Thursday, 22 November 2012

Interweave Knits Winter 2012: A Review

Let's have a look at Interweave Knits' Winter 2012 Issue. Which for some reason the photographer decided to shoot in the kind of pallid light common to the detective series made by the BBC.

I like this one. It's simple yet distinctive. You could knit it in whatever beautiful DK yarn you liked and really show off its texture. I don't think I've ever seen a neckline quite like that one. I suppose it's best described as a mock turtleneck. It would be flattering on even women with a short neck as long as it wasn't made too high, and it would be easy to adjust the collar for height.

I don't care for this one. It's not too bad on a carefully styled and posed model, but my guess is a woman with an average figure would feel like her stomach was perpetually emerging centre stage on opening night.

I actually couldn't open this image to look at its details and other pictures — clicking on it results in a message that the information has been moved or deleted. But it looked too interesting not to comment on. I love the tartan collar and cuffs. I don't care for the colour combination (looks like they mixed a warm spring green with a cool gray, purple and blue, and it isn't working) and I don't understand why that line of green is down the front. Is that a cord or part of the design? Please fix the link, Interweave Knits. Knitting minds want to know!

I wouldn't have put non-functional buttons on the yoke because purely decorative "fastenings" never add anything. A bit of lacework that would just show a touch of skin so the sweater looks a little less staid might do more for the overall effect. And this sweater looks too small for this model. A half-size up would have looked better.

If one of the Pilgrims and a ski bunny got stuck in a stalled time machine and had a love child, she'd probably wear something like this. Very pretty snowflake and edging patterning, but the shape of this capelet makes it look stiff and unflattering and rather absurd. And even Interweave Knits' stylist couldn't find an outfit for the model that really made sense with it.

Interweave Knits named this pattern "Professor Jackson's scarf". I'd say this model is styled less in a professorial style than in a grad student style. Which is to say, as though he has no money to spare for clothes and no real need to dress up, but still want to show that he has educated tastes and recognizes a cashmere jacket and a hand-knitted scarf for what they are when he finds them in a thrift shop, even if they're too big for him and don't really go together. It's not a bad scarf, and I can see it working with a man's overcoat if done in the right colours to look subtle.

Oh, I love this one. Love the pattern around the yoke, love the shape. This designer came up with an original twist on the classic argyle vest and brought her obviously considerable design skills to bear on it, making it wearable and flattering and refined. Very well done.

This one is.... okay. I like it, but I don't love it. It's evocative of the thirties.

I like this bag for its finished, polished look. You could carry this bag while wearing a suit, as the model is doing. That's not something you often see in knitted bags, which tend to look rather Boho.

I probably wouldn't have included this jacket, which is lovely but a bit on the generic side, if it weren't for the fact that I can never resist a beautifully done Irish cable (or fair isle) pattern. I blame my Irish-English-Scottish heritage. The waistband and cuff detailing do set this design apart from the usual cabled jacket.

Simple yet striking. This sweater is somewhat similar to a design from the Knit Simple Holiday 2012 Issue. Let's see if I can find the picture again.....

Yes, that's it. And I do like the Knit Simple design, but you can see why I like more complex, better designed patterns better. The end result is more interesting, more sophisticated, and worth the extra effort.

Another beautifully cabled item.

Love the intricate cable work on this mitten and hat set. And look, finger coverage. That seems to be a rare thing these days. I feel like I've spent the entire past week looking at fingerless glove patterns.

Cabled socks. They're nice, but I think I really included this picture because the model went to all the trouble of sitting that way to show them to us.

A much better capelet. It drapes and you'll be able to find something in your closet that will go with it.

This sweater looked pretty ordinary and I wasn't sure I was going to include it. Then I saw the back.

I'm really not crazy about the yarn combination in this sweater. Putting a neutral matte yarn with a glittery mohair just seems a little mismatched, like wearing a sequinned, strappy top with a gray flannel pleated skirt. I'd pick out two yarns with a roughly equivalent "zing" factor.

And when I wore the finished product, I'd be sure to wear the right colour bra underneath.

Did you ever think you just needed just a little something that didn't go with your outfit to throw around your shoulders so you could pretend to yourself that you aren't cold, so you threw the mat that sits outside your back door around your shoulders?

Neither did I.

These are nice, but they look like gardening gloves here. They really don't belong with the model's casual outfit.

The text with this pattern calls this a "ladylike dickey". Good thing I know what I'm supposed to call it, because I was thinking it looked like something... undefinable... that's sprouted legs and is trying to escape to a place where there are knitters who know what to do with good quality yarn.

These are called "Snowflake Socks". I like a seasonal theme item that looks like it's done for grown-ups.

A knitted trilby with leaves on it. It wouldn't be too bad a design if it weren't for the crown. That line of garter around it really detracts.

Such an obvious demarcation line between crown and sides of the hat just makes the hat look rough.

This looks to me like a beautifully designed and constructed bag (it's another bag that looks polished instead of Boho) with a really awkward pair of handles on it. I keep thinking how the ends of the handles would keep bumping into and catching on everything, and how things would keep falling out of the ends of the bag anytime it was in any position other than perfectly upright. I'd do something different with the top of the bag. Different handles for sure, and I'd find a way to close the top more securely.

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