Wednesday, 5 April 2017
Knitty has released their Spring & Summer 2017 issue. Let's begin our look at it with this pattern (which is also their issue cover shot), the Dingle hat. It's fun and pretty and I love the beautifully worked-out gradient colour scheme.
Stripdot. These have a slightly rough, crude look that's not very appealing.
Borrowed. This is a fabulous piece of work. Such gorgeous lacework, and I like that the designer did interesting directional work with it.
Amalgam. The Amalgam is designed to be wearable as a capelet and as a skirt, though as it is only 15" long it seems more likely to be used solely as a capelet. But then my opinion on this may have been coloured by the chronic skirt length argument that's been going on between me and my mother since I started buying my own clothes in 1987 and that, like the "I should have gone to teacher's college" argument, shows no sign of letting up. I do quite like this as a capelet. The mosaic strip is attractive and effectively blends the contrast colours together.
Brightstairs. This is... okay. I was going to recommend going with another colour scheme, but I think this might be a piece that needs a bright, offbeat colourway, as the design itself is offbeat.
Bakanasu. This piece has some really gorgeous stitchwork and it does appear to sit well, but I am having a hard time getting past the combination of acid yellow and eggplant yarn.
Checked Raglan. Not a bad piece. It has some nice detailing and shaping and good lines.
Thysania. The designer of this piece writes that "Thysania is a hybrid of a shawl and a cardigan, or an oversized shrug" and that she challenged herself to make a piece in the shrug style that was flattering on her. This is a difficult style to make work, and I think she succeeded. This sits and drapes really well. The stitchwork is interesting too.
Airelle. Nice little summer top with good lines. I'm imagining it in a variety of fun, fresh colour schemes.
Recital. This is one of those elegantly simple pieces that can be worn with practically everything in a woman's wardrobe and for most occasions for year after year -- until it falls apart from long, hard, quiet service. Draped necklines are hard to get just right, and this one works well.
Lycka. Not a bad little summer top. I'd make it a few inches longer, as it looks a little awkward and cropped as is.
Maryjane. The shape and the design isn't bad, but I don't know if I'd go with the yarn used here. It's a hemp yarn, and it doesn't drape well and gives the piece a stiff, boxy look.
Blurred Lines. This piece was custom-designed for Mindy Kaling's character on The Mindy Project. It has a certain "classic menswear meets one of the Peanuts Gang" vibe, and I can imagine it working if styled in the right way, which is to say, not the way it's styled here.
Tuesday, 10 January 2017
Knitty has released its Winter 2016/2017 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?
Duvet mittens. Very pretty. I do love an intricately patterned mitten.
Fiddlers Three. These would be practical for anyone who has violin-playing or other fine motor manual work to do outdoors in cold weather, but they are a little too rough-and-ready-looking for my tastes.
Anqut shawl. This piece has perfectly integrated stitchwork, colourwork, and shaping, and the result is strikingly lovely.
Farrand. The stitchwork makes these a bit afghan-y for my liking, but then I'm never quite fair to crochet. It would be fun to play with the colourway on these.
Erin Goes to College. I'm quite liking the combination of the heavy yarn and rib pattern and the shaping and cable detail. This looks very warm and serviceable, yet polished.
Snowberry wrap. I'm less enthusiastic about this one. Those pom poms look like cotton balls that happened to somehow catch on the wrap during a trip to the bathroom, and there's not much else to the design.
Obliqua. Oooh, this is so fresh and fun and a great way to make the most of a handpainted yarn. The texture and fringe have enough interest that they would look good in a more muted colourway as well.
Lil Austin's Blanket. Polished-looking garter stitch designs like this are relatively uncommon. This blanket is attractive and interesting, but technically so simple that a beginner knitter could make it.
Ashwood tunic. Some really beautiful cablework here, and the shaping is good over all. I would add some edgings to those sleeves, though, as they look unfinished as is.
Liberty pullover. A good, wearable piece of work.
