I wrote my first ‘Letter from the Publisher’ 99 issues ago
when working at The Golden Fleece on Phillips Avenue
and moonlighting on Knitter’s Magazine (see ‘3 friends,
1 pizza, 9 little words,’page 20).
Those heady days of youthful energy and dreams—”How hard can
it be? Let’s publish a magazine!”—came alive recently as Phillips
Avenue became memory lane as well as Knitter’s 100 outdoor studio.
Deciding to shoot the magazine where it all began—beautiful
downtown Sioux Falls— means flying in models from photo shoot
paradise, Miami Beach. And here we are with someone you might
recognize: Lydia poses on the banks of the Big Sioux River (see
Choice, our cover model (and Lydia’s good friend
from Miami Beach) was already in South Dakota.
Her family lives just outside of town. What are the chances?
We also need a guy model. Our friend Terri Carlson
mentions that her son Corey is coming to town—and
don’t we think he is model material? Of course he is.
He’s smiling with his mom (bottom, opposite page)
and posing on his bike—he’s a racer—on page 105.
Terri isn’t the only one who brings along her son. So
does stylist Lisa Mannes, whose son Spencer joins
my assistants Jason and Andrew Reinartz.
Lisa times stoplights as we shoot: “It’s yellow; start shooting! Go, go, go!” she shouts, making
sure there are no cars in our shot at the busy 11th and Phillips intersection. Oops, there goes
the trolley (above left).
Phillips Avenue with its colorful specialty shops, outdoor restaurants, and Sculpture Walk is a wonderful location, and we’re taking over 50 shots: “We thought of many ways of celebrating our 100th Issue,” says Knitter’s Editor Rick Mondragon. “It was tempting to think of 100 designs, but that would have meant a quadruple issue. So we settled for a double issue with over 230 pages and about 50 patterns.”
Since my other outdoor studio—the Falls of the Big Sioux River—is underwater
because of flooding, we knock on the Bauers’ door. Their stucco home, with its arched
front door and French shutters on quiet, leafy 25th Street, is just the right backdrop for
our ‘Woodsy’ collection. Elisabeth Bauer and her two children (see opposite page,
bottom right) welcome us.
Just a block from our Pink House (see group shot, opposite page) Maggie and Lou
Barnett open wide the doors to their Victorian home (opposite
page, top). And across the street from the Pink House, Mary and
Jim are giving their painted lady a new coat (opposite page,
bottom). So Kassidy, our youngest model (that’s her and dad
Roger Kasa, opposite page, top) gets her close-up on our porch
instead of the Glenskis’.
At lunch at Casa del Rey—whose multicolored façade we also
used as a backdrop (see opposite page)—Book Editor Elaine
Rowley looks back.
“We’re now in the big-numbers-stage of life and
publication,” Elaine says, “and after all these years, my
love is still the process of knitting. My hope is that knitters
will understand, enjoy, and be free to build on that
process. The sweater is important, but the process is
where we want to go.
“We look back with some satisfaction and some pride. In our closets are garments knit
from those early issues that are still viable, that we can wear. And, in these changeable
times, it’s remarkable that some of the wonderful people we worked with so long ago
have designs in this issue. A lot of the yarn companies are here too, and some of the
“You’ll also find what we love most: to empower knitters by allowing them to see the possibilities. It’s always been our goal to have a little fun presenting the best magazine we can and send it out into the world feeling that everybody has a fighting chance to knit something they’re going to be proud of. And that, a year or two from now, they’ll be more confident knitters than they are today.
“To not be afraid of their knitting. To love it. Enjoy it. Not have
it be something that frustrates them, but something that they
have as much sense of accomplishment in as we do in getting
Knitter’s out the door 100 times. So on their 100th sweater,
they’re still knitting, and like us, they can’t wait for the next one.”
And this Issue is not just going out the door, but also onto the
World Wide Web. “We’re delighted that the digital version of
Knitter’s is debuting with K100,” says XRX, Inc. CEO Benjamin
Levisay. “It’s wonderful that we are able, after 26 years of
publication, to offer our digital collector’s double-issue for free.
It’s our thanks to everyone in the Knitting Universe who has supported us.”
Now knitters outside the U.S.—including my sister Anna in Sydney, Australia—won’t have to wait so long for their magazine to reach them. You can find out more about Knitter’s digital edition on page 231. When I wrote my first publisher’s letter, Benjamin was a little boy weaving on a rigid-heddle loom at The Golden Fleece (see page 20). Who could have guessed that he’d grow up to so ably follow in our footsteps, or that I would have the pleasure to do what I love 100 times?
It’s been a wonderful journey, made richer by the extraordinary people of the Knitting Universe like former Editor Nancy Thomas, Knitter’s Editor Rick Mondragon, our supportive advertisers, our talented designers, and wonderful staff.
It’s been a priviledge shooting and writing for Knitter’s and our truly great readers. Thank you.
From the Publisher
Alexis Xenakis, Publisher