Monday, 30 November 2015

Creative Anagramming and Other Knitting Fables

When Mike Palesell's girlfriend gave him a sweater with his name spelled out in floral letters on the back, he made it a little more wearable and more his style by rearranging the letters of his name.

Troy had asked his grandmother for "a classic cable or argyle sweater" for Christmas, but it did not end well. He envied his buddy Mike for his sweater's creative anagramming potential.

When the Sleepyside High School basketball team couldn't raise enough money for new uniforms, the Sleepyside Junior Fingerknitting Club came to the rescue.

Helen and Lois were pretty sure their knitwear was much too chic for whatever Carol Burnett sketch they'd just wandered into.

While Helen and Lois argued their point with Carol Burnett, Estelle awaited her debut as the latest Carol Burnett Show sketch character, a long-lost member of "Mama's Family".

Sam thought that his macramé corset was a brilliant way to show support for feminism, but his sister suggested that there were better and more productive ways to show support, such as putting an immediate stop to all his frequent "women are crazy" jokes.

Viola's original idea for knitting a faux fur shrug into her pullover had lost something in its execution because she had gotten confused as to which end was the top of the sweater and which was the bottom.

Jared felt that there was no need to deny either his love for the macabre or his past as a member of the Mickey Mouse Club.

Paige commemorated the happiest day of her life by knitting all her leftover wedding decorations and favours into a sweater. She was thrilled with the result, and even more delighted when she managed to coordinate the look with pink-soled, pink-laced, clear vinyl Doc Martens and frilled yellow ankle socks, but her friends wondered if they should start planning some kind of intervention. After all, it had been three years since Paige's six-month marriage ended in divorce.

Zima's crocheted spiderweb Halloween costume had been such a hit that she'd started wearing it out clubbing as well. Everyone had to admit she carried it off much better than they ever would have thought possible.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Noro Magazine Issue 7: A Review

Noro Magazine has published its seventh issue. Let's have a look at it.

Pattern #01, Ruffle-Edge Cardigan. The yarn plays out beautifully over the sleeves and ruffles, but I have my doubts as to how good this sweater looks from the front and how well the ruffles will sit when not being pulled into place.

Pattern #02, Mitered Wrap. Lovely piece with a beautiful colourway.

Pattern #03, Infinity Scarf. An attractive cowl.

Pattern #04, Entrelac Blanket. The pattern is fine, but these yarns don't work well together, colour-wise.

Pattern #05, Asymmetrical Top. This looks way too patched together, and not in a good way.

Pattern #06, Striped Mitts. Nice-looking mitts.

Pattern #07, Open-Front Jacket. This is quite smart. I'm amazed by how well the multi-direction stripes work together, making a polished whole.

Pattern #08, Batwing Cardigan. There's something proportionally off and graceless about the solid midsection panel. I'd have just the opening front bands, and perhaps a narrow waistband, done in the fuchsia yarn and do the rest of the sweater in the striped yarn.

Pattern #09, Crochet Jacket. Way too afghan-like, to the extent that it looks like we surprised the model in the middle of her nap and she forgot to get out from under the afghan before jumping up to pose for a picture.

Pattern #10, Hound's Tooth Pullover. Very much like this one. It was a smart choice to only do the body in the hound's tooth pattern, as doing the sleeves and neck in it would have been too much of a good thing.

Pattern #11, Slipped-Stitch Jacket. Very sharp! The shaping and the texture are excellent and work perfectly with the yarn choice.

Pattern #12, Mosaic Sweater. Not a bad pattern on the whole, though I think the cropped length isn't for most women. It looks awkward even on this professional model.

Pattern #13, Plaid Pullover. In this case, I would extend the plaid patterning to the sleeves. They look like an afterthought as is.

Pattern #14, Striped Pullover. I'd fix those dropped shoulders and consider making this in a less bland colourway.

Pattern #15, Raglan Jacket. Nice piece, though I'm not thrilled with the pockets, which look a little tacked on.

Pattern #16, Braided Scarf. Pretty and texturally interesting cowl.

Pattern #17, Classic Scarf. Handsome scarf.

Pattern #18, Slouchy Checkered Hat. Nice-looking hat. The colourway really makes this one sing.

Pattern #19, Ribbed Mitts. Simple enough, but the lovely yarn carries it.

Pattern #20, Man's Jacket. I'm not liking the ribbed sleeves on this one. I'd make the sleeves in the same stitch as the body of the sweater with just a ribbed cuff.

Pattern #21, Textured Tam. Not bad texture here, though the yarn choice is a little too "paint factory explosion" for me.

