Thursday, 14 March 2013

Knit n' Style Summer 2013: A Review

It's time once again to review Knit n' Style's latest issue. It's March, which in the Knit n' Style calendar means it's time for the summer issue, the April/Spring 2013 issue having come out in January. There's our time, and then there's Knit n' Style time.

With the whole synchronization of calendars thing gotten out of the way, shall we have a look at Knit n' Style's Summer 2013 issue?

A simple summer top. I have no particular fault to find with this one. The cut is good, the texture is interesting, if perhaps a little bulky for a summer top or for general flattery.

Here we have basically the same top, only crocheted. I actually like this one a little more, because the texture looks lighter, more summery and more flattering.

Knitted bags tend not to hold their shape without some kind of reinforcement. This bag obviously hasn't gotten the help it needs and so presents as a shapeless beginner project that will make you look like a country cousin. It's a shame the designer didn't take this project all the way to the finish line because I do quite like the yarn used here.

This isn't bad though that colourway does not say "summer" to me. Nor fall, winter, or spring for that matter.

Pretty summer top. It's simple and yet it has all the detail it needs: the lace eyelets around the neckline and a good shape. As you may be aware from reading this blog, I can get quite snippy (okay, vicious) about dropped shoulders, but I do like an extended shoulder on a fitted, sleeveless top. You get a cap sleeve without any seams, and it's clean-lined, flattering look.

Another pretty little lace shawl. Though I have never in my life seen a woman tie one on in this particular way. It might show off the texture of the shawl in a photo shoot but it's not going to stay put in real life.

Nice lace scarf. Which you will not want to combine with either this outfit or with these colours. Why on earth didn't the stylist put this scarf with a pretty summer dress that actually went with it?

I like everything about this top — the shaping, the yarn, the lace pattern — except for the front fastenings. This top is going to gape between every button, and that's never a good look.

Another pretty and oddly fastened lace shawl.

This isn't terrible, but it's not a great design either. The shaping is a little on the boxy side. It's going to be somewhat bulky, especially when you're always going to have to wear a top under that low neckline. And I don't know why the designer thought letting the ribbon ends hang down to the wearer's crotch was going to be a good idea.

I actually don't mind this lace tunic. I'm no fan of the single button fastening, but this design has enough shaping in front that it looks styled rather than too small. I don't think I can get on board with the lace scarf and tunic combo, though. It'll look too costume-y on most women. If you want to make them both, I recommend that you wear them separately.

Another design that, while it isn't terrible, lacks the hallmarks of really good design. The tied front is going to make many women feel as though their stomach is hanging out, the rolled edges just look unfinished rather than deliberate, and the colour combination is less than successful.

A basic top that you'll probably get lots of wear out of. I'd make the sleeves a few inches shorter to give this a bit more style.

You know how I complain a lot in reviews about shawls that look like afghans? In this case someone decided to avoid that pitfall by going with a bedskirt look.

This idea had potential but the designer didn't put enough effort into it. A knitted halter top shouldn't look like a scarf randomly sewn to a tube top. I'd have taken this design steps farther, such as crossing the halter in front, cutting away the bodice, adding a bit of detail or texture here and there, and probably either making the whole design in one colour or taking steps to pull the two colours together better.

Very pretty shawl (the tiered effect is both eye-catching and delicate), and it's actually worn in a realistic way.

Another very pretty and serviceable summer top.

Euh. I don't know about this one. That yarn is just so unappealing in a visceral way (like it was tie-dyed using vomit) that I can hardly look past it to the design. Usually a drape front shell is a classic, wearable piece, but I don't think this one is all that well designed. It sags rather than drapes in front and just looks badly made.

Knit n' Style, you're not going to convince me that an afghan is a shawl simply by making a matching hat for it. I didn't learn to knit yesterday. Cute hat, and nice afghan, but it belongs on a couch, not on a model.

Okay, now you're not even trying. This is totally an afghan.

This isn't bad, but I would shorten these sleeves a good three inches. As I said above, I do like a extended shoulder cap sleeve, but the length must be kept short or we get into the very unflattering and frumpy dropped shoulder territory.

Knit n' Style, a bunch of toilet paper cosies sewn together does not a scarf make.

A weirdly shaped shawl that will not stay in place. Notice how the model is having to clutch one corner of it. I'd like to see this reworked into a better shape, as the texture is interesting and the colours sharp. Not every shawl should be pastel lace.

Novelty yarns always look chintzy unless they're employed with real skill and care. That hasn't happened here. This design is imitating garments of the past that were trimmed with real fur and that looked expensive and luxurious, and it just looks like a cheap imitation of them.


  1. I love these reviews you do of the latest knitting collections. Are you planning to do one for knit.wear spring 2013? I happened to see some of their stuff on Ravelry, and... I'd be interested to hear your take. :)

  2. Thank you! And yes, I do plan to review knit.wear's Spring 2013 issue. I just noticed this morning that it was out and my critique should be posted within the next week. Fortunately I got around to doing the fall 2012 issue of knit.wear recently.:-)