Wednesday, 2 November 2016
Love of Knitting has released a special issue entitled Knit and Crochet Toys, 2017. Let's have a look at the cuteness within its covers, shall we?
Zeppelin Mobile. This is a mobile that children can play with once they get old enough to know better than to try to eat it. It's not bad. I suppose it would be just the thing for a Hindenburg-themed nursery.
Rat-a-Cuties. These are very well made -- rather too much so for my liking, I'm afraid. I can't get past my visceral reaction to rats in order to review them fairly. Shudder.
Bear Pair. These are cute. I think I'd prefer a little more shaping and detail on the bear's dresses, but you can always add that.
Puppet Pals. These aren't too bad. I can imagine them being useful on car trips. If the children can be diverted from their electronic devices for long enough, of course.
Bunny Girl. This one is quite cute. I like the little sheep sweater. It says "I'm pro-merino as opposed to pro-angora".
Sponge Buddies Bath Toys. These sponge covers are not only cute but also quite inventive and practical.
Tedmund Troll. I quite like this teddy troll. There is something irresistibly fun and witty about a cuddly version of dark side fantasy archetypes.
Hipponormous. I think this one could have used a little more detail.
Cat's Pajamas Jammy Keeper. This one would be a good way to get children to put their pajamas somewhere other than the floor, and it is a really cute and cuddly item in itself.
Patrick the Platypus. This is another one that could have used a little more detail, such as a facial expression, and a more subtly coloured body.
Mr. Robotics. Not bad, though I would make the arms and legs a little bigger in circumference, and stuff them lightly.
Serene Sea Star. This isn't badly designed, but I can't quite see a child actually playing with this, unless it's to use it to attack a sibling's Malibu Barbie.
Giant Tiger. Cute and cuddly and nicely designed.
Lost in Space Activity Board. I can't imagine children playing with this set much because it wouldn't be that much fun to simply rearrange the plants on the solar system. I think the designer should have gone steps further and turned it into some sort of game, because as it is it looks like a doily and coasters from the break room of the Star Trek Enterprise.
Checkerboard. This one I can see children playing with and enjoying, as it gives them a chance to play a very active game of checkers. I'd go with another colourway, though.
Toy Tote. This one is quite practical: it's a backpack that holds children's toys and converts into a toy mat. This one is perfect for those visits to a childless friend's house.
Do the Twist Game. This one, obviously, is a crocheted version of a game that shall not be mentioned in the advertising copy for fear of trade infringement. I'd be afraid to let children to play with this one for fear that the crocheted circles would skid out from underneath their feet, causing injury. A Twister-inspired throw might be a better idea.
Silky, Simone & Sydney. This set is really cute. I quite like that the designer has imagined the mermaids as fun, stylish tweens with a pet seal, rather than as the voluptuous merwomen one sees in most renderings of fantasy sea people -- even in Disney.
Mrs. Chicken. This one feels a little overdone, as though it were intended for a decoration for adults rather than a child's plaything.
Silly Monster Rattles. These are ever so cute, and quite practical as they would be washable.
Jackson the Jackalope. This is very well designed and original as well. I don't suppose too many children have toy jackalopes.
Aitches. These poseable letter Hs would be perfect for the little Harry or Hannah in your life.
Wednesday, 26 October 2016
Love of Knitting has released their Winter 2016 issue. Let's have a look at it.
Winter Wonderland Aran Sweater. Classic Aran sweater.
Vertical Stripes Pullover. This is one of those well-shaped, minimally detailed pieces that are perfect for showcasing a beautiful yarn in your favourite colour.
Vertical Stripes Cardigan. This isn't bad on the whole, but those front edges don't sit well.
Lytle Cowl and Hat. The stitchwork in these pieces is very good, but I can't say I care for the limp way in which that cowl sits.
Barcelona Pullover. The designer of this item has managed to give a classic cable and rib sweater a fresh look by making sparing use of asymmetry and a touch of stitchwork in the waistband. Nice piece.
Nordic Winter Hat & Cowl Set. This is a nice little set. It's been styled well too, as this is just the right hat and cowl to add a bit of colour and interest to a plain gray coat.
Window Cat Child's Cardigan. This is cute in a whimsical way, but I think I'd fiddle with the design a little more by adding a little more detail to the cats and by doing something different with the yoke. I'd replace the garter stitch with some other kind of stitchwork.
Circus Train Caboose. The caboose in this train set is the last in a series of patterns. The caboose is probably my favourite of the four train car patterns, as it's the best shaped and detailed.
Lodge Pullover. I don't think the idea of an inset lace cowl neckline works in a bulky knit. I'd do this sweater in a fingering weight and use a more interesting lace pattern for the cowl.
Feather Throw. A perfect and elegant afghan that would fit into nearly any decor.
Diamonds Swatch Cloth. A not uninteresting stitch.
Northern Lights Poncho. I quite like this one, with its attractively blended colours and nicely detailed neckband and bottom hem.
Chain Links Set. Can't say I care for this look. The holes in the "chain" look merely crude rather than interesting.
Daddy & Me Hat. Classic cabled hats. The stocking cap shape and pom pom is a nice touch on the child's hat.
Mommy & Me Hoods. The hooded scarf is style that can look a little odd and quaint, but I think it's a look that does need bringing back because it's so incredibly practical. A hood is warmer than a hat any day, and it would be impossible for one to lose the scarf. These adult and child versions are handsome examples of the style.
Supernova Cowl. Can't say I care for this one, which makes this woman look like she tacked a random swatch of knitting around her neck to hide a hickey.
Color Boxes Cardigan. This one needed some polishing up. I'd have replaced those rolled edges with something more polished, and gone with a more interesting colourway.
Complete with a Bow Wrap. This is so "granny in a rocking chair" that even this young model and her contemporary chair can't pull it off.
Anticipation Pullover. The pattern description calls this a special occasion sweater, and I agree that it is. The elongated length, fitted shape, boatneck and three-quarter sleeves give the design impact, and the touch of lace and the addition of a satin ribbon tie makes it dressy. I'd be inclined to pair this sweater with a pair of velvet trousers.
Starry Night Tunic. This is supposed to be another evening sweater, but the schlumpy shape and unfinished edges makes it look more like a "relaxing on the couch in yoga pants" kind of sweater.
Shades of White Shawl. This is a lusciously beautiful piece of work, but it does look more like an afghan than a shawl.
Wednesday, 22 June 2016
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!