Monday, 25 July 2016

Knitting Traditions Spring 2016: A Review

It turns out that I managed to miss Knitting Traditions' Spring 2016 issue when it came out (because Knitting Daily doesn't have it listed with its other magazines on their site menu, sigh), but let's have a look at it now.

Bluestocking Stole. A really lovely piece of work that could be styled in a lot of ways.

Christ Church Tam. The designer of this item says on its Ravelry page that she intended to "meld the beauty and light of stained glass with the warmth and texture of yarn" in this project, and I definitely think she succeeded. The design is pleasing and the brightness and high contrast of the yarn choices come as close as yarn can come to looking sunlit.

Daisy Crescent Shawl. A simple, easy, pretty knit.

Elegant Arm Warmers. I have to agree that these mitts do live up to their name.

Fancywork Market Bag. I'd be inclined to make this bag wider and shorter, to line it for strength, and to go with another colourway, as this one makes my eyes ache a bit.

Fireworks Socks. This pair of socks might make me feel as though my feet had been attacked by crayon-wielding toddlers.

Head in the Clouds Scarf. The lacework in this one is simply exquisite.

Lilacs & Rain Shawl. A very handsome and timeless wrap.

Little Birds Chullo. This kind of design wouldn't ordinarily be my sort of thing as it is very busy, but this take on a traditional Peruvian cap is so cute and fun I can't help liking it. The gingham band and the use of variegated yarn are nice non-traditonal touches.

Modern Chimesette. This antique style updated for today makes for a pretty, feminine take on the cowl.

Paper Silk Purse. The Ravelry page description of this piece suggests making it in a colour to match the intended owner's favourite cocktail dress. I wouldn't pair this purse with a cocktail dress, even though it's knitted in silk ribbon, as it's a little too slouchy and casual looking for evening use. Evening bags don't usually have long thick straps. It's a nice little bag for day though.

Penelope's Cardigan. An attractive traditional-style child's cardigan. I like the effect of the bright contrast yarn and buttons, and the stitchwork is good.

Pocket Muff. This muff has a pocket on the inside, as its name suggests. The Ravelry page for this one describes is as being "like a purse that warms your hands". It isn't unattractive, but I can't imagine wanting to be bothered to carry a muff, and it does look a little as though the model has her arm stuck in a spare sleeve.

Primavera Handkerchief. This is pretty, but I don't think I'd want to use -- or more to the point, wash -- a knitted handkerchief. I'd use this to line a bread basket.

Primavera Socks. For those occasions when you want a matching sock and hanky combination. All jesting aside, I do really like these socks. I'm not crazy socks person, and my favourite kind of sock is something basic with a bit of attractive detail, just like this one.

Regency Chemisette. This chemisette is, as its name suggests, the more historically accurate version of the chemisette, while the modern version we saw earlier in this post can be worn cowl-style. I prefer the modern version as it's more wearable by today's standards (after all, most of us aren't knitting costumes for a period drama) but as you can see this one is also usable because it can be worn under a low-cut sweater.

Regency House Slippers. I love these. So many knitted slipper patterns are so lacking in any sort of grace and style, but these, which are based on Regency-style dance slippers, have grace and style to burn.

Roman Holiday Purse. Now this purse is one that a woman could confidently carry as an evening bag.

Spring in Bloom Reticule. This one is too kitschy for my tastes. It could be made less so by going with a more subtle colour scheme.

Strip of Paisley Wrap. Another lovely lace stole.

Strolling Dolls. For the Edgar Allan Poe Junior Fan Club member in your life.

Strolling Round the Square Beaded Shawlette. This is a lovely piece, and it also appears to hang beautifully.

Turkish Purse. This would have gone with the Guatemalan jacket I had when I was 20. It's a charmingly bohemian piece.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Knit Simple Fall 2016: A Review

Knit Simple has released its Fall 2016 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

I like knitted slippers, but it can be difficult to find slipper patterns with a bit of style to them. So many knitted slippers look so clumsy and shapeless. Of this set of four, the striped slippers are rather sporty and fun, and the bunny slippers are fairly cute, but the orange slippers and the raspberry slippers with the fold-over tops have that clumsy look, and the orange ones especially look like something you'd find on a Hobbit.

Of these four pairs, I like the oatmeal ones with the burgundy trim. They're simple but a little finishing detail went a long way. The variegated ones have a great yarn but no effort was made to give them any style or interest, the pointy-toed purple ones look a little too elf-like, and the blue loopy ones would be great for those weeks when you didn't get around to Swiffering your floors but aren't so great from a style perspective.

Wool-trimmed flip flops seem contradictory in terms to me: if the temperature is high enough that you can wear flip flops, do you want wool on your feet? I'd suggest doing these in a cotton at least. The snowflake pair of slippers aren't bad.

Eyelets combined with an interesting yarn is all this scarf needs.

This is one of those simple pieces that are perfect for showcasing a beautiful yarn. A good shape and the bisecting line of dropped stitches keep it looking polished.

This wrap is easily my favourite design of the whole issue. It's relatively simple, but is ever so smart and stylish, and it sits so beautifully.

Basic, but certainly adequate.

The combination of garter ridges and lacework is interesting. There are better yarns for this pattern than this one.

The scarves aren't bad. The gray, white, blue, and red hat looks like it was knitted up of some random scraps. The football looks silly on an otherwise decent hat. The bow hat would look better in colours that worked well together.

This isn't bad, though the colour changes aren't going to have the same look on the other side. I like the idea of putting the child's initials on the blanket.

I like the owl pullover quite a lot, but the raccoon is weirding me out.

These pieces look like a good companion piece for the Swiffer slippers, because if your daughter is wearing this, you can turn her upside down and use her to get those hard-to-reach spots. Slightly more seriously, I do like the capelet, but that lion hat is going to make everyone wonder what on earth happened to the little girl's hair.

This one's a bit better than the last one, but I'm still not sold on the hat. The capelet and the mitts are cute.

The monochromatic colour scheme of this afghan really makes it.

A very good scrap yarn project -- which is to say it looks like a design rather than something made out of odd and ends of yarn.

Quite a handsome piece.

I'd never thought of knitting flower pot covers, but I have to admit these look good. They'd be a nice way to hide a flower pot that's ugly or that doesn't go with your decor. They will get dirty but that's what washing machines are for.

Very basic, but it would look very well if done in a beautiful yarn.

Classic turtleneck with a good shape. You can't go wrong with this one, unless, like me, you don't have the neck length for a turtleneck.

Not bad. The stitchwork is really interesting. I'd raise the dropped shoulders.

This one needs a more interesting yarn to make it work.

A good-looking and eye-catching scarf.