Posted by: jinniver | April 3, 2009

Verena Knitting revisited: Spring 2009

Last summer, I wrote a rather scathing review of the inaugural U.S. issue of Verena Knitting. There really wasn’t anything I liked about it.  I hated the focus on high fashion, I was disappointed with the lack of articles, I was disgusted with the photography, and I was depressed by the extremely limited number of plus sized patterns (none of which looked flattering).

My LYS doesn’t carry many magazines–many of us have magazine subscriptions, so it doesn’t make sense for her to carry those mags–so when I had to take a break while knitting last Saturday, there wasn’t much reading material immediately available to flip through.  But I saw a cover picture that I really liked, so I picked up the magazine…only to find it was Verena Knitting.  I almost put it right back down, but the more I looked at the cardigan on the front the more I liked it (to the point where I started mentally modifying the parts I didn’t like), so my curiosity was piqued enough for me to sit back and flip through.

Of course, I was sure the cover cardigan didn’t come in a large enough size for me to worry about anyway…but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Swiss Miss cardigan (#8, p. 21) knits up to 49″.  It was enough to get me to check each pattern in the magazine…and decide to buy a copy.

I was a little disappointed that in the first section of patterns (the Natural Beauty section, p. 14-21), the Swiss Miss cardigan was the only one of 9 that was plus sized (my definition of plus-sized, at least: greater than a 48″ bust). In fact, most of them were decidedly on the small size; 5 had a maximum finished size of 45″ or less. But 17 of the 41 women’s patterns were plus sized–and 10 of them I actually wanted to knit! I also liked several of the children’s patterns included; still no men’s patterns, though, and I would have liked one or two.

The photography was definitely much improved. None of the models scared me, for one. For many of the patterns, the models were posed so that the lines were visible, and all of the design features could be seen. There were still some problems with positioning and props. I have no idea what the bottom of Leafy Bower (#7, p. 20) looks like because of the flower bouquet, and it wasn’t until I looked at the diagrams in the directions that I realized that Garden Party (#41, p. 46) had an exaggeratedly jagged hem. Most of the Seville or Bust! section (p. 22-29) had pictures that were a little too artsy to be helpful. And there were 2 big problems that some patterns still had. Love the long haired models.  But please…could you keep the hair behind their shoulders, so it doesn’t completely obscure the neckline?  (Celebrity, #20 on p. 32, was the worst.) Same goes for the scarves and necklaces and anything else that goes around the neck.  And yes, belts are a great accessory at times, but they completely obscure any waist shaping (or the fact that there isn’t any).

Overall, for me the magazine is much improved. After last time I was certainly going to review this magazine carefully before I made any decision to buy. I’m really looking forward to casting on Swiss Miss, Celebrity, and most of the Go for Glamour section (p. 40-45, all of which are plus sized) for me; Garden Party (with a greatly modified bottom edge) and Blossoms (#48, p. 48) for my daughter, and Blocks (#47, p. 48) for my son.

The facts:
-96 pages, 50 projects (41 for women, 7 for girls, 3 for boys)
-17 plus-sized patterns (48″ bust or greater)
-A fashion section, a few product and book reviews, abbreviations and symbols page
-Price: $6.99 US & Canada / EC 5,00 euros / UK 3,95 pounds
-Recommended: Yes


Responses

  1. I have 2 hours to kill every thursday while angie has her fencing lessons. My MO is to hit borders buy a coffee and flip through the knitting mags while I decide if I want to buy it or not. I haven’t seen the spring Verena yet, the winter was pretty good – but it was the only issue I’ve seen.

  2. Thanks so much for your review. I wasn’t sure if I should even take a peek at the magazine.


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