Monday, 18 July 2016

Knit Simple Fall 2016: A Review

Knit Simple has released its Fall 2016 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

I like knitted slippers, but it can be difficult to find slipper patterns with a bit of style to them. So many knitted slippers look so clumsy and shapeless. Of this set of four, the striped slippers are rather sporty and fun, and the bunny slippers are fairly cute, but the orange slippers and the raspberry slippers with the fold-over tops have that clumsy look, and the orange ones especially look like something you'd find on a Hobbit.

Of these four pairs, I like the oatmeal ones with the burgundy trim. They're simple but a little finishing detail went a long way. The variegated ones have a great yarn but no effort was made to give them any style or interest, the pointy-toed purple ones look a little too elf-like, and the blue loopy ones would be great for those weeks when you didn't get around to Swiffering your floors but aren't so great from a style perspective.

Wool-trimmed flip flops seem contradictory in terms to me: if the temperature is high enough that you can wear flip flops, do you want wool on your feet? I'd suggest doing these in a cotton at least. The snowflake pair of slippers aren't bad.

Eyelets combined with an interesting yarn is all this scarf needs.

This is one of those simple pieces that are perfect for showcasing a beautiful yarn. A good shape and the bisecting line of dropped stitches keep it looking polished.

This wrap is easily my favourite design of the whole issue. It's relatively simple, but is ever so smart and stylish, and it sits so beautifully.

Basic, but certainly adequate.

The combination of garter ridges and lacework is interesting. There are better yarns for this pattern than this one.

The scarves aren't bad. The gray, white, blue, and red hat looks like it was knitted up of some random scraps. The football looks silly on an otherwise decent hat. The bow hat would look better in colours that worked well together.

This isn't bad, though the colour changes aren't going to have the same look on the other side. I like the idea of putting the child's initials on the blanket.

I like the owl pullover quite a lot, but the raccoon is weirding me out.

These pieces look like a good companion piece for the Swiffer slippers, because if your daughter is wearing this, you can turn her upside down and use her to get those hard-to-reach spots. Slightly more seriously, I do like the capelet, but that lion hat is going to make everyone wonder what on earth happened to the little girl's hair.

This one's a bit better than the last one, but I'm still not sold on the hat. The capelet and the mitts are cute.

The monochromatic colour scheme of this afghan really makes it.

A very good scrap yarn project -- which is to say it looks like a design rather than something made out of odd and ends of yarn.

Quite a handsome piece.

I'd never thought of knitting flower pot covers, but I have to admit these look good. They'd be a nice way to hide a flower pot that's ugly or that doesn't go with your decor. They will get dirty but that's what washing machines are for.

Very basic, but it would look very well if done in a beautiful yarn.

Classic turtleneck with a good shape. You can't go wrong with this one, unless, like me, you don't have the neck length for a turtleneck.

Not bad. The stitchwork is really interesting. I'd raise the dropped shoulders.

This one needs a more interesting yarn to make it work.

A good-looking and eye-catching scarf.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Knitter's Magazine 123: A Review

Knitter's Magazine has released issue 123. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Lady in Red. I like the top, but the skirt looks like a costume from a modern dance exploration of the issue of urban poverty. In the description, the skirt is described as a "car wash skirt", which is more apt than any joke I could make.

Golden Patinas. Interesting and attractive stitchwork.

Mint Cooler. The lace is pretty, but the piece is so Dorothy Zbornak.

Knit, Knot, Net. Love the stitchwork in this throw. It feels both contemporary and timeless.

Crescent & Arch, version 1. Attractive shawl.

Crescent & Arch, version 2. The yarn used in this version is fabulous.

Buds & Wings. I wish we could see the top as a whole. I do like the stitchwork, but am not thrilled with the look of the edges of the cap sleeves, and the description says this piece has a "hi-low split hemline in seed stitch", which probably means it has a mullet hem.

Caribbean Blocks. This shawl has an interesting construction, but though I like the yarn used here, I don't know if it was the right choice for this project. The pooling seems a little much when it's employed in combination with the checkerboard effect of the stitchwork and the stairstep edges. I'd like to see this done in a solid colour with perhaps some sharp stripes in an accent colour or two along the lace border.

Morning Mist. Pretty, and I like the denim-like look of the yarn.

Twist & Torque, pullover & skirt. The shaping is good, and that ripple effect is fantastic, but I would like to see this in a happier colour.

Twist & Torque, cardigan vest. I'm a hard sell on asymmetrical pieces, but this one sits so perfectly and is so interesting it's like a piece of wearable art.

Twist of Lime. I wish I could see this better. From what I can see, though this is an interesting direction for knitwear design, I don't think the result is quite working, either in its colourway, its shaping, or its details.

Bells & Pulls. Some attractive detailing on this one.

A Maze 'N Miters. Interesting construction. I think this one needed a more united colourway to make it work.

Salted Caramel. This one needed some more colour -- in fact, any colour -- as it is so blah.

Diamond-T. Classic diamond pattern short-sleeved pullover.