Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Knitty Winter 2019: A Review

Today we're going to have a slightly belated look at Knitty's Winter 2019 issue.

Lemon Zest. Very basic, but like a lot of basic things it's very useful and wearable. This would also be a good first sweater project for a beginning knitter.

Breckle. This is a simple little piece, but the stitchwork and the contrasting shades play together so well.

Big Flower. As soon as I looked at the photo of this design, I thought to myself that it looked just like a Kaffe Fassett design, and lo and behold, it is one. Fassett's work has such a distinct look I'd know it anywhere. The kimono-like shape and Japanese-style floral design complement each other.

#hashtagcowl. #Cuteconcept.

Open Road. This one is inventive and contemporary. I like the stitchwork, the side cable detail, the sleek effect of the shoulders and neckline, and I can see this piece working styled a number of different ways.

Pic N Mix. What a beautiful play of colour and fair isle pattern. This one would be a great stash buster.

Marisha. Nice texture, and the JUL closure is a great added touch and makes it possible for the wearer to style this scarf in several different ways.

Switch Way. The mix of colour and stitchwork in this shawl is fun, visually interesting, and surprisingly polished.

Quorra. Not a bad design, though I would fix the dropped shoulders. And while I don't like the combination of hot pink, aqua, and white because it's too eighties, the designer describes them as "fantastic 80s-riffic colors", and apparently designed the sweater to suit the yarn, so your mileage may vary.

7am. These legwarmers have such a stumpy look and would work better at a longer length.

Chain, Chain, Chain. Wow, this one is fantastic. Love both the yarn and the design, and together they positively sing.

Fogski. These have a clumsy, cobbled-together look, and -- though the pattern is only sized for adult small, medium, and large -- don't come across as a design that's really appropriate for an adult.

Curio. Very pleasant little cardi.

Dogwerry. What a sophisticated and satisfying combination of stripes and diamonds.

Shadowed. This is a rather nice-looking cap, even if my brain keeps trying to play a mental version of Pac-Man with it. I would definitely not knit this one in black and royal blue.

Bacta. These would make me feel like my hands were bandaged.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Interweave Knits Winter 2020: A Review

Today we're going to have a look at some knits for this brand new year in the Interweave Knits Winter 2020 issue.

North Country Ruana. This hangs well, has very nice texture, and that yarn looks especially luscious.

Polychrome Cardigan. The design isn't bad, but there are better colourways for it than this, and I'd make the cardigan a standard size for the wearer.

Pipette Hat. This is a cute cap, and it would fun to pick out a colour scheme for it.

Grapevine Wrap. A very attractive and wearable wrap.

Global Finger Mitts. This pattern was named as it was because it combines "a Nepalese hemmed cuff and thumbs, a Newfoundland separated index finger, and a Scandinavian stranded-flower pattern". I'm not sure I would like mitts with the Newfoundland separated index finger, as it seems it would make my hands look unsettlingly like cloven hooves, but I'm sure they're very practical when you're hauling your catch into your boat in sub-zero weather.

Mulberry Slouch. Love the texture and shape of this one.

Rossore Pullover. I rather like the design, but this muddled colourway is doing nothing for it.

Winding Path Cowl. An eye-catching mosaic piece.

Lace Pleat Cardigan. I'm not sure the lace insert on the back of this otherwise polished cardigan is working for me. I get the disturbing feeling I'm looking at either a wardrobe malfunction, or a portal into another dimension, where I will probably fall immediately afoul of the supreme leader of the domain, Lord Ziqtyzias.

Marbled Brioche Scarf. Very handsome!

Eastport Pullover. Colour blocking doesn't always work, but it does here. This is quite sharp, and I like the slightly offbeat colourway.

Daybreak Beanie. Cute little cap.

Ribboned Crop Top. This is a smart-looking piece. Crop tops can be a difficult shape to wear, but this is a design it wouldn't be hard to lengthen.

Brilliant Cables Hooded Sweater. Very much like this one, which has both polish and style.

Monday, 23 December 2019

Knit Simple Holiday 2019: A Review

Today we're going to have a look at Knit Simple's Holiday 2019 issue.