Colorado. I like the colourblocking and the stitchwork on this, but am not crazy about the shaping. I'd make the v-neck much less open (less wide at the shoulders and less deep at the front) and raise the colour change line on the sleeves at least somewhat to nix the dropped shoulder effect.
Crockerdile. This crocodile sweater is rather fun and inventive. I'd be much more inclined to make it for a child than an adult, but then I'm dead inside.
Cooped Up pullover. This one is cute in an adult-appropriate way. The chicken motif makes me smile, and the neutral palette and Lopi yarn upgrade the look.
Variations on Chart 429. Very much like this one, and would wear it myself. The intricate patterns are so visually interesting and satisfying.
The Werewolf of Westport. This one looks a bit too much like a random scrap yarn project for my liking. Perhaps it could made to look less so by using a more unified colour scheme.
Rock Creek Canyon. This is a nicely designed hat, though I'd go with another colour scheme. I do like the effect of a bright fair isle strip set against a marbled main colour.
Pantashrooms. Hoo boy. These mushroom pantalettes remind me of that Six Feet Under episode in which teenaged Claire makes her mother Ruth a pair of ball-fringed culottes while on a mushroom high, only to be tortured by the sight of them during her 'shroom hangover the next morning, because Ruth is so thrilled to have gotten any demonstration of affection from her normally disaffected daughter that she happily and proudly wore the culottes. I suppose these pantalettes would also be the perfect thing to make or wear on one's next magic mushroom trip.
Toilet Paper Toilet Paper Cozy. This is not, as you might have thought, knitted toilet paper, but rather a cosy that is designed to look like a roll of knitted toilet paper when put over a roll of actual toilet paper. I must admit this is funny, and rather meta in the style of Seinfeld's classic coffee table book about coffee tables. If I saw this in a friend's house, I'd laugh, but I wouldn't use it in mine as I'd be afraid someone might use it in an unironical way by mistake.
Wednesday, 5 October 2016
Knitty has released its Deep Fall 2016 issue. Let's get started on our look through it by checking out the first pattern, Laekur, which is also their cover look. I like the effect of the bright yoke and the monochrome stripes, but this sweater would look so much better if it fit the model properly.
Laurel. I like the texture and the cable waist detailing, but not the saggy, baggy lines.
Indigopie. The top of this cardi isn't bad, but I'm not crazy about that unfinished-looking hem, and as the other pictures of it on its pattern page make clear, this isn't an item that will look all that good when not pinned closed.
Mersea Island. I'd want to take this design a few steps further by shaping the collar so that it's bigger and sits better and reworking those pockets, because the contrast colour looks like something of an afterthought as is. I'd also raise the dropped shoulders. I wouldn't neaten up the fit as this item is meant to be worn over other things and needs to be loose and roomy.
Bottle Rocket. The shaping of this sweater is perfect, but I don't think I can get on board with the pocket. I know the concept of a beer pocket is probably going to be received with much delight by certain type of man, but at least in this example, the front pocket looks as though it's a child's sweater that melded to the front of this man's hoodie in the dryer.
Viatori. Not bad. This hooded vest was designed to go over yoga clothes and other very casual pieces, and it would work well for that and also be warm, comfortable, and practical. I think I'd still prefer something a little more polished even for that purpose, however.
Mont St. Michel. I'm way too finicky to ever wear mismatched socks, even when they are artfully mismatched socks. I'd pick one design for this pair of socks, and it would be the one on the left, as the other design is a little too mish-mash for my liking.
Candied Violets. These are ever so pretty in a delicate, fanciful way, though again I'd knit both socks in the same colour.
Wings for Nightbird. Oh, how gorgeous. And the other pictures on this item's pattern page make it clear that this shawl sits and drapes very well too.
Threefer. Attractive and very comfortable looking, with bonus excellent use of a gradient colour scheme.
Two for One. There's something so perfect about the play of shades in this one.
Crystalline. Some very impressive design work in this one, and the piece is nicely finished.
Uberib. I've never liked this very basic style of slippers, but the brioche stitch and the fun colours do give it more than a little punch.
Rain, Rain, Go Away. This hat is very cute in an adult-appropriate way.
