Thursday, 23 May 2013

Knitter's Magazine K111: A Review

Knitter's Magazine has published issue K111, and it's a "family friendly" issue, which means it has at least a few children's and men's patterns. Don't you male knitters just love being made to feel like knitting magazines are talking around you to the nearest female knitter? Let's have a look at its patterns.

Not liking this boy's pullover. The overall shaping is good, but the contrast colour and the drawstring are detracting from it. Drawstrings usually don't cross over one another and just hang there like that, as though they're biding their time until they can perversely disappear back into the casing. I'd omit the drawstring and do the contrasting colour a little differently, such as in a few stripes in the cuffs and hem and another stripe in the collar.

This child's dress isn't quite there. It looks baggy and saggy, for one thing. Well, it is baggy and saggy — the stripes on the bodice are visibly pulling out of shape. And though I like both stripe patterns, I don't think they are quite working together. I'd pick one stripe pattern and use it for the whole dress, and maybe just make the scale of the pattern a little bigger on the skirt. The colourway isn't quite working either, so I'd tweak that a little.

Whenever I see a model in this kind of tilted back pose, I am reminded of Jerry Seinfeld's bit on how women stand in front of the mirror when they're shopping: garment held in front of the woman, woman's body leaning back at a 60 degree angle, one leg held out. We women do that to give the garment a filled-out look so we can get a sense of what it might look like when worn, but Seinfeld's theory is that women are trying to find the perfect outfit to wear for those days we spend leaning back at a 60 degree angle with one leg stuck out. The fact that this model is having to literally bend over backwards to make this sweater look good is not a good sign, because women need clothes that look good when they're on and we're standing upright. My suspicion is that this sweater looks a tad on the bulky and shapeless side in ordinary poses.

I actually don't mind this design, but don't understand why this colourway was chosen for it. The combination is way too "peasant at the discothèque", and one of these things does not belong. I'd make this in a non-retina-burning colourway, such as cream and navy and olive. This also is a design that belongs on a woman with a modest bustline with a waistline she doesn't mind emphasizing.

I actually rather like this design, but think it needs to be done in a more sophisticated colourway to work. Doing it in these candied, little girl-ish colours makes it look a little too home ec project. And we have the tilted back pose again, which may mean the fit is less sleek than it appears here.

I am trying to figure out how they got the solid and translucent stripes in this piece. My best guess is the solid stripes are knitted with two strands of yarn. It's a clever effect, though it isn't very practical for streetwear and the baggy fit's not going to be too flattering. It would make a decent coverup for the beach, though.

This is one of those patterns I end up peering at trying to figure out exactly what's going on. This appears to be a sweater pattern that happens to be worn with a crocheted skirt, not a dress pattern or two-piece pattern as I thought at first glance. But I like it. The colour blocking effect is well-done, the overall effect is crisp and striking, and this is a sweater a woman can wear with jeans or shorts or a skirt all summer long and that will look good on almost every woman.

Quite like this cardigan. It's simple enough to go with a lot of other things, yet pretty enough to be distinctive. The fit does look a little baggy, but that's easily remedied.

Knitter's Magazine put this look on the cover of this issue, and I don't know why as there's nothing special about it at all and they do have much better designs in this issue. Totally basic top that I don't quite know why designers bother to produce anymore, since there are so many identical patterns out there already.

This one just isn't working. The front pieces actually do match up but the design makes them look as though they don't. The edgings look rough. The resulting look is just kind of odd, and I don't know what on earth a woman could wear this with but a plain white top and purple or green skirt or pants or maybe jeans. If you want a vest with a shawl collar (the collar does sit so well), I'd recommend making this in one colour or in a beautiful variegated yarn, with different edgings and buttons all the way down the front.

Very nice classic man's cardigan that many men would be happy to wear.

Oh dear. This style of cardigan can be an elegantly relaxed look done right and on a woman it suits, but it's not a good idea to render it in novelty yarns, or even hand-dyed yarns, which just cheapens the look, especially when the yarns chosen don't work together.

This tiered skirt would have been a cute look if the top two tiers weren't done in that very loose gauge. I mean, what did the knitter use to make them, her fingers? They just look like a mistake.

I don't think I know many, if any, men who would like and wear this look. Or any women for that matter. I know menswear is damn boring, but trying too hard to reinvent the wheel is not the answer. There are good points to this design, such as the check stitched front edging, but the stripes and colour blocking is overdone and the purple and orange colourway isn't going to fly with too many men. Simplify the colour blocking, work on the colour scheme and use a more basic button and you might have something that would suit significantly more men.

An entrelac pattern geometric-cut spencer. I can't help finding it kind of fun, but that's probably the fact that I like the yarn used. When I imagine this in a colourway I don't like, I have to admit my review of it is perfectly savage. Hardly any women will look good in this piece, and it won't look right with many outfits other than say, a very simple jersey dress with no horizontal seamlines.

Classic boy's cardigan.

Quite like this child's cardigan. The shape is good, the crocheted edgings make it look polished, and the colours used make it look fresh and playful.

I don't dislike this top, but it does look like it needs a little something. The middy collar and the texture are nice touches, but I'd take the look steps farther, probably by doing the collar in a contrasting colour and adding a belt-like detailing or some edging in the contrast colour to pull the design together.

No comments:

Post a Comment