Friday, 17 February 2017

Interweave Knits Spring 2017: A Review

Interweave Knits has released their Spring 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Blixen Tunic. I'm really liking the concept of translating the classic safari jacket into knitwear, and on the whole I like the execution as well. The shape is good and the pockets and cuff details are well worked out, but I'd put a collar on the neckline. Of course, the name of this design is a clear reference to Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke, author of Out of Africa.

Bristol Raglan. This is a fun take on the classic Breton striped jersey.

Charlestown Pullover. Classic cabled sweater.

Cowesett Tee. I like this one. The pattern, which was inspired by American Indian textiles, has a unique look, and the shaping is good.

Denys Vest. Love the pattern on this vest, and the colourway is fantastic. That very cropped length would be awkward and unflattering on most women, but it could easily be lengthened. The name attached to this particular item makes me laugh. During her years in Kenya, Blixen had a long-term friendship and love affair with Denys Finch Hatton, a big game hunter, English army officer, and aristocrat, although sadly it was one of those cases in which she was much more attached to him than he ever was to her. If you've seen the movie you may remember the scene in which she began to mend his shirt and he told her not to. I'm imagining that she then told her laundress to shrink his vest in retaliation.

Elephant Vest. Cute, wearable vest. The little elephant motifs are so well rendered.

Hatton Sweater. Not a bad little number, though it's not showing to advantage here as it doesn't fit this lovely model well, nor suit her figure. Turtlenecks are not flattering on well-endowed women with short necks.

Kingstown Socks. These socks were "inspired by the motifs and colors of the Pacific Northwest". The design's fine, but I would have gone with a more blended colour scheme.

Narragansett Gansey. A classic piece.

Newport Pullover. I like this one, with its relaxed but not huge fit and its suggestion of cables, which adds the appeal of cables without the attendant bulk of cables. The yarn really appeals to me too -- I love that rich dark blue with the glints of turquoise. The yarn used here is Arranmore, made by The Fibre Co., and it's a mix of merino, cashmere, and silk, which sounds decadent.

Pfeiffer Shawl. The design is good, with attractive shaping and good stitchwork, but I've never been able to learn to like mustard and brown together.

Point Judith Pullover. I'm quite liking this one. The braided cable effect is really pleasing, and it was a good call to make this a henley.

Portsmouth Beanie. Rather a nice simple little cap.

Westerly Pullover. I'm liking this more polished take on the Cowichan sweater, but I would fix those dropped shoulders.

Wickford Wrap. A good-looking scarf.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Knitscene Spring 2017: A Review

Knitscene has released their Spring 2017 issue. Let's have a look at what's happening on this particular knitted scene, shall we?

Artisan's Vest. When I began to assess this item, I was uncertain as to whether I liked it or not for some long minutes, but then I realized what I really don't like is the styling, which does nothing for this vest. The vest itself has an original texture and careful finishing.

Dean's Cardigan. This has excellent texture and a good shape, but although the elbow patches have a certain whimsy, I don't know how much they're adding to the overall look.

Desert Flower Shawl. A lovely piece. It's pretty without being too delicate to be practical, and that's one appealing blend of colours.

Director's Vest. A simple yet effective and wearable piece.

Drafter's Cardigan. A pretty lacy-front cardi.

Geographer's Sweater. I very much like this one, with its pretty, polished detailing. Can't say the same for the dork styling Knitscene chose for this photo shoot. I half expected to see a pocket protector and glasses with tape on them before I came to the end of it.

Hitchhiker Tee. A nice little top with pretty touches of lace. I do like these little knitted tops, which go with everything from a office-appropriate skirt or trousers to jeans for running errands and shorts at the beach.

Hustle Shrug. This has that "shrunk in the wash" look and the embroidery looks as though it were designed by a ten-year-old.

Ironwood Shawl. An attractive and sensible shawl.

Outlaws Skirt. I wish I could have seen this one modelled. As it is, I feel inclined to put a seam in one end and zipper in the other and call it a cushion. However, this skirt appeared on Mindy Kaling in an episode of The Mindy Project, so I assume it must look pretty good on, and I like the hem detail quite a lot.

Red Clay Top. Quite an attractive, wearable design, though I can't say I care for that muddy colour.

Residential Vest. Very nice. The cabling on this vest is beautifully rendered.

Solea Shawl. A nice shawl design. I never have cared for the southwestern-style combination of brick red and mustard, but that's just a personal preference.

Sunflower Wrap. This one, with its arbitrary sections of lattice and fringe (with curling edges) and plain stockinette, looks more like a large, experimental swatch than a finished design.

Wilderness Cardigan. This is okay. It would make a relaxed, go-with-everything extra layer for unexpected cool days and nights in the summer.

Writer's Top. I'm not sure I understand what makes this a writer's top. Is it that the shoulder detail looks like a broken, and possibly beaten, pencil? If so, I'm not quite seeing the point -- literally or figuratively.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Creative Knitting Spring 2017: A Review

Creative Knitting has released its Spring 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Calypso Cowlette. Not a bad piece at all. It has a certain casual chicness.

Lace Sampler. This one has an unfortunate heavy, poncho-like feel.

On the Fringes. Those fringes would drive me insane, but of course they could always be shortened.

Tipsoo Cowl. Another pretty, casual little accessory.

All Tied Up. The high-riding tie is unusual but I can't say it's unattractive or unflattering. This piece could have done with a more interesting yarn.

It's All About the Back. This is rather fetching, though it does look a bit baggy through the body.

Serendipity Shawl. This is rather pretty. I love the sandstone-like colours.

Sheer Comfort. This one has a "I'm wearing my shopping bags to the grocery store in order to keep my hands free" look.

Smoky Mountain Scarf. Not a bad-looking scarf, but I'm not crazy about the slits. They look like a mistake.

Balasana Bolster. This is okay, but perhaps a tad phallic for my liking. But then that may be a selling point for you. I don't know your Freudian symbol comfort level.

Om Ah Hum Pillow. Simple and pleasant-looking enough. I think it might need a more interesting yarn.

Serenity Cushion. This is... okay. I'd use a more interesting colour combination for this one.

Shavasana. An attractive simple throw for a beginner.

Eyelet Lace Raglan Cardigan. Standard lacy summer cardigan. The instructions for this one offers six lace patterns and a pullover option so that you can tweak the pattern to your liking.

Lace Tee. This design, like the previous one, can be done in one of six optional lace patterns and made as a tee or a tank, and again like the previous pattern, is standard knitting pattern fare. There were patterns just like this one in knitting and women's magazines twenty-five years ago. It's okay, but I'd go for something a little more interesting and stylish, myself.

Girder. The lace is nice, but I am not liking that big seam down the middle. It really detracts.

Hint of Spring. I rather like this one, though I'm not crazy about mesh. It always has such an air of sports jerseys or shopping bags to me that it never seems to belong in street clothes, and you can get weird sunburns through it. I think what I'd do is replace the mesh with some other kind of lacework.

Keystone. A very attractive lace shawl.

Tacoma Shrug. The lacework is beautiful, and the drape is great, but man, that shape is baggy.

Blankie for Baby. Some nice stitchwork in this one.

Sublime Spa Set. Not a bad little baby shower gift for someone who just needs to whip up something quickly. It's cute and useful. Though I think I'd do something more interesting with the bag, such as knitting it in one colour and doing a duplicate stitch teddy bear or cat some such on it. Those stripes have a "I'm just trying to use up some odds and ends" look.