Friday, 31 January 2014

Interweave Knits Spring 2014: A Review

The Interweave Knits Spring 2014 issue is out. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

This is the Bailiwick Pullover. This is a very traditional gansey pattern with a little updating in its use of a ballet neckline and three quarter sleeve length.

The Meltwater Pullover is another very traditional sweater. The colours used here really make the design pop.

The Alderney Socks. These have the traditional gansey pattern worked into them, but I must admit I've never seen it used in socks before, and that it's a very pleasing effect.

The O'Kelly's Chapel Shawl. Another very traditional piece. And this does have a lovely lace pattern, though I always have found that blunt rectangular shawl shape to be rather awkward.

The Lovebird Sweater. Really like this pretty and carefully finished piece.

The Dhania Shawl is a lovely piece.

The Monsoon Shawl. Another pretty shawl.

The Serendipity Tee is a pretty and wearable little top.

The Brick Lane Pullover is another attractive and wearable design. I don't happen to care for that three quarter sleeve length, which isn't always flattering on a woman, but of course you can make the sleeves any length you choose.

The Plumage Wrap. Love this little capelet, with its very clever Celtic knot tulip device. The buttons are a good thought. A woman doesn't always have the free hand or the patience for keeping a shawl clutched around her.

I'm not sold on the Sunshine Canyon Tee. The shaping isn't flattering, and the whole design comes across as a 80s-era throwback.

The Star House Cowl. This is one of those cowls that are long enough that they can be worn single or doubled, but I'd wear this one doubled. It looks nice doubled, but when worn single it has that limp spare tire look that cowls sometimes have.

The Caretaker Pullover. I don't much like this one, but I think that's largely because the colour choices here are unfortunate and it makes that shoulder patch look way too random. When I imagine this being done in a variegated colour and a second colour that picks up one of the colours from the variegated colour, I can see it working.

The Gyre Cardigan is something different. It's basically a shawl with sleeves, combining the lacy draped quality of a shawl with the functionality of a sweater. And it totally works. Very attractive and unique piece.

The Abiquiu Tunic. While the previous piece was a happy marriage of a shawl and a sweater, this one is a mésalliance of a sweater and an afghan, or what might be called a slanket. This just looks stiff and awkward.

The Aurora Jacket. I don't care for this one. I'd admire the rich texture of this if it were in an afghan, but it's too heavy for a cardigan, and the shaping is awkward and unflattering.

The Zephirine Cardigan. This is a very pretty piece. That yoke is delicately lovely.

The Millay Jacket is a piece with the kind of asymmetrical modern style I wouldn't normally like, but I think it works here. The lines have a certain grace.

The Jacaranda Tunic. Yikes. I'm trying to figure out where to start here. I mean, the colours are bad, the shaping is bad, the proportions are bad, the twee embroidery at the yoke is bad, the mud flaps at the sides are really bad. I say we all just go do some knitting and try to forget this design ever happened.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Yankel's Gift

Here's a hand knitted and hand sewn stop animation video called Yankel's Gift, which is about a little boy and his books. This video was made and edited by Emily Peterson Dunne, written by Molly Auerbach, and voiced by Molly Auerbach and Grace Pak, with music by Elliott Smith. The production was filmed at Sarah Lawrence College in 2009.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Knit Under Your Plaidie

Robbie Burns Day just passed us two days ago, so what do you say to a post of selected knitted plaid patterns? Ah, something about the "best plaid plans of mice and men" in a stage Scottish burr? Fantastic. But let's get on with the patterns. Bear with me while I make bad Scottish jokes. My surname may be Scottish (the real one, not Swan), but I'm actually only 1/32 Scottish.

Lead on with the Macduff tartan bag, by Judy Furlong. This pattern is available for $3.00(USD).

Love this simple yet distinctive Plaid Baby Blanket, by Yana Ivey. It's a free pattern.

These are the Plaid Play socks, by Camille Chang. This pattern is available for $1.99(USD).

If you'd like to sport just a touch of plaid, the Mad About Plaid Socks by fkd designs might be a good fit. This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download.

Another pair of plaid socks. Love the offbeat colourway. Mad For Plaid socks, by Kate Atherley. This is a Knitty pattern and therefore available for free.

Here's one for the boys. The Plaid Pullover, by Bruce Weinstein. This pattern was published in Boyfriend Sweaters: 19 Designs for Him That You'll Want to Wear. Don't know why the authors of the book had to title it as though only women would be knitting these men's sweaters.

These are the perfect thing to wear when you're eating a wee bit of bannock bread by the fire. The Plaid Loafers, by Katie Startzman. This pattern was published in The Knitted Slipper Book: Slippers and House Shoes for the Entire Family.

A rather fetching Plaid Tam, by Theresa Schabes. This pattern was published in Vogue® Knitting: The Ultimate Hat Book: History * Technique * Design.

