Friday, January 01, 2010

The Art of Crochet

This is a new part work magazine and as normal the first issue is at a cut price to encorrage you to try it. I quite often buy the first part if it is something I like but I haven't gone any farther in years. Most part work magazines give you very little each week when you compare them to other magazines but then they do give you items to allow you to make whatever it is they are about but over the time it takes you to get everything it tends to cost far more than buying it outright and they are often bad quality but that's like many things in life you can buy something outright for a good price or overtime for an inflated one.. do I think they are good value? Not normally but they do allow you to get something a bit at a time and there have been times in my life that has suited me, so while I think they are over inflated I don't totally knock them though I have noticed they don't seem to try very hard on quality..

So what about the Art of crochet, well the first issue you get a 4mm hook (so that's the 99p already) a dvd showing a few very, very basics of crochet, a leaflet doing the same again, a leaflet extolling the virtues of the later issues and a slightly longer magazine, with some basic stitches, the first blanket square, and a few other patterns. The yarn you get is two balls. a 16g one of a light brown (for practising) and a 25g of a raspberry (for the first square), both are acrylic and OK quality but nothing special. I assume from what is said the 25g is the normal size of yarn you will get each issue.

I don't think I'd make the blanket, I don't much like many of the squares but the colours are OK and I could see using them for other squares. I can also see it might be worth getting the first few issues to see what it is like. If you subscribe you get issues 2 and 3, 2 more balls of yarn, a yarn case, a travel case and a hook roll plus a binder and dividers for 1.99.. From then on you get 4 issues every 4 weeks at 2.99 per issue.. there are a couple more extras you can get with the first couple of deliveries depending how you pay. I suspect it would get samey very fast and these days with the wealth of on-line free patterns and so forth there is far less need for a cheap gradual information source like this but the small bite size nature can make it easier to get your head round than the over wealming amount of info you get on the net. For someone starting off the first few issues might be quite useful to give you an easy slow in to the craft.. 120 issues is probably over kill though so I suspect there is a fairly fast fall off of subscribers.


Sibyl Harbinger said...

I've also bought this issue and will be looking to purchase the next few. But like you, I am not impressed with the blanket. The pattern from the first issue was nice (good, strong colour) but the resulting square was the texture I would expect from a jacket or bath mat, rather than a blanket. It was rather nice though.

I think the biggest problem with a lot of the squares in the blanket for me is the embroidered symbols on them. Most of them just look messy. So I shall leave them out.

When you compare the blanket to some of the others available online and in books, it's pretty poor. But would be a good place to start for learners. Personally, I prefer something like this:

As an intermediate crocheter, I think I shall be buying the magazine when I like the look of it, rather than every week. After all, a 100g ball of acrylic yarn of similar quality should only cost about £1, and I have loads of hooks. I don't think the bags and other things they offer are worth the money. I store my yarn in a Marks and Spencer bag (the big black one with the solid handles). It holds loads, it's sturdy and is cheap. When I read the small print for subscriptions, it said something about charging for extra 'Folders' when they became available, at a mere £4.99 each! Wow. For a folder? I think not.

On the whole, a good magazine to get beginners started, but I don't see many people sticking it out for 120 issues!

Esther said...

I like the blanket you linked to Sibyl and I also think you are right about it being a good starting place but not a long term thing to buy.

roxie-17 said...

well i cant get my hands on it anywhere as a beginer i would realy appreciate if someone had one that could be sold to me thanks...

Kirsty said...

Ok, so I'm a bit late with this but I just thought I'd let you know my experiences of subscribing to The Art of Crochet, or rather non experience.

I bought the first and second issues from my local newsagents. I then suscribed to the magazine through their website. I received a welcome pack email straightaway detailing the T's & C's and confirming my first delivery of issues 2, 3 and the first of the free gifts should be received within 14 days. This was the 14th January but here I am on the 2nd March still waiting for my delivery. I believe those purchasing the magazine from newsagents are now on issue 9!

I've lost count the number of times I've rang the customer 'care' line and emailed them. Now I have nothing against foreign customer service centres, but when the staff cannot grasp basic English, problems are bound to arise.

All in all, I'm no longer bothering as it's causing me too much hassle. I've probably spent upwards of £10 on phone calls with nothing to show for it.

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