A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing
Friday 22 December 2006
I’ve just got back from the local newsagent, after having one of those weird experiences where you think you see someone you once knew, yet you know they’re dead and buried.
There is a new issue of Australia’s Creative Knitting on the shelves.
I thought we’d all breathed a collective sigh of relief some months ago, when they inferred they would be killing it off ? Oddly, at that time, the publishers had finally found an editor (Penny Carroll ) who had the potential to turn around the misfortunes of this rather embarrassing example of an Australian knitting magazine – then they let her go (fired, I presume). Did anyone actually keep track of how many editors were hired and fired, or those who resigned in despair, through the brief history of this magazine? Must have been around 5 or 6?
But, of course, when I recall the notifications from Penny at the time, there was mention that it would no longer continue in its present form.
Well, today it’s appeared on the news-stands as a sheep in wolf’s clothing – whilst the front cover, with the regular Creative Knitting banner, gives little away, inside it’s actually Simply Knitting – yes, the UK magazine. They’ve filled it with direct reprints from Simply Knitting; UK patterns by UK designers, using UK yarns. UK articles about UK products. A mere smattering of Australian advertisers. What also knocked me over in the aisle was that the copy is from the Simply Knitting issue that IS ALSO now on our newsagent’s shelves.
Of course, looking through the credits list inside the front cover – I was searching for the name of the person who was only game enough to sign the editorial introduction as ‘THE EDITOR’ - but I couldn’t find an editor listed. Of course not! Why would they need an editor if there was nothing to edit and, after all, it would only provide an easy target for those nasty ‘letters to the editor’ that I’m now wanting to write. Nor, I suspect, would there be anyone listed there who has anything to do with knitting (aside from the possibility that their grandmother might have knitted them a matinee jacket when they were 3 months of age).
You’ll also find in the small print inside the front cover, the admission that this is indeed just regurgitated/copy & paste content from Simply Knitting.
Why ? What’s the point? What is in the minds of this publishing house ? Don’t they know when it’s time to roll over and play dead? I can only come to one conclusion – the poor subscribers and advertisers who pre-paid for a service they didn’t get, needed to be given their money back. But Derwent Howard, instead of cutting short the agony and just refunding their money and closing the books, perhaps determined it was in their own interests to keep these innocent’s payments and just shove out another inferior product into the market.
Please, Jim Flynn and Nathan Berkley, take note of the very public opinion that filled the papers, the internet and the knitting groups in the past couple of years. Even your own Creative Knitting discussion board at Derwent Howard regularly canned the mag. It sometimes takes a very courageous person to admit they’ve got it wrong. I’m sure your mags on computers and boys toys are probably very good. But please, steer clear of knitting. For ever.