Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Twist Collective Spring 2015: A Review

Twist Collective has released its Spring 2015 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Wickerwork cardigan. Lovely! Great shape and detailing.

Placid cardigan. Hangs badly and has a rather ratty look.

Nephelai socks. Very pretty socks.

Wencelas cardigan. Lovely cardigan with great detailing.

Corallina shawl. Exquisite!

Seawillow pullover. Classic pullover.

Dulcimer cardigan. This is quite pretty overall, but I'm not sure I care for the "pulling apart at the bottom" look, which makes the item look too small.

Auster pullover. Classic and yet still different enough to be eye-catching. Nice piece.

Minthe jacket. Quite like this one, which can be worn at home with yoga pants or while out and about with a skirt.

Zaida hoodie. Who would have thought a hoodie could be this lovely and polished?

Orikata. Can't say I care for this one very much. It's going to look frumpy on most women.

Anemoi cardi. Pretty little summer top.

Airglow shawl. For a shawl with such simple stitchwork, this manages to bring the drama. It hangs so beautifully in the back.

Galatea scarf. This is cute and would be a way to add a bit of fun and femininity to an otherwise plain and practical outfit.

Windley top. Very nice summer top. It's simple and yet has enough detail to be attractive and interesting.

Antares shawl. Gorgeous.

Celosia top. Attractive and useful piece, because it could be worn as an underlayer as well as alone. It's well-shaped and has that little bit of needed detail.

Chartreuse shawl. Another very pleasing shawl. The stockinette and cables of this shawl will go better with modern, casual clothes than a lacy shawl would.

Godetia top. Pretty. I like the offbeat unexpectedness of the medallion design on the back.

Calyx shawl. Just exquisite.

Acanthus stole. The stitchwork is good, but this is an awkward shape and length to wear. Even the model isn't quite carrying it off.

Carajillo shawl. Nice piece. The zigzag stitchwork and edging give it a modern feel.

Fish Isle pullover. Adorable! I especially like that this designer has included some texture and stitchwork instead of just relying on the picture knit aspect to carry the design. It really raises the calibre of the piece.

Friesland blanket. Too gorgeous to be spit up on! I'd make this one as an afghan.

Demipointe surplice sweater. I'm liking this version of the surplice sweater. The use of buttons makes it so practical (i.e., it will stay in place and there aren't any ribbons dangling about) and updates it a bit, as does the use of a gradient yarn rather than the traditional pastel pink.

Quadrille socks. Very well designed cable socks. Look closely and you'll see these aren't just any old basic cables.

Espalier cardigan. Nice piece, and the small scale makes it work even better. Putting such a polished, detailed, ladylike design on a little girl is totally cute.

Elephanteau pullover. Another adorable picture knit. Which I think I would do in another colourway to rid it of that "Republican convention mascot" feel.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Knitter's Magazine 118: A Review

Knitter's Magazine has released issue 118. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Red/Violet. This looks like something that appeared in a woman's magazine circa 1990, next to tips for creating an inexpensive homemade version of Lunchables for a child's lunch.

Refracting Diamonds. Nice shape and detailing.

Ultraviolet. Between the length and open work knitting's tendency towards stretching and shapelessness, this will look dowdy on most women.

Silver Status. Not a bad jacket. It has some polish and contemporary appeal. (I'm assuming that the one side of this cardigan isn't really 2.5" higher than the other and that the clasp normally lies straight across the front and it's just the model's pose that is making the sweater sit askew.)

Well Connected. Not a bad take on the classic cabled cardigan.

Radiating Ribs. I'm no fan of the spencer normally, but I do like this one. The lines are excellent, the yarn is attractive, and the styling is very well done. Spencers work best over dresses with either an empire waist or no defined waist at all (so that there aren't any competing horizontal lines), and the use of a shawl pin is inspired.

Skacel Collection. The caption for this design says that "[t]his mixed-media top—Artfelt® and knitting—begins with a center panel made with Skacel’s Artfelt® paper and roving, then joins knit side panels with short-row hip gussets and light-as-air sleeves". This does make for an interesting texture and colourway, but the baggy shape and sleeve length is going to be unflattering on most women.

Incline/Decline. This looks like some sort of seventies-era wall hanging that's been turned into a top. Maybe I'd like it better with a better, crisper colourway. These look muddy and tacky.

Surface Tension. This one takes a basic t-shirt style to the next level. I'd consider making this a little shorter and more fitted through the hips.

Accent on Stripes. This design is knitted from side to side in ripple stitch, and is buttoned rather than seamed at the sides, which an interesting and novel construction, but I think this may be one of those cases where a creative concept didn't get the execution it deserved. It's hard to tell without more pictures, and especially a clearer look at the front view. I might not include the stripes, as they do look a little too afghan-like.

Ripple Effects. Elegant summer cardigan.

