Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2018: A Review

Vogue Knitting has released its Spring/Summer 2018 issue. Let's have a look at it. Unfortunately I won't be able to link to the Ravelry page for each design as I normally do, because as of this writing, only two of the patterns have Ravelry pages.

Pattern #1. This has some impressive stitchwork in it, but the lines of it are not all that flattering or practical.

Pattern #2. Some quite distinctive detailing on this. I'm not sure I care for the rolled effect on the armhole though, or the way the v-neck is finished. I'd be inclined to edge them both with garter stitch to match the bottom hem edging.

Pattern #3. A very nice lacy pullover for summer. I'm imagining this one in a selection of bright, fresh colours or pure white, as this dull oatmeal is doing the design no favours.

Pattern #4. This has a slightly askew, frumpy look. Fixing the dropped shoulders might help somewhat.

Pattern #5. The combination of the romantic, almost Edwardian front with the daring bared back really works, and the varied, yet beautifully integrated stitchwork in this is fantastic.

Pattern #6. This isn't bad. The pattern is attractive, and the little scarf effect is an interesting contemporary touch.

Pattern #7. Really eye-catching and attractive play of colour and pattern here. I'd want to keep going and make an afghan of this. Which is not to say, as I sometimes do, that this wrap would look better on a couch. It's so cool it would work both on a person and on a couch.

Pattern #8. A rather clever and sporty tee.

Pattern #9. A simple tank with its interest lying in the fact that it's knitted in a plush yarn. It would look better if it were slightly neater fitting.

Pattern #10. A very simple yet fetching piece.

Pattern #11. I'm not a big fan of the slit sleeve, but I must admit these sit well and it wouldn't be the same piece if the sleeves were made whole. I would make the body a little longer and slightly neater fitting.

Pattern #12, Cable Tank. This is one of those designs that grew on me as I looked at it. I like the laddering at the sides and the simple cable detailing. I suspect most women won't care to wear such a deep neckline, especially when this is a piece that will require a strapless bra, but that's easily corrected.

Pattern #13. Oooh, this shaped ribbed sleeveless dress is simple and flattering and classic. I would totally wear this.

Pattern #14. A well-shaped mesh tunic. Though the "what a bee threw up after overdosing on a lilac bush"-coloured yarn wasn't a particularly happy choice.

Pattern #15. A lovely wrap. The detail on the edging is fantastic.

Pattern #16. Another very attractive wrap.

Pattern #17, Garter and Lace Shawl. And here's the cover item. Such lovely contemporary-style lacework.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Interweave Knits Summer 2018: A Review

Interweave Knits has released their Summer 2018 issue. Let's have a look at all the summery patterns within.

Arizona Tee. I like the contemporary style lacework in this one, which would make a good cover up for the beach, or an interesting piece to layer over a sundress.

Arkansas River Pullover. An attractive, classic cowl-neck pullover.

Bent's Fort Cardigan. The stitchwork on this is great, and the back is fabulous, but I can't say I care for the ragged-looking way it hangs in the front.

Buena Vista Stole. An attractive piece of lacework.

Candencia Poncho. The cabled stitchwork in this is nice, but I'm not crazy about the way it hangs. The model has adopted a different elaborately casual pose in every single one of the product shots on this design's Ravelry page, and the effect still isn't great.

Desert Nights Cardigan. Good shaping, and an interesting and attractive mosaic pattern.

Flagstaff Tee. A decent-looking vest.

Four Corners Cardigan. Ooh, I quite like this one. The combination of the warm, muted, desert-like colourway and the Southwestern design is appealing.

Indigo Trader Cardigan. Not bad. I like the bold design on the back. This does have a hem that curves down from the front to a larger back, but I think that works better than squared-off mullet hems.

Moab Stole. Another nice stole with lovely stitchwork.

Mojave Top. I don't think this piece is quite working here -- the styling isn't doing this piece any favours -- but I could see it working over a camisole or tank top. The shaping is decent and the lacework is attractive.

Salida Cardigan. A very decent piece. I think I might choose to work those shoulder patches in a less high-contrast colourway.

Taos Tee. This is one of those pieces that tend to only work on tall models. I like the lace detailing in the sleeves, neckline, and back, but if the intended wearer is average height or less, I'd shorten both the sleeves and the length and close up most of that waist-high slit.

Tucson Pullover. This is one of those designs that I didn't think I was going to like at first glance but that grow on me as I look at them. The colourway and the design are offbeat and eye-catching, and the shape is good.

Whitehorn Shawl. Very much like this one. The various stripes give this wrap a different interesting look in each of the various way it's styled on the design's Ravelry page.

Winona Poncho. The wavy lace pattern is attractive, but I don't think I'd be able to tolerate something that had this many loose ends and was so likely to snag on absolutely everything for even an hour of wear. This looks like something the cat dragged in, frankly.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 63: A Review

Today we're going to have a look at Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 63.

