Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Love of Knitting Fall 2017: A Review

Love of Knitting has released its Fall 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Ashwood Hoodie. Lovely. I like this so much I am thinking of using this pattern to make the brown hoodie I want to make next year (my current brown hoodie being on its last fibres), although I did want a design with a zipper, and I don't know how well a zipper would look in this one. But I'm favouriting it for now anyway.

Bloomsbury Mitts. Nice detailing and shaping on these.

Chequers Brioche Scarf. I'm really liking this one. It's creative, it's attractive, it has style, and it's the kind of thing even the most sartorially unadventurous man wouldn't mind wearing.

Cotswold Capelet. This is rather a cute, fetching little piece, but I can't say I care for that bit of twisted baling wire the designer has used for a front fastener. However, there are lots of clasps out there so you can easily substitute one more to your liking if you also don't happen to like this one.

Delabole Cardigan. This is a nice piece with a good shape and some good detailing, and which I would not wear over a collarless blouse buttoned to the neck. The effect is way too prim.

Guernsey Shawl. What a beautiful piece. The stitchwork is excellent.

High Street Jacket. This isn't bad, but I've seen much more interesting fitted cardigans.

King's Road Cowl. I like this one. It sits well, and that's a beautifully and richly coloured yarn.

Mitre Square Tote. I'm liking this shoulder bag, if not the drab colours it's been done in. The slouchy shape works well at this size and with those handles.

Nottingham Lace Cardigan. Good shaping and some pretty lace detailing.

Red Moss Pullover. Not bad. I think I might go with a variegated yarn for this one. The design has a slight flatness in a solid shade.

River Blackwater Scarf. Love the stitchwork in this one.

Sherwood Forest Pullover. I'm really liking this one. The detailing at the neck, hem, and cuffs is attractive, and the colour palette works together beautifully.

Shetlandesque Stole. Another handsome scarf.

Terrapina Achilles. This is so cute, and it would be fun to pick out a colourway for it.

Thames Path Socks. This is a presentable and practical pair of hiking socks. The ribbed band around the foot is intended to help keep the socks from bunching up inside one's hiking boots.

Tweed Water Vest. This is not a bad piece. The idea of a turtleneck vest is a bit off-beat, but I think it works, and the cabling is beautifully worked out.

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.