Y'know, I had mostly quit blogging and reviews, because I was so damn tired of all the OMG DRAMA that seemed to come with it. But if I'm getting dragged into six year old drama anyway, fuck it, I'll do what I want.
For years now, a friend of mine (hi, T!) has been telling me to do more reviews besides VK. People find them helpful, and it wouldn't look as much like I was picking on anyone that way. Since Twist is the polar opposite of VK in just about every way possible, I decided to start with it.
A WORD ON BUSINESS MODELS: Traditional, on-paper, pay-for-it magazines make money by selling magazines, and advertising. They can charge more for advertising, the more magazines they sell. (Seriously. advertising rates are based on subscriptions. There are auditing places set up to verify and everything.) Bottom line, if they want to make money, they gotta sell magazines. That is the only real priority. They don't need good knitting patterns, they don't need good tech editing, they don't need Big Name Designers, they can use cachet or reputation or anything they like, so long as the magazines sell. This, in my opinion, does not motivate them a damn to publish good patterns, or even interesting patterns. Just sell magazines.
Twist Collective takes advantage of this crazy new thing we call the internet. The 'magazine' is on their web site for free. If you want a pattern, you pay for it, like you would over on Rav. Rates are reasonable, about the same as everywhere else I've seen. Twist gets a percentage, and the designer gets the majority of the fee. (They do make some money on advertising, I'm sure, and rates would be based on page loads, but I'll bet you the bulk of the revenue is from pattern sales.) Pattern sales, to happen, need good patterns. A dud means no money for anyone. A success can be really, surprisingly profitable. For instance Sylvi has over 1700 projects on Rav at the moment. Even if only 2/3 of those people paid for the pattern, that's a good chunk of change. More than any print magazine could hope to pay a designer. This business model DEPENDS on the magazine producing popular, well-edited, solid designs in as many sizes as possible. (More sizes equal more potential customers.) Essentially, it has to produce stuff we want to knit, to survive.
This business model is why you'll find some of the best designers working for Twist these days, and why every single issue will have at least one (and usually many) things that you'd really like to knit and wear.
I'll be going over the patterns only (I do not want to be here all day, I promised my kid and hub a trip to the book store). But there ARE articles, and they are good. There won't be much commentary on "why this sucks" for the reasons stated above - none of it sucks. It can't, if they want to stay in business. Some things look better on some body types than others, as with all clothes, I'll talk about that since y'all seem to find it helpful. And possibly about color, as needed. I'm leaving out all the tech info I usually include, instead just putting a link to the tech page for each pattern instead. Y'all can look for yourselves if you want to. Pictures and stuff in quotes is from the web site, every thing else is by little old me.
First section, "Joyride". FYI, Twist is based in Paris, of all places (I know, RIGHT?) so the photo shoots are always amazing. Unfortunately, just like any other magazine, pretty pictures do not equal being able to see WTF, but their tech pages have close ups of interesting design, which is very nice and not usual.
Weft, by Holli Yeoh
As we know, I am not a fan of the horizontal look-how-wide-I-am stripe. BUT. This one also has a nice vertical line with the outlined button band down the front, and you could do a solid color instead of the stripes, still get the herringbone effect with the darker color, and have a really nice sweater. And just to support what I was saying about business models, this thing comes in nine sizes. NINE!
Hullabaloo by Sandi Rosner
Socks. About which I have not much to say. They are nice socks, probably very well tech-edited, and come in three sizes. I can't imagine riding a bike in those shoes, but I use toe clips. It's refreshing to see "look, nice socks" copy writing instead of "look at our never-before-seen amazingly HIGH FASHION SOCKS".
Kokliko by Barbara Gregory
Much the same thoughts on these as the socks. $6 for a hat, mitten, and cowl set seems like a bargain. And multiple sizes in mittens is pretty awesome.
Smarty by Alison Green
Safra by Susanna IC
Calais by Ashwini Jambhekar
Petersham by Annie Watts
Oleada by Mara Marzocchi
Roxton by Laura Chau
Latifolia by Tori Seierstad
Akebia by Kate Gilbert
Next section, "Artful". I don't know why knitting mags have sections like this, unless it's just to keep the reader's brains from melting. Which is helpful, now that I think of it that way. Also helpful to give reviewers a good place to stop for another cup of tea and to pet the cat.
ANYWAY! More sweaters, and shawls, and stuff!
Caledonia by Quenna Lee
Grania by Rachel Coopey
Corvina by Angela Hahn
Fluence by Lana Jois
Ashling by Rusty Baker
Fynele by Rachel Coopey (who names these things?)
Sixpence by Kristen Rengren
Heyday by Marnie MacLean
Candlesmoke by Barbara Gregory
Hausti by Susanna IC
New section! Take a break and pet your nearest furry friend.
Next (last?) section, Wavelengths.
Falkirk by Theresa Schabes
Wheat Fields by Nancy Marchant
Cliona by Caroline Levander
Greenery by Helene Rush
Cahoots by Ysolda Teague
Vasalisa by Jennette Cross
Ravenscrag by Robin Melanson
Paria by Kate Gilbert
Tignish by Luise O'Neill
Portiere by Fiona Ellis
Courant by Barbara Benson
And there you go. Why business models matter. And why we need more magazines like Twist Collective and fewer of the old school on-paper stuff. Hope y'all learned something.
By the way, critics who claim I just sit at a computer and make smart remarks? This took two and a half hours. Bite me.