Monday, 19 June 2017

Creative Knitting Autumn 2017: A Review


Creative Knitting has released their Autumn 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it.





Boothbay Set Cover-Up. This is one of those designs from the "depressed and exhausted homeschooling mom of seven" category. I think I'd like it better if it weren't in such a blah tone and were layered over something more fitted.





Boothbay Set Top. This is one of those designs from the "depressed and exhausted homeschooling mom of seven who has baby spit up on her sweater and is too overwhelmed to care" category. I know that's more than a little unfair, as I have a bias against this sort of loose, empire-waisted top because they make me look horribly dumpy. When I'm making the effort to be more objective, I find that this could be a useful, comfortable piece for women with figures more suited to it. And again, it would help to not make the piece in yarn the colour of dirty oatmeal.





Crème Brûlée. This is much more my idea of a wearable, loose, comfortable sweater than the previous two. It's attractive, it has eye-catching detail and construction, and it's loose-fitting without making the wearer look swamped in excess material.





Ellie Top. This is quite pretty and classic, but I would fix the dropped shoulders.





Ipanema. The blurb for this piece says, "Always a flattering garment, this wraparound cardigan will highlight the natural waistline of the wearer, as well as accentuate the bustline." I can't say I agree with any of that. Wrap sweaters and dresses have an undeserved reputation in the fashion world for being easy to wear and flattering. I haven't had a wrap piece yet that worked for me -- the cut or the fit is always off, and it's an aggravating chore to keep the thing in place so that there aren't too many of my goods in the shop window. This wrap cardigan doesn't appear to even be working on the model. It looks bulky and sits poorly, and the bottom and sleeve edges look unfinished.





Make Me Blush. I rather like this one -- that's some nice detailing on the cuffs -- but I would neaten up the fit a little.





Black and Blocked. This has an unflattering shape and an unfinished, saggy look.





Block Party. This is rather sharp and well-shaped, though I think I'd skip the white trim on the edges of the sleeves, or perhaps take it in the other direction and stripe the cuff with the three colours.





Dancette. The blurb for this one says, "Shimmery yarn adds style and elegance to this sleek clutch worked in intarsia cable panels." I can't say that this clutch comes across as stylish, elegant, or sleek to me. It looks more like a small throw pillow I'd put on the couch than like an evening bag I'd carry when wearing black gloves and pearls. If I were going to knit an evening bag, I'd use a fine silk yarn and not include too much bulky detail, rather than knit something that makes me look as though my date had to pry me away from the couch for the evening.





Fun, Chunky & Fast Hat & Infinity Cowl. The name for this set is one I can agree with. This is a fun, smart set.





Graphic Houndstooth. Nice piece! I'm enjoying mentally playing with possible colour schemes.





Striped Asymmetry. I rather like this one, which has a pleasing visual flow. Another colourway would do more for it.





Nobis Wrap. Beautiful lacework.





Linear Elements. I like the contemporary, graphic vibe of this one.





Nebula. I like the gradient effect of this scarf, but those edges look too raw for my liking.





Playful Orchid. A fun and interesting piece.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Knitty First Fall 2017: A Review


Knitty has released their Early Fall 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?





Ancyra. Not bad. I'm not thrilled with those unfinished-looking edges, but they don't show when the cowl is on.





Wolkig. Very pretty. The ruched effect is very attractive on a cowl.





Napi. Not too impressed with this one, though there's nothing really wrong with it. A better, smarter colourway would make this design look more appealing and pulled together.





Rhombus Lamina. Now this is something different, although it's so different I don't know how wearable it is. I'd feel silly wearing this, but shortening the back to be the same length as the front and omitting the crocheted balls from the back point would dial this piece back from rather strange-looking to merely unique. I like the shape, the play of stripes, and the way the folded back hood endows the front with a shawl collar.





Collar and Tie. As I discovered when I researched a post on knitted ties a few years back, knitted ties are difficult to get right, but I have to applaud this design. It looks just as good as a fabric tie.





Longwing. Oooh, nice. The unusual shape and the stitchwork of this shawl work so well together, and it looks good on.





What the World Needs Now. Much as I applaud the sentiment behind these gay pride earrings (and that the designer donated the honorarium she received for the pattern to the ACLU), I don't know if I can get behind the execution. I don't think yarn makes attractive jewelry as it can never quite overcome that "made by a ten-year-old at day camp" look. I'd replace the yarn rainbow in these earrings with a bead rainbow.





