I was just about to toss the cutesy pink envelope into the trash pile unopened when the words “INSIDE: A FREE pattern…” caught my eye. My curiosity got the better of me, as I’m sure the marketing gurus planned, and I opened it up.
“A personal invitation to join the knitting elite,” proclaimed the hot pink words on more cutesy pink background. Well, they may have me at “free pattern,” but they lost me at pink, cutesy, and “elite.” Well, actually, they’d lost me long before…at “Vogue.”
I’m not a fan of Vogue Knitting. I know there are a lot of people who are, but it’s not my kind of design. There’s little that I see in the magazines that I’d ever want to wear–even if it was sized to fit me–or knit for someone else. I’ve read some posts by knitters who agree that the patterns aren’t something they’d ever knit, but they read the magazine anyway for the articles and because they get inspired by the designs and pictures. To each their own, but I can’t see the inspiration in shapeless super bulky knits (like the ones shown in the picture insert that came with the subscription offer) or models with scary makeup, massive bad hair, and expressions that look they’ve been constipated for a week and a half (although at least in the picture insert, everyone combed their hair and a few are even smiling).
The invitation letter was full of terms that make me twitch a bit. Knitting is “the new yoga.” “Fashion-savvy stitchers.” “Cutting-edge knitwear.” “Style-savvy knitters.” Someone apparently likes hyphens. A lot. Try “unavailable-anywhere-else” a lot.
The price was actually pretty reasonable: $14.97 for 4 issues. But that’s still almost $15 I could spend elsewhere on my knitting obsession. For that price, I could buy 3 patterns on Ravelry that I’d actually like to knit.
But hey, speaking of patterns, what about that free pattern? I amused myself for a bit by imagining what it could be. Obviously, it would be for an accessory, and certainly a relatively simple one. Maybe something along the lines of the oversized mittens being worn by the over-bleached, constipated model shown on the envelope–knit with bulky yarn and so big that all they might do is keep your hands warm as they render them useless.
So, I opened the free pattern…and almost choked. It was a hat. A 4×4 rib hat.
This is supposed to inspire me to subscribe to Vogue Knitting? Are you kidding me? Not to denigrate the designers of K4P4 ribbed hats, but it’s the sort of pattern anyone with any hat knitting experience could work up for herself or himself. And it’s not hard to find a free hat pattern that looks exactly like this. In fact, when Steve asked me to knit him a hat when we were in Pennsylvania, I found the Ribbed Beanie, a free Ravelry download. It’s written as a 6×2 rib, but the designer notes it could be a 7×1, or a 4×4, or any other variation of an 8-stitch rib. This is apparently representative of the “cutting-edge knitwear” sought by “fashion-savvy” and “style-savvy” knitters.
But wait–there was more! Instead of the traditional finishing of a bottom-up knit hat, this design featured…drum roll, please!…
An optional i-cord top tied in a knot!
Oh, yeah. So cutting-edge I need a band-aid.