Friday, 5 September 2008


I let my subscription to Creative Knitting lapse - because it was shit* - and I subscribed to Handmade instead. I figured that as I was branching out in my crafty endeavours, this would give me some ideas for different crafts. I received my first issue in the mail yesterday. Perhaps I should have put in a bit more research before I decided where to switch my loyalties to. Or perhaps it was just an unfortunate issue to be my first. It's the bumper Christmas issue!

Well, I don't celebrate Christmas, and I only like Christmas decorations for their kitsch value, which kinda cuts out anything made after about 1980. Now, if it had a Dias de los Muertos issue, that would rock big time! As if! At least there's some sites in the U.S. that cater to that, like the Crafty Chica. It also had a rather disturbing preponderance of teddy bears. I like most stuffed animals, and even beanie kids, but traditional teddy bears just don't float my boat. Sometimes they even make me wanna cry. I don't know why. I must have deep-seated emotional issues.

I've been having a lot of fun making my monsters lately. I like them a lot more than the kokeshi dolls. They can be lumpy and lop-sided and have 7 arms and it doesn't matter. I feel a lot freer and less pressure to make them perfect. In an effort to give them more personality, I've decided to write a new zine called 'Monster Stories' or something similar, with a half-page story about each monster and a drawing of her/him. I might make both black-and-white and deluxe colour versions. Maybe I'll make a little mini-booklet to offer with each monster with the same information. Course, this may take some time as it takes me forever to make each monster.

Meanwhile, my brain has been obsessed with how to turn this into a softie:

An individual of the species Brongla.

It's my first Spore creature! Isn't he cute!

*goes back to obsessing*

* Why was it shit? They take patterns from British magazines (with permission or not, I don't know) and Paton's pattern books for almost all of their content. There seems to be a lot of padding to make the magazine longer - unnecessarily large title headings, etc. Often, the finished item isn't shown from different angles; there's often just a single photo and you can tell the close-ups (when there are any) are all just zoomed in from the main photo. In the last few issues, there were no articles whatsoever. I buy magazines more for the patterns than the articles anyway, but many people don't. Also, the patterns were always pretty dull and uninspired. Yet another plain, stocking stitch jumper with a bit of froo-froo on the bottom hem. I've read similar complaints from other readers on their forums, which they don't seem to have addressed. And really, I already have more patterns than I could possibly knit in my lifetime. I've gotten much better patterns for free, Knitty being only one of hundreds of great sources. Then there's Twist Collective, a new online magazine where the articles are free, and you pay individually for the patterns you want. I must check it out sometime! But to be honest, I've gone off pattern collecting a bit. Even vintage ones don't excite me much anymore. I'm more interested in the pictures in them than the patterns. There's much scanning and printing and collaging fun to be had!

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