Friday, 22 April 2016

Love of Knitting Summer 2016: A Review

Let's have a look at the Summer 2016 issue of Love of Knitting, shall we?

Belle Isle Socks. Quite pretty.

Bright Domino Skirt. This is almost Missoni-esque, which is an excellent thing, but that zigzag of green and white takes the look into "sixties lawn chair" territory, which is not a good thing.

Cable Mesh Blanket & Pillow. That's a very attractive cable and lace pattern.

Canyon Lace Tank. Simple and wearable, yet with just enough detail to keep the look interesting and polished.

Carys Scarf & Wrap. An interesting yarn choice was definitely the right direction for this one, as the basic design needed a lift.

Chloe Cardigan. This is a very smart and well-shaped little piece, though the borderline OCD part of my brain is mentally tweaking it so that it buttons all the way to the bottom.

Circus Train Coal Car. This must be intended to go with the little train engine toy in Love of Knitting's spring issue. I hope there's more of this train set to come, because the idea of a knitted train set is too adorable, and I can't wait to see the caboose.

Crocogator Booties. Cute. And appropriate for the kind of toddler who commonly leaves a trail of destruction in his or her wake. (Yes, I'm aware that's almost all of them.)

Curving Triangle Wrap. This is lovely, and the yarn combination is impressively striking and attractive.

Eyelet Tank. I'm not so enthusiastic about this one. The stockinette stitch upper section looks very good, but the mesh bottom half feels like a let down.

Fisherman’s Hat. I'm a little iffy on this one. Brims like this are apt to become sadly and forlornly floppy.

Hold My Calls Bag. Not a bad little bag, though I'd put in a zipper rather than go with those i-cord handles. It looks to me like a phone could easily slip past them.

Hold My Stuff Bag. I would have named this the Scrub My Dishes Bag, because it looks like a extra larger pot scrubber.

Knotty Scarf. This is quite chic.

Ladybug Swatch Cloth. I'm not sure I would have been able to figure out that this is a ladybug pattern if it weren't for the name of the pattern.

Lazy Daisy Tank. I wish this picture were better quality, but from what I can tell those daisies are very nicely rendered. The shaping is good as well, though I'm not crazy about the mesh sections.

My Mantra Wrap. The yarn is pretty, but this isn't an interesting design, and that oblong shape of wrap tends to look awkward when not being carefully styled and modeled as it is here.

Peek-a-Bunny Cardigan. The concept of a lace-trimmed cardigan with embroidered pockets containing a matching toy was a good one, but man did it not get the execution it deserved. The neckline is really poorly shaped and finished, it looks like there are chunks of lace missing from the bottom front corners, the ruffles on the pockets look like a mistake, the toy bunny looks like a cobbled-together afterthought, and the stitching around the pocket looks terrible.

Rainbow Pentagon Blanket. This one's fun, and looks very well crafted. And it's the perfect baby shower gift for the pregnant gay Wiccan in your life!

Sausalito Shawl. Very lovely piece as to both shape and stitchwork.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Twist Collective Spring 2016: A Review

Twist Collective has released their Spring 2016 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Keystone. Nice classic piece.

Bosquet shawl. Some very attractive lacework in these.

Anyolite top. Some good detailing and nice shaping.

Zellige pullover. Love this one. The yoke design is really striking.

Reticella cardigan. I think I'm going to have to keep this one in mind for the cream cotton cardigan I want to make myself next year.

Flechir shawl. I like this one on the whole, but the slightly rolled edges and the ribbed vein-like lines do give a slightly rough look.

Wrought. Really pleasingly balanced piece.

Azulejos shawl. Some elegant contemporary lacework here.

Cassabana sweater. Not really taken with this one. I can't say it isn't shaped or finished, because it is, but it has a certain draggled look to it. Also that line of dropped stitches in the front will reveal the wearer's bra.

Unnathi shawl. Some really beautiful, intricate lacework in this one.

Kimberlite top. Quite like this one, with the interesting stitchwork on the side. It also has an unexpected keyhole detail in the back.

Cedri top. Useful and cute little summer top.

Ziarre cardigan. Nice little summer cardigan.

Papeda tank. Well-shaped piece with some nice lacy detailing at the neckline and side vents.

Rangoli shawl. Neither the tutti frutti colourway nor the mottled-looking stitchwork of this shawl are doing it for me.

Haden tank. Nice piece, though those buttons do nothing for it.

Rhodora shawl. Beautiful lacework.

Picard sweater. This design, and the eleven that follow it, are designs that have appeared in previous editions of Twist Collective. This one originally appeared in the Winter 2012 issue, which came out before I launched this site. The design is... okay. The collar doesn't seem like a particularly happy design choice, and I notice that a number of the Ravelry members who have made this design tweaked the collar in some way.

Ormond cardigan, from Summer 2011. It's a lovely classic item.

Gwendolyn, from Fall 2010. Nice-looking cabled hoodie. The contrast edging gives it a smart, sporty look.

Wingspan, from Fall 2010. I like this one, though the empire waistline isn't a great choice for the well-endowed woman. Even the model on the left can't quite carry off the look.

Flux cardigan, from Fall 2011. Love this one. Those intricately curving cables look fantastic.

Parcel pullover, from Winter 2010. Nice one. The chevrons feel more contemporary than the cables one might have expected the designer to go with.

Sympatico cardigan, from Fall 2012. This one is both retro and contemporary at the same time, and the choice of a yarn with a bit of angora in it gives the item a becoming softness.

Viridis, from Spring & Summer 2013. When I reviewed that issue, I wrote, "I very much like the Viridis jacket which has a beautiful lace front panel and good overall proportions and modern lines, but it's one that will have to be worn closed, because when worn open the front pieces are going to sag and the waist tie will trail. If you want to make this cardigan be prepared for that, and also be aware of the bulk it will add to the front of you as double-breasted styles inevitably do." I see it sits much better when worn open than I would have expected.

Kirigami pullover, from Winter 2009. I like the stripes and general lines of this piece, but that collar really detracts. It doesn't sit at all well.

Regent cardigan, from Spring & Summer 2012. Really attractive and gracefully shaped piece.

Jaali pullover, from Fall 2008. Flattering and wearable.

Epiphany, from Fall 2011. Very much like this one. I prefer the original colourway, which can be seen on the design's Ravelry page, but do think the sweater looks better in a neater fit as seen here. Epiphany was designed by Cheryl Burke, and she's a designer to keep an eye on, as she has a real gift for working with colour. The Mirry Dancers sweater was her work.