Monday, 3 February 2014

Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine Spring 2014: A Review

Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine has released its Spring 2014 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Argyle Cardigan. This isn't a bad design, but I don't suppose too many young boys will be willing to wear this colourway. That's easily remedied, of course.

Ballet Wrapover. Ten years ago I made one of my nieces a pink surplice sweater similar to this that she was able to wear as her warm-up sweater for ballet class (as well as other places). The other little girls in her class asked her where did she get it and what did it cost, and when they found out it wasn't going to be possible for them to buy one like it, they were distinctly not happy. I like this design even better than the one I made for my niece — the lines are better — so if you make this cute sweater for the little ballet student in your life, be warned that it may not go over well with her classmates. Teeth may be bared and ballet slippers may be stolen.

Boxy Jacket. Oh dear, this is not good. The yarn is unattractive and the fringing makes the sweater look like it's ravelling. The shaping isn't so bad at least — it's not as boxy as one would expect from the title of the design.

Cable and Lace Cardigan. Nice little classic design.

The Cable Pullover is another nice classic piece.

The Cable Vest is another standard piece.

Love the subtle elegance of the Chair Throw. I'd want to make it into a full-sized afghan.

The Chevron Lace Skirt is pretty but the way the model is standing makes me suspect that it doesn't hang that well when it isn't forced taut. It's also see-through.

The Chevron Lace Top is also pretty but on the shapeless size. I'd neaten up the fit by making the sleeves shorter and narrower and adding waist shaping.

College Cardigan. Don't care much for this one. It's just too bulky, shapeless, and crude looking.

Cowboy Shirt. Don't like this one much either, which like the design above is also a crude imitation of a classic style. I don't even know what those devices on the yoke are supposed to resemble.

Eagle Cardigan. This one's a bit better in terms of evoking the charm of the original design it's imitating. I don't care for the colourway, but of course it's possible to make it in any colours one wants.

Hooded Zipped Jacket. Nice basic piece. It's so basic I would want to make it in a more interesting yarn — something with some texture or slubs of a another colour.

Intarsia Jacket. Not crazy about this one, which is more than a little loud. I'd at least go with a colourway that works together a little better, i.e., different shades of one colour with maybe one accent colour.

Laundry Bag. This item is very Martha Stewart-esque in effect, but a knitted laundry bag doesn't sound like the most practical of ideas. Laundry can get heavy and a knitted bag will stretch out. Also, won't it absorb odours?

Lavender Pockets. I think I prefer the usual sachets for holding scent, and I prefer my lavender in cookies. Specifically these ones, which rock.

Mexican Sweater. I rather like this one. The symbols on it would appeal to a small child.

Moss & Garter-Stitch Cushion. Quite like this one, with its quietly elegant texture.

Moss-Stitch Blazer. This one is so poor an imitation of a suit jacket that it's just sad. It sits so badly (check out the way that front centre pulls up in the front), and the pocket handkerchief is cheesy. I can't imagine any little boy of my acquaintance wearing this at all willingly.

Moss-Stitch Tunic. This one isn't bad, though I would neaten up the fit a little.

Poodle Motif Cardigan. This is kind of cute, but I would make it to fit a little better. Children's clothes should be loose-fitting to allow for growth and comfort (and to be age appropriate, as fitted clothes are such an adult look), but "loose fitting" is not a simile for "huge" or "sloppy".

Red & White Striped Top. This one's cute. I like the collar, which evokes the middy style.

Shawl-Collared Jacket. I like this one in general, but again it's too big.

Sherrif's Waistcoat. This one's cute, and look, it fits!

Sleeveless Top with Fringe Detail. Not good. The yarn is just so unattractive, the fringe detail has that nibbled-by-the-gerbil look, and the lines are awkward and unflattering. This top is actually bulging out in front.

Sleeveless Top With Peter Pan Collar. This isn't bad, though again I might neaten up the fit.

Star Kerchief. This could be a cute costume detail for your little western movie aficionado.

Striped Cushion. Simple (and an easy knit) yet effective.

Striped Sweater. Wearable and basic.

Striped Throw. This simple design is eye-catching and attractive.

Trench Coat. There are a number of knitter versions of classic fabric garment designs in this issue, and I think this one might be the most effective. It looks quite smart, and it's wearable.

V-Neck Sweater. And we end well with this design. I love the very clever sailboat and life preserver details on this tennis and yachting club style sweater, which makes for a perfect child's version of an adult's classic. Very cute!

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