Friday, 29 November 2013

Twist Collective Winter 2013: A Review

Twist Collective has published their Winter 2013 issue. Which, besides the patterns, includes four articles I totally recommend: an article on darning techniques; one on how to adjust the sleeve length of a finished sweater; one on the process of making historically accurate costumes; and one, by Franklin Habit, on the three yarn shops he especially remembers. But let's get to the main course and take a look at the patterns.

The Folki design. I want to like this, because I like the concept of a dress with a matching and removable cowl, but I don't care for the execution of this one. This tunic will make most women (including this model) look dumpy and frumpy and that cowl bears a more than passing resemblance to a Christmas tree skirt.

The Cypri shawl is beautiful and visually striking.

The Concertina cardigan. Whenever I see a pattern for an asymmetrical cardigan I always wonder how it will look worn open. It turns out this one has been designed to be worn open or closed, and it has a very good overall shape. Nice work.

The Lawsonia design. I think this one would look cute on some hip young girl or woman. Put it on a woman over 30 and she'll look like she walked off a Soviet Russia propaganda poster.

The Ptolemy shawl is exquisite.

Love the Peloponnese cardigan. This is my favourite type of clothing design: basically wearable and classic with a bit of modern edge to keep the look interesting.

The Bascule tam and fingerless mitts set. I very much like this one too. The pattern is striking but not so bold that it would be hard to make it work with the rest of an outfit.

The Torque stole. I rather like this one as well. It's an interesting modern piece, and with its gear-like motif I can see it going over well with the steampunk set.

The Hepworth design is a simple, serviceable cardigan with some detail to keep things interesting. Love the back view.

The Scrimshaw cap is kind of cute, but the shape is a little wonky.

The Thorntower cardigan. I rather like this one. It won't look good worn open, which is a shame, but otherwise it's a solid piece of work with good lines. I especially like the way the hem curves up in the front.

The Quill vest. This one is maybe not the most exciting piece, but it will be a useful and wearable one. The lattice effect on the front was a good idea as helps make the ribbing (which tends to bulk up the wearer) more flattering.

The Dessa cowl and tam set is really lovely. My one quibble is that I would make the cowl a little longer so it could be doubled around the neck. It looks a little spare tire-ish worn single at this length.

The Joist design is a nice modern take on the shawl-collared cable pullover.

Very much like the Sulwen pullover. It will flatter any woman, can be worn nearly anywhere, and the cabled sleeves give it some interesting texture.

The Sigulda design. The patterned circular yoke pullover is an old chestnut of knitting design that's been done thousands of times, yet this one manages to look like a new take on it with its waffle-patterned body and Art Deco-like yoke pattern.

The Ceana hat and mittens set is quite cute. The gold yarn used here gives it a beehive-like effect, but I see it in blue, which would make it look more like bubbles.

The Calabash design. Another simple, wearable design. This one calls for a yarn that will wear well and is in your favourite colour, because the wearer will want to live in it in winter.

The Ruddington cardigan. Very much like the clever checkerboard-like cable arrangement on the front.

The Sablier cardigan. This one's a basic classic, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

The Piscataqua cardigan. Very prettily detailed little piece.

The Mitsu socks. Very much like these with their crisp, graphic patterning.

The Keynote cardigan is a very classic knitting pattern, but is a good example of one. The lines are particularly good and there is waist shaping.

The Isen design. This is another lovely and interesting shawl that has that "updated classic" look. I love the fluted edges.

Not sure I can get behind the built-in fingerless mitt feature of the Tarian design, even though I am sure they could be folded back into cuffs when desired. They just look silly worn down, as though the sleeves are too long and have holes in them. Otherwise I like the design, with its "updated Gansey" style.

The Lumi cowl. This design isn't bad. It's maybe a little on the rough and unfinished side for my tastes.

The Tuin design. This is very pretty, like Delft china translated into knitwear.

The Bayonne socks are nicely detailed and finished.

The Ephyra pullover. I like this on the whole, but I do think that textured strip up the right side of the sweater could have used a little more work. It looks a little crude as is. Otherwise, this design has good lines and it was a good idea to line up the asymmetrical collar with the textured strip.

I rather like the Greek Steps tunic, though the lines of the body may be a bit too blunt and rectangular for flattery. I'd be inclined to add a little waist shaping at least.

The Mayura cowl and mittens set. I very much like this one, which is definitely going to be impossible not to notice. The colours used here are a little retina burning, but in a good way.

The Prototype hat and fingerless mitts. I don't like the Prototype set as well as I like the Mayura, but it's presentable enough.

The Moogies mittens design is very cute and actually has a little sophistication, which is a rare thing in cat knitwear.

The Chimayo cowl and hat set. I quite like both these pieces, though I wondering if wearing them together might be a little much, visually. But then it seems the set is meant to be shared.

The Pixie Farts mittens. Before I noticed the name of this pattern, I was looking at the mittens and trying to decide if those were snowflakes. Having seen the name, I must concede that the motifs can only be what the pattern name says they are. Cute pattern and that name may just be the best pattern name ever.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

A Cornucopia of Thanksgiving Patterns

Last month I did a post for Canada's Thanksgiving Day that was autumnal-themed rather than specifically related to Thanksgiving so I could save the turkey, pilgrim, and cornucopia patterns for the American Thanksgiving Day post. But when it came time to write today's post, I found I again had to fall back on selecting some generically autumnal patterns in order to fill out the set of patterns, because it turns out that a lot of turkey, pilgrim, and cornucopia patterns are really pretty tacky. However, I did find a rather decent set of patterns that were very much in keeping with the spirit of the day, and I hope you like them.

The above pattern is the Fall Pumpkin design, by Sarah Hawkins. This pattern is available for free and these little pumpkins might be used to make Thanksgiving decorations, such as a centrepiece. A little knit pumpkin might also be used as a pin cushion.

These little Pilgrim Bears, by Noreen Crone-Findlay, are just too cute. The pattern originally appeared in From Knitting Today! #7 in October/November 2011, and Your Knitting Life, October/November 2011. Back issues of these magazines can be ordered.

This is the Teeves Turkey, by Lisa Tomko. This pattern is available for $5.00(USD).

This Fall Wreath, by Lion Brand Yarn, is felted but too pretty not to include. This pattern is available for free.

This is the Pumpkin Patch Socks design, by Maggie van der Stok. This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download.

This is the Pilgrim Bonnet, by Heather Buelow. I can't imagine anyone other than a plain dress Quaker having any use for a pilgrim bonnet unless it's for a Halloween costume (even in the promo shot it's used for yarn bombing), but in the event that you do want one, this one is quite a well-designed example and the pattern is available for free.

This sweater with its striking wheat-like device is the Eastlake design, by Norah Gaughan. This pattern appeared in Berroco's pamphlet, Norah Gaughan Vol. 3.

The Waves of Grain scarf, by Rosemary (Romi) Hill, is a Knitty pattern and therefore available for free.

This is the Pumpkin Patch Baby Blanket, by Dawn Brocco, and of course it could be lengthened and/or widened to be a full-sized afghan. This pattern is available for $6.00(USD).

This is the Pumpkin Spice cushion pattern, by Michelle Treese. This pattern was originally published in Creative Knitting's September 2011 issue.

These are the Little Pumpkins fingerless mitts design, by Chris Abbott. This pattern is available for $4.00(USD).