Monday, 12 March 2018
Vogue Knitting has released its Late Winter 2018 issue, and it features actress Krysten Ritter on its cover. Ritter has appeared on the Facebook page for this blog twice previously: when she first took a journalist who was interviewing her yarn shopping with her, and then gave her knitting lesson afterwards; and then when she taught (or made a valiant attempt to teach) Stephen Colbert to knit during an appearance on The Late Show. I already liked Ritter for her appealing screen presence and admired her for her acting, so her evangelical passion for our craft is a delightful bonus. That said, let's have a look at the knitwear she models for us (and in one case, designed herself!), as well as the other designs in this issue, shall we?
Pattern #1, Turtleneck Dress. If you're a depressed and exhausted homeschooling mother of seven whose only social contact with other adults is to call your own mother every night and cry because you can't get your kids to go to bed, this is the look for you.
Pattern #2, Cable Inset Cardigan. The stitchwork in this piece is good, but the overal lines and shaping isn't. This has such a visually dragged-out, bottom-heavy, shapeless look.
Pattern #3, Colorblock Cabled Pullover. Sigh. Vogue Knitting seems to have gone full out frumpy for this issue.
Pattern #4, Cable Pullover. Classic cabled pullover.
Pattern #5, Cabled Pullover. I rather like this one, in which the designer has taken the classic cabled pullover in a slightly different direction by varying the direction of the cables.
Pattern #6, Two-Tier Pullover. The designer of this sweater went for an innovative look by including a cropped top over layer, but I don't think it works. I keep staring at it thinking that there must have been shrinkage or a yarn shortage involved in its construction, and that's never a good reaction to a knitwear design.
Pattern #7, Easy Krysten Sweater. Respect to Krysten Ritter's modelling skills, but I don't really care for her design. I think I'd fix the dropped shoulders, add a little waist-shaping, and be sure to do this sweater in an interesting yarn to give this very basic design the oomph that it will need when Krysten Ritter isn't it.
Pattern #8, Slouchy Raglan. I'd neaten up the fit on this one by quite a lot. The armhole shaping appears to start at the waist level, and even the professional model it's on can't quite carry that off.
Pattern #9, Simple Cardigan. This is another piece that is pure "depressed and exhausted homeschooling mother of seven" style.
Pattern #10, Seed Stitch Pullover. I am not opposed to a seed stitch oversized turtleneck in theory, but the reality is there's oversized that is "a relaxed, comfortable fit", and then there's oversized that "fits like a house and will knock things over every time you turn around". Guess which one this is.
Pattern #11, Pompom Wrap. This is kind of fun in its way, but I can't imagine actually wearing a wrap of this size and bulk. I'd be inclined to make this "wrap" a little larger and then leave it on the couch.
Pattern #12, Big Chill Wrap. This is a beautiful piece of work, and it's supposed to be worn as a wrap, but it would be another piece I would feel belonged on the couch.
Pattern #13, Chunky Cardigan. This thing fits and sits so poorly. I've seen tents I was more tempted to wear.
Pattern #14, Cable Pullover. Another classic cabled pullover, this time in a standard fit.
Pattern #15, Brioche Pullover. This piece is reminding me of Dakota Fanning's fabulous puffed sleeve costume ensembles in the late nineteenth century drama The Alienist, but although it is an interesting and original piece with some fantastic brioche stitchwork, it could stand a few tweaks to make it more flattering. I'd fix the dropped shoulders and make the body a little longer and neater-fitting in order to balance out those leg o' mutton sleeves.
Pattern #16, Chevron Lace Vest. The lacework and the hand-dyed yarn used here are beautiful, but these unstructured trailing pieces basically never appeal to me.
Pattern #17, Feather Cowl. Inventive, whimsical, and wearable.
Pattern #18, Waterfall Shawl. This is another shawl that looks as though it belongs on a couch, and more specifically, on your Great Aunt Myrtle's couch. Doing this piece in a solid colour or at least a less "granny afghan"-like colourway would help, as the lacework is quite attractive.
