Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Noro Magazine Issue 12: A Review

Noro Magazine has released their twelfth issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

No. 1, Entrelac Blanket. I definitely feel like we've seen this afghan, and the next afghan, before, but then an afghan is the perfect showcase for Noro yarn, and one does want to play up the contrasts.

No. 2, Square-in-a-Square Blanket. An attractive afghan with only a slight "please do not adjust your TV set" feel to it.

No. 3, Eyelet Chevron Shawl. This is one of those pieces that were designed to be worn but that would look best on a couch.

No. 4, Eyelet Shawl. Very pretty. Love the combination of the eyelets and the lace border.

No. 5, Triangle Shawl. This one has an offbeat, contemporary vibe to it, but it works. The more subtle colourway was a good choice here, given that there are stripes and blocks involved.

No. 6, Openwork Shawl. A very traditional-style, simple shawl.

No. 7, Eyelet Scarf. A simple design. I'm not crazy about the tutti-frutti colour palette, but that's just personal preference.

No. 8, Semicircle Shawl. Classic lace shawl with some decent shaping.

No. 9, Chevron Top. I LOVE the yarn used here, but the shape and the dropped shoulders need some serious tidying up. The model is simply swamped by this piece.

No. 10, Sideways Knit Top. I like the sideways stripes and the colour palette, but that is one awkward, boxy shape.

No. 11, Garter Gusset Tee. Oooh, such pretty stripes. I'd neaten up the fit.

No. 12, Crossback Tank. Very pretty and wearable top. Love the lace work at the bottom, and the shape and fit are good.

No. 13, Scallop Stripe Tank. This one's nice too. The overall shape is good, and that broad band neckline is flattering and even a little dramatic.

No. 14, Two-Tone Tank Top. A very decent piece. It would be fun to play with the colour contrast on the neckline/body for this one.

No. 15, Two-Colour Tunic. Not bad. I like the play of texture through the body and the bottom panel, and the finishing details. This is one of those pieces that's interesting and stylish enough in itself that one can pair it with a simple skirt or pair of trousers.

No. 16, Directional Striped Top. I like this piece from the waist up, but I don't like the way the top panel lies across the lower half. It has that "these pieces stuck together in the dryer" look.

No. 17, Man's Raglan Pullover. I like this one so much I wish I had a boyfriend to make it for. (Gentlemen of the internet, I am now accepting applications.)

No. 18, Man's Henley Pullover. Not such a fan of this one. It's fine through the body, but I don't like the way that collar sits. It has an awkward thickness to it.

No. 19, Short-Sleeve Pullover. I rather like this one. Its minimalist style works well with the yarn choice -- this is a pattern that calls for a striking yarn -- and the lines are good.

No. 20, Tunic Tank Top. This one's a bit too loose around the hips. It would be fine if it fit better.

No. 21, Lace Top. Pretty! This one would be a fun, casual top to wear with jeans.

No. 22, Panel Top. This has a certain charm, but it would be a hard shape to carry off. It's good at the neckline but gets so bulky below that.

No. 23, Diagonal Rib Cardi. This one looks as though it began well and then had to be finished in a frantic, tearing hurry. It needs more finishing at the front edges and a different kind of closure.

No. 24, V-Neck Tank. This is a nice-looking piece, but that bustline level seam will be an unflattering look on women who aren't small-breasted.

No. 25, Swing Front Cardigan. This cardigan doesn't so much swing as sag. Such an awkward, frumpy number.

No. 26, Crew Neck Sweater. This one has port holes to go with its crew neck.

No. 27, Lace Waistcoat. This is rather cute, even chic. I like the three lines of buttons.

No. 28, Lace Scarf. Wish I could see this piece better, but it looks presentable enough.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Knitty First Fall 2018: A Review

Knitty has released their First Fall 2018 issue. Let's have a look at it.

Study Hall Shawl. This one has a sharp, contemporary appeal.

Autumn Sunset. The clocks and the fair isle scrolls make for an unusual mix of motifs, but the combination works because the designer has used the same self-striping yarn throughout.

Fenton's Arrow. The combination of this piece's striking pattern and the fantastic yarn is killer. One couldn't not notice this cowl.

Watch It! This designer has figured out a way to both keep her hands warm and keep her Smart Watch visible. These gloves have a flap that can be snapped closed over the watch or opened, as desired. I admire the ingenuity and practicality of the flap feature, and these gloves are also quite attractive with good shaping and Celtic knot detailing. I also like the long cuffs on them, as short gloves tend leave an inch or two of bare wrist exposed.

