Letters From The Editors : Knitty.com - Spring + Summer 2024


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Letters From The Editors

The scoop from the editors

Amy Singer
spacer photo: Amy

Pivoting into the future

This issue marks the end of an era for Knitty. Our beloved Jillian Moreno, she who has been with Knitty since it began, is stepping away. We could say it's to "tackle new challenges", which she will certainly be doing. Or to "spend more time with family", cause those of us who are lucky enough to know Miss Jillian knows how she loves her fam. But the honest truth is that our operating costs have grown to a point that we cannot afford her any more*.

When I started Knitty in 2002, I had no clue what I was doing, really. I knew how to code web pages and my hub at the time could write nice back end code, and I thought I could do most everything else except tech editing and designing patterns. Jillian sent in a pattern to our first issue that is still, 21 years later, delightful and wearable. I didn't know anything about this stranger, except that she had a sense of humor that I could appreciate, and she could make even a boring mannequin look good. And then she kept sending in great pattern, issue after issue. It didn't take long for me to form my longest-standing girl crush on this woman, and to find an excuse for us to hang out, once she moved close enough for me to visit. And that was it for me...friends for life.

But Jillian is more than just a designer. She is a Catalyst with a capital "c". She makes things happen. She helped turn me into an actual editor and small business owner. Her guidance, coaching, wise advice, and seemingly boundless support gave me confidence when I had less than none, and she made sure I didn't give up on Knitty in the early days when little scandals threatened to make me abandon the whole idea and slog along at some day job instead.

A friendship borne out of a professional-but-relaxed relationship like we have has made our friendship surprisingly resilient. She is my friend first, and always will be. But after working together for more than 20 years, I can also hear her advice in my head when I come up with some ill-conceived BIG IDEA. She's the reason I make and keep lists. She's the reason I learned to love spreadsheets. She's watched me grow up, out of a marriage that was slowly crushing me, into the happiest and most contented version of myself that has ever existed. She sent the most perfect wishes the morning of my wedding to my new husband, Mark** – the kind that can only come from knowing and loving a person for more than two decades.

We have travelled together. Hidden under the dining room table together to do whatever thing needed doing but that neither of us wanted to do. She has taken on tasks at Knitty that were not her preference, just because she could do them and she knew I couldn't at the time. She has been my dearest friend, teacher, collaborator, confidante, and colleague for a long dang time. She still is.

When the operating budget at Knitty squeezed to a point that there was only one realistic solution, I wasn't the one that suggested it. Jillian did. As her kids have grown and flown, she has had more time to build her own brilliant business, and I have been so proud to watch her achievements. Together we decided that this was the right time to make this change. We both want Knitty to continue for the long term, and so this is a pivot to allow that to happen.

On behalf of Knitty readers everywhere, and on behalf of me, I want to thank Jillian for everything she's done to help Knitty grow from a whim of an idea into a real magazine that people love and count on. It's my job to take us into our third decade, and with the support of our wonderful Patrons and Advertisers, and along with our great team of Tech Editors, I'm going to do just that.

This issue's theme is Flowers, and it's not hard to see why we'd want bright florals and garden-inspired colors after the grey winter we're just now coming out of. Our cover pattern is a gorgeous flowery summer tee that I personally cannot wait to cast on myself! We've got all sorts of other beautiful knitted and crocheted things for you to cast on, and you'll find them all here.

More is coming in our Spring+Summer surprise. When is that released? Just sign up for our little Newsletter and we'll write when it's out, so you don't miss a thing.

Wanna see the new stuff? Off you go, then.

*Money talk: You might not know that we are a business that pays their staff, the designers and writers that contribute patterns and articles, and me – the only full-time employee of Knitty. Where do we get money to pay everyone? Several places.

The majority of our financial support comes from our Knitty Patrons and Members. These folk, about 3000ish people right now, support Knitty in whatever amount they are able to, once per issue. The money comes in a month after a new issue goes live, and it goes to cover our operating costs like our server and all the other online services that make Knitty run, our payroll, and my salary.

