It’s Alive! I’m Talking About the New Issue of knit.purl…
The process of putting together a knitting magazine is a long and interesting one. About nine months before an issue goes on sale, we post a call for submissions. A few months later, the issue is assigned and the contributors start creating their works. When the project samples are complete they are sent to the Interweave office; this is when we get to see the final pieces for the first time. Then the projects just kind of *disappear* for a few months (not really—they are sent to freelance tech editors). The projects make their way back to us, and then we have the photo shoot! By this time, many of the projects have slipped out of my mind, and I am reacquainted with them, one by one through the shots, and in the context of the themes developed by editor Lisa Shroyer and graphic designer Debbie Long. The photo shoots are so much fun and rewarding, and I always learn something new on these days. That magic only continues when Debbie reveals the galleries she has designed with the images, typically a month or two after the shoot.
Basically, throughout all these steps I get to see the projects sort of transform. At first, it’s just a garment or accessory on its own. Then the pieces become more alive when they are worn by a model, usually styled in interesting ways I’d never be able to come up with myself. When the images of the projects are placed in their galleries and we can view them on the pages and within the context of a knitting magazine, they become something new altogether. They are next to the words that describe them, and placed beside the other projects in the same story, which is juxtaposed to the other stories in the issue. I think this is why I’m drawn to certain projects at the beginning of the process, and then to many more by the end of production.
With this long process of knitting, designing, and styling in mind, take a gander at the preview for knit.purl Spring/Summer 2015. What inspired the designers to create these particular pieces? What inspired Lisa to come up with the themes and ideas that create a cohesive publication? How did the stylist decide to put a particular outfit together for that sweater, shawl, hat? So much subjectivity, so many details. I love seeing this whole process unfold.
This issue is always shot in-studio, and Debbie came up with some really cool concepts for backgrounds. For the feather-and-fan story called Waves, she made this black-and-white backdrop with painted, spelled-out numbers. It goes so well with the pretty blue, lacy projects in this story, and I think the choice of spelling out random numbers makes the backdrop interesting without distracting the eye a lot from the projects.
Another story in this issue that has me coming back to reexamine it is called “Align,” and it’s full of interesting angles and construction. We created the background for this by simply painting parallel lines and connecting them with shorter lines at a 90-degree angle, creating this pointed, 3D zigzag effect. I love how this design idea totally reflects the design elements we see in this story’s patterns; the lace angles and points of the Moth Wing Top by Moon Eldridge, the pointed hem of the Pointed Tunic by Beatrice Perron Dahlen, the more subtle pointed hem and diagonal eyelets of the Hanky Tank by Joan Forgione. This wall behind the projects, though simple, is creative and visually interesting while still maintaining the theme found throughout the projects.
There are some really great projects and strong, interesting themes that you can see throughout the issue. As it’s just our second issue of knit.purl, I urge you to get a copy so you can see what it’s all about! (Or download it right now.) Spring knitting seems pretty refreshing to me right about now.