Monday, 15 September 2014

Knit.Purl Fall/Winter 2014

Interweave has just brought out a new magazine, or rather an old magazine in a new guise. The former knit.wear has been rebranded as Knit.Purl, and Fall/Winter 2014 is its first issue. Interweave has made another change in that they are now forcing their website visitors to become Knitting Daily members and login in order to view their magazine previews, so you'll have to create a (free) account with them and/or login to view the links I've provided for each design.

The Spiral Pullover. Hmm, kind of like this one, which has a unique and interesting texture. The cropped sleeve length doesn't quite make sense on a super bulky weight sweater, though.

The Equation Cowl. Rather like this one, which sits well and has good texture.

The Cobblestone Coat. I would like to like this one, which has some pleasing elements, but I can't because it is so unflattering someone ought to take it out back and shoot it to put it out of its wearer's misery. As you can see, it's doing this very slim, tall model no favours. This jacket would need to be totally reshaped to make it attractive.

The Woven Cardigan. Maybe I was too quick to suggest pulling the trigger on the Cobblestone Coat, because the Woven Cardigan is probably the design that most deserves to be led around back. Good grief, what woman wants all that bulk around her waist? And then to add a rope tie to it as if to underline the bulk? Moreover, when I'm not looking too closely at the picture, it looks like the sweater has tissues stuck into the holes in it. Kind of like how your mother used to wear tissues tucked up her sleeve, only more accessible and visible so the wearer doesn't forget they're there or run out of tissues or something.

The Cocoon Shrug. Hmm, I kind of like this one, which for all intents and purposes is like a shawl that will stay in place. It's the kind of thing you could keep at the office to wear whenever you get chilly.

The Fisherman Redux sweater. Hmm. I like this one overall as it has some great detail and shaping. I'm not quite sure about that hem, but it's interesting and not unflattering, so I think it works.

The Chevron Cardigan. This one's fairly traditional and classic and therefore fine. I would raise the slightly dropped shoulders and put in waist shaping, and I don't think those buttons are doing anything for this design.

The Oversized Crescent Shawl. I wasn't too impressed with this design until I saw this particular shot of it. Arranging it this way gives it some style and plays up the texture. I do love a nice shawl collar. I wonder if the shawl could be trusted to sit that way for any length of time though.

The Tuxedo Trapp. This one just looks kind of sad, limp, and bedraggled.

The Bio Palm. Oh dear. The Fug Girls of Go Fug Yourself coined the term "scroll down fug" to describe an outfit that looks fine above the waist and disastrous below it, but I think we need another term to describe a look that's okay in front but horrifying when seen from the back. Perhaps the "360 fug" or the "rotational fug"? Whatever term we go with, it applies here. Those sleeves look rucked up, the area around them puckers unattractively, and that seam over the butt looks exactly like a wedgie. I'd rejig this pattern in order finish off the sleeve in some other way, and ditch the tails entirely.

The Ply List Sweater. The yarn combination and the texture of this sweater are quite attractive, but the shape of the sweater leaves something to be desired.

The Curved Hems Vest. I'm not normally a fan of the spencer cut (in no small part due to personal bias, as I can't carry the style off myself), but I very much like this smart little number. It has lovely lines in both front and back.

The Golden Gate Skirt. Another very pleasing piece with flattering lines. This is a skirt a woman can get a lot of wear out of.

The Plumage Pullover. This is a beautiful design (love the perfectly executed "feather" motif and the ballet neckline), but I would want to lengthen it a little more and wear it as a dress as I don't think it's quite working styled as a tunic. The leggings this model are wearing are really showing through the sweater. Shortening this design to hip length could be another option.

The Lupinus Cardigan. Very pretty little cardigan.

The Pintucked Cardigan. This one is good except for the way it sits in the front, and that is a big minus as frontal appeal is one of the most important qualities in a sweater. In every front view photo of this design, the model's holding on to it to keep it in place, and even so it just looks shrunken and/or poorly made.

The Asymmetric Hem Pullover. I'm not normally a fan of asymmetry, but I think the asymmetrical hem gives this otherwise very basic sweater a stylish edge. The construction is clever too.

The Shifted Eyelet Yoke Sweater. Quite like this one. It's simple yet has interesting detail, will suit any figure, and is totally wearable.

The Minaret Mittens. These are cute. Mittens are a fun place to put intricate patterns like this because they look good in small doses. Can I just say, though, that I don't get the pointy-topped mitten thing? It's a common design element in mittens (I was looking for a basic child's mitten pattern on Ravelry recently and so many of the mitten patterns were pointy), but it looks as silly to me as pointy socks would, and one doesn't normally see those.

