Saturday, 16 February 2013

Interweave Knits Spring 2013: A Review

Let's have a look at the Interweave Knits' Spring 2013 issue, shall we?

Oh, I like this sleeveless top. It may not be the most innovative piece of knitwear design ever, but it's very wearable and flattering and it's simple enough to go with many of your trousers and skirts and with just enough detail to be interesting and eye-catching. That's all the recommendation a pattern really needs to make it successful, and though it sounds easy enough to attain, it's amazing how many designers fall short of those markers.

This top is quite pretty too. You'll probably need to wear a camisole or something underneath it (I see the model is), and you may not want to do that in the heat of summer.

This camisole is pretty too, but unfortunately it's got some serious issues on the wearability front. You'll notice, of course, that the model is wearing what's probably a cami-bra underneath, and it really doesn't work that well aesthetically — all those straps! I would make this to sit a little higher in front and under the arms so as to be able to fit a strapless bra underneath, and I wouldn't advise that anyone who is bigger than a B cup wear it at all. It's empire waisted, and empire cuts don't work on well-endowed women.

I'm not a fan of this cowl as it appears here. Probably partly because of the dull colour and partly because I'd never dream of wearing a knit scarf in the spring and summer. If I imagine it in some glowing, autumnal-tone wool... yes, I like it.

This is another fall pattern that seems bizarrely out of place in a spring issue. However, I must admit these are as nice a pair of fingerless gloves as I've ever seen.

As anyone who's read a few of my pattern review posts will know, I'm generally biased against cardigans that don't meet in the front. They generally just end up looking like they're too small and simply aren't flattering on most of us non-models. I am inclined to let this little buttonless cardigan slide, however. I'm very taken with its shaping: so simple, and yet so finished looking. It's a design that probably doesn't belong on anyone who isn't small breasted, but with that caveat, yes, this could look striking and attractive on the right figures.

I... don't know about this vest. It fits — in fact it's rather form-fitting. But it's also got a blandness to it. Perhaps it just needs to be worn over a more interesting outfit than the one it is here. It could be a useful addition to your wardrobe, but it'll be just another component of your outfit, not the focal point.

I was going to say this shawl looked rather skimpy, and then I realized it was only in the first picture (which I have not included here) that it is. It's really a beautifully textured piece of work, and has good proportions. I'm glad Interweave Knits includes three or four pictures of each item. It really gives me all the information I need about each design.

I can't I find this sleeveless top appealing. I'm always a tough customer when it comes to asymmetry, and this one doesn't work for me. It has a slapdash, unfinished look to it.

Nice cabled cardigan that looks like it's a size too small on the model. If you want to make this pattern, I'd make sure it was made big enough for you, and to put buttons and buttonholes all the way down the front.

This is a simple yet interesting pullover that is very wearable and flattering. If I were making it, though, I'd make sure the neckline was high enough so that it could be worn on its own as well as over another top in order to be able to get more mileage out of it, and I'd also make the sleeves full-length, although this item does work perfectly well as is.

This little girl's dress is ever so cute, and while it's a very striking design, it's also totally practical for a small child. I think you'd almost have to make it in just these crisp colours, or you'll lose the goldfish swimming in water effect, and the design won't make much sense. I'd put tails on the goldfish on the yoke, though, instead of just making them as bobbles.

Very much like this pullover. It's simple enough to be worn many times with many other items of your clothing, yet with just enough detail to make it striking, and the keyhole neckline at the front makes it possible for a woman to show a little skin without being inappropriately dressed for work or most other environments. I love the back neckline detail too — I wish more designers went that extra mile and added a little something extra to the back.

Hmm. Well, this little pullover is sharply graphic and effective and could look really smart in a more higher contrast colourway. It looks borderline too small on the model to me, but I suppose it's supposed to be fitted and cropped. Make sure you get it big enough for you as if that pattern has to stretch over any part of you, it will look obvious and terrible.

This shawl looks rather skimpy and the design is run-of-the-mill — I feel like I've seen it a hundred times before. I'd definitely go with the other shawl pattern in this issue.

This tunic is actually quite a striking and accomplished design. I just don't like knitted mesh, because it looks too much like a shopping bag and is too impractical — you can see through it and it doesn't feel good against the skin. I'd replace the mesh with some other simple lace pattern — something in a geometric design, to go with that wonderful border along the hem, sleeves and up the middle of the back and front.

This really isn't a flattering top — even this professional model isn't quite getting away with it. It makes her look like the proverbial sack of potatoes cinched in the middle. I think it would work though if gathered lacy section at the bottom weren't quite so gathered and full.

This is not, as I first thought, a skirt, but rather a dress. And it looks for all the world as though the designer tacked three separate lace curtain valances to a tank top and called it a day. I could say that if you want to make this dress, I'd knit it all in the same yarn and use the same lace pattern for all three tiers of the skirt, but I don't think even that would pull this design together into a united whole, because there's still going to be a weird disconnect between the top and bottom halves.

And I think I'm going to have to buy this issue, as I did Interweave Knits' last issue, because there are several patterns in this issue I feel I must make (the gold fish dress, the tunic with the keyhole neckline) and several more I probably will eventually make (the first sleeveless top with the lace yoke, the shawl, the sweater with the smocked front panel and cuff detail). I look at many, many knitting patterns in my work on this site and have to be very discriminating about which ones I buy as if I weren't I'd soon have some massive collection that I couldn't even hope to get through, but if Interweave Knits keeps this up, I may just end up subscribing to their publication.

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