Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Creative Knitting Spring 2018: A Review

Today we're going to have a look at Creative Knitting's Spring 2018 issue.

Below the Pier. This is a rather attractive piece, but I can't help thinking that given its rectangular shape -- which is an awkward shape for a shawl -- it would look better sized up somewhat and left on a couch.

Buttercup Tunic. Beautiful stitchwork in this, but that enlongated sleeve and body length isn't for every woman. However, it's easy to shorten the pattern to suit the intended wearer.

Cabotage Cardigan. Not a fan of this one. Open front cardigans tend to look too small (and this isn't one of the exceptions) and the rolling edges look unfinished.

Cruising Cowlette. This is a pretty little scarf.

Elland Shawl. This is a beautiful wrap with great shaping and texture.

Everywhere Eyelets. This isn't bad. The asymmetrical panel in the front may be making me a little twitchy, but I'm doing my best to firmly suppress that, as it has a rather offbeat appeal. This sweater would be a fun one to do in a crazy variegated yarn and to wear with jeans.

Hilo Cardigan. This piece, with its smocked-like yoke and cap sleeves, is quite cute. I totally could not carry this look off personally, but it would be adorable on the gamine type who could.

Peach Pullover. A standard tee. This is one to make in an interesting yarn.

Princeville Vest. Not a fan of this one, but I think I might like it better if it were made in a more interesting yarn with a more attractive buckle. It looks a little too plain and sensible this way, and consequently has the effect of some sort of 1920s undergarment, and I'm not talking about the undergarment found on the kind of twenties-era girl who danced the Charleston and carried a flask in one of her garters.

Scarlet Skies. Not bad. Both shaping and stitchwork are good.

Shifting Cypress. Beautiful lacework in this.

Skygate Stole. Love the gradient colour used here, and the stitchwork is lovely, but I do wish the designer had gone with another shape than rectangular.

Smooth Sailing Shawl. This is kind of fun in an offbeat way. I can't help thinking the shawl didn't get the best styling here, and isn't being shown to advantage.

Temple Valley Vest. I'm not a fan of these long, draped, trailing vests. They're impractical and don't tend to be too flattering. Even this professional model isn't quite working this carefully styled and posed look.

Topsail Tee. I'm quite liking the fan motif on the yoke, and the shaping isn't bad, but I would add some sort of trim to the sleeves and neckline to make them look finished. That neckline looks positively ragged.

Waterdrop Pullover. Good shaping and finishing, and I like that this designer did something new with the eyelet pattern by giving the eyelets a teardrop shape.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Pom Pom Quarterly Spring 2018: A Review

Pom Pom Quarterly has released its Spring 2018 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Cablegram. Classic cabled cap.

Carimbo. These mitts are cute and fun. I like the playfulness of the colour scheme and the two patterns.

Durumi. An eye-catching and contemporary reinvention of the classic fair isle.

Perfin. I'm rather liking the stitchwork in this one, but the shape is so terribly frumpy. This sweater looks like it belongs to a landlady who goes about in curlers and run-down slippers, leaves her teeth in the laundry room, and has eight mangy cats and a yappy, randy dog.

Postmark. These socks are super cute!

Tête-Bêche. Very cute hat.

Timbromania. A simple, pretty, and extremely wearable summer top.

Treskilling. I like the delicate, interlacing detail around the neck of this, but not the shaping, which despite the model and photographer's best efforts is so unflattering.

Vaffel. This one doesn't have the greatest shape either, but it's passable.

Vita de Vie. Quite attractive and wearable. The lacy detailing on the front and back is all the interest this pullover needs, and it's well shaped.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Vogue Knitting Late Winter 2018: A Review

Vogue Knitting has released its Late Winter 2018 issue, and it features actress Krysten Ritter on its cover. Ritter has appeared on the Facebook page for this blog twice previously: when she first took a journalist who was interviewing her yarn shopping with her, and then gave her knitting lesson afterwards; and then when she taught (or made a valiant attempt to teach) Stephen Colbert to knit during an appearance on The Late Show. I already liked Ritter for her appealing screen presence and admired her for her acting, so her evangelical passion for our craft is a delightful bonus. That said, let's have a look at the knitwear she models for us (and in one case, designed herself!), as well as the other designs in this issue, shall we?

Pattern #1, Turtleneck Dress. If you're a depressed and exhausted homeschooling mother of seven whose only social contact with other adults is to call your own mother every night and cry because you can't get your kids to go to bed, this is the look for you.

Pattern #2, Cable Inset Cardigan. The stitchwork in this piece is good, but the overal lines and shaping isn't. This has such a visually dragged-out, bottom-heavy, shapeless look.

Pattern #3, Colorblock Cabled Pullover. Sigh. Vogue Knitting seems to have gone full out frumpy for this issue.

Pattern #4, Cable Pullover. Classic cabled pullover.

Pattern #5, Cabled Pullover. I rather like this one, in which the designer has taken the classic cabled pullover in a slightly different direction by varying the direction of the cables.

Pattern #6, Two-Tier Pullover. The designer of this sweater went for an innovative look by including a cropped top over layer, but I don't think it works. I keep staring at it thinking that there must have been shrinkage or a yarn shortage involved in its construction, and that's never a good reaction to a knitwear design.

