Monday, 25 March 2013

Knit Simple Spring 2013: A Review

Knit Simple has published their Spring 2013 issue. Let's have a look at the 30 patterns in it.

We begin well! I like this lacy cardigan. It's classic and simple yet distinctive and will flatter most women.

I'll review these together since the same comment applies to both: these are nice but generic lace shawls. You could find something much more striking and interesting if you cared to look further for a pattern, or you could make these and just have a simple little shawl that will serve you well enough.

This is quite an interesting and effective lace scarf.

Another really generic item. I don't think I'd recommend this one. It's so basic as to not even look quite finished.

I don't know why anyone would wear fingerless gloves in spring time. Perhaps the designer of this pair din't know either, and consequently designed them to cover as little of the hands as possible — notice how short they are at the wrists and how they cover just the base of the fingers. These are "barely there" fingerless gloves. And they're fine for what they are, I suppose, but I'd recommend "not there at all" fingerless gloves for spring.

This "textured tank" isn't bad. It's got some visual interest and is a standard-fitting, reasonably flattering item. You'll probably have to wear something underneath though.

Here we have... a tunic-length tank or camisole that you wear over a complete outfit. I'd be inclined to raise the neckline and lengthen the skirt so it could be called a dress. It would look pretty and serve a purpose as a dress. As a tunic camisole it just looks like something made by the model's mother and that the model dutifully worked into a cobbled-together outfit for her Mother's Day appearance at her mother's home. She bought some flowers for her too.

Flattering, serviceable and even rather interesting top. I find the sleeve length a little awkward, but it'll be easy to just make them whatever length you want.

Knit Simple, a scarf stitched together does not a vest make. Not that this is terrible. It's actually fairly wearable, a cute item that could be popped over a little summer dress, but the bottom looks rough and unfinished and needed some finishing detail in order to make this design a success.

Not a bad little lace top.

I keep looking at all that extra width around the body and the wrist and wondering why on earth the designer thought it necessary to put it in. It's going to add to the midsection of anyone who wears it, and "will add to your midsection" is not exactly a selling point for a sweater. Notice how the model is standing, with her legs wide apart, in an effort to balance out the proportions of the sweater. Given that women pretty much never stand that way and you are probably not interested in beginning to do so, I'd recommend changing the lines of this sweater to a standard fit. The lacy detail at the wrist and the ballet neckline will make this sweater look interesting and graceful all on their own.

This isn't bad. Again that's a lot of fullness through the hips, but at least the top is more fitted and the fullness is lower on the body, which makes it skirt-like rather than maternity top-like, and gives it a better silhouette over all. As always... stay away from the empire cut if you're well-endowed.

I'm not crazy about this one but it's not bad either. I like the effect of the ribbed yoke and the garter stitch stripes. I'd fix the dropped shoulders and neaten up the fit somewhat.

I initially thought this mesh top might be crocheted, but it isn't. I'm not a fan of mesh, which always requires layers. And you can get sunburnt right through it. Also this isn't a very flattering shape.

I quite like this tote, with its simple yet eye-catching design. It looks well-constructed and has a good shape. These colours don't work that well together, but you can choose whatever colours you like.

I'm not crazy about this crocheted bag, with its weirdly placed straps and dumpy bucket shape. The old term "sad sack" comes to mind.

I don't like this bag either, and I'm not just saying that because I'm a Canadian who wouldn't be interested in making an American flag anything. It isn't a good shape. It would be awkward to carry this, and you can see the straps are pulling the top out of shape even in this picture.

A cellphone case. It's not bad. The yarn choice isn't great — the crudity of the colour is making the pattern look less polished than it actually is.

This isn't a bad little duffel bag. It looks like the perfect bag for the beach, though I have my doubts as to how it would stand up to anything heavier than a swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, and a trashy novel.

Do you really want to go to all the effort of making this pattern, only to look like you've rolled your yoga mat up in a piece of your grandmother's afghan?

Cute little vest! It's so simple a not-very-experienced knitter could make it for a second or third project, and yet it looks polished.

There are cuter, better-designed bunny hats than this one. Remember: this child model is being paid to look like she likes this.

There are also much better-designed girl's tops. I tend to cringe a little when I see kids in homemade items that are poorly made or poorly designed. It's one thing if you want to go out in the world in your beginner project that you're so proud of, but sending your child off to school in one is a different matter. You don't have that Lord of the Flies-inspired social experiment called recess to worry about. Try to be objective.

Are legwarmers really back for girls? And if they are, shouldn't they actually match something else the girl is wearing?

This is called the "Chanel-Inspired Cardi". I'm pretty sure that if Coco Chanel were to look at this, she'd take one look, let loose with a vehement, Mon Dieu, c'est quoi ça?!?!, and then fire someone. A knitted Chanel-style cardigan isn't a bad concept, but this one with its novelty yarn trim, retina-burning lilac shade and beginner project use of the garter stitch line just looks tacky. I'd like to see a Chanelesque cardigan done in more finished, sophisticated way.

This top is another bad use of novelty yarn. Which, as I keep saying in these reviews, is difficult to employ in design without it degrading the whole piece. The ruffled yarn on the sleeves are just too prominent and visually add to the width of the model's body. It isn't a flattering look at all. It doesn't help that the rest of the top is so squarish.

Another effort to use ruffled yarn, and another bad result. This looks like a piece of trimming ripped off a Rose Bowl parade float. I notice the stylist didn't even try to come up with an outfit that went with it.

Hoo boy. Usually if there's any use to which one can put a novelty yarn and have it work, it's a skinny scarf. But here we have a skinny scarf knitted in Filatura di Crosa's Ibiza, and again it looks like something ripped off a Rose Bowl parade float. Except this time half the trimming stayed attached to the float.

Not crazy about this shrug. Knitwear designs are just not supposed to look like converted afghans. No knitting project should look like an afghan but an afghan.

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