Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Knit Simple Fall 2013: A Review

Knit Simple has published their Fall 2013 issue. Why don't we have a look at it?

Not bad at all. A classic cabled wrap in a fun colour.

I like this one too, a basic but well-cut cabled sweater with an attractive ballet neckline. I do like a long cuff — it sets off the hands.

Cute tam.

I very much like this one. The flattering yoke (a woman can set off her favourite pendant necklace in this sweater), the lattice detail at the cuffs and hem echoing the yoke — all of that adds up to a warm practical sweater that most women can wear, and that also has interesting details and some style. This is good design.

So far so good, but then we have... this one. Colour blocking really shouldn't look as though the knitter ran out of one kind of yarn and patched in another. This sweater does have some good points but should have been taken several steps further. There needs to be a line of detail at the join where the two colours meet, because it looks rough as it is, and a corresponding line of detail at the cuffs and perhaps also at the hem would pull the whole thing together.

This one isn't bad. The yoke panel would have looked random if it were the only colour block, but the designer has pulled it together by adding cuffs in the same colour and stitch. I'd go just a little further with that and make one of the two yarns a variegated yarn that contained the colour of the second yarn.

Again, this colour blocking looks a bit random, though the actual design of the sweater isn't bad. I'd pick two colours that worked better together than these two rather than simply contrasting, or just knit the whole thing in the same colour.

This is one of the patterns I stare at for five minutes while trying to form a definite opinion, and then am still not sure about. The way this cloak is flaring out isn't at all flattering, but it looks to me that if the model weren't posing with her arms akimbo the sides wouldn't be standing away from her body like they are — she's just trying to show us the lines of the design. And so I think if you want to knit yourself a cloak, this isn't a bad one to make. I do wonder about what's going under the scarf, if there's any kind of fastening at the throat, and if (as I suspect) there isn't, whether this cloak will stay on during a sudden gust of wind.

Classic cabled pom-pom hat. You have the option of leaving the pom-pom off if this is too juvenile a look for you, of course.

This one would probably look better done in one colour.

I kind of like this one. I'm not sure whether those are beads or French knots — my guess is the latter. Either way it's a nice finishing touch on such a standard design.

Again, this hat would look better done in one colour. Or if you want it striped, in stockinette stitch rather than a check stitch pattern. Both themes are too much for a small hat and they just make it look rough and amateurish.

If you're making this one for an adult, I'd leave the pom-pom off. Pom-poms always look more than a little childish, and given that the afghan-style ripple pattern makes this look grandma-produced, it needs to look as adult as is otherwise possible.

This isn't bad, I guess. I might go with a more sophisticated colour scheme, though.

Love the colours in this, but not the shape. It's a little too Keebler Elf, falling over in a comical way rather than draping in a graceful way.

Here we have a "Lawrence of Arabia meets a snowstorm" look. Those unshaped garter stitch side flaps are just a big no-no, and the brim isn't good either, though the rest of the hat is kind of cute. This design needs a properly shaped brim, and if it must have ear flaps, they should look like an integrated part of the design rather than like a pair of random mud guards.

This isn't bad. A simple striped tam with a decent shape.

This is run-of-the-mill but serviceable enough.

I wish I could get a better look at the stitches used in this afghan. However, I think I like the texture, though I'd be inclined to make it just in one colour. Multi-colour afghans almost never look really elegant. But if you want this for a kid's room or some other room which you've done in a fun, colourful way, this could fit right in.

No. Just no. Unless you really think granny chic is actually a thing.

I like this one. I do love a sampler-style afghan.

Man, this is giving me retina burn. I can't even make a real effort to look at the stitchwork. I'd say the same of this as I'd say of the first of these four afghans: make it in one colour unless it's for a room with bright colours and a casual tone.

When I was a child and my mother had one of her (rare) cooking or baking mishaps such as making a cake that fell, she'd dump a sauce all over it and make up a different name for it. This looks like the result of a similar maneuvre, as though someone knitted part of a sweater, found out that she or he hadn't followed directions, and decided to call it a scarf rather than have all that work go to waste. The problem being that while no one much cares what food looks like as long as it looks appetizing and tastes good and in any case will soon disappear, a scarf is supposed to look good and be wearable for a long time.

Oh, and now we see what the maker of the scarf was trying to make: a hoodie. And she or he still didn't get there on the second try, and so this time called it a scarf with an attached hood. And I'm still not buying it.

These knitted bags are cute. I'd use a more interesting and/or better quality yarn for this project, but otherwise they're good, with a simple shape and bit of texture.

I wish I could see what's going on with this pattern. Are there side seams or is this a wrap? I'm inclined to say the latter, in which case this isn't a bad wrap. It lies reasonably well either well. The colours and the fringe make it look a little afghan-y, but that can be changed easily.

Not a bad scarf and fingerless mitt set, though I do have a few concerns about the shaping of the mitts — they look a little crude.

I rather like these sneaker- and sweater-style hat and mittens sets. They're cute and whimsical.

I like the idea of mittens as pockets on a kid's sweater, but these look kind of random. I'd add a few touches of pink to this sweater to pull it together and make the sweater look more deliberate. Do you know what would be really cute? A clothesline pattern running right around the chest, back and front, with tiny mittens hanging from it.

I like this little mandarin jacket, and I even like the matching headband. I'd do it in another colourway, but that's just personal preference, as this one works well enough. Children prefer bright colours, even though the adults who make their clothes would rather look at something more sophisticated.

This is definitely a little jacket I would make in another colour combination because this one isn't quite pulling together — the hot pink is too overpowering for the pale blue and they're just fighting one another. Otherwise this is a cute design that would look quite sharp in a better colourway. Though it is pulling open over this child's stomach. Make sure you make the sweater big enough.

Very cute design in a good colourway. My one quibble is that those bows could have been better designed. They look a little limp.

Love this. Darling daisy pattern on this vest.

Really cute little lace cardigan for a baby.

Coming up: Look for a special Fourth of July post tomorrow morning!


  1. The only problem with the flattering yoke / favourite pendant sweater is that it's pulling up a bit at the center front, even on a tiny model with minimal boobs. That suggests that they haven't put any bust shaping into the pattern at all.

    Otherwise, it's quite nice.

  2. All three of the more open neck garments (two jumpers and cardigan) are too wide at the shoulder on this model. The closed neck garments seem to fit her better. It may be the stylist trying to show the necklines to best advantage, but causing another area to look less than attractive shouldn't have been the only option the stylist had. That might even have caused that centre pulling as well, or at least exacerbated it.