Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Knit Simple Holiday 2013: A Review

Knit Simple has come out with their holiday issue, and it has lots of small, quickly made gift-like items in it. Let's have a look at it.

Hooded vests in a man's, woman's, and child's sizing. They're not bad for a beginner pattern. I'd choose a more subtle colourway than any of those used here to lend them a little more sophistication.

Basic ribbed hats. Hats like these are a good way to use up some small amounts of extra yarn, because you can just throw in a stripe of this or that, and then you have a very useful, wearable item.

These monster hats are totally cute.

I like the body of this donkey (?) sweater, but the hood isn't quite working. I don't think including the "muzzle" of the donkey was a good idea as it's just going to look odd from a full frontal perspective.

Cute little bunnies. Though I will say I've seen a number of bunny patterns that are basically identical to this one.

Cute, well-constructed and nicely detailed bootie patterns.

Christmas stockings. They're cute, if not very Christmassy, but then they might go well with, say, your baby's nursery décor.

Coasters. All I can think when I look at them is how coasters always get coffee rings on them. Knitted coasters don't make much sense as they might well have to be washed after every use.

Knitted trivets make only slightly more sense than knitted coasters.

Really cute, fun pillow.

These pillows are nice too.

Kitchen appliance-themed potholders. It's a cute idea, but these won't look good from the wrong side, and knitted potholders are a little too thin to be used for actually taking things in and out of the oven or on and off the stove. (I know this from painful experience.) I think if I were making these, they'd be a knitting and sewing project because I'd resolve both these problems by sewing them into one side of a properly insulated fabric potholder.

I honestly don't know what this is. It looks like something a child brings home to her mother from arts and crafts at camp and the mother has to just accept as graciously as possible, tactfully inquire as to its purpose and nature, and then dutifully use a few times before it quietly disappears. My best guess is that it's some sort of potholder or trivet.

My readers have convinced me that fingerless mitts do indeed serve a practical purpose, but I really don't see the point of toeless socks. Isn't it your toes that feel the cold the most? And do you really need to wear anklets in order leave your toes free for needed tasks, such as a surprise pedicure? Just knit the whole damn sock, people.

This is a nice scarf design. I don't care for it in the variegated version, though. The mesh design just gets lost.

I don't like the "pocket on the end of the scarf" concept at all. It looks silly when the wearer puts her hands in them and they're too open to hold anything securely.

Now we're in for a run of cowls. I'm not crazy about this particular one, which is really bulky and rather awkward looking.

Cowl number two is better. It lies much more gracefully.

I rather like cowl number three. I'm not that enthusiastic about this colour combination, but I can see the design looking terrific in a lot of other colourways.

Cowl number four isn't bad, although I might make it a little longer. It would give one a chance to wear a nice shawl pin.

I very much like cowl number five. It's very simple but the cut is immaculate. One would have the option of wearing it over or under one's jacket, where it would function like a dickey without looking silly the way dickeys do when the outer garment comes off.

Here's the sixth and last cowl, which is very basic and functional. And crocheted.

A knitted collar. It isn't bad, though I think it could have been better styled. If I were knitting a collar, I'd plan very specifically which outfits it was to accessorize. They should bear just the right relation to what they are worn with as they really don't look good just thrown on at random.

Hate this one. It looks crude and ridiculous and like something that belongs on a little girl who is playing dress up, not on a grown woman.

This one's cute and will totally be a fun, feminine little accessory with the right outfit.

I quite like this cowl-necked vest, though I do have my concerns about how it's going to look when worn open.

This isn't bad, though I'd definitely be doing it in another colourway, such as a solid and a variegated that contained the same colours, or two solids with a higher contrast.

Very basic vest with very deep armholes. I'd be closing those up — deep armholes just aren't flattering.

A deep v-neck sweater with batwing sleeves. Well, it's not bad. This would be my idea of a comfortable sweater for around home rather than anything I'd wear to go to school, work, or out socially.

I can't say I care for this one at all. It just looks awkward and slapped together. It looks like the maker made it up as she or he knitted it rather than designed it.

I don't particularly like this one either. Is the colour change in the front supposed to curve up like that or is it just being pulled out of shape by the button bands? Good design doesn't leave anyone asking questions like that. Even if you are a beginning knitter, you deserve better design than this.

A very basic vest. I suppose it's okay — it's not unflattering and it will be useful — but I think even if I were a beginning knitter I'd look for something with a little more charm and style.

A very basic cardigan. That yarn is so beautiful it make this pattern work fairly well, but I don't know why anyone would have seen fit to put those particular buttons on this sweater. Some really special buttons in the right colour would have elevated this project to the next level.

This is a lovely afghan. The mossy colourway is perfect for the leaf theme.

These rib warmers are quite nice and wearable.

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