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Chicago team is seeking Kickstart help to launch a local knitting magazine

Chicago Knits magazine will be launching with the aid of Kickstarter in the spring.
credit Kim Richardson

The greater Chicago area, with over thirty local yarn shops and more than one thriving local knitting guild to its credit, is about to see a new splash on the shelves next to publications such as Vogue Knitting Magazine and Interweave Knits. The collaborative brainchild of graphic designer Kim Richardson, Sifu Design Studio owner Lisa Whiting, and with the support of several local friends and colleagues, the inaugural issue of Chicago Knits magazine will launch in April 2014.

The new magazine aims to be strictly Chicago-centric, with local designers, shop owners, and Chicago-only features to be included with prominence in every issue. The first issue will have its official launch at YarnCon, located at the Plumber's Union Hall in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago from April 5 to 6. The issue will feature patterns for both knitting and crochet, an interview with Whiting as a store owner and designer, and several features including an article following the crafty path of a brand-new knitter.

With several thousand knitters in the greater Chicago area and an extended knitting family from Milwaukee to Rockford to Indianapolis, Chicago Knits magazine will offer something unique on the shelves next to their national counterparts. The publication is based with local flair but still supported nationally by the yarn and notion companies whose products are used in the featured patterns. The magazine will also contain information for spinners, which many national publications only spot-feature instead of making the subject a recurring point of interest.

In order to fund the first issue of the magazine, which will be released quarterly by season, the founders have set up a Kickstarter account for donations. The money raised will go toward printing and shipping, as the first issue will have no advertising. Some of the money will also go toward fees associated with commissioning designs, and printing subscription cards so all interactions with the first magazine can result in the potential for a subscriber. The cost to purchase the magazine will be $7.99 per issue, and will cost $24.99 for an annual subscription.

According to Richardson, the Kickstarter campaign runs until March 14, with a goal of raising $5,000 to help defray the cost of the inaugural publication. Donors will be thanked publicly in the first issue, and and more generous donors may also receive a free copy of the magazine, a free one-year subscription, and even a hand-knit custom-made monogrammed sweater for a donation of $500 or more.

For more information regarding the new Chicago Knits magazine, the website is up and running and questions can be directed from the "Contact Us" page. In the meantime, the Kickstart can ensure Chicagoans have their very own local knitting and yarncraft magazine for years to come, and as with other ventures on Kickstarters, no donation is too small.

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