The Diamond Motif Scarf. I like this, which has a very Art Deco-like thirties vibe, but I do think the colour scheme could be greatly improved upon.

The Tilting Fair Isle Mitts and Hat. This is a cute set, and it'll be a great way to use up all those small amounts of sock yarn you've got lying about.

The Banded Sweater. Hmm. Not sure about this one. It is not likely to flatter a lot of women, and the colourway is doing the design no favours. I suppose it could work if done in some better colours and on a wearer who doesn't mind emphasizing her hips.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Knitty Deep Fall 2014

The Knitty Deep Fall 2014 issue has gone live. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

The Great Horn-Rimmed Vest. This is pretty cute in a quirky sort of way, and has some nice detailing.

The Cubes Sweater. This is a rather gimmicky little piece, and I keep thinking I would get rid of the gimmicks to make it work: the "cuff mitts", the hard to wear cropped length, and the neon yellow, which is probably a sign that they're not too successful. But then it may just be a sign that I'm over 20.

The Hugga Shrug. A shrug with not only long sleeves but half-mitts? Come on, it's a silly concept, it's bagging at the elbows, and it looks like it's eating the model's hands.

The Krydda Lace Cardigan. This is very pretty, if it is more my idea of a summer cardigan than one for autumnal wear.

The Seattle Pullover. I admire the effort to juxtapose some different textures in a single design, but this particular combination just isn't working. The sleeves and the cable in the front are both lovely, but not together, and the back looks like it's inside out. I'd keep the sleeves and come up with some sort of stripe-like textured stitchwork to use on the back and front.

The Jersey Jacket for a Child. This is an knitting pattern Franklin Habit has translated and adapted from Weldon's Practical Knitter, Tenth Series, published in 1888. Habit also carefully explains in the accompanying article why he enjoys knitting for babies even though he doesn't particularly like babies. It's not a bad pattern, though it's perhaps nothing special either — the interest lies mostly in getting to dress a baby in a bit of Victoriana gone modern, although there's something to be said for how warm, practical, and durable this pattern looks. There is a suggested alternative to the ribbon detailing, if you don't happen to want to include it.

The Venetian Blind Capelet. Can't say I care for this one, which is just too rough and crude looking for my tastes.

The Smashing the Glass Ceiling Stole. I didn't like this piece on first glance, but I kept looking and it grew on me. A colour-blocked lace stole is something fun and different and eye-catching.

The Nyssa Shawl. This one's... okay. It's a little on the heavy and awkwardly shaped side and doesn't seem to lie particularly well in any of the pictures.

The Wild Clover. This is pretty enough, and I do quite like the "clover" motifs, but I would go with a less minimal, plain edge, such as a bit of crochet edging.

The Twist Again Shawl. Very pretty shawl.

The Brindled Hat. Nice piece. I like the variable stripe effect, which makes an otherwise basic hat much more visually interesting.

The Gusto Cowl. This one's not appealing to me. Some of the stitches used here are attractive, but others just look like mistakes.

The Viburnum Cowl. Pretty little lace cowl.

The Two Sides Scarf. Very much like this very polished scarf that looks the same on both sides. Nice work!

The Apiculturalist Scarf. I'm a hard sell on anything granny square as most granny square designs are hopelessly ugly, but occasionally someone does manage to come up with an attractive granny square design. The colourwork is key, I believe. This isn't a bad choice of colours, and the inclusion of knitting helps add to the textural interest. The result is a rather cute scarf.

The Volteado Socks. I like these, and I think if they were in a colourway that was more to my taste, I might quite like them.

The Mirror Sock. These socks show a different stitch from almost every angle. They're like a sock-shaped sampler. This isn't a criticism because the design on the whole is balanced and pulled together.

The Ticklepenny Socks. Love these. I like that they have a plain stockinette sole and foot, because I find textured socks chafe my feet. The ankle detail is very attractive and eyecatching.

The Nachtfalter Fingerless Mitts. The designer of this piece claims the single cable at the top resembles a moth, and I can see that it does, but when I first looked at these fingerless mitts I saw a moustache, and I keep seeing a moustache. If you don't, or can get past the fact that you do, these aren't bad, though I wish they had more finished-looking edges. And perhaps you'll enjoy knitting a 'stache with your stash.

The Connectivity Gloves. These are supposed to be convertible from half-mittens to full mittens, but they only really work in a practical and visual sense when folded back. When extended to the end of the fingers, they are going to be loose and open-ended, like a too-long sweater sleeve, except that as mittens, they won't be able to carry off the look. If you want to make these, I'd plan on leaving them folded back.

This is Opus the Octopus, and it's a nice piece of work and a pretty cool toy, if it does have a slightly chilling look in its black eye. Perfect for the aspiring little marine biologist in your life!