Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Pom Pom Quarterly Winter 2013: A Review

Today's review is of a relatively new knitting magazine I haven't reviewed before, Pom Pom Quarterly. Pom Pom, which was launched in the summer of 2012 is, according to its website, "a quarterly, collectable publication based in London, UK for smart, creative types who like knitting patterns with a modern aesthetic, great photography and interesting writing".

Let's have a look at the ten patterns in their Winter 2013 issue, shall we?

The Anzen crocheted cardigan. This one could have gone badly and wound up looking like an afghan with sleeves (I believe "slanket" is the technical term), but it hasn't. It sits well and has a modern air. I'm really not enthused about the big old safety pin that's holding it together, but that's easily substituted for the shawl pin or brooch of your choosing.

The Aureus cardigan. Love the stitchwork on this one, but not the shape of it. The stylists here have done their level best to give this cardigan a chic look and haven't succeeded. It's going to look just plain frumpy on most women. I'd fix the dropped shoulders, add some waist shaping, and make it large enough to meet in the front on the wearer.

The Fjordland cap. I very much like this little hat. The star on the top and the patterning around the circumference are seasonal in a cute way and yet still suited for an adult.

The Garland pullover. This is the cover look, and it looks fairly pretty in repose, but look at what happens once the model raises her arm. Call me staid if you wish, but I remain unmoved from my conviction that exaggerated cuts like this look just plain sloppy at least nineteen times out of twenty, and no, this is not one of the exceptions. I would cut this sweater down to a standard fit, because it will be a lovely piece that way, given the lacework, the soft mohair, and a delicate confection of a colour.

The Hyoutan mittens. I'm not crazy about these. The mittens look a little big and clumsy, and the colourwork looks a little odd — that pattern doesn't make much sense visually.

The Silver Birch socks are an attractive and nicely finished design.

The Take Heart hat is a pretty standard cabled hat. I'm not sure I personally care for the Flopsy Cottontail-style pom pom which is its one claim to originality, but I suppose it could be cute on the right sassy young wearer. And it's easily left off if you don't think it'll work for you.

The Tuuli fingerless mitts. I rather like these. The texture is good, the subtle slubs of colour add to the interest, and doing the palms in stockinette is a practical move.

The Vintage Bullion crocheted scarf. I seesawed on this one, trying to decide if it was interesting or too BoHo, and I think I'm going to come down on the interesting side. The texture really is very good and pleasing. But I would be careful about what colour I made this in. Don't go with a yarn that makes you think of granny afghans, because it will make your scarf look like an artifact of the seventies, and not in a good way.

The Winterberry shawl. I very much like this piece, which is simple and wearable, will actually keep you warm and not catch on everything, and yet has both visual interest and a polished, finished look. Designers round all these bases less often than you'd expect.

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