On Not-Hoarding Crafting Magazines

Last night at knit group, my friend K brought in a small stack of crafting magazines to give away. “I’ve read them,” she said, “and I’m done with them now.”

In her stack was the recent “Red” issue of Piecework and the Spring 2014 issue of Interweave Knits. I snapped up Piecework immediately (I love the historical articles) and would have contended for the other…except I already had my own copy at home.

Piecework March/April 2014
Interweave Knits, Spring 2014

It’s very hard to bring myself to give away crafting magazines. Each one is full of project ideas, technique instructions, gorgeous pictures, and interesting stories. In giving one of my precious magazines away, I feel I am giving away the ideas, beauty and learning that are inside them too.

This is how one becomes a hoarder. Simple objects become engorged with meaning and emotion and you lose your ability to treat them like objects any more.

I’ve watched far too many episodes of Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive to ever let this happen to me.

Bettmann / CORBIS An image of one of the rooms in the junk-filled Collyer Mansion in Manhattan, home of Langley Collyer, a compulsive hoarder. Read more: Hoarding: How Collecting Stuff Can Destroy Your Life – TIME

I won’t let this happen to me. However painful it might be, I must follow in K’s footsteps. I must make a habit of purging my magazines on a regular basis. When new magazines come in each quarter (most are quarterly) I shall review my collection and choose which ones must go. I  must let go of my fear that, someday, I will regret the loss of a magazine, that there will be some pattern or some article in it I would have found valuable, if only I hadn’t jettisoned it in a fit of anti-hoarding fever.

No single magazine is worth it.

Besides, if I really need the magazine back again, I can download a copy to my iPad. That doesn’t take any physical space at all…


  1. I have a whole stack of Women’s Weekly magazines from the 70s.
    I don’t think I would ever knit anything from them, but the thought of just putting them in the rubbish bin gives me the shivers.
    But I love reading them and flicking through the patterns.

  2. It’s hard to part with some knitting magazines. I just gave away quite a few though and have decided no more subscriptions.

  3. I haven’t even received my Spring Interweave yet! Your friend is extreme. Having said that, I have been doing a similar thing and refining my magazine collection. Certain magazines I will never knit anything from, and they have been donated to charity. However, I have kept all my favourites. Vogue, Interweave, Knitscene. The Knitter isn’t too bad either. I’ve been picking projects from those mags that I didn’t like at the time, but now I think they’re wonderful.

  4. I have stopped buying magazine unless I’m really really really certain I MUST have a pattern, which is extremely rare these days since I’m trying to master a basic sweater to fit (another story). But I also haven’t thrown out ANY knitting mags from when I used to buy them. One of these days, I’ll tear into them, ripping out the patterns I want and keep them in a SINGLE binder (must commit to just one!).

  5. That’s one thing Ravelry has really solved for me – not only do digital patterns mean no hordes of magazines taking over my house, but I never buy a magazine or book just to get that one pattern I wanted anymore either. I still have a couple knitting mags laying around from my pre-Rav days, and I probably won’t ever part with them, but I’m okay with that!

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