Before I tell you about this awesome thing that I am in love with, I should qualify my statements a bit by saying that my book, 2-at-a-Time Socks, appears on page 16, smack in between Ann Budd and Clara Parkes' books. This doesn't sway my opinion as I loved it before I got there. As I have said before, if I didn't like the thing, I wouldn't say a word, you'd never know I'd gotten a review copy, and we'd all move on with life. The truth is I love the format and the concept!
Yesterday in my inbox I found an unexpected - but greatly appreciated - email from Interweave Press. I was given the opportunity to download the eMag "Simply Sockupied" ($4.99, Interweave Press). I did, and I am enamored. After a quick installation, the e-zine was mine to peruse, and peruse I did. I am not nearly as tech savvy as some of my peers, so it took me a few to figure out how to navigate (side to side for article titles, up and down for article contents), but once I did I was entranced.
The eMag is divided into 19 sections. There is a comprehensive table of contents, an editorial, reviews, patterns, advice, a few unobtrusive, well-placed ads - all the things you want and expect in a paper magazine, but conveniently on your hard drive for quick and easy reference. No dragging around a whole book just for one pattern - you can print directly from the eMag only those pages that you need. Fewer sheets of paper, less wasted space in your knitting bag, what's not to love? Remember, I am a tree hugger, so the slick paper pages of a "regular" magazine, loaded with ads and those obnoxious little response cards, always niggle my brain. Here, there's no niggling. If I want to knit Judy Alexander's Simply Elegant Cable Socks, I can just print that pattern, and not be stuck with pages I don't need.
The contents themselves are marvelous. Although this issue is aimed at beginning sock knitters, they've got experienced sock knitters covered, too. A wonderful "badge" designation helps you to determine which sock patterns are best suited to your skill level or preferred method of knitting. There are three levels of skill (first steps, step it up, and blaze a trail), and nine designations for type of sock or method of construction. Hate Kitchener? Avoid patterns with the green "kitchener" badge. Love cables? Look for a pattern with the pale blue "cable" badge.
Even if this eMag only included the five sock patterns it contains, it would be worth the investment. But you get so much more than that, from Clara's warm "Welcome" to beginning sock knitters, to a handy compilation of useful tools, yarn advice and recommendations, even a knit-along invitation - really, what's not to love?
All they need now is a pattern designed by a certain 2-at-a-Time Sock knitter, right?