Monday, 27 June 2016

Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2016: A Review

The Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2016 issue preview pictures are out! Let's have a look at them.

Pattern #1. Some lovely stitchwork in this cowl, and the yarn used here looks especially luscious.

Pattern #2. Good lines and interesting detail.

Pattern #3. Not thrilled with all those loose stitches in this scarf, which remind me of runs in stockings.

Pattern #4. Very pretty pinwheel effect in this wrap.

Pattern #5. This afghan has a vintage-y feel to it, but in a good way.

Pattern #6. Very much like this capelet. It has a polished, sophisticated look that would go to the office as well as most other places.

Pattern #7. This one's really eyecatching. You can't not notice it.

Pattern #8. This v-neck is as basic as it gets, but the shaping is so good that all it needs is a beautiful yarn.

Pattern #9. This pullover would ordinarily not be my kind of thing (note the dropped shoulders), but I think it's working. The texture is interesting, it drapes well, and it has an elegantly relaxed and understated look to it.

Pattern #10. This three-quarter length jacket looks unfinished. The pockets look rough and crooked at the bottom, and there's no visual interest or any particular style to the garment.

Pattern #11. Another unfinished-looking piece. Adding some sort of band to those front edges would have helped.

Pattern #12. Not a bad look. The exaggerated length of it gives it interest, though this will also be a difficult piece for a short woman to carry off. But then it could be scaled down a little for the vertically challenged.

Pattern #13. Another basic piece with good lines. These pieces are a great way to showcase a beautiful or interesting yarn.

Pattern #14. This Peruvian-style cap is a little roughly constructed and busy for my tastes, but it is also kind of fun and the colour scheme has a fresh feel to it.

Pattern #15. This one is a little too architectural for an item that's to be worn. These motifs would be better suited to throw cushion or afghan design.

Pattern #16. Very pretty, and the subtle colourway is lovely.

Pattern #17. The graphics look better suited to a child than an adult, and the colour scheme is giving me retina burn.

Pattern #18. Very nice!

Pattern #19. The stitchwork leaves me with a confused feeling, like it's an advanced Rorschach ink blot test, but I must admit that the black and white makes this piece striking.

Pattern #20. Quite like the vest, with its good shaping and unique detail, though the way it's styled here does nothing for it.

Pattern #21. Attractive and polished.

Pattern #22. This is not only a lovely and versatile piece, but it looks as though it would be a pure pleasure to wear it. I want to put this on and never take it off.

Pattern #23. Bulky, shapeless, and crudely put together. How did this get in here?

Friday, 24 June 2016

Masterpiece Knits: A Book Review

In February 2016, Dragonfly Fibers (a yarn company that produces hand-dyed yarns and spinning fibres) published Masterpiece Knits: A Modern Collection, a book of designs inspired by famous paintings. I love the concept, but then I tend to love the combination of knitting with anything else I enjoy or think important: knitting and literature, knitting and art, knitting and theatre, knitting and politics, etc. Basically, knitting goes with everything but something like, say, driving a car. Let's have a look at Masterpiece Knits.

Fractal Poppies. This design was inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe's "Oriental Poppies". I can definitely see the correlation in the shaping and colours, but I'm not convinced that this shawl would look all that good when worn given its unusual shape.

Blue Morning Glories. This design was inspired by another Georgia O'Keeffe work, "Blue Morning Glories". This is attractively and interestingly detailed, well-shaped, and very wearable, though I'm not thrilled with the edging on the neckline and bottom hem.

Picasso Socks. This pair of socks was inspired by Picasso's Paisaje Mediterraneo. I actually find the socks more pleasing to look at than the painting. Great stitchwork, and the play of colour is awesome.

Klee's Knees. This design is based on Paul Klee's "Fire in the Evening". These are interesting, and they aren't unattractive, but I'm not sure I'd want to wear such a bulky pair of knee socks.

A Golden Landscape Hat & Mitts. These two patterns were based on Gustav Klimt's "Tree of Life". I love the combination of the "tree" stitchwork, the polished shaping, and the beautiful yarn.