Pattern #01, Wristers. This is a nice, simple pair of fingerless gloves with some inexplicable embroidered crap on them.

Pattern #02, Embroidered Scarf. I'm a little torn on this one. It's an attractive piece of handiwork, but I can't help thinking it looks too much like a dresser scarf to work as an item of wearing apparel.

Pattern #03, Embroidered Cardigan. This one isn't working for me either. It has a slightly frumpy shape, and the embroidery has a somewhat random look to it -- it's neither adding nor exactly detracting from the overall look, but is simply... there.

Pattern #04, Hat; and Pattern #05, Scarf. The scarf is fine, but the shape of that hat is, um, something. In this season of icy sidewalks, is wearing a bumper pad hat a thing now?

Pattern #06, Lovikka Mittens. More random and crude-looking embroidery. Seriously, a simple stripe or fair isle pattern would be a big improvement on this.

Pattern #07, Embroidered Mittens. This embroidery is supposed to be a "floral motif", but it looks much more like random clots of yarn.

Pattern #08, Snowflake Hat; and Pattern #09, Snowflake Scarf. This is a cute set. The embroidered snowflakes look like snowflakes, and I like the effect of the white on red.

Pattern #10, Snowflake Sweater. Very much like this one. It's simple and pretty and very wearable, and I would totally style it exactly this way -- with a little tartan skirt.

Pattern #11, Snowflake Cardigan. I like actual knitted part of this sweater, but that rough-looking embroidery does it no favours. Embroidered motifs can be dicey on knitwear. It can look really effective, and it can also look like it was done by a five-year-old.

Pattern #12, Purl Stitch Snowflake Blanket. This is perfectly lovely.

Pattern #13, Stranded Snowflake Hat. A very decent hat for a kid. It's cute without being cutesy.

Pattern #14, Striped Shawl. I'm a little meh on this one. I rather like the contempory play of stripes, but it's not as appealing as it should be. I think the problem is the colourway -- that charcoal isn't working with the old rose and pink. I'd do this one in a more neutral colourway for a sharper look and better wearability.

Pattern #15, Men's Scarf. This is a little unpolished for my liking, but the yarn is attractive and I think it works on the whole.

Pattern #16, Capelet. This is a pretty piece on the whole, but I'm not sold on the collar detail, which has an unfinished look.

Pattern #17, Family Socks. These are basic socks. They look like they'd be a good beginner sock for the inexperienced knitter.

Pattern #18, Men's Cap. A very decent basic cap.

Pattern #19 & #20, Cabled Set. Cute, classic set.

Pattern #21, Reindeer Mittens. These are a little cheesy, but I must admit they are the kind of thing that will delight a very small child.

Pattern #22, Headband. The brooch adds such a lot of style and visual interest to this simple headband.

Pattern #23, Long Cowl. Nice simple piece. The recurring bands of garter stitch combined with the gradient yarn give this cowl all the interest it needs.

Pattern #24, Sideways Cable Pullover. I like the looks of this one, but I do have my concerns about how it would hang when the wearer isn't posed for maximum effect the way this model is. This sweater looks as though it would be somewhat bulgy in the middle when left to hang naturally.

Pattern #25, Embellished Scarf. Attractive and wearable. This scarf would go nearly anywhere and with nearly any outfit.

Pattern #26, Lacy Scarf. Lovely!

Pattern #27, Waterfall Cardigan. This looks like it was made out of mesh shopping bags... in five minutes.

Pattern #28, Beaded Fingerless Mitts. Pretty and wearable.

Pattern #29, Fireside Throw. Nice piece, but I can't help thinking it would look better with a border.

Pattern #30, Mosaic Pillows. These have an attractive texture. The colourway is a little uninspiring, but of course that's easily remedied.

Pattern #31, Linen Stitch Basket. Your basic knitted basket.

Pattern #32, Half-Circle Rug. This one's a little too "whipped up" for me. Knitting designs do need to have a little more verve than a random swath of garter stitch.

Pattern #33, Pillow & Lapghan. I like the throw, but the pillow could use a rework. I'd lose the tassels, and either do the entire pillow in the dash and dot pattern, or possibly add a frame of garter stitch to it, as with the afghan.