Ocean Shale. This looks like it came from The Golden Girls' wardrobe trailer.

Static Resistance. Not bad. It's undeniably eye catching and has a good shape.

It's Just Physics. These have a certain casual appeal. I like the full-fledged top on the left better than the shrug on the right, which is pretty but does look a little like a cowl that's lost its way. The yarn used here is lovely.

Möbius X 3. They're all pretty so far as colour and texture goes, but the centre möbius cowl is much better styled. The other two look like sad flat tires.

Warp Speed. This design is very Missoni, and has a good shape, but I would not use variegated yarns like these for this item, but would go with a solid or flecked yarn. The stripes make it too much like an afghan for my tastes.

Blueprint Wrap. Very pretty shawl. I like the combination of the delicate lace and the precise shape.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Bergère de France Magazine 179: A Review

Bergère de France has released Magazine 179. Nous allons jeter un coup d'oeil, allons-nous?

Pattern #01, Skirt and Pattern #02, Sleeveless Top. Not a bad little simple outfit. I don't know that I would go with the open back detail, as it's a little roughly done and doesn't add much of anything to the design.

Pattern #03, Short Sleeve Sweater. Personally I've never found it necessary to graphically remind a child that the beach is fun. And if it were necessary, I could probably find better designed ways to do it.

Pattern #04, Round Neck Sweater. Cute simple sweater.

Pattern #05, Shorts. The grid effect is also cute done on shorts. I agree with Bergère de France's decision to separate the shorts and the top from above into two different outfits. The grid pattern will be too much if spread over two separates worn simultaneously.

Pattern #06, Short Sleeve Cardi. That's not a badly designed pineapple, but it seems rather strange to plop it on the back of a cardi that's so plain in front.

Pattern #07, Anisette Hair Band. The green hair band looks like something you'd put on your daughter whenever you were dressing her up as Norma Desmond, which I hope is never. The one in yellow isn't terrible, but there are better designed hair bands out there.

Pattern #08, Pineapple Bag. Looks more like a toilet paper cosy than a pineapple, let alone a purse.

Pattern #09, Romper With Shoulder Straps. Not bad. I'd recommend making the rind green rather than whatever colour it is here, which makes it look less like a slice of watermelon than like a slice of pizza.

Pattern #10, Bikini. How does a design manage to be this ugly when there's this little of it? Moreover this bikini will not stay in place, or even on, once it gets wet.

Pattern #11, Pineapple Top. Not a bad little top. I'd move the pineapple image up a few inches as it doesn't look properly centred as is.

Pattern #12, Rucksack. Not bad at all. The bag has a good shape. I think it calls for wider straps, though. I hate to think how those thin cord-sized straps will dig in to a child's shoulders when the bag is full.

Pattern #13, Playsuit. This is kind of cute, but that surfboard does look a little disturbingly like a pair of lips to me.

Pattern #14, Cardigan. Not a badly shaped cardigan, but I don't think I understand the concept of sewing letters randomly across it.

Pattern #15, Short Sleeve Openwork Sweater. Not bad, though it might be a bit bulky for summer wear.

Pattern #16, Playsuit. You really need to put more effort into your "designs" than this, Bergère de France.

Pattern #17, Round Necked Sweater. Here's that simple grid pattern again. If you're concerned it'll be too much bother to fuss around with a second colour, the vertical lines are crocheted onto the finished pieces.

Pattern #18, Openwork Top and Pattern #19, Shorts. What the Ingalls girls wore as winter underwear back in their toddler days.

Pattern #20, Halter-Neck Tunic. Fetching little piece. Which I would want to do in any colour other than oatmeal.

Pattern #21, Strappy Top. Not a bad little basic pattern.

Pattern #22, Sleeveless Dress. Cute simple dress. The stripes make it.

Pattern #23, Short Roll Edge Sweater. Don't like this effect, which looks for all the world like a shrunken sweater layered over a not-shrunken one.

Pattern #24, Crossover Cable Cardi. This is rather squarish for my tastes, but it does have a certain contemporary style to it.

Pattern #25, Cardigan. This one is both squarish and minus the cable detailing that gave the sweater above some interest. Honestly, this looks like a beginner project that a beginning knitter will be really proud of at first and secretly take apart later.

Pattern #26, Hooded All In One. Rather a cute little number. But what I'd really like is the pattern for the blanket this little girl is sitting on.

Pattern #27, Romper. Just the thing for your bouncing baby balloon to wear.

Pattern #28, Rolled Edge Sweater and Pattern #29, Beanie. Not a bad little sweater. The varying stripe widths give it visual interest and a certain smartness. The hat is basic as basic gets and you probably already have an identical pattern.

Pattern #30, Sleeveless All-In-One. Adequate. I do wish the designer had done something more interesting with the meeting point of the two stripe widths.