I had to include this one, even though the pattern will be at best a challenge to find. This is Plaid Coat #6077, by Spinnerin, which was originally published in Spinnerin 150, Bulky Classics, in 1961. This is knitted in mohair, and in a sharp colourway it will be quite the statement piece.

Cute little Girl's Plaid Dress, by Melissa Leapman. This pattern is available for free.

Here's a smart hat and mitten set. The Chillaxin' Plaid Hat and Mitten, by Lorilee Beltman. This pattern is available for $7.00(USD).

Love this little number. Laura’s Cardigan, by Annie Modesitt. This pattern is available for $5.50(USD).

The colours of this piece are gorgeous. The Tartan Jacket, by Teva Durham. This pattern is available for $5.50(USD).

Friday, 24 January 2014

Where the Nodding Violets Grow

A stop animation video about the process of getting wool from sheep to sweater. As you will see, the process depicted here isn't exactly accurate, but it's kind of fun to see wool production and knitting acted out by Lego people anyway.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine Issue 55: A Review, Part 2

Let's look at the second half of the patterns from Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine's Issue 55, since we looked at the first half of its patterns on Monday.

The Wharf design. I rather like this smart, casual sweater. If you don't care to show any midriff or this is too fitted for you, it could be easily made a little longer and looser.

Not a fan of the Boardwalk design, which seems better suited to a little girl or a Muppet than a grown woman. Nothing against little girls or Muppets, you understand.

The Sailor design is another smart casual look. And it's well-styled here. A cute striped skirt like this one combined with this top will make the perfect easy, wearable summer outfit.

Very much like the Celeste design. The stripes are fresh and cute and fun in an adult fashion rather than in a Muppet-appropriate way. NOT MUPPET-IST.

The Buoy design. This is pretty run-of-the-mill design, adequate and wearable without being notable in any way.

Not crazy about the juxtaposition of the stripes and lace in the Port design — they're just not working together as they should. I'd make that waistband plain stockinette in the main colour.

The Surf design is another Muppet-suitable look. I'm being too hard on this one, probably, because maybe a lot of people would think it cute and fun, but those ripple patterns always look too afghan-like to me.

The Cove design. Hmm, a striped t-shirt with a peplum. I'm surprised to find myself typing that I actually kind of like this one. It is a very young woman's style, but I can see it looking cute on a teenager or early twentysomething.

The Sally design is another cute striped number that a grown up can wear. I wish designers would work with vertical stripes more often. They are just as sharp and so much more flattering than horizontal stripes.

The Driftwood pattern. Rowan has really gone to town on stripes in this issue. This one isn't bad, but I would fix the dropped shoulders, make it long enough to cover my stomach, and go with another colourway. This one looks just too Christmassy for a cotton sweater. Unless of course you live in Australia where it's warm at Christmas.

The Pier design. This is another cute little top. Again, if you wouldn't be comfortable in something this short and fitted, it can always be made longer and wider.

The Promenade design. SO MANY STRIPES. The stripes are done in an interesting way and the sweater is well-shaped, at least, so that the overall look is good.

The Gift design. This one isn't bad, though I think it does call out for some tweaking. I'd fix the dropped shoulder and put a bit of ribbing along the bottom of the body. The hem here doesn't look finished.

The Divinity design is a rather nice, simple little top.

The Sierra Wrap. Not a fan of this, which looks a little rough and ready and awkward in shape.

The Chiquitta design. This is afghan-like and very unflattering (admittedly, those two qualities do tend to go hand-in-glove in knitwear). It's never a good sign when the model is shown from a angle rather than full frontal.

The Shore pattern. Another very decent striped pullover.

The Azerbaijan design. I knew this was a Kaffe Fassett as soon as I looked at. As always Fassett's colourwork is distinctive and masterful, but his shaping can be difficult to carry off. If I were making this for an intended wearer who does not have a model-type figure, I'd reshape the item to be standard fit with a cap sleeve.

The Belarus design. The colourwork here is GORGEOUS, but I'd be doing some reshaping of the body of this cardigan, which looks too big and unstructured to flatter most wearers.

The Estonia design. Another Kaffe Fassett design. This one is actually quite well shaped, though you might wish to make it longer and looser than it appears here.

The Latvia design. The only change I'd make to this one would be to make it in some non-pastel colourway, but that's personal preference rather than because there's anything wrong with this palette.

The Lithuania design. This one's sharp and wearable. Though I would not put it with those pants.

The Slovenia design. Love this one as is, although it does appear to be a little long for this (probably tall) model. That's easily remedied, though.

The Moldova design. I see even Kaffe Fassett has climbed aboard the stripe train. Not bad, but I would neaten up the fit and shorten those sleeves a little. That just above the elbow length tends to look dowdy, particularly when it's loose fitting.

The Adella design looks like an afghan with sleeves. It's all bunchy in the back and none too flattering in the front. Afghans really only belong on couches.