Pattern #7, Easy Krysten Sweater. Respect to Krysten Ritter's modelling skills, but I don't really care for her design. I think I'd fix the dropped shoulders, add a little waist-shaping, and be sure to do this sweater in an interesting yarn to give this very basic design the oomph that it will need when Krysten Ritter isn't it.

Pattern #8, Slouchy Raglan. I'd neaten up the fit on this one by quite a lot. The armhole shaping appears to start at the waist level, and even the professional model it's on can't quite carry that off.

Pattern #9, Simple Cardigan. This is another piece that is pure "depressed and exhausted homeschooling mother of seven" style.

Pattern #10, Seed Stitch Pullover. I am not opposed to a seed stitch oversized turtleneck in theory, but the reality is there's oversized that is "a relaxed, comfortable fit", and then there's oversized that "fits like a house and will knock things over every time you turn around". Guess which one this is.

Pattern #11, Pompom Wrap. This is kind of fun in its way, but I can't imagine actually wearing a wrap of this size and bulk. I'd be inclined to make this "wrap" a little larger and then leave it on the couch.

Pattern #12, Big Chill Wrap. This is a beautiful piece of work, and it's supposed to be worn as a wrap, but it would be another piece I would feel belonged on the couch.

Pattern #13, Chunky Cardigan. This thing fits and sits so poorly. I've seen tents I was more tempted to wear.

Pattern #14, Cable Pullover. Another classic cabled pullover, this time in a standard fit.

Pattern #15, Brioche Pullover. This piece is reminding me of Dakota Fanning's fabulous puffed sleeve costume ensembles in the late nineteenth century drama The Alienist, but although it is an interesting and original piece with some fantastic brioche stitchwork, it could stand a few tweaks to make it more flattering. I'd fix the dropped shoulders and make the body a little longer and neater-fitting in order to balance out those leg o' mutton sleeves.

Pattern #16, Chevron Lace Vest. The lacework and the hand-dyed yarn used here are beautiful, but these unstructured trailing pieces basically never appeal to me.

Pattern #17, Feather Cowl. Inventive, whimsical, and wearable.

Pattern #18, Waterfall Shawl. This is another shawl that looks as though it belongs on a couch, and more specifically, on your Great Aunt Myrtle's couch. Doing this piece in a solid colour or at least a less "granny afghan"-like colourway would help, as the lacework is quite attractive.

Pattern #19, Domino Shawl. A attractive, wearable and contemporary wrap that definitely looks as though it belongs on a person.

Pattern #20, Woven Scarf. Nice texture and an interesting construction on this scarf, unsurprisingly, as it was designed by the ever-inventive Nicky Epstein.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Interweave Quick + Easy Knits: A Review

Interweave has released a magazine of Quick + Easy Knits. Let's have a look at it.

Bistro and Cucina Kitchen Dish Towels. I rather like the striped one in the foreground, which is a nice take on the classic striped dish towel, but the mustard-bordered one in the background is not nearly so pleasing.

Cable Knit Wall Hanging. I know I'm a big advocate of busting down the stash to a reasonable size, but I don't think we need to be so desperate to use up our odds and ends of yarn as this.

Chunky Bandana Cowl. Cowls should look like cowls, as opposed to a repurposed test swatch randomly slung around the neck.

Chunky Knit Baskets. I've got my doubts about how well knitted baskets will hold their shape when filled with heavy items, but I suppose knitted covers would be a nice and inexpensive way to camouflage unattractive or damaged but still functional baskets or pots. These do look rather smart.

Chunky Knit Pouf. These would be so handy for a child's room.

Crispy Cowl. This isn't bad. The stitchwork is good and the play of colour is eye-catching.

Easy Two-Color, One-Row Anyone Scarf. This is presentable enough. I'd add a fringe though, as the edges look a little unfinished as is.

Effortless Legwarmers. These are basic but they'll do for a way to showcase an beautiful or interesting yarn.

Farmhouse Flats. These are... okay... though I do prefer slippers with a little more shape and style to them. But then that's hard to find.

Gully Gloves. I'd definitely go with the "garter stitch top band" version of these half gloves. The ones that are ringed from top to bottom look a little too Slinky-like.

Keaton. Cute and wearable.

Playful Stripes. This is a fun, colourful piece, and it would be a great way to do some stash busting.

Reflecting Pool. This one's a little too rough and ready for my tastes, though it's serviceable enough.

Star Garland. This garland of stars is totally cute, and would make a fun and pretty country-style Christmas decoration, or a fanciful decoration for a nursery.

Stripey Pillow Top. Not bad overall, though I have my suspicions as to how good the seam looks.

Textured Throw Pillow. Quite nice! The design on the front is simple yet very effective and handsome.

There's a Chill in De Aire Blanket. Not bad, though I don't like that unfinished-looking edge on the ends of it. Though that's easily remedied with a band of garter stitch -- to match the one at the sides.

Tube: A Super-Simple Slipper Sock. There's no denying that these are rather cute. However, those rolls of sock at the ankle compel me to say that it's better to choose a heeled sock design.

Tyson Hat. This hat is as basic as it gets, but it's wearable enough.

These mittens are basic, but the yarn used for them adds a lot to their appeal and attraction.