Friday, 12 January 2018
Vogue Knitting has released its Winter 2017/2018 issue. Let's have a look at it.
Pattern #01, Yoked Pullover. Nice piece. The yoke design makes me think of hieroglyphics. (Also, I just spelled "hieroglyphics" correctly on the first try without any help from spell check or Google.)
Pattern #02, Persian Yoke Pullover. I like this one too. The colourway is vivid and unexpected.
Pattern #03, Cold Shoulder Yoke Pullover. I'm not a big fan of the cut-out effect in clothing, but I think it works here, and the piece has a fun, trendy feel that's balanced with classic shaping.
Pattern #04, Fringed Sleeve Pullover. I like this one on the whole, but I'd neaten up the fit and nix the sleeve fringe, which would drive me stark raving mad. Can you imagine trying to knit or eat a meal or for that matter use the bathroom with those fringes hanging over your hands?
Pattern #05, Reverse Yoke Pullover. This is attractive but I can't get past the feeling that it's on inside out.
Pattern #06, Chevron Pattern Yoke. This is rather pretty. I'd neaten up the fit.
Pattern #07, Modern Icelandic. Love this one, with its sharp, graphic appeal and good shaping.
Pattern #08, Fair Isle Pullover. Vogue Knitting is really going all out on interesting yoke designs in this issue. I like this one too.
Pattern #09, Viking Wrap. As regular readers of this blog will know, I am a hard sell on poncho designs, but I have to admit this one is kind of fantastic. Keeping it short in the front as the designer has done makes it flatteringly sweater-like while the back and sleeves have all the drama of a cape. And then there's the stitchwork and colourway, with the combination of mitred squares and a tartan-like effect created with grays and variegated yarn. If a woman walked by me on the street in this piece, I would definitely turn to look at her, as it is an undeniably and highly accomplished and creative design. Bravo.
Pattern #10, Boxy Crop Sweater. And now we turn from a tour de force of knitwear design to.... this one. This appears to be... a home ec project gone terribly wrong. It fits so poorly through the upper body that the ribbing is all stretched out, and there's an outright hole in the shoulder seam.
Pattern #11, Fitted Dress. This is also a home ec project, but it appears to have been created by Judy Jetson, and she would have gotten at least a B for it.
Pattern #12, Navy and White Pullover. I like this one, which has a smart, wearable look.
Pattern #13, Raglan Turtleneck Sweater. I rather like this one. The use of a larger gauge in the turtleneck and the lower body is a nice touch, and the shaping is good and flattering. This would be a good piece to use to showcase a bulky variegated yarn that you love.
Pattern #14, Brioche Rib Cowl. Smart and polished.
Pattern #15, Slouchy Pullover. This one's too baggy and dropped shouldered for my liking. Kudos to the Vogue Knitting stylist who put this look together, though. Adding a simple silk scarf made this look chic.
Pattern #16, Indigo and Ivory Boxes Ruana. I have the feeling that this is a vest that missed its calling in life and that should have become a scarf, or maybe a floor mat.
Pattern #17, Welts Pullover. Nice stitchwork in this one, but I would fix those dropped shoulders.
Pattern #18, Open Cable Cowl. Nice. I'm imagining it in a variety of beautiful variegated yarns.
Pattern #19, Mohair Cardigan. This has a sad-stretched out, look like a thrift store piece that's living in the forlorn hope that it'll get one more chance at a good home rather than wind up in a landfill.
Pattern #20, Sand Waves Poncho. This seems to be the issue where Vogue Knitting offers us poncho patterns I can't refuse. This one drapes so well, and the stitchwork is gorgeous.
Monday, 18 December 2017
Vogue Knitting has released its Holiday 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it.
Pattern #1, Chunky Pullover. This is a very decent-looking bulky weight sweater. I would fix those dropped shoulders though.
Pattern #2, Blanket. Lovely!
Pattern #3, Scandinavian Hat. Cute and wearable with some interesting, intricate stitchwork.
Pattern #4, Fair Isle Band Pullover. A nice-looking piece. I like the neckline.
Pattern #5, Selburose Pullover. The snowflake motifs are quite strikingly attractive against that dark blue, and I like the added pop of colour in the wristband edges.
Pattern #6, Pom Hat. I... don't quite know how this got in this issue. Was it supposed to be filed away with some of the old Vogue Knitting children's patterns from the fifties and did it somehow lose its way?
Pattern #7, Fair Isle Yoke Pullover. Nice. I wasn't quite sure I liked that red zig zag at the top of the sleeves, because it does give the impression that the sleeves are tacked to the body with red yarn, but I think it works and gives the sweater a little extra interest.
Pattern #8, Scandinavian Socks. Oooh, such pretty, smart socks! Favourited for a possible 2018 project plan!
Pattern #9, Zipped Obi. Interesting accessory, and I must admit it adds a bit of style and interest to this plain white shirt and black leather skirt. I don't think I'll be making myself one though, as I am too short through the torso to carry it off and I would present as someone who didn't know what cowls were.
Pattern #10, Modular Obi Belt. Not a bad belt, and it would be easier to wear than the one above because it's so much narrower.
Pattern #11, Fair Isle Obi. This is probably my favourite of the three obis, though I wouldn't make it in these colours. The plum and green are good, but the variegated pink and green is distractingly unattractive against it.
Pattern #12, Lace Pullover. Not bad for a layering piece. This would be one to make in a beautiful mohair or angora.
Pattern #13, Chevron Top. I rather like the look of this one, though I'd wear a thin sleeveless tank top or camisole underneath because I would be terrified that the flap wouldn't stay closed.
Pattern #14, Lace Cardigan. Between its dreary colourway and its baggy, saggy lines, this sweater is essentially depression in knit form.
Pattern #15, Everyday Poncho. Oh dear, this poncho has such an unflattering shape. From the back, this model looks like a blob with hands.
Pattern #16, Curve Cable Pullover. I rather like the concept of this one, but the shaping and proportions feel off, and the back of this sweater has a sad, defeated look, as though it just split up from its long-time companion, the equally morose Pattern #14. I'd change the trajectory of the cable so that it entended to the shoulder and then down the sleeve, and I'd neaten up the shape.
Pattern #17, Textured Pullover. I'm rather impressed by the well-integrated textural effects on this one, and the shaping is good. I would however nix that ridge across the upper bodice and replace it with a band of another stitch, such as the one used on the upper sleeve.
Pattern #18, Shawl Collar Coat. A wearable, simple piece. I'd fix the dropped shoulders.
Pattern #19, Bomber Jacket. This looks too much like a beginner project. It's too simple and unadorned to have any interest or sophistication.
Pattern #20, Adelaide Shawl. This piece has interest and sophistication enough for five items. It's strikingly attractive and I love it.
Pattern #21, Cropped Ruffle Cardi. This looks like a bed jacket from some old 1940s movie. And it really ought to have stayed there. Even this fabulous model, with all her style, can't quite make it look other than silly and fussy.
Pattern #22, Ruffle Sleeve Top. When I was copying all the pictures into this post, I didn't think I was going to like this one, but now that I've come to the point of writing about it and taking a closer look, I am pretty sure I do like it. It strikes me as a contemporary and unfussy take on the ruffled sweater. I won't be making it for me, though, because I'm pretty sure it won't work very well on the well-endowed figure.
Pattern #23, A-Line Pullover. Not bad. The shape is good, and this one would be a good one to showcase some beautiful yarns in your favourite colours.
Pattern #24, Ruffle Yoke Sweater. This is so... 1982. And not in a good way.
Pattern #25, Danish Sontag Shawl. Attractive and timeless.
Monday, 28 August 2017
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.