A Gift of Thistle. What a fabulous hat and cowl set. Both the colours and the design are gorgeous.
Hands-Free Cowl. This is woven, not knitted. It's not bad. I like the contrast of the two textures. I think I'd shorten the fringe by about half.
In Gord We Trust. This sock scarf is a tribute to Canada's Gord Downie, lead singer for one of Canada's best and best-loved bands, The Tragically Hip. Gord Downie has terminal brain cancer and closed his musical career with a final tour culminating in a three-hour concert on August 20th, 2016, that was broadcast commercial-free by the CBC and personally attended by Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. It's hard to explain the significance of this event to anyone who isn't either a Canadian or a Hip fan. One third of Canadians watched the broadcast. For us it was as if U2 or Bruce Springsteen were giving a final show. During the concert, Downie wore a scarf made of socks around his throat, saying he "learned he has to keep his instrument warm", and this pattern is a tribute to him. As knitting reviewer, I can't bring myself to approve the design, but as a Canadian and a Hip fan who once wore out her cassette copy of the 1991 Hip album Road Apples, I got a little misty-eyed over the concept and the accompanying text. I love too many Hip songs to much to be able to pick a favourite, but I will leave you with a link to one of my many favourites, "Long Time Running".
Tuesday, 5 July 2016
Knitty has released their First Fall issue for 2016! Let's have a look at it.
Mad for Plaid. A very cute and striking little accessory. I'm not usually a fan of the pom pom, but they really work here.
Candy Dots. This has a fresh, fun, cute look to it, but I think I'd go with another colourway.
Ennui. Some interesting stitchwork and a punchy colourway.
Pyropa. This has an interesting shape that appears to sit well on the wearer, and that is one fabulous gradient colour scheme.
Sandri. Very pretty little lace stole.
Bias Button Cowl. This is okay, though I am uncertain about the buttons. At first sight I thought they should have been omitted, but after more consideration I think they should instead be replaced with buttons that do more for the design. The bias construction combined with the combination of knit and crochet stitches is interesting.
Prettified Thrush. These are handsome, comfortable, and wearable, and who could ask for more in a sock?
Manoa. Another pair of interestingly detailed and handsome socks.
Concello. An attractively simple little cardi.
Sofia. The authors of Go Fug Yourself invented the term "scroll-down fug" to describe an outfit that looks fine above the waist and horrifying below it. I'd say this sweater is a case of "turn around fug" or "180 degree fug", because the back looks fantastic but the front does not. The pockets look shrunken and badly applied -- and also uneven, though that is probably just how the sweater is sitting on the wearer. I'd make the pockets bigger and put one of those cable and lace motifs from the back on them, and I also wouldn't put an extra two decorative buttons on the button band.
Great Gansey. I do like a gansey, and it's nice to see a short-sleeved, ballet-necked version instead of the usual long-sleeved crew-necked pullover.
Juno. Oooh, I love this one, which combines the classic Breton-striped sweater with the traditional round yoke sweater, and has an original and modern-feeling design to boot. It's both visually interesting and original, and very smart. I also love a long cuff, which emphasizes the hands.
Sophistical. Oh dear. This looks drab and stretched out, and those welts on the left side look like a mistake rather than a design feature. This is the kind of sweater one sees in the the kind of romantic comedies in which the heroine spends an inordinate amount of time on her couch, watching TV and eating tuna straight from the can while dressed in a sweater like this, pajama bottoms, and thick work socks.
Town Beach. This is rather cute and sporty. I'm enjoying imagining the different looks it would have in different palettes.
Every Surface Coaster. This is woven, not knitted, and I'm not a weaver, so all I'll say is that this is quite pleasing and I'd love to see it in a throw-size.
Dealán Dé. Very much like this hat. It's a good piece of design with an interesting construction that looks good from all angles, and it is also a fun way to showcase an interesting button. I'd be inclined to pick out my button first and choose my yarn to go with it.
Toketee. A handsome and wearable pair of gloves.
Wristicuffs. A simple, sturdy pair of mitts.