Morning at the Tate. This scarf wasn't based on a particular painting but rather was inspired by modern art on the whole (the Tate Modern, of course, is London's museum of modern art) and "combines the movement of an O'Keeffe painting and the boldness of modernism". It does have a very contemporary feel to it and capture the spirit of modern art quite well.

Marilyn in Color. This cowl was inspired by Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe diptych. I would have named the scarf after Andy Warhol, because it seems more expressive of him than it does of Monroe. I love the stitchwork though I'm not that taken with the colourway, which is too crude and loud for my liking.

Sugar Shack Tunic. This design represents Ernie Barnes' "Sugar Shack", and it looks like not only a tribute to the painting but also as though it could be worn by one of the figures in the painting, which is a neat accomplishment. The lines of the tunic are very good, but I'm not sure about the curled edge, which looks too unfinished and takes away from the overall sleekness of the piece.

Rothko Beret. This hat was inspired by Mark Rothko's "Untitled 12". I like the bold colour, and the lacework is attractive.

Earth and Green. This cap was inspired by Mark Rothko's "Earth & Green". I like the hat and the colours in it, though I am not sure how many men would.

Sheaves. This cowl was based on the Matisse cut out, "The Sheaf". I actually don't see much of a correlation between these two pieces, but I do love the cowl -- it's probably my favourite design in the whole book. The shape is perfect and the yarn is gorgeous.

The Laundress. This jacket was inspired by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's painting "The Laundress". Between the frumpy shape and ugly, dreary colour of this one, all I can say is that this does look like the kind of thing one might wear to do the family laundry if one wanted to feel even more oppressed by the task than one already is.

The Laundress Hat. Here's a hat to go with the jacket. Although at least I can say for the hat that the stitchwork and shaping are perfectly good and deserve a better colourway and a better occasion than laundry day.

Modern Lattice. This cowl is another tribute to Paul Klee's "Fire in the Evening". I like this piece, though I would make it in a lighter weight than super bulky, as it looks a little crude as is. Double knitting weight might be my pick, or I might go all the way down to fingering.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Love of Knitting Fall 2016: A Review

Love of Knitting has released their Fall 2016 issue! Let's have a look at it.

Autumn Leaves Cardigan. The leaf detail is pleasing, but I don't like the way this cardigan lies in front.

Embossed Leaves. Very nice! The leaves are so simple and spare a detail and yet so effective, and they frame the wearer's face so well.

Leaf & Seed Hat. Rather a nice little cap.

Leafy Path Pullover. Very much like this one. That leafy panel and matching collar are so distinctive and the textured stitch works so well with them.

Parallelogram Wrap. Very well-shaped and textured.

Orbit Pullover. Excellent shaping and the collar sits well. The styling is very good as well.

Evelyn Cowl. Very basic.

Quick Finish Jacket. This one was perhaps too quickly finished -- it has an unfinished look and the front doesn't sit that well.

Crestwood Socks. What lovely stitchwork.

Clear Skies Wrap. This one has a nice textured lace pattern.

OXO Pullover. This one has an interesting variation on the traditional cable pattern.

Chevron & Stripes Pattern. Cute and striking little piece. I like the non-traditional colourway.

Hoot Sweet Hat & Mitts. What an adorable little set. It has a smartness that is usually completely lacking in most children's animal-themed stuff.

Wishbone Sweater. A very handsome take on a classic.

Byzantine Tiles Socks. These are rather fetching. It would be fun to play with the colour combinations on this one.

Day of the Dead. This one's a lot of fun and quite visually pleasing as well. The colours are great.

Garter Cable Pillow. This is fine, but I've seen cabled pillows I liked better.

Apricot Shawl. A well-textured classic shawl.

Curving Cables Swatch. That's a nice cable pattern. It amazes me how many cable variations there are.

Circus Train Passenger Car. This is the next car in the toy train set series Love of Knitting is releasing one pattern at a time. I'm looking forward to seeing the caboose!