Thursday, 27 June 2013

Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 54: A Review, Part 2

Today's post is the second half to the review of Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 54, the first half having been posted yesterday.

I rather like the Rya pattern, which has an interesting stripe pattern, a unique colourway, and is well-constructed. But with those stripes extending from arm to arm, this isn't going to be a very flattering item to wear. Notice how they don't show a full frontal shot of the model?

I'm not really sure the Milas pattern quite works. That deep v-neck invaded the chest stripe and so needed something to balance out the effect, but I'm not at all sure the collar's doing that. And the scarf worn Ascot-style isn't a good idea. I think what I would do with this item is leave the collar off, knit the entire top of the sleeves and the front and back in the second colour rather than just making it a stripe, and pair it with a t-shirt. Deep v-neck sweaters on men calls for layering so we don't see too much skin (or chest hair) there. Sorry, guys, but though your manly bare chests are welcome at the beach or in a backyard or the bedroom, they don't play well in low-cut neckline peepshows.

The Marash pattern isn't bad at all, but I think the colourway could be better.

This is the Kilim Wrap pattern, by Kaffe Fassett. I wish Rowan had shown us a full frontal view, as I find it hard to assess how this flatters the wearer. The pattern and colourway are as beautiful as they always are in Kaffe Fassett designs, but this does look a little bulky. I'd say if you want to make this for yourself to make sure the proportions are right for your figure.

The wrap front on the Izmir design looks bulky and rumpled even on the model, but that pale, subtle Harlequin pattern is quite remarkable. I'd be inclined to forego the wrap style and use the pattern charts to make a basic v-neck or turtleneck.

In any other designer's hands, the Kashmir Scarf Wrap would look exactly like an afghan with delusions of being a wrap. But if anyone could turn the ripple pattern into a clothing item, it's Kaffe Fassett. The sophisticated colourway, the use of mohair, which helps blend and soften the colours, the addition of a twisted cord motif to the ripples, and especially the belt really help make this look like a wrap. It's still not going to be a look for everyone, but then those who like it but can't wear it can always use the pattern to make, well, an afghan.

The Madame Butterfly is the second pattern in this issue which has employed the waistline tie effect, and I just can't agree that it's a workable gimmick. It makes the waistline look bulky and bunchy.

The Bizet has a lot going for it. The brocade pattern is lovely, the cuffs are such a nice touch and that collar sits just so perfectly. But I do have my concerns: the description mentions a back pleat panel detail that I wish had been shown to us, and I don't know how flattering this sweater would look in a full frontal view because it does appear to be pulling up and flaring out in the front. However, these are things that can be fixed if they do prove to be an actual problem.

The Vivaldi pattern has something different. I've always admired a wrapped neckline in blouses and dresses, but I don't think I've ever seen it in a sweater. I wonder if it could be an alternative to the turtleneck for those of us who look terrible in turtlenecks?

The Silla pattern is another design that imitates a classic blouse style: the blouse with a lace yoke and sleeves. I like the concept very much, but don't think this execution quite works — the lace components look just look a little too heavy and overbearing for the body of the sweater. Different yarn choices might make this work (gorgeous as these yarns are).

The Juliet design is a third blouse-translated-into-knitwear example (and technically into crochet too, as that middle panel is crocheted). I like this one quite a lot. It has the elegance and formality of a blouse but the comfort and warmth of a sweater.

The Rameau Wrap is a basic but nice shawl pattern.

The Corelli jacket is very nice (love that collar!), though the bagginess around the waist does concern me a little and there's a buttoned back detail not shown here. I wish there were a better pictures available that showed more detail.

I've been waiting to get to the Berenice Wrap, which is the cover look for this issue. It's a really lovely stole, with such an elegant and luxurious air.

The La Scale is another beautifully detailed jacket. I do have my worries about that one-button style — upper body wear that stands away from the midsection just doesn't tend to be flattering, but again it's hard to tell how it's going to look from this picture, and a pleated skirt and loose-fitting top were not the right items to pair with this jacket.

I very much like the Verdi pattern, but man does that tapestry-like panel begin in an unflattering place. I'd take enough rows out of it to keep it completely away from the bustline, but even then if you don't like emphasizing your waistline, this is a design to stay away from.

I love the La Boheme pattern, but I would want to fix those dropped shoulders. I know they're supposed to be a design elements but I just don't think dropped shoulder sweaters ever work on women unless they're otherwise sleeveless.

The Salome design would be pretty hanging on a hanger, but the reality is that there are very few women who would be able to carry off all those bulky ruffles at the waistline. I'd omit the top two and just leave in the one around the bottom.

The pattern on the Aida design is attractive, but I do think this pattern needs some reshaping because it would make most women look dumpy. Reshaping this top to be a standard fit and shortening the sleeves would give it a definite lift.

1 comment:

  1. aida and berenice look very good. the guy looks great in anything. oh is he wearing a sweater? havent noticed