Friday, 31 July 2015

Interweave Knits Fall 2015: A Review

Interweave Knits has released their Fall 2015 issue. Let's take a look at it together, shall we?

Tucker Sweater. This is the cover look, and it's a nice simple piece with good shaping and face-framing detail.

Yellow Gold Pullover. This is a nice piece too, though all the horizontal lines make it less flattering than the previous design.

Woodlake Shawl. The stitchwork in this is very well done, but the piece looks so awkward and bulky and "seventies-era homemaker magazine pattern" as a whole.

Deirdre Shawl. Lovely and polished little shawl.

Paddock Cardigan. Well-shaped and simple with just a little telling detail to keep it from being too plain.

Squall Line Shawl. Classic lace shawl.

Purple Sage Socks. This pattern has two versions: a version with plain ribs between the cables and another with lacy ribs and cables. My preference is for the plain ribs pair, but they're both good design and look very well structured.

Zigzag Wanderer. I like the stitchwork here, and the unexpected touch of the stockinette undersleeve section, but the fit and shape could definitely do with some neatening up.

Gunnislake Pullover. Oooh, this one is eye-catching and has a lot of style, and yet it's something most men would have no objections to wearing. This isn't something one sees every day in men's knitwear, so good work.

Dee Pullover. I quite like this piece on the whole, as it has good shaping and some interesting detail. But I would fix the mullet hem by making back and front equal length, and there are more attractive yarn choices for this piece. This one makes me think of mouldy fall leaves.

St. Helier Pullover. This isn't a bad piece on the whole (it's hard to go wrong with a classic Guernsey pullover), but I keep staring at that bottom hem and thinking it's placing way too much emphasis on the hips, which is really not an area any woman cares to highlight. I'd cut down the depth of the hem by omitting either the diamond section or most of the horizontal ribbing section, and adjusting the cuffs to reflect whatever I'd done with the hemline.

Bath Abbey Hat. Very clever integration of colourwork and stitchwork in this one.

Commonwealth Sweater. Nice design. It has good shaping and I like the subtle snowflake pattern.

Agrotera Pullover. This is a traditional style with a bit of a twist in its distinctive ribbed yoke. The result is lovely, and fortunately the added leather harness is optional.

Cotswold Henley. Traditional men's sweater with some added textural detailing to keep things interesting.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Pom Pom Quarterly Fall 2015: A Review

Pom Pom Quarterly has released its Fall 2015 issue. Let's have a look.

Woodland Tales. Pretty and lacy and well shaped. I love the yarn used here.

Maude pullover. This looks rather heavy, unsurprisingly, as it is both cabled and worsted weight, but then sometimes one does need something super warm. The shaping is pretty good, though the sleeve length looks a little awkward to me.

Abram's Bridge cardigan. Love the stitchwork on the back, but the shaping (especially whatever is going on in the front hem and the dropped shoulders) make it look a bit weird and off-kilter.

North Toque. This is a little too afghan-y for me.

Magdelen stole. Definitely a statement wrap.

Oak Crest cap. Intricately detailed and looks good on.

Jean pullover. Very much like this one, which hits that sweet spot of being wearable, flattering, and polished-looking. Excellent cowl neckline shaping on this piece.

Pianissimo scarf. Very decent ribbed scarf.

Karusellen hat. This one's cute and even manages the no mean feat of being a dog hat that an actual adult can wear.

Hitchcock sweater. Not a bad-looking henley, though I would add waist-shaping to the woman's version.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Knitting and Identity in the 19th Century

In this presentation, Anna Schram Vejlby, curator of the The Hirschsprung Collection of Copenhagen, shares her thoughts on knitting and identity in the first decades of the 19th Century, as seen through portrait painting. She analyzes a series of protraits that depict their subjects as knitting and suggests that the knitting is meant to connote diligence, bourgeoisie socioeconomic status, and love in the context of the painting, as well as adding to the compositional themes. Very unfortunately this video does not include the slideshow Anna Schram Vejlby showed to her lecture's audience and referred to throughout her presentation, so we don't get to see the paintings she is talking about, but the upside of this is that you'll be free to concentrate on your own knitting while enjoying listening to her talk, as I did.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Rowan Knitting & Crocheting Magazine 58: A Review (Part 2)

In this post we're going to look at the second half of the patterns in Rowan Knitting & Crocheting Magazine 58, the first half of the review having been posted yesterday.

