Monday, 20 January 2014

Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine 55: A Review, Part 1

Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine Issue 55 is out. Let's have a look at the first half of the patterns today and the second half on Wednesday.

The Praise design. The lace is very pretty and I like the subtle colour shading, but the overall lines of this item bring the expression "sadsack" to mind. I'd neaten up the shaping if I were making this.

The Mercy design. Hmm, a drape front cardi. It's not a bad thing of its kind. I can't wear this kind of unstructured design myself, so I have a bias against it, but it is the kind of thing that can look attractive on and be useful to the right person.

The Hope design. I rather like this one, which with its lacy texture and slightly contrasting arm, neck and waistbands, manages to be more interesting than you would expect of something the colour of oatmeal. But I would not pair it with a gathered skirt, which as you can see here is conspiring with the waistband to do no good even to this professional model.

The Trinity design. A lace poncho with... a train. Or whatever all that excess knitting at the back is. The only reason this looks vaguely attractive is that it's Kidsilk Haze, which always looks luscious, and the lace pattern is lovely. But the shaping is ridiculous.

The Genesis design. I rather like this one, which could be a pretty summer cover-up and a nice alternative to a shawl.

The Prudence design. Cute and pretty little top.

The Rhapsody design. Don't care for this one. The hourglass shape on the front isn't a bad concept, but the execution just looks crude, as though it were a mistake.

The Bliss design. Very pretty lace scarf.

The Harmony design. I'm not enthusiastic about this one. Well, it's crocheted (and I am hardly ever enthusiastic about crochet), but aside from that I don't care for the tiered look. This isn't flattering and will make whoever wears it look like a lampshade.

The Loudres design. Love the delicate charm of this one.

The Deva design. Beautiful lace, beautiful yarn... but this is another sack-like design. Even lovely lace like this needs to be shaped like a garment rather than a bag.

The Madonna design. Dropped shoulders, horizontal stripes and tunic shaping add up to one unflattering sweater. Which is a shame, because the texture in those stripes really is something special.

The Promise design is really lovely except for that butt sling shaping in the back. I would so omit that.

The Julieta design. This is a Kaffe Fassett piece, and though the colourwork is as lovely as his always is... the shaping isn't great, and the combination of horizontal lines with this shaping isn't a well-advised one. Note that Rowan didn't use a full frontal photograph of this piece. I'd be inclined to use this design's masterfully subtle striped colour for another pattern altogether.

The Filippe design. This is basic but adequate design. The lines are good and the colours chosen work together well.

The Dia design. This is one of those designs that didn't get where it deserved to go. The patterned yoke and texture used throughout the body are interesting and attractive, but the dropped shoulders, boxy shape, and unfinsihed-looking hem are really detracting. Fix the dropped shoulders, add waist-shaping and a ribbed waistband to the body, and you'll really have something.

The Eldora design. This is attractive and interesting, but I would want to neaten up the shape and fit a little bit.

The Alma design. This is an offbeat colourway and texture that I think actually really works, but again I would tidy up the shape and fit. See how big that armhole is on the left? Everyone is going to have an excellent sideshow view of the wearer's bra and more.

The Crista design. Not wild about the texture on this one. It looks too much like the wrong side of an elasticized material. And this is a design that's doing even this lovely model no favours.

The Estefan design. Not thrilled with the colourway here, but I think the design would be fairly effective in, say, black, charcoal and light gray.

The Fernando design. This is actually pretty gorgeous, though I'm not sure too many of the men of my acquaintance would care to wear it. If you're making this for a man (and you aren't the man it's for), I'd get his approval first.

The Esperanza design. Rowan really seems to have thing for horizontal stripes all of sudden. This pattern doesn't look too bad here on a professional model, but it will be about as flattering as an awning on most women.

The Madia design. Oh man. A lot of sweaters are unflattering while being quite lovely articles in themselves, but this is not one of those sweaters. It's cropped and boxy with cropped sleeves that create a most unkind horizontal line, and the texture is horrible, as though the sweater were infested with worms. Let's just move along quickly and pretend this never happened as best we can.

The Guido design. Quite like this one, which takes the man's striped sweater to a new level with its subtle colourway and gradient effect.

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