Friday, 21 April 2017

Knitscene Summer 2017: A Review

Knitscene has released its Summer 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it.

Blocker Tank. Wearable and sporty little tank. Though I would not wear it over a t-shirt as it is styled here.

Coney Island Shawl. I'm not sure the striped garter section and the lace section really work together in one wrap, though I like them when I consider them separately.

Crossover Tank. Not a bad little piece for summer, though I'm not sure this drab colourway is doing much for the design.

Fern Stole. A lovely piece. And the stole size is so useful, as it can be worn as either a wrap or a scarf.

Foglia. This is my kind of design: a simple, flattering shape with just that little bit of an unexpected twist in its details that makes the look interesting and distinctive.

Hannah's Racerback Tank. And this is very much not my kind of design. It's baggy and saggy and unflattering. I would have given this piece a much less dashing name, such as "Hannah's Butt Curtains".

Jammer Shorts. If I had been told in advance that someone was designing a pair of knitted jean-style shorts for this issue, I would not have had high hopes of them, but these aren't bad at all -- in fact, I am even considering making a pair for myself. They've got some good detailing and shaping and they look good in all four of the photos Knitscene has posted on the pattern's Ravelry page.

Joni's Lacy Cowl. Not bad, though that mesh would make me feel as though I was wearing a grocery shopping bag around my neck.

Kricka Top. I absolutely love the stitchwork, which is apparently a stitch called Indian Cross-stitch, but an oversized cropped pullover is going to work on very few women -- it's not a happy look even on this professional model.

Meadow Tank. I love the idea of knitted lace being made separately and then applied to a knitted body, and this is a very attractive execution of the concept.

Pivot Tank. I like this one, though I'd suggest just one tweak, which is to finish the neckline with ribbing as has been done with the other edges. It looks unfinished as is.

Rau Sweater. Very pretty. The leaf detail makes it.

Reed Market Bag. Rather a nice shoulder bag for summer. I'd interface and line it to keep it from sagging.

Sara's Cabled Hat. Cute little cabled cap.

Spearmint Shawl. The dropped/twisted stitch effect in this one looks a bit too much like runs for me.

Time-Out Tank. This one's eliciting a "meh" from me, but I think the problem is the styling. The pale pink shorts worn over mint green tights are definitely not helping this design (although for that matter I'm at a loss to think of a knitwear design they would help). The yarn choices are also a little blah. This would be a perfectly good tank done in a fresh, crisp summer colour combination and worn over jeans or khakis, or a print skirt in the same colours.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Knit Simple Spring/Summer 2017: A Review

Knit Simple has released their Spring & Summer 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it.

Pattern #1, Double Seed Stitch Pullover. It's a Christmas tree skirt with sleeves.

Pattern #2, Halter Top. This thing is like a crocheted Newton's Cradle. If gives me the feeling that if I lifted up one tassel and let it swing back in place, it would send a compression wave through the other tassels, causing the tassel on the other end to swing out as well, and that the end tassels would just keep swinging out in turn until forcibly stopped.

This seems to be pattern number three, though there's no Ravelry page for it. I can only say that there's more to making jewelry than fastening a hunk of yarn to a cord and a wooden object.

Pattern #4, Round-Neck Tunic. This isn't so much a top as it is a grocery shopping bag with pretensions.

Pattern #5, Sandi Prosser. And here we have a table runner with pretensions.

Pattern #6, Chevron Blanket. Classic ripple afghan.

Pattern #7, Pillow Trio. Very simple but effective striped pillows.

Pattern #8, Blue/Green Pillows. Fun and fresh.

There isn't a Ravelry page for this one either, but it seems to be pattern number nine. It's a good marriage of yarn and stitchwork.

Pattern #10, Pom Pom Pillows. I rather like these, but I would skip the pom poms unless the pillows were intended to decorate the dormitory lounge at Clown College.

Pattern #11, Striped Throw. Very fresh, summery colours.

Pattern #12, Waffle Rib Blanket. This is okay. I think the design's fine, but the colours are detracting from it, as they have a dingy, drab look.

Pattern #13, Drop-Stitch Tank. The stitchwork is rather pretty, but I have my suspicions about how well this sits when the wearer isn't contorting herself to make it look good. Also, any woman who wears this will likely want to wear something underneath it, and layering tends to be the last thing one wants to do in hot weather.

