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Review: Two New e-Mags from Interweave Press

Title: EntreKnits: Knitting Takes Shape

Published by: Interweave Press, 2011

Type: E-Magazine

From the publisher:

EntreKnits explores unique tips and techniques for entrelac, mitered, and modular knitting with fun patterns, innovative and educational tutorials, inspirational videos, and up-close image galleries. EntreKnits features 6 patterns, from a quick-to-knit bracelet to practice your skills, to an elaborate knitted quilt that is sure to be an heirloom passed down from generation to generation.

Title: Colorways: Artisan Hues in Color and Fabric

Published by: Interweave Press, 2011

Type: E-Magazine

From the publisher:

There is a sense of magic and wonder in color—finding crimson in a drab insect, pairing two unexpected colors for a stunning result, growing cotton in green instead of the expected white, turning an ugly piece beautiful with a single dip in the dyebath. But, as crafters and fiber artists all know, working with color can be intimidating and frustrating. Colorways gives you the tools to experiment with, practice, and ultimately master using color in your work.

The In-Depth Look:

Like last year’s “SpinKnit,” both of these e-magazines have a lot to offer. They both have the fun, interactive format where you read a page that has links to video, patterns, and tips. They’re colorful, easy to read, easy to maneuver, and yes … the added content adds an extra dimension that you can’t get from a paper magazine.

EntreKnits focuses on knitting and has articles on modular knitting, entrelac, domino knitting, with articles from Annie Modesitt, Meg Swansen, and more. There are yarn reviews, technique tips, six patterns as well as some nice little helpful videos.

Colorways, on the other hand, is geared toward dyers. Now, I am not a dyer myself, but I love reading about them, and the stories here of cochineal red (which I knew about) and Kakishibu (which I’d never heard of) were fascinating. I might never put the tips and projects to use, but I enjoyed them. It’s not strictly about dyeing, though–it’s about the stories behind the dyes. Or as the promo said, “It’s more like the National Geographic Traveler of Natural Dyes.”

I said in my review of SpinKnit last year that, “All in all, this is the first e-mag that I’ve seen that really blends what a magazine is with the new and shiny technical toys that are available in a graceful, useful way,” and I think this holds true for these new eMags as well. Admittedly, I haven’t seen too many e-mags from other publishers, but I think Interweave is doing a great job of blending the varieties of technology here, and I like that they’re focusing on individual titles/issues instead of trying to do an e-mag version of each of their regular titles.

As an added plus, the cost for the issues has dropped to $9.95 which I think is closer to what people should expect to pay for a single issue of a magazine. Is it still maybe a little light on hard content? Maybe a bit, but $10 doesn’t seem unreasonable.

My Gush: I’m really liking what Interweave is doing with electronic magazines.

These review copies were kindly donated by Interweave Press. Thank you!

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