Knitty Patrons get rewards for their support, like early access to every new issue, and at the Tangy+ level and up, they can use our super-cool new feature, knitty+! It lets them customize Knitty patterns showing only the size they're going to knit, so the pattern text is leaner and easier to follow! There are other benefits to knitty+, and other benefits to being a Knitty Patron, too. Check it out here, and see if you'd like to join us! Patrons come and go all the time, and we need a constant level of support to be able to continue to publish.

We also get some revenue from our Advertisers! We've held advertising rates steady for as long as I can remember, and we actually slashed our rates back in 2017 because we were able to, thanks to our Patron revenue. Our mission includes supporting small fiber businesses, and so when we could give them a financial break, we did!

Finally, we get a tiny bit of revenue from Bookshop.org and Amazon links on our Cool Stuff page, and a little bit from the ads that display on issues in the Library (all the back issues). Every bit helps.

How can you help Knitty stay strong and stick around? Here are some suggestions:

  • tell your knitting and crochet friends about us!
    • Tag them on our Instagram or Facebook posts
    • Tell your fiber group, guild or meetup about Knitty or a Knitty pattern that you're working on
    • Share your Knitty pattern WIPs and FOs on social media and let people know where to find the pattern
  • follow us on social media! Facebook | Instagram
  • if you are able to support us financially at any amount, check out knitty.me, which lays out all the ways you can do that (including joining our Patreon)

Thank you for being a Knitty reader! More people don't know about Knitty than those that do, so when you share us with your fiber friends, you're doing a great thing!

**Yup, dear readers. I married my lovely partner, Mark, in a tiny wedding attended only by two adult friends and one small-person friend. Mark and I have known each other since 1980, married other people, divorced, and then met up again through (of all things) Facebook. We've lived together since 2018, got through the worst of the pandemic together and still liked each other, and have continued to get better at the things that make a relationship a good one. Last year, we felt it was time to make it all official.

spacer photo: Michelle Schwengel-Regala

I don't know if you can feel the love, but I'm telling you, there was a lot of it. We cashed in a decade's worth of hoarded frequent flyer points, and had the most magical time together before, during and after our tiny wedding. Our friends showered us with kindness, and the small person made the day extra joyous. We 100% recommend a no-stress, low-key elopement. Wear affordable clothes that you can wear again. Footwear by Costco. Lots and lots of cellphone pics taken by a sweet friend who was crying as much as we were by the end. Ceremony performed by a dear friend who absolutely gets us and made the day even better than we could have imagined (that's her back lanai we're on). Woo!

Yeah, it does feel different being married, both from our first marriages, and from our partnership before the wedding. We're all blissed out, and so glad we did it.

Life is good.

Here's how you can keep in touch with us:

Facebook | Instagram | Bluesky (it's out of beta! join!) | Patreon

Amy Sig
Amy Singer
[editor, Knitty]


spacer photo: Jillian

Springboarding onwards

Spring is springing and with that comes changes. I have a big change to announce: this is my last issue of Knitty. There is nothing dramatic going on, and Amy and I are still friends; the fiber world is just in one of its natural cycles.

I’ve been here since the very first issue, doing just about everything, designing, writing columns, doing reviews, selling advertising...Fiber Fiesta, anyone?

Knitty was a springboard for me to leap into working for myself, managing my own time, how to focus my creative ideas, and how to exist in the gig economy of fiber. I am forever grateful to Amy for that.

When my kids were small Knitty was my only job, not a big one, just enough to keep me using my brain and involved in the fiber world. As they grew, I grew and I took on more work, Amy and I wrote two books together, and I started picking up work for other people and teaching.

Now I teach all over the world, I’m working on my second spinning book, with a knitting book in the wings, and I’m juggling four fiber-related jobs.

The fiber world is taking a turn. I’m sure you’ve noticed. Magazines are going under, dyers are quitting, and yarn shops are closing. Everything is more expensive and finances are very tight for any yarn business. This includes Knitty.

Even with our generous Patrons, the cost of doing business has grown to the point that it doesn’t make financial sense for me to stay at Knitty, so I am stepping away.

I am off looking for new adventures in fiber, taking everything I love and learned while at Knitty with me.

Happy knitting and spinning,

Jillian Sig

Jillian Moreno
[editor, Knittyspin]

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