Nabeela. I love the stitchwork in this one, and fixing those dropped shoulders would interfere with the pattern significantly, but I can't help wanting to do it anyway, because those sleeves do look so absurdly short. If I were modifying this pattern I might go with a seamless sleeve, picking up stitches from the body and extending the pattern down the sleeve. But then you could just decide you like the loose shape and make it as it is.

Delft Cardigan & Skirt. This is lovely. The shaping of both the cardigan and skirt is good and the Delft china-inspired motif of blue florals on a white background is so beautifully interpreted.

Deeba. A very simple yet effective colour block effect, and the shaping is good.

Isad. This ripple pattern could have looked afghan-y, but this designer took the look an extra mile by employing slipped stitch and stranded techniques, and the result is a polished, contemporary wrap.

Paragon. A smart new twist on the classic striped sweater.

Taibah. I like this coat, with its offbeat colourway and variety of interesting stitchwork. The belt isn't doing much for it. It might be better to add some waist shaping, change the collar to something that sits a bit better, run the buttons up a little higher on the bands, and forego the belt.

Dudson. A simple, well-shaped tank.

Moorcroft. A nice piece -- the side detail is attractive -- but I'd neaten up the fit a little and add waist shaping.

Vanaja. A very decent looking boho-style crocheted bag.

Stafford. I'm finding this one unappealing. It has a rough, wrong-side-out look

Waterford. The pattern in this is quite charming, but the surplice shaping is unflattering even on this professional model.

Kayla. Pretty lacework, but again I don't think the surplice wrap effect works well. Surplices are hard to get right, as I know from having made two that I was so unsatisfied with that I wound up taking them apart again.

Spode. I like the bold, contemporary look of pattern on this one, and it's fun to look at the pattern and figure out what everything is.

Calico. The tucked, multi-layered effect of this pattern is inventive and attractive, but I can't help thinking it would work better on an afghan, as it's a rather bulky effect.

Ziana. As hard as they've tried to style this piece, it still looks like a random swath of knitting slung around the model.

Porcelain. The "teapots and vases" pattern is fun and eye-catching, but the shape is not flattering.

Beswick. A nice, wearable piece, but I'd add more buttons, as that one lone, single, isolated button looks so terribly lonely. NO I AM NOT PROJECTING THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Hasina. This is a basic top, but it's totally wearable and useful as a well-made basic tends to be.

Minton. I like both the colour block effect and the sideways cable/dropped stitch stitchwork of this piece. The design is good too.

Garima. I like the concept of a solid colour body combined with shoulder and sleeve detail, but I would go with a seamless construction here to get rid of that unfortunate shoulder seam in the middle of the detail, and make the body neater fitting.

Wedgewood. Wedgwood, Spode, Delft, Minton, Porcelain, Waterford... Rowan's on a real china kick with this issue, with more we haven't gotten to yet. Not that I'm complaining. I have a bit of thing for beautiful tableware, and china patterns are a great source of inspiration for knitwear design. I quite like this design too, though again, I'd have gone with a seamless sleeve construction here rather than this dropped shoulder seam. Though in the case of this particular sweater, modifying to get rid of a dropped shoulder seam would be a fairly complex job, so unless you are quite skilled you'll probably prefer to just make it the way it is.

Daya. An attractive yet neutral wrap. I like the combination of the contrasting textures.

Haviland. Not a bad tunic, though I'd stop short of the fringe.

Eshana. I like the madras plaid-like effect of this crocheted wrap.

Coalport. Classic cardigan with some interesting and unusual textured stitchwork.

Saguna. This one's as plain as it gets, but then sometimes a simple pullover design like this one is just the right choice for a beautiful yarn.

Tang, Song, Ming. I like all three of these pillows, but I'm not sure I'd use the three of them together. I'd probably pick one design, reverse the colours of it for pillows one and two, and make pillow number three in a solid matching or accent colour.

Lanika. I like the pattern through the body, but this has an unfinished look. Curling edges always do make feel a bit twitchy.

Aynsley. A sharp, graphic effect. I'm dying to see it done in another colourway.

Olena. Pretty, though I wish I could get a look at those front edges to see whether and how they are finished.

Umnia. An interesting combination of mosaic stitchwork and colour blocking, though I don't feel this colourway does the design justice.

Barlin. An attractive and useful summer cardi.

Janan. The shoulder/side shaping is unfortunate, and the sleeves look like a mutation.

Maida. This crocheted cardi has a smart, contemporary appeal.

Gayana. I can't imagine any occasion for which I'd care to wrap a swath of crocheted fabric over my jeans and call it a skirt, and for obvious reasons this "skirt" can't very well be worn on its own.

Foolan. This one is pretty. The round eyelets in its crocheted pattern make me think of octopus suckers, but in a reasonably positive way.

Parul. This tank has the interesting colourway and stitchwork of the coat above without its problematic shaping. A nice piece for summer.