Pattern #22, Chunky Beanie. There are better texture and yarn combinations than this one.

Pattern #23, Cabled Brim Tam. Nice shape and detail in this one.

Pattern #24, Slipped-Stitch Hat. Love this one. The stitchwork and yarn combination work together beautifully and bring out the best in each other.

Pattern #25, Cabled Hat. You can't go wrong with a classic cabled hat.

Pattern #26, Slouchy Beanie. Again, I'm not liking the yarn and stitchwork combination. They don't do anything for each other.

Pattern #27, Top-Down Beret. This pattern is fine, but I'm not liking this yarn at all.

Pattern #28, Bobble Skullcap. This model seems to be suffering from an unfortunate tumour outbreak.

Pattern #29, Slouchy Hat/Cowl. This looks like a piece of discarded work that was scraped off the floor of the designer's workroom and sewn haphazardly around the model's neck.

Pattern #30, Earflap Beanie. Next.

Pattern #31, Mitered Squares Blanket. Beautiful.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Twist Collective Winter 2015: A Review

Twist Collective has released their Winter 2015 issue, and it's an especially good effort from them. Twist Collective probably has the best photography of any of the knitting magazines I review (it looks beautiful, the styling is generally excellent, and they almost never let their artistic direction override their primary purpose of providing a detailed view of the knitwear, as some of the magazines do), but they've outdone themselves this time. I mean, just look at that fantastic cover shot!

Chance & Comet mittens. The adult version comes across as a little too juvenile, but the castle and unicorn child version is ever so cute.

Carlu pullover. Good shaping and detailing on this one. The slit in the collar is a nice touch.

Sceptre mittens. Very Game of Thrones in the best possible way.

Vinca shawl. Lovely.

Kennemerland hat, cowl, and mittens. Love the hat and the cowl, but although the mittens are fine in themselves, I'm not sure the stripes work with the rest of the set. The designer probably wanted to avoid overdoing that feather-like stitch, but didn't substitute a compatible motif.

Channa pullover. Very nice piece overall, but those short sleeves do give it that "shrunk in the wash" look. Of course you can make the sleeves any length you want.

Nalina cap & cowl. What a lovely set.

Cappadocia cardigan. This one's an excellent piece of work. It's a simple and very wearable, flattering piece and has some very attractive lacework edging to keep it visually interesting.

Norrland cap & mittens. This is the grown-up's version of a snowflake hat and mittens. It's really lovely and quite sophisticated.

Bonspiel hoodie. This is a decent piece of design, but perhaps an unfortunate colour choice. Doing that cabled device on the back of the hood in this coral colour gave it a regrettable resemblance to a gaping and predatory alien mouth, such as that of The X-Files's Flukeman. Doing this sweater in a non-living-tissue-like shade such as navy or teal should help the back of the sweater lose that most unwelcome of celebrity resemblances.

Besom cardigan. Cute piece!

Zepp socks. These look very good from the side, but not so well from the front, and those ribbed tops are disproportionately long.

Spinner shawl. Exquisite!

Ready Steady Go cap, scarf & mittens. Very striking Art Deco effect here. Pairing these with a bright, clean-lined coat was the right styling choice too.

Spalle pullover. From a less skillful designer, a simple ribbed sweater like this one could have been a lacklustre and unflattering piece, but this one is so expertly shaped that it's the best possible example of its kind.

Kizzlekazzle shawl. The texture of this, while technically impressive, is a little too bathmat for me, but I suppose this shawl could make an interesting accessory for warm, casual, simple clothes.

Chroming pullover. Normally I'm a hardsell on asymmetrical hemlines, but this one really works, adding a visually distinctive touch to a simple pullover in a way that elevates the entire design.

Dendri cardigan. Very attractive and wearable.

Shivelight cap & cowl. Very nice set. The cabling is beautifully intricate, and the rolled edgings work well with the look.

Cinders turtleneck. You can't go wrong with a classic cabled turtleneck sweater.

Iana shawl. Another lovely shawl.

Sawteeth cardigan. This one will look awkward and bulky on most women. Even this model isn't able to work it successfully.

Tainia socks. Good looking cabled socks.

Racine cardigan. I like the back, but I wish I could see the entire front, particularly the collar. What I can see of the front (the pocket and button band edges) looks a little rough.

Ripplerock shawl. Impressive stitchwork on this one.

Lovat cardigan. Love this one. The whole piece flows toward that single button at the waist. It's perhaps not a piece for a woman who doesn't care to emphasize her waist, but will be quite flattering on those who do.

Kielo shawl. And we end the review with a another example of gorgeous lacework.