I'm a sucker for a knitting magazine. I like to look at them, and I frequently find "Special Issues" to be more exciting than the actual magazine. (Actually, Interweave, I'm looking directly at you on that one. Lately I like Knitscene better than IK, for whatever reason.) Anyhow, here's my take.
The bottom line: Do you need this? No, it's not essential, but there are some interesting things in it.
There are a few attractive patterns, but there's nothing that really jumps out at me as an amazing fantastic "wow, I really need to knit that 5 minutes ago," but there are things I would make out of the magazine.
First, an article on novels about knitting.
Next, "Friday." Starts strong, with a pretty Kathy Zimmerman guy sweater, and a cute kid's sweater by Wendy Bernard. Two of my favorites in this issue. Kid pants, and a capelet are next. Then a sweater that is meant to be reversible. My feeling about this is that anyone who has seen me in person will realize that the shape of my chest and my back are rather dissimilar, and this sweater is designed for a much different body type than my own. A blurb about sizing things for kids, and some simple socks. The patterns follow, with commentary. Much more mixed than the current layout of IK.
Next, an article on teaching kids to knit. I admit to have not read this yet. "Saturday Morning." A really basic, very wearable women's cardigan. (I would knit this, and actually might.) A cute baby jacket, and a kitchen towel. A very interesting basket out of some ridiculously huge yarn. Probably costs a fortune, but at least it was done to make a sculptural piece instead of clothing. A pillow, with a super simple and elegant design. I really dig it, actually, and am intrigued by the color. Probably a deceptively expensive project. Awesome button. Next an apron and a hat. More pattern information and words.
An article on fiber festivals. More patterns - a guy sweater and a scarf by Ann Budd, and a cardigan by Annie Modesitt. The cardigan is not me, but it's interesting. Next, "Sunday," and a cardigan that is cut in a current style that I personally don't find flattering, and can't pull off, but I like the color a lot and the stitch pattern. Another guy sweater - I get the concept, but I'm not sure I like the placement of the design element. A cute cloche hat, which would either look adorable or horrible on me. A cowl neck sweater. Can't personally wear them, and this particular one would add a good 30 pounds on me. Kid shrug. A lace cardigan in bulky wool - again, not my style or cut. Very current lines, but I'm not shaped right for it.
Simple colorwork hat and mittens. Some designer interviews (They're all very cute, and look happy. I like the photos.) Staff projects - a vest, a scarf, a bag, and a vest. Next page is a dog vest (? Really not for me.) Two plain simple cardigans I like a lot, and would personally wear. The down side to both of them is bunching of fabric around the armhole - oh, and the patterns are online, not in the magazine. An absolutely ridiculous hat - I'm sorry - I get what you're doing, but I'm not that much of an exhibitionist.
Overall, the layout reminds me a lot of the first IK that came out when Eunny Jang first took over. I don't have really strong feelings in favor of or against this issue - and I think it does serve it's purpose of patterns for relaxed, low stress weekend knitting of casual clothing.
Peek for yourself here. Thoughts?