Blizzard. Gorgeous tapestry-patterned coat.

Frosty. There's some great detailing on this one.

Frozen. Another beautiful intricate pattern.

Windy Scarf. The cables on this scarf really stand out.

Snowy. How elegant!

Brisk. This one isn't very flattering. It would look better if the body was striped vertically rather than horizontally, and fit a bit more neatly.

Shivery Wrap. Beautifully lacy wrap.

Crisp. Love the stitchwork used here. It's popcorn knit gone sophisticated.

Wintery. If you'd described this one to me (i.e., as a tunnelneck pullover with ruffled elbow sleeves), I probably would have expected to dislike it, but this is actually quite cute. Though I don't know that I care to see it worn with a long-sleeved under layer.

Chilly. I wish I could get a better look at how this piece is constructed. I suspect it's too unconstructed to sit well in the front without the aid of the brooch. The texture is lovely but sweaters that flop open in front aren't so appealing worn in other places than a carefully styled photo.

Enya. This is very "early eighties elementary school teacher", and not in a good way.

Noelle. This is a good rendering of the classic cable and rib pullover.

Brannagh. Not bad. This one maybe calls for a more interesting yarn choice.

Cleona. I would have gone with a more interesting and intricate centre design here, such as a Celtic knot.

Dervla. Very basic ribbed sweater. The shaping is very good, and I think this design would benefit from being knitted in a non-oatmeal coloured yarn.

Bevan. The squarish lines of the yoke give this piece a clunky look. I'd be inclined to omit the orange section and knit it in stockinette in the main colour. The first two bands of the yoke frame the face so well and add enough visual interest that the sweater doesn't need anything else.

D'Arcy. I like the "lacy sleeve with a solid body" look. I'd just fixed the dropped shoulder.

Sheenagh. Gorgeous intarsia on this pullover.

Brona. Not a bad simple sweater, but I would do some reshaping. As you can see here, all that extra material around the model's waist is doing her no favours.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Rowan Knitting & Crocheting Magazine 58: A Review (Part 1)

Rowan has published issue Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine, issue 58. Let's take a look at it, shall we? Or rather, let's take a look at the first half of it. As there are 39 patterns in it, I will be splitting the review into two parts, with the second half to be published tomorrow.

Colonsay. The stitchwork in this crocheted jacket is awesome, but I do wish it had a better shape.

Fingle. Nice piece. Varying the widths of stripes and using a sophisticated colour palette always does raise the basic striped sweater to a whole new level.

Scilly. Speaking of raising the striped sweater to a whole new level, this designer has incorporated an unusual texture, gorgeous yarns, and great shaping to make a really lovely piece.

Eddystone. Lovely classic menswear piece.

Ulva. Nice jacket. It has a vintage-y appeal.

Anglesley. A very attractive new twist on the Fair Isle sweater.

Guernsey. This one is a Kaffe Fassett design, and it's visually striking while still being something even quite a conservative man would wear.

Mersea. Really good texture in this one, though the colourway is a little lacklustre.

Hayling. This is attractive except for the cropped length, which throws the proportions off.

Unst. The Fair Isle pattern here is good, but the sweater is so large it's overwhelming the model. The dropped shoulders and oddly placed pockets aren't helping.

Lindisfarne. This is perhaps a little busy. I'd work the middle panel as directed and nix the "reverse Fair Isle" stitchwork used on the body in favour of something plainer.

Alderney. What a lovely leaf motif. The shaping is good too.

Sark Wrap. Nice piece, but it would look better on a couch.

Yell. A slightly variegated yarn gives this simple ribbed sweater more interest.

Jersey Hat and Scarf. The subtle stripe of the yarn used is what makes this otherwise basic set.

Gale Pattern. Love the slip stitch effect used here, but I would definitely raise the dropped shoulders and add waist shaping. This piece is terribly unflattering even on the model.

Iceberg. The cabled pattern and the yarns used here are lovely, but this is another design that could do with reshaping.

Blustery. Classic cabled pullover. And I promise you that there's no need to liven up a classic piece like this by going with David-Bowie-in-Labyrinth hair. You can have more faith in a classic cabled sweater than that. Really.

Glacier. These larger cables make for a new twist on the classic cabled pullover.

Nippy. Love this classic turtleneck, which looks luxuriously comfortable.