Showing posts with label Vogue Knitting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vogue Knitting. Show all posts

Monday, 28 August 2017

Vogue Knitting Fall 2017: A Review

Vogue Knitting has released its Fall 2017 issue, which just so happens to also be their 35th anniversary issue. I'm a little alarmed by the fact that I not only remember buying their 10th anniversary issue twenty-five years ago but that I was also old enough to legally vote, drive a vehicle, and purchase alcoholic beverages at the time. Time, you thief!

The traditional 35th anniversary gift is coral or jade, and the Vogue Knitting editors, who have been marking its anniversary issues by producing a theme issue for that anniversary's gift (for the 30th anniversary they featured a special issue yarn made out of pearls), have celebrated this one by offering us a selection of knitwear designs in a range of jade-like shades. Let's have a look at these special anniversary designs.

Pattern #1, Sleeveless Turtleneck. Quite basic, but wearable enough.

Pattern #2, Turtleneck Poncho. I'm a hard sell on ponchos, but this one strikes me as not bad. It drapes well and has some texture and style.

Pattern #3, Sleeve Scarf/Wrap. This one strikes me as an inventive and interesting contemporary update on the sontag shawl. It looks good and will stay in place in both its cowl neck and sontag incarnations.

Just a side note.... If you're not familiar with the term, the sontag shawl was a mid-Victorian fashion that was essentially a shawl worn crossed over the front of the torso and fastened in the back. There are modern versions of this style available, though they tend not to be called by that name, and the modern versions are usually knitted seamless, or grafted together at the ends, so that they're slipped on over the wearer's head rather than arranged and then tied in place. I like reviving existing, if archaic, terms for clothing designs, as I did on this blog with the spencer (a very cropped, fitted cardigan or jacket originally popular in the early 1800s) when it came back in some years back. Why call designs by vague names like "cross over wrap" when we already have a specific term in the dictionaries?

Pattern #4, Honeycomb Pullover. A nice classic piece.

Pattern #5, Honeycombe Hat. An attractive classic cabled hat, and that looks like one luscious cashmere yarn. Both the colour and lush look of it have me drooling.

Pattern #6, Cabled Tube Scarf. Some good cable work here, and I like that it's knitted in a tube, so that there's no wrong side.

Pattern #7, Mystic Forest. This a characteristically whimsical design from Nicky Epstein, and it's the kind of thing I'd prefer to put on an afghan rather than wear, but it's certainly an eye-catching and delightful scene -- the little owl in the tree makes me smile. I would, however, neaten up the fit a little by making it narrower through the body, and raise the dropped shoulders as much as I could without interfering with the tree motifs.

Pattern #8, Cabled Pullover. This is the kind of thing that will make all the other druids in your local order green with envy. I kid, of course. This piece may be a little costumey, but it has great texture and is one of those pieces that make an impact when worn with a little panache.

Pattern #9, Patchwork Tunic. The texture's good, but I'd make this a little neater fitting and nix the tassels.

Pattern #10, A-Line Tunic. Try as I will to be more open-minded about huge sweaters, I simply can't get past the conviction that they don't do anyone any favours. I'd scale this piece down to just one size above the wearer's usual size, which will give it a relaxed, comfortable look and fit, rather making it tent-sized.

Pattern #11, Fringe Pullover. This one looks like an afghan that cheated on its vocational aptitude test in high school.

Pattern #12, Aran Shawl. A beautiful piece of work, though again I'd think it more becoming to one's couch than one's person.

Pattern #13, Lace Texture Pullover. I'd clean up the proportions and the fit on this one, because the cabled section is so long that it's visually dragging down the look and the back is baggy.

Pattern #14, Hex Pattern Scarf. This one is quite unique and a lot of fun. If it reminds you a little too much of the interlocking foam mats from children's playrooms, you can make it in non-primary colours.

Pattern #15, Stained Glass Blanket. The octogon shape and graphic design of this afghan is also fun and different, but I can't help imagining it in other colourways.

Pattern #16, Tuck Stitch Cowl. A simple, vivid cowl.

Pattern #17, Embroidered Yoke Pullover. I like the concept of a an elaborately embroidered yoke, but this execution of it is a gaudy eyesore.

Pattern #18, Woven Wrap. This wrap looks not so much designed as randomly tacked together.

Pattern #19, Colorblocked Pullover. This sweater's a fun pop of colour, though I wouldn't pair it with this skirt.

Pattern #20, Striped Pullover. I like this one too. It's a bit Muppet-y, but in the best possible way.

Pattern #21, Star Sweater. This one's another fun, wearable piece. I'm really liking this run of designs that are playful without being so twee that a grown woman can't wear them.