Pattern #19, Domino Shawl. A attractive, wearable and contemporary wrap that definitely looks as though it belongs on a person.
Pattern #20, Woven Scarf. Nice texture and an interesting construction on this scarf, unsurprisingly, as it was designed by the ever-inventive Nicky Epstein.
Friday, 12 January 2018
Vogue Knitting has released its Winter 2017/2018 issue. Let's have a look at it.
Pattern #01, Yoked Pullover. Nice piece. The yoke design makes me think of hieroglyphics. (Also, I just spelled "hieroglyphics" correctly on the first try without any help from spell check or Google.)
Pattern #02, Persian Yoke Pullover. I like this one too. The colourway is vivid and unexpected.
Pattern #03, Cold Shoulder Yoke Pullover. I'm not a big fan of the cut-out effect in clothing, but I think it works here, and the piece has a fun, trendy feel that's balanced with classic shaping.
Pattern #04, Fringed Sleeve Pullover. I like this one on the whole, but I'd neaten up the fit and nix the sleeve fringe, which would drive me stark raving mad. Can you imagine trying to knit or eat a meal or for that matter use the bathroom with those fringes hanging over your hands?
Pattern #05, Reverse Yoke Pullover. This is attractive but I can't get past the feeling that it's on inside out.
Pattern #06, Chevron Pattern Yoke. This is rather pretty. I'd neaten up the fit.
Pattern #07, Modern Icelandic. Love this one, with its sharp, graphic appeal and good shaping.
Pattern #08, Fair Isle Pullover. Vogue Knitting is really going all out on interesting yoke designs in this issue. I like this one too.
Pattern #09, Viking Wrap. As regular readers of this blog will know, I am a hard sell on poncho designs, but I have to admit this one is kind of fantastic. Keeping it short in the front as the designer has done makes it flatteringly sweater-like while the back and sleeves have all the drama of a cape. And then there's the stitchwork and colourway, with the combination of mitred squares and a tartan-like effect created with grays and variegated yarn. If a woman walked by me on the street in this piece, I would definitely turn to look at her, as it is an undeniably and highly accomplished and creative design. Bravo.
Pattern #10, Boxy Crop Sweater. And now we turn from a tour de force of knitwear design to.... this one. This appears to be... a home ec project gone terribly wrong. It fits so poorly through the upper body that the ribbing is all stretched out, and there's an outright hole in the shoulder seam.
Pattern #11, Fitted Dress. This is also a home ec project, but it appears to have been created by Judy Jetson, and she would have gotten at least a B for it.
Pattern #12, Navy and White Pullover. I like this one, which has a smart, wearable look.
Pattern #13, Raglan Turtleneck Sweater. I rather like this one. The use of a larger gauge in the turtleneck and the lower body is a nice touch, and the shaping is good and flattering. This would be a good piece to use to showcase a bulky variegated yarn that you love.
Pattern #14, Brioche Rib Cowl. Smart and polished.
Pattern #15, Slouchy Pullover. This one's too baggy and dropped shouldered for my liking. Kudos to the Vogue Knitting stylist who put this look together, though. Adding a simple silk scarf made this look chic.
Pattern #16, Indigo and Ivory Boxes Ruana. I have the feeling that this is a vest that missed its calling in life and that should have become a scarf, or maybe a floor mat.
Pattern #17, Welts Pullover. Nice stitchwork in this one, but I would fix those dropped shoulders.
Pattern #18, Open Cable Cowl. Nice. I'm imagining it in a variety of beautiful variegated yarns.
Pattern #19, Mohair Cardigan. This has a sad-stretched out, look like a thrift store piece that's living in the forlorn hope that it'll get one more chance at a good home rather than wind up in a landfill.
Pattern #20, Sand Waves Poncho. This seems to be the issue where Vogue Knitting offers us poncho patterns I can't refuse. This one drapes so well, and the stitchwork is gorgeous.
Monday, 18 December 2017
Vogue Knitting has released its Holiday 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it.