Vis-à-vis. I'm liking the concept of adding a zipper to the cowl, which gives it a contemporary vibe that will work with modern clothes such as a motorcycle jacket. The cowl doesn't look so good worn unzipped and worn in a single long loop around the neck, but then cowls tend not to look good that way.





Sidebar Scarf. A handsome woven scarf.





Slow Fade. Some impressive shaping and stitchwork in these.





Vinculum. Not a bad pair of cabled socks. I'd make these a little longer in the leg.





Rose Window. As a lover (and crafter) of stained glass, stained glass-effect knitted projects are like candy to me. Very pretty little cap.





Bosco. This is an offbeat interpretation of the classic yoked cardigan. I like the combination of a traditional look with a minimalist, contemporary style.





Wisteria. Very nice classic piece that sits well, though I would add buttons and buttonholes all the way down the front bands rather than just the one.





About Lace. This is a pretty and wearable simple piece, but I wouldn't extend the lace pattern down the sleeve, as it creates a dropped shoulder effect, but would instead have the sleeve in stockinette to the edge of the shoulder.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Lederhosen and Tutus and Other Knitting Fables


Sometimes when Megan was scrambling to get dressed in the morning, she put her clothes on in the wrong order.





Céline told Megan that adding built-in bras to one's knitwear would eliminate any issues with incorrect layering.





For her part, Agnes felt that wearing underwear as outerwear was the way to go, and she also assured a skeptical Céline and Megan that granny pants were making a big comeback.





Penelope had come up with the perfect way to get men to buy her drinks when out clubbing.





Isobel had discovered that she could save herself a lot of knitting time by stamping her designs with cabled patterns, only to discover that she fell down a scrapbooking rabbit hole once she stopped knitting.





Hilda felt her tribute to the drying machine, with its "Felted Hat", "Lint Ball Sweater", and "Dryer Sheet Skirt", had turned out well. She thought she'd try doing a late night laundromat run again the next time she was stuck for an idea.





With his new look, Alisdair paid loving tribute to both his grandpa, who was known for wearing natty bow ties, and to his grandmother's wallpaper.






Cody was thrilled with the way his attempt at felting his grandmother's afghan had turned out, and he was prepared to deal with anyone who dared to disagree with him.





Kimberley wondered why no one had ever combined a lederhosen and a tutu before. She felt they were a natural pairing.





Ainsley was exploring ways to tie a basic black wool pullover to a georgette print dress, and scorned the suggestion that she add some stripes to the pullover as "too obvious".

Friday, 19 May 2017

Le Wooling Special Issue 2 Fileco: A Review


Next in my "catching up on the Bergère de France reviews" effort is Le Wooling Special Issue 2, an issue with patterns designed especially for Fileco yarn. Let's have a look at it.





Pattern #01, Cape. Love the stripes and the colourway, but the lines of this cape have an awkward, bulky look.





Pattern #03, Round Neck Openwork Sweater. I am relieved to say without qualification or sarcasm that this is a nice piece.





Pattern #3, High Neck Jacket. This young woman appears to be so deeply into French existentialist philosophy that she has cast any and all notions of French chic to the winds. That is one shapeless, baggy jacket (with mismatched bottom front edges), and the styling is awful.





Pattern #04, Cardigan. This might have been a good piece if the designer had kept working on it until the design was complete, but as it is, the collar and the front opening are all askew and the edges are unfinished.





Pattern #05, High Neck Cardigan. This isn't so bad, but it isn't great either. The bottom edges have the mismatched length issue we saw in Pattern #03, and I have my concerns about how that collar is going to look when worn open -- and a child won't want to wear it done up all of the time.





Pattern #06, Poncho. Bergère de France really needs to consider hiring some designers who know how to design and/or aren't too lazy to put in the effort to create an actual design.





Pattern #07, V Neck Sweater. If you want a plain v-neck sweater pattern, there's probably a free one on Ravelry that doesn't feature dropped shoulders.





Pattern #08, High Neck Cable Sweater. Pas mal! I'm really liking the diagonal cable effect in the sleeves and on the side panels.





Pattern #09, Baby Sleeping Bag. There was not much more effort put into this one than there was put into the baby poncho "design".





Pattern #10, Striped Sweater. This is quite simple, but it's certainly attractive and wearable. Care has been taken in the details (i.e., picking an effective colour combination, matching the buttons to the contrast colour, matching the stripes on the arms to the body stripes), and it shows.