Wicked Thicket. An attractive and very warm-looking brioche hat.

Mightiest Oak. The heart on this hat is meant to symbolize the designer's nephew's heart condition, but as meaningful as it is it looks a bit silly and I'd leave it off. Otherwise the hat's a good-looking item.

A Fool for All Seasons. This is rather cute and well-worked out. Dressing as a court jester wouldn't be my thing, but if it's yours, you do you!

Shoe or Sock? That Is The Question. The first of these are similar to the very basic style of house slipper that was ubiquitous when I was growing up. The second is a little more interesting, but still look slightly unfinished.

Habiliments. A very nice-looking pair of beaded socks. I do like a sock that keeps its detail for above the ankle. I am most emphatically not a goofy socks person.

Carnivore. A very attractive and wearable vest.

Gibson. I'm not a fan of the rolled edge look as a rule, but this cardigan works. The shape is good, it sits so well, and the lace sleeves look great. I'd go so far as to say it has a certain relaxed elegance.

Prairie Park. I like the overall concept here, but this one could do with some tweaking. The bands of linen stitch around the waist and sleeves work really well, but that rectangle in the centre looks random and awkward. I'd be inclined to work with it some more -- to turn it into more of a pattern and flow it around the neckline as well. And I think the model could have done with a little more ease in the fit.

Millville. This is one of those wretchedly askew, unflattering pieces that give me the vapours. Dropped shoulders, mullet hem, boxy oversized shape... this piece truly has it all. But not in a good way.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Cast On Summer 2018: A Review

Cast On has released their Summer 2018 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Angelic. Love the texture, but that oversized and cropped shape is a difficult one to carry off.

Baby Butterfly Duster. The designer of this piece writes that she created the design because she needed a long cardigan to wear over her sleeveless dresses in summer. It does look like a useful piece, and its good texture and back pleat give it some style.

Bow Knot Pillow. This isn't bad. I think those decorative bows would get on my nerves if I tried to rest my head on this, but realistically this throw pillow is going to be almost entirely decorative. I'd make it in a more interesting yarn.

Camilla. This has beautiful stitchwork. I'd be inclined to scoop the neckline out a little more to rid this top of its slightly prim air.

Chase Cardigan. Pretty basic but quite serviceable and presentable. I'd make this so that the front edges overlap in order to get rid of that gap between them, because gaps between the front edges always make for an awkward, "too small" look.

Comet. Here we have the cover look, and it's a very eye-catching and Art Deco-esque piece.

Drunken Snakes. A classic cable and garter scarf.

Fall Cowlette. This isn't bad. I feel like this project needs a different colour palette, as those twisting leaves look more like shooting flames to me.

Faux Sheepskin Pillow. This is actually a fair rendering of a sheepskin-style cushion. And I can imagine it feeling comfy too, depending on what yarn one chose.

First Saturday (for Daughters). This is not a bad little dress. I would argue that the colour scheme isn't doing it any favours, though, and that the rosebuds on the bodice should be on the front of the dress, not the back.


First Saturday (for Moms). The lines of this sheath are beautiful, but I'd nix the rosebuds entirely, as they seem too cutesy for a grown woman's dress. If you'd like to ornament this dress, I'd try some sort of duplicate stitch design around the hem and neckline, or doing the dress in a more interesting yarn.

Fishing in France. Here we have another take on the classic Breton sweater. It's not bad.

Honeycomb Pullover. Classic honeycomb design pullover.

Leaves of Cordia. Very attractive pair of socks. And this photo is a welcome burst of colour -- so far this issue has been in subdued tones.

Lorelei Clutch. I like this from the outside, but I wish there were more pictures, as I have questions as to how this clutch is lined and whether it would keep its shape when held as one holds a clutch. If it folds over limply when held vertically or sags out of shape whenever anything is put inside it, it wouldn't work too well as a clutch purse.

Miss Nancy's Necklace. This doesn't look so much like actual jewelry as it looks like an embellishment for a knitted sweater that decided to make a stealth attempt at strangling its wearer.

Summer Lace Boxy Top. Not a bad little top. The wearer will probably want to wear it over another piece, so it's worth thinking about whether she'll want to wear layers in summer weather.

Tea Roses. These are very well-rendered leaves and rosebuds -- I've never seen any I liked better.

Ultra Wide Mock Cable Pullover. Very much like this one, which is truly striking and unique take on a cable front pullover.

West Village Cardigan. Not bad. The stitchwork is interesting. I'd widen the neckline edging and make the front button and buttonholes bands a little narrower.

Zig Zag Redux Socks. A very nice pair of chevron socks.