Pattern #22, Mohair Shawl. Beautiful. I love the interwoven cables effect, and I'm always up for having my raging mohair fetish catered to.

Pattern #23, Ruffled Top. Oooh, my just-mentioned mohair fetish just got served. This piece is charming. I'm imagining it in many a colourway and with variegated yarns, which would really change up the look, though this fuschia and purple combination is fetching.

Pattern #24, Eyelet Pullover. Yeah, no. This pullover makes even this lovely professional model looks like a fire hydrant.

Pattern #25, Flame Stitch Cardigan. This pattern is the cover design from Vogue Knitting's inaugural issue back in September 1982, and is shown in both the original cover photo and in a recent version made for this issue. Vogue Knitting's editorial staff chose to recreate the original colourway as close as possible, and also to style it in a early eighties period-appropriate way, but I'm mentally playing with the colourway and the styling. The cardigan has a smart, jacket-like shape and could easily be made to suit a 2017 wearer.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2017: A Review

Vogue Knitting has released their Early Fall 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Pattern #1, Open Stitch Wrap. This one's a little rough around the edges for my liking.

Pattern #2, Chevron Stitch Wrap. A nice blanket scarf. The texture keeps it interesting.

Pattern #3, Slip Stitch Stripe Wrap. This one's a bit rough and chunky for my tastes, and does anyone else see a wall of little people all standing on one another's shoulders when they look at the stitchwork?

Pattern #4, Diamond Textured Wrap. Some excellent stitchwork in this.

Pattern #5, Shetland Twist Wrap. Beautifully intricate cables.

Pattern #6, Textured Wrap. This sampler style piece isn't quite pulling together visually, even though it's monochrome. I'd pick two or even three of those stitch patterns and repeat them rather than having each section in a different stitch.

Pattern #7, Cabled Raglan Pullover. Classic piece with good shaping.

Pattern #8, Kimono-Style Cardigan. The back of this piece looks fantastic. I'm not so thrilled with the front, but then I don't much like open front cardigans. I'd be inclined to turn this one into a pullover.

Pattern #9, Cable Detail Cardigan. This isn't bad, although it's a little on the rough and unfinished-looking side for my liking.

Pattern #10, Dipped Hem Pullover. Nice, classic piece.

Pattern #11, Diagonal Stitch Pullover. Excellent shaping and stitchwork.

Pattern #12, Eyelet Raglan Hoodie. I'm not usually a fan of mesh, but I do like this mesh pattern, with its twisty, almost lace-like look. The shaping and detailing are pretty good too.

Pattern #13, Strata Hat. Nice hat, but I don't know if I'm fully on board with those ear flaps, though I must admit those earflaps are as nicely designed as earflaps could be. The hat has the look of a helmet from a Narnian series illustration. This isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Pattern #14, Lace Pattern Cardigan. I must admit this piece overcomes my usual objections to loose, drapey cardigans. It sits very well, the lace is beautiful, and the effect is romantic and contemporary at the same time.

Pattern #15, Striped Ruana. The stripes and colourwork are irresistible. I would expect no less, as this is a Kaffe Fassett design.

Pattern #16, Striped Boat Neck Top. Such a fun, eye-catching piece.

Pattern #17, Fitted Mock Neck Tee. This is a fun piece too, although I don't think the colourway is working all that well.

Pattern #18, Fringed Vest. This one has that "floormat from the mudroom" look.

Pattern #19, Swing Hem Tunic. I'd be inclined to make this one a little longer, to turn it into a dress, and to rework the colour scheme.

Pattern #20, Bias Stripe Pullover. With its bad shape and unfinished edges, this sweater looks more like a design in progress than a completed piece of work.

Pattern #21, Fibonacci Fade Vest. Love the colour scheme, and this vest sits quite well.

Pattern #22, Striped Dress. This is wearable, fun, modern and even cool, but I do keep hearing the words, "Please do not adjust your television set," whenever I look at it.

Pattern #23, Lace Up V-Neck Pullover. This is okay, as the shaping is good and the colour scheme is well-worked out, but those dangling drawstring cords would drive me crazy.

Pattern #24, Striped Raglan Pullover. This is a reprinted pattern that originally appeared in Vogue Knitting's Spring Summer 1989 issue. It's okay, but it's not the pattern I would have selected from that issue to re-release (I checked, and yes, I do indeed have the issue), and although the VK editors have suggested substitute yarns to use to recreate the colour scheme shown here, I'd rework the colours.

I like the idea of crocheting decorative buttons, but these look a little kitschy.