Pattern #14, Eyelet Crop Top. This is rather cute, and it sits well. A lot of women wouldn't care to wear such a cropped length, but it can always be lengthened.

Pattern #15, Long-Sleeve Tunic. This isn't so bad. It's baggier than I like, but it does drape well.

Pattern #17, Back-Pleat Pullover. Thanks to the titular back pleat, this thing is huge. I can't even joke that it's good for carrying groceries, because it would be difficult for all but the most muscular of people to carry as many grocery items as this sweater would hold.

Pattern #17, Buttoned Wrap. This isn't such a bad piece. It can be worn in several different ways, including with the buttons running down the front so that it has the look of a cardigan.

Pattern #18, Boy's Cardigan, and pattern #19, Girl's Cardigan. Basic but cute and serviceable.

Pattern #20, Girl's Jumper, and pattern #21, Boy's Overall. Like the cardigans above, these are dead simple but cute and wearable.

Pattern #22, Baby Bonnets. Do people put bonnets on their babies these days? I suppose these aren't too bad for a contemporary take on an old-fashioned style.

Pattern #23, Frog Booties, and pattern #24, Puppy Booties. Not bad at all.

Pattern #25, Halter Top. Just as sweaters should not look like afghans or grocery shopping bags, halter tops should not look like pot holders with strings.

Pattern #26, Tote Bag. You know what, Knit Simple? Granny square chic is not a thing.

Pattern #27, Mini Skirt. Poor Mitzi had such high hopes of making an impression on the cheerleader crowd at high school when she left the house that morning, dressed, as she thought, for the clique she hoped to join, but as it turned out, her hopes (as well as most of her self-esteem) were crushed long before lunch.

Pattern #28, Triangle Poncho. Honestly, this pattern, as well as so many of the patterns in this issue, could have been taken straight from the back pages of some seventies homemaking magazine.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Love of Knitting Summer 2017: A Review

Love of Knitting has released its Summer 2017 issue. How about we all, with our own love of knitting, take a look at Interweave's version of it?

Beachy Tote. This bag isn't without a certain sporty appeal, but those stripes are badly connected and the shape is dumpy.

Cuddly Panther. Very cute toy. I do like to see animal toys done with other species than the classic bears and bunnies.

Dakini Sweater. A very wearable simple sweater with some good shaping and a bit of nice detailing.

Damson Plum Cardigan. This is... okay. I don't happen to like cardigans with fronts that don't meet, as they always look too small to me, but if you do like the style, it's a workmanlike example of it.

Dropstitch Stripes Pullover. This isn't so bad a design, but I think this was the wrong yarn choice for this piece. The way those stripes take a downturn at the sleeves is neither attractive nor flattering on either the front or the back of this piece. A non-stripe yarn would go a long way towards erasing the frown lines effect.

Dropstitch Swatch Cloth. Dropstitch can be quite an effective technique, but here it looks like a lot of surprisingly symmetrical runs.

Gallery Pullover. An attractive, simple piece... but I would fix those dropped shoulders.

Hiking Henley. Basic but wearable and useful piece.

Mediterranean Scrub Set. This set includes a facecloth, scrub mitt, and soap sack. The idea seems to be that it could be used as a fancy guest set for the bathroom or at the beach. I suppose it's a nice set for people who like handknitted towelry and loofahs, but it comes across as a little cheesy to my mind. The facecloth supposedly has a "seashell shape", but to me it looks for all the world like a Barbie dress.

Moonlight Poncho. This is a lovely piece of lacework, and though I don't usually like ponchos, this is so light and delicate it comes across less as a poncho than as a shawl that will stay in place.

Mottled Mitts. A very serviceable and well-shaped pair of mitts.

Museum Piece Pullover. Quite like this one, with its beautifully cabled yoke and excellent shaping.

Nurturing Cardigan. I like the combination of the lace pattern in the body and the ribbing on the sleeves and edges, but the dropped shoulders and the open fronts give this an awkward, "doesn't fit right" look.

Pack-me-up Shawl. Not a bad little shawl.

Prairielands Cowl. Quite like this. The unusual and adept colour palette makes it.

Traveler's Arms Wrap. Very nice wrap! Love the stitchwork.

Water Carrier. The yarn is wrong for this, I think. Using a standard knitting yarn makes this water botter carrier look like a toilet paper cozy that recognized times had changed and transitioned into a second career. I'd make this carrier with nylon cord or something of the sort to give it a more athletic/utilitarian look.