Friday, 24 March 2017
Love of Knitting has released their Spring 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it.
Bargello Socks. These are fun. I like that the designer took those stripes several extra steps by doing them a variety of ways.
Breezy Lace Tee. Very useful and wearable summer top.
Colorlines Throw. I'm loving this one, with its contemporary vibe and unusual but masterful colour combination.
Elephant Safari Children's Vest. Very cute.
Holmes Shawl. A lovely little piece with some quietly impressive stitchwork.
Interrupted Stripes Sweater. This looks sloppy, unfinished, and in general as though the "interrupted" in the design's name refers to the designer's efforts to finish this pattern.
Ironwood Shawl. A simple and attractive little wrap.
Painted Wrap. I quite like this unassuming but visually pleasing lace pattern.
Pearls Hat. Nice piece, and it would be a good way to use up some odds and ends of yarn.
Planting Cardigan. I like this piece over all, but I'm never much of a fan of cardigans designed to lie open in the front, as they generally look too small and/or unflattering.
Raving Stripes Pullover. I love this one. The flattering shape and and eye-catching striped yoke and cuffs add up to a striking look.
Shift Change Cowl. Oooh, pretty. Love the colours and the stitchwork.
Shoreline Shawl. Nice piece. It seems to drape well, and I'm loving the Celtic cabled border.
Spring Day Raglan. Way too sloppy and unfinished for my liking.
Spring Henley. Classic, handsome piece.
Springtime Mobile. So cute. That is an especially nicely rendered set of little toy animals.
Tuscany Wrap-Cardi. Not a bad little piece, and it would give the wearer a chance to show off a favourite shawl pin.
Valley V-neck Pullover. This is a smart little piece. I note that the neckband is not very well done -- it's puckering at the vee and is pulling the stripe up in the centre -- but if you are careful to make sure to pick up neither too few nor too many neckband stitches when you make your version, your project won't have that flaw.
Vines Swatch Cloth. Nice stitch.
Warm Stripes Set. The mitts are fine, but the legwarmers look a little too much like a scrap yarn project knitted on the fly.
Wednesday, 2 November 2016
Love of Knitting has released a special issue entitled Knit and Crochet Toys, 2017. Let's have a look at the cuteness within its covers, shall we?
Zeppelin Mobile. This is a mobile that children can play with once they get old enough to know better than to try to eat it. It's not bad. I suppose it would be just the thing for a Hindenburg-themed nursery.
Rat-a-Cuties. These are very well made -- rather too much so for my liking, I'm afraid. I can't get past my visceral reaction to rats in order to review them fairly. Shudder.
Bear Pair. These are cute. I think I'd prefer a little more shaping and detail on the bear's dresses, but you can always add that.
Puppet Pals. These aren't too bad. I can imagine them being useful on car trips. If the children can be diverted from their electronic devices for long enough, of course.
Bunny Girl. This one is quite cute. I like the little sheep sweater. It says "I'm pro-merino as opposed to pro-angora".
Sponge Buddies Bath Toys. These sponge covers are not only cute but also quite inventive and practical.
Tedmund Troll. I quite like this teddy troll. There is something irresistibly fun and witty about a cuddly version of dark side fantasy archetypes.
Hipponormous. I think this one could have used a little more detail.
Cat's Pajamas Jammy Keeper. This one would be a good way to get children to put their pajamas somewhere other than the floor, and it is a really cute and cuddly item in itself.
Patrick the Platypus. This is another one that could have used a little more detail, such as a facial expression, and a more subtly coloured body.
Mr. Robotics. Not bad, though I would make the arms and legs a little bigger in circumference, and stuff them lightly.
Serene Sea Star. This isn't badly designed, but I can't quite see a child actually playing with this, unless it's to use it to attack a sibling's Malibu Barbie.
Giant Tiger. Cute and cuddly and nicely designed.
Lost in Space Activity Board. I can't imagine children playing with this set much because it wouldn't be that much fun to simply rearrange the plants on the solar system. I think the designer should have gone steps further and turned it into some sort of game, because as it is it looks like a doily and coasters from the break room of the Star Trek Enterprise.
Checkerboard. This one I can see children playing with and enjoying, as it gives them a chance to play a very active game of checkers. I'd go with another colourway, though.
