I have been a longtime fan of the online knitting magazine Knitty. Maybe not from the very beginning in 2002, but probably pretty soon thereafter. I was just getting back into knitting after a hiatus in college, and I loved that there was a place to find inspiring, cool designs without having to go buy a book that might have one pattern you wanted to knit in it.
Amy Singer, editor and founder of Knitty, says that when Knitty began “it freaked people out” to be able to find high-quality patterns online. “It was completely free and it didn’t stink,” she said.
A lot has changed in the 13 years since Knitty began, but its mission is the same: to bring knitters amazing patterns, to inspire and publish new knitting designers and to share projects from the names we already know and love. Lots of knitters who are now household names (to us, anyway) have been published there, and lots of now classic knitting patterns were published there, too (I’ve still got to knit a Clapotis).
What has changed is the online advertising environment, the number of people willing to buy ads, what they will spend on them and the number of readers who click them. Singer reports the magazine has been making less money every issue recently, and they’re now making less than they did in 2008.
This is sad news, and we definitely don’t want Knitty to go away. And while Singer says “we’re going to remain free as long as we are able to publish,” that time could be limited without more financial support.
So the magazine has started a campaign on Patreon, which is “like an ongoing Kickstarter,” she says. It enables people to pledge a certain amount per issue (as little as $2) to help support its production.
Contributors get rewards at different levels, ranging from access to a news feed to getting a look at the latest issues 24 hours early, to swag and a private Facebook group.
The money will go toward ongoing costs like server costs and giving staff and designers a raise. Depending on how much is raised, funds could also go toward redesigning the site, making it more mobile friendly and updating old issues to work better with new technology.
I can’t imagine a knitting world without Knitty; if you feel the same way I hope you’ll contribute. And share your Knitty stories here!