Pattern #1, Chunky Pullover. This is a very decent-looking bulky weight sweater. I would fix those dropped shoulders though.
Pattern #2, Blanket. Lovely!
Pattern #3, Scandinavian Hat. Cute and wearable with some interesting, intricate stitchwork.
Pattern #4, Fair Isle Band Pullover. A nice-looking piece. I like the neckline.
Pattern #5, Selburose Pullover. The snowflake motifs are quite strikingly attractive against that dark blue, and I like the added pop of colour in the wristband edges.
Pattern #6, Pom Hat. I... don't quite know how this got in this issue. Was it supposed to be filed away with some of the old Vogue Knitting children's patterns from the fifties and did it somehow lose its way?
Pattern #7, Fair Isle Yoke Pullover. Nice. I wasn't quite sure I liked that red zig zag at the top of the sleeves, because it does give the impression that the sleeves are tacked to the body with red yarn, but I think it works and gives the sweater a little extra interest.
Pattern #8, Scandinavian Socks. Oooh, such pretty, smart socks! Favourited for a possible 2018 project plan!
Pattern #9, Zipped Obi. Interesting accessory, and I must admit it adds a bit of style and interest to this plain white shirt and black leather skirt. I don't think I'll be making myself one though, as I am too short through the torso to carry it off and I would present as someone who didn't know what cowls were.
Pattern #10, Modular Obi Belt. Not a bad belt, and it would be easier to wear than the one above because it's so much narrower.
Pattern #11, Fair Isle Obi. This is probably my favourite of the three obis, though I wouldn't make it in these colours. The plum and green are good, but the variegated pink and green is distractingly unattractive against it.
Pattern #12, Lace Pullover. Not bad for a layering piece. This would be one to make in a beautiful mohair or angora.
Pattern #13, Chevron Top. I rather like the look of this one, though I'd wear a thin sleeveless tank top or camisole underneath because I would be terrified that the flap wouldn't stay closed.
Pattern #14, Lace Cardigan. Between its dreary colourway and its baggy, saggy lines, this sweater is essentially depression in knit form.
Pattern #15, Everyday Poncho. Oh dear, this poncho has such an unflattering shape. From the back, this model looks like a blob with hands.
Pattern #16, Curve Cable Pullover. I rather like the concept of this one, but the shaping and proportions feel off, and the back of this sweater has a sad, defeated look, as though it just split up from its long-time companion, the equally morose Pattern #14. I'd change the trajectory of the cable so that it entended to the shoulder and then down the sleeve, and I'd neaten up the shape.
Pattern #17, Textured Pullover. I'm rather impressed by the well-integrated textural effects on this one, and the shaping is good. I would however nix that ridge across the upper bodice and replace it with a band of another stitch, such as the one used on the upper sleeve.
Pattern #18, Shawl Collar Coat. A wearable, simple piece. I'd fix the dropped shoulders.
Pattern #19, Bomber Jacket. This looks too much like a beginner project. It's too simple and unadorned to have any interest or sophistication.
Pattern #20, Adelaide Shawl. This piece has interest and sophistication enough for five items. It's strikingly attractive and I love it.
Pattern #21, Cropped Ruffle Cardi. This looks like a bed jacket from some old 1940s movie. And it really ought to have stayed there. Even this fabulous model, with all her style, can't quite make it look other than silly and fussy.
Pattern #22, Ruffle Sleeve Top. When I was copying all the pictures into this post, I didn't think I was going to like this one, but now that I've come to the point of writing about it and taking a closer look, I am pretty sure I do like it. It strikes me as a contemporary and unfussy take on the ruffled sweater. I won't be making it for me, though, because I'm pretty sure it won't work very well on the well-endowed figure.
Pattern #23, A-Line Pullover. Not bad. The shape is good, and this one would be a good one to showcase some beautiful yarns in your favourite colours.
Pattern #24, Ruffle Yoke Sweater. This is so... 1982. And not in a good way.
Pattern #25, Danish Sontag Shawl. Attractive and timeless.