Toy Tote. This one is quite practical: it's a backpack that holds children's toys and converts into a toy mat. This one is perfect for those visits to a childless friend's house.
Do the Twist Game. This one, obviously, is a crocheted version of a game that shall not be mentioned in the advertising copy for fear of trade infringement. I'd be afraid to let children to play with this one for fear that the crocheted circles would skid out from underneath their feet, causing injury. A Twister-inspired throw might be a better idea.
Silky, Simone & Sydney. This set is really cute. I quite like that the designer has imagined the mermaids as fun, stylish tweens with a pet seal, rather than as the voluptuous merwomen one sees in most renderings of fantasy sea people -- even in Disney.
Mrs. Chicken. This one feels a little overdone, as though it were intended for a decoration for adults rather than a child's plaything.
Silly Monster Rattles. These are ever so cute, and quite practical as they would be washable.
Jackson the Jackalope. This is very well designed and original as well. I don't suppose too many children have toy jackalopes.
Aitches. These poseable letter Hs would be perfect for the little Harry or Hannah in your life.
Wednesday, 26 October 2016
Love of Knitting has released their Winter 2016 issue. Let's have a look at it.
Winter Wonderland Aran Sweater. Classic Aran sweater.
Vertical Stripes Pullover. This is one of those well-shaped, minimally detailed pieces that are perfect for showcasing a beautiful yarn in your favourite colour.
Vertical Stripes Cardigan. This isn't bad on the whole, but those front edges don't sit well.
Lytle Cowl and Hat. The stitchwork in these pieces is very good, but I can't say I care for the limp way in which that cowl sits.
Barcelona Pullover. The designer of this item has managed to give a classic cable and rib sweater a fresh look by making sparing use of asymmetry and a touch of stitchwork in the waistband. Nice piece.
Nordic Winter Hat & Cowl Set. This is a nice little set. It's been styled well too, as this is just the right hat and cowl to add a bit of colour and interest to a plain gray coat.
Window Cat Child's Cardigan. This is cute in a whimsical way, but I think I'd fiddle with the design a little more by adding a little more detail to the cats and by doing something different with the yoke. I'd replace the garter stitch with some other kind of stitchwork.
Circus Train Caboose. The caboose in this train set is the last in a series of patterns. The caboose is probably my favourite of the four train car patterns, as it's the best shaped and detailed.
Lodge Pullover. I don't think the idea of an inset lace cowl neckline works in a bulky knit. I'd do this sweater in a fingering weight and use a more interesting lace pattern for the cowl.
Feather Throw. A perfect and elegant afghan that would fit into nearly any decor.
Diamonds Swatch Cloth. A not uninteresting stitch.
Northern Lights Poncho. I quite like this one, with its attractively blended colours and nicely detailed neckband and bottom hem.
Chain Links Set. Can't say I care for this look. The holes in the "chain" look merely crude rather than interesting.
Daddy & Me Hat. Classic cabled hats. The stocking cap shape and pom pom is a nice touch on the child's hat.
Mommy & Me Hoods. The hooded scarf is style that can look a little odd and quaint, but I think it's a look that does need bringing back because it's so incredibly practical. A hood is warmer than a hat any day, and it would be impossible for one to lose the scarf. These adult and child versions are handsome examples of the style.
Supernova Cowl. Can't say I care for this one, which makes this woman look like she tacked a random swatch of knitting around her neck to hide a hickey.
Color Boxes Cardigan. This one needed some polishing up. I'd have replaced those rolled edges with something more polished, and gone with a more interesting colourway.
Complete with a Bow Wrap. This is so "granny in a rocking chair" that even this young model and her contemporary chair can't pull it off.
Anticipation Pullover. The pattern description calls this a special occasion sweater, and I agree that it is. The elongated length, fitted shape, boatneck and three-quarter sleeves give the design impact, and the touch of lace and the addition of a satin ribbon tie makes it dressy. I'd be inclined to pair this sweater with a pair of velvet trousers.
Starry Night Tunic. This is supposed to be another evening sweater, but the schlumpy shape and unfinished edges makes it look more like a "relaxing on the couch in yoga pants" kind of sweater.
Shades of White Shawl. This is a lusciously beautiful piece of work, but it does look more like an afghan than a shawl.