they all came BEFORE this combo issue.

I'm glad I haven't renewed yet.  I wait to see what the Winter 2010 issue has in store.  If it -- like this issue -- is nothing more than a "let's add crochet to knitting" collection, I won't be renewing.  

I enjoy the way IC has expanded my crochet horizon, showing me how crochet can be used to make anything and everything I want.  I make at least one garment from each issue I get, and through IC, I have learned Tunisian, hairpin, and linked crochet.  The world of crocheted art is so incredibly vast that the supply of new crochet ideas IC could offer seems endless.

If the folks at IC are certain that crocheters need to learn knitting, take a poll and see how wrong you are.  Most commenters on the Ravelry IC group agree that these combo patterns are more appropriate in a once-a-year newsstand-only publication.

Please remember this magazine is called Interweave CROCHET.  Schism or no, most knitters I know are happy in their knitting world, and many crocheters feel the same way.

jewelalchemy wrote
on Aug 31, 2010 8:56 AM

Perhaps a better option would be to make these "bodacious" and "innovative" patterns available as a special issue, and find out really how much interest there is. I have some of the original issues of IC, from 2004 when it was  a special issue and there were several crochet and knitting patterns, so this is nothing new.

I am sorry to say this, but I find the glib tone of this blog entry to be disappointing and a tad condescending... the "terrific response"? Terrific as in large and vociferous perhaps, I doubt terrific as in positive, is anyone here reading the Ravelry forums? Crocheters already know that crocheting is  far more than "mere adornment or finishing technique for knits". What could possibly be meant by that statement?  And I will confidently say that despite my choosing to be a crocheter, I am most decidedly a fiber lover and someone who loves to learn new techniques ( needle tatting is the latest, bobbin lace is my next) I already know how to knit, but I find it physically uncomfortable and simply not as enjoyable as crocheting. I do not subscribe to the crochet vs. knit "schism" I simply prefer one to the other, therefore I purchase the publications that support my favorite creative outlet.  I feel that if anything, the tone of this blog post is encouraging any such divide.

The Summer issue was very very good, I purchased it simply for the Midsummer Shawl pattern on the cover and found several patterns I love. Please keep Interweave Crochet a crochet magazine.

2Tabbies wrote
on Aug 31, 2010 7:49 PM

I'm afraid I have to agree with most of the others who have posted comments.  This perceived crochet/knit schism in the US is not the point. I paid for a crochet magazine. I knit a little, and if I want to do more, there are plenty of magazines and other sources for patterns and instructions. There aren't a lot of good crochet magazines available. I want crochet in my crochet magazine not knitting and not combination patterns. I wouldn't have minded one or two, but not seven. I wouldn't even mind if you had an occasional article that showed a way a simple knitting technique might be a solution to a problem in a particular crochet pattern, but the pattern itself should be predominantly crochet. The combination patterns in this issue had too much knitting, and there were too many of them.

CarolineB wrote
on Sep 1, 2010 6:12 AM

As a crocheter who can knit but chooses not to this issue is a big disappointment to me.  That you didn't include the accessories in this issue instead of putting out a special issue is also a huge mistake.  I think the combined patterns would have better in an crochet and knitting magazine special edition marketed to both IC & IK readers.  Shame on you IC - if this behaviour continues I will not be renewing my subscription next spring.

Jeannine@2 wrote
on Sep 1, 2010 4:57 PM

In the past I always would pick up Interweave Crochet without even opening it because I knew it would have crochet patterns, not knit and crochet, crochet. I will no longer be buying the magazine without first checking out the content. My money is too important to spend on a magazine that does not supply what it advertises, crochet.

on Dec 1, 2010 6:44 AM

Someone referenced this post to answer question "POLL: please make me sad?"...

faye@22 wrote
on Dec 3, 2010 4:10 PM

..interesting that after all the comments from IC readers, there has been nothing further about  this from IC editor. Must wonder if IC is unaware or just not concerned about readers reaction  to this combo issue.