Last week I picked up a Christmas edition of a Cross Stitch magazine and despite the fact that there is possibly less than one percent of a chance I will ever actually stitch any of the patterns I like in it – I bought it.

Magazine covers

I have other magazines like this in my stash of “someday” possibilities. I have them over a variety of crafts – sewing, knitting, quilting and cross stitch (and lets not forget cooking!) Since I have discovered the public library apps that give you magazine access and also subscribed to some favorites on ZINIO the number of hard copy magazines I actually possess has decreased dramatically, but there are still moments when I just want the pictures and paper to flick through. 

I think for many of us, especially if we have kids, it can feel kind of hard to justify an often expensive craft magazine if we dont think we are actually going to make anything from it. I remember once making a rather wry comment to the guy who owned a rather awesome newsagent under the building where I worked, about how I didn’t know why I was buying a magazine as I would never find time to make anything out of it. He paused for a moment as he put it in the bag to look up and ask me “Does that matter? Isn’t it enough to enjoy looking through it and imagining?” And of course the answer to that is “YES!” 

While the cynical could argue that he was just trying to sell magazines – I have always been grateful for that “aha” moment. For me it connected in with the importance of how being is enough at times, rather than doing. I still have that magazine and I still look through it and enjoy the projects, along with some other favorites. Probably most years I will buy at least one craft magazine around Christmas time because something catches my eye – I am also much more relaxed about it hitting the recycling later in the year once my enjoyment of it has passed.

I also find it fascinating that the more we get easy digital access to books and patterns, the more the market has grown for beautifully produced print publications with wonderful aesthetics. It is as if we have reflected on the art of the printed text – typography, paper stock, layout, words, to think of what are the attributes that will make us want to hold and keep something as a piece of craft art in its own right. Knitting magazines like PomPom, Laine and Amarisu are things of beauty which earn their place on the shelf. Although that doesn’t seem to have become the case to quite the same degree in other crafts yet. 

In the meantime I am feeling tempted to dig out a very old cross stitch pattern I tore out of a magazine many years ago to consider if this is the year I might finally make it, and check out if the Christmas issue of New Zealand Cuisine is out yet so I can get my son to bring a copy over for me.


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