Friday, 22 March 2013

Knitty Spring/Summer 2013: A Review

Let's have a look at Knitty's Spring/Summer 2013 issue.

Pretty if generic Foliolum lace scarf.

The Nori is another lace scarf, but this time with a more distinctive texture. The designer compares it to algae. I can see it.

Another scarf, this time with a quite original construction. It's called the Steps Shawl, but it reminds me of piano keys. It doesn't really do it for me, but it's not unattractive either, and it does draw the eye.

The Lunatic Fringe Shawl. The blurb for this pattern calls it "eccentric and non-conforming", but it looks pretty run-of-the-mill to me.

The Aven Shawl. I must admit this shawl is eyecatching. Partly because of the gorgeous colours of the yarn, but the ruffled texture is beautiful too. But we are going to see something other than an array of shawls and scarves in this issue, right Knitty? I don't think I can review eighteen scarves without getting a little slaphappy.

Here we have Grey Gardens, which is... an entrelac turban. I'm sorry, but this just looks too hippy dippy for me. Wear this and you've taken the first slide down a slippery slope that will lead to you becoming someone's weird aunt whose idea of the perfect wedding gift for her niece and nephew-in-law is a earthworm farm starter kit and a copy of The Comprehensive Guide to Tantric Sex.

The Easy as Pie Blanket. Oh, I love this pattern. As a matter of fact, I had already shared it on The Knitting Needle and the Damage Done's Facebook page. It's strikingly original in concept and beautifully executed. It isn't easy to make an all-garter stitch project look like anything other than a beginner project, but occasionally a really talented designer takes up the gauntlet (or the lace-patterned fingerless glove, as it were) and does it. I also like to see that this designer has designed a baby blanket in the bright colours that babies like and that are the best for helping to develop their tiny brains, instead of the usual pastels. Babies don't even like yellow.

I am not sure about the Daphne tank. It's high-impact, of course, but maybe not all that flattering — it looks to me like it's making the model's upper body look chopped up and stocky. The colour combination isn't really helping. Contrasting shades of the same colour never look all that attractive together — they fight each other like rival siblings.

The Buttonbox pattern is really good. It's a classic, and yet you feel you haven't seen the exact same pattern a thousand times before because it has an interesting texture and a collar that sits just a little bit differently than any other shawl collar.

The Etherial tank looks to have accomplished what the Daphne tank set out to do without trying half so hard. It's fitted and shows some skin in an elegant, and restrained fashion, rather than in a "everything's in the window, COME LOOK" kind of way. You will probably want to wear something under it, which I find a bit problematic in summer wear when even one layer often feels like too much, but at least it looks good layered over a simple cami tank.

The Gardenias pullover looks like what happened when the designer needed a way to use up the I-cord and a knitted flower she had sitting around and decided she'd add them to the top she'd just made that needed something. And this top did indeed need something, but not I-cord and a knitted flower.

The Shore thing tank is a competent design. It's pretty and fits well and is flattering. Of course, again, who really wants to wear a second layer in summer? It looks okay over the tank shown here, but not so much over the long-sleeved t-shirt in the other pictures on the linked pattern page.

The Dressy sock is quite a pleasing lacy sock pattern, but please do me a favour and don't wear them as they're styled here. Socks simply do not belong with floral dresses and t-strap shoes, regardless of how Knitty names the pattern or styles the picture. The kind of person who will wear this look will also wear entrelac turbans, and I've told you where that will take you.

Love the Slipstream sock pattern — the designer made an intricate pattern look organic — and am relieved to see they're being worn just as one would wear such socks, with jeans.

Not crazy about these Sunberry socklets. I suspect the design is fine, but I am being put off the colours which work but which I don't happen to care for personally, and by the length of the sock. I find bobby-length socks tend to lead to some shoe vs. heel friction issues by the end of the day. Ow.

This Child's Sock is Franklin Habit's re-creation of a pattern from Beeton's Book of Needlework, published in 1870. This is a pattern to look at more as an artefact of knitting history than to actually make. Even Habit admits it wasn't really worth the effort it took to rewrite the pattern, the original being so badly written that, as he puts it,

As you reach the bitter end, you can almost hear the anonymous designer thinking, "Screw it. My corset is killing me, the gin is calling, and it's time to go home." Her instructions give the impression of having been written in haste, without a second thought, maybe after she'd removed the corset and emptied the gin bottle.

Then to the materials list, he adds this note,

You can theoretically get three pairs of these out of one pair of skeins, if you have a lot of little children you hate.

Sometimes I think Franklin Habit owns the whole "funny knitting writing" niche and the rest of us who are trying to do anything along the same lines might as well close up our laptops and get a real job.

1 comment:

  1. OK, I won't knit an entrelac turban, promise. (And I wasn't planning to, honestly.)