There are lots of great knitting magazines available for the avid knitter, both available in printed and online form. Knitting magazines are great because they put out seasonable knitting patterns that reflect current fashion trends. Plus they feature new and established knitting designers and often review techniques. Sometimes I just read the magazines for the ads because they are a great way to discover new yarns, notions and accessories, you know, instead of just ogling all that yarn-porn. Here's a run down of the various knitting magazines.
Vogue Knitting has been around for more than 25 years featuring veteran knitwear and fashion designers. Their patterns are styled similarly to a mainstream fashion magazine and their patterns can be a little hard to imagine in real life, however the patterns are gorgeous, innovative, and use a wide variety of yarns. Their magazine is also available in a digital format for ipad users.
Interweave Knits was the first knitting magazine to feature knitters as models in natural environments. Features on the history of knitting, knitting in art, knitting as art and the state of the yarn industry are regular fixtures. The result is a magazine that seems more accessible even if it presents patterns that are more challenging to the new knitter. The photo styling is so good that each pattern begs to be knit, even if you have to turn your brain inside out to learn a new stitch pattern.
Knit 1 is Vogue Magazine's publication geared towards younger knitters. The patterns are simpler and feature fashions that appeal more towards teenagers. Still a great read for any knitter. It seems that they ceased publishing after the Fall 2009 issue, so keep your eyes peeled for back issues on ebay and ravelry.
Knit Simple features easier to knit patterns with a larger variety of yarns at a lower price point. It's a great resource for knitting patterns that make an impact without melting your mind. Perfect for newer knitters.
Knitscene is Interweave Knit's version of Knit 1. Knitscene's patterns aren't as simple as Knit 1, but you will find some classic, easy to knit patterns that have a lot of impact. Definitely a magazine where you find a new must-knit pattern in each issue.
Online Knitting Magazines
The original source for never-before-seen designers and free patterns. The only place where you'll find your next "extra-spicy" knitting project. The patterns are engaging without getting too fiddly -another place to find the newest "it" pattern. Lots of knitting icons have paid their dues here.
Twist Collective is the online magazine started by a group of knitting designers. Exquisite doesn't even begin to describe the level of design and attention to detail that goes into each issue. They're the new kid on the block giving everybody a run for their money and not just with their patterns. Their pay structure is also unique in that you don't have to buy the whole magazine, you can purchase each pattern individually. You get a little less for your money (one pattern for $7 instead of for a whole book), but one can tell that the designers put so much effort into the designs and the magazine styling that it just doesn't hurt that much to pay what these people deserve.
Knit Circus is another online magazine where you purchase each individual pattern, but since this magazine was formally a printed publication they have a ton more ads. I prefer ads because as mentioned before: it's where I find out about new yarns and products. In a sense, this magazine is free because you get all of the sensory aspects of reading an online magazine, pretty pictures, nifty ads, the online turning of pages but it doesn't cost you anything unles you buy a pattern, which let's face it you probably will.
This magazine is my downfall. It's oversized, it's ostentatious, the models look like they fell off the runway and into the magazine. It is my desert island knitting magazine because I could spend hours making up stories about the people in each photograph. The styling just doesn't get better than this. Except that such fantastical styling does not always highlight wearibility. It's the priciest magazine of the bunch and eventho I haven't knit a single Rowan Magazine pattern yet I still lust after each issue.
Jo Sharp is to Australia what Rowan is to England. Unfortunately, due to rising cost of gas and the high cost of the Aussie dollar vs the American you can only get Jo Sharp Yarns and books by ordering online... from the shop in Australia. This is great if you live in Australia. But if you live anywhere else it's going to cost you $35+ just to ship. Fortunately the magazine is available in digital form and it's well-worth the cost. There are simple sweaters, vests, scarves and cardigans for everyone. It's important to note that its gets rather hot in Australia so her patterns are a great resource for cotton projects as well.