Sunday, 18 November 2012

Knitty Deep Fall 2012: A Review

I will always love the online knitting magazine Knitty for what I consider to be their most outstanding design of all time.

Yes, that's a thong knitted out of red licorice, and I hope you aren't reading this at work. The pattern is here, and apparently can be adjusted to fit any consenting adult.

Knitty peaked with that design (where can you go once you've designed a thong knitted of licorice?), but let's have a look at their Deep Fall 2012 issue anyway.

This "Best Friends Forever Cowl" is far from the worst way there is to indicate your BFF status with another person. (That would have to be those idiotic half-a-heart necklaces I saw a few of back in the eighties.) The idea for this cowl is that you each knit two of the same colour, swap one, and then graft them together. As long as you choose colours that really work together you'll still want to wear the resulting cowl after you and your BFF have had a hair-pulling match over something stupid and gone your separate ways.

I like this shawl, or at least I think I do — I wish I could see it better in this picture. I'm not sure such a beautiful and intricate lace design needs to be all those different colours, or at least not those particular colours. That may just be my bias against my least-favourite colour (yellow), and against making extremely time-intensive accessories in colourways that only work with a few of your outfits.

I keep thinking this sweater looks like something I would make for a film student because those bands across the chest look just like strips of film to me. (And yes, a film student probably wouldn't want to wear anything so obvious.) The garish colour combination of this sweater bothers me, and the buttons, but that's purely a matter of personal preference. This sweater would look fine knitted in either a bold colourway or in something more subtle, such as in black and white and a few shades of gray.

Mmmm, fair isle. It's so refined by hundreds of years of time and tradition that you almost can't go wrong with it.

This is perfect. I've bookmarked this one and it will be the next sweater I make for my father.

I can't get on board with cardigans that don't fasten in the front even though they're ubiquitous now. I imagine them constantly hanging unattractively open and getting into things, such as my meals. From the way this model has her arm barred across her midriff, I suspect the front of this sweater doesn't stay becomingly wrapped on its own.

Men's sweater design in general suffers from a lack of imagination. As one of my nephews has complained, "They always have the stripe across the chest." It's not entirely the fault of menswear designers, because they have to stick to what sells and so many men really don't want to wear anything the least bit unusual. So here we have a sweater with stripes across the chest, but they're a different kind of stripe from what you usually see, and it actually looks like something fresh and striking. I like this one and think most of the relatively lean men I know under 45 or so would like it. I am not sure about the hoodie, though. I wish there were a back view of it because in this picture it looks like it was tacked on as an afterthought.

I love the concept of a modern-day knitted middy — I love modern versions of iconic fashions — but I don't like the execution of this one. Making the entire item in garter stitch just makes the sweater look like a beginner knitter's first sweater. Mixing it up with some other stitches and techniques, such as a collar and cuffs of stockinette stitch or a finished crochet edging, might have given this sweater a little more style and polish.

Now this is how you design with colour blocking.

These are cute and very well-designed. For the macabre, death-obsessed freak in your life, and don't we all have at least one?

This particular colour combination wouldn't be for everyone, but these are inventive and a good way to use up small amounts of complementary yarn.

I know in comparison to the slaughter house of misery and human cost and the flagrantly inhumane disregard for their own soldiers on the part of the British Army's administration that was the Crimean War, the Balaclava cap probably looked like a good idea. I'm aware that the soldiers who were expected to endure temperatures well below freezing in cotton summer uniforms without shelter or even a blanket would have received the issue of these caps with cries of "THANK GOD ALMIGHTY, SOMETHING TO KEEP MY FROZEN, BLACKENED EARS FROM FALLING OFF!!!!"

But it's well over a century and a half later and for those of us who have been privileged enough not to experience the discovery of a maggot-infested horse carcass in our only water supply or amputation without anesthesia, the balaclava has never been an attractive option.

Adorable! And the hat is cute too. Let's get a closer look at the baby, shall we? Purely so we can see the detail on the hat.

I like the colour patchwork. It's fun and, upon a quick look at the pattern, would be quite painless to work.

The designer of this hat and fingerless glove pattern writes that she always loved playing with prisms in science class as a child and that she wanted to use this yarn and design to recreate the effect. And I must say she has succeeded. This is a very effective use of this very pretty yarn.

I'm not sure I can be fair to these fingerless gloves. I just want to say they're okay, but would look much nicer as real gloves.

But then I'm unreasonably annoyed by this picture and the text that accompanies it. (A quote: "Twisted Mom Sandy Sitzman sat on the stone steps of an ancient temple ruin in Crete, took a skein of her handspun out of her bag and placed it on the stone to summon her muse, Calertne. Magically the colors in her yarn began to sing to the columns, the stone, the tumbling shapes. The goddess answered and these bodacious fingerless gloves were born.") And I don't know why it was necessary for the model to have an egg sitting in her lap, but perhaps it's an obscure reference to that whole goddess thing.

Since I commented on fingerless gloves in an earlier post it's been pointed out to me that for people such as sailors and construction workers who work outdoors in all weathers, or even people who have to play the piano or type indoors but in a work space that is too chilly for comfort, fingerless gloves are a good solution for keeping the hands warm but dexterous, and to this I readily agree. I do remain unconvinced that there is any possible temperature or work environment that requires fingerless gloves on the hands when the same person's feet are apparently perfectly comfortable in flip-flops.

And I note that my spell check is not recognizing the word "fingerless". Make of that what you will.

1 comment:

  1. I'm really enjoying these reviews! Your comments provide a fresh perspective on patterns I might've missed the first time around. I'm glad I found your blog.