Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Debbie Bliss Magazine Fall/Winter 2014: A Review

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

Ballet Slippers. These are nothing special. A quick search on Ravelry would produce a number of much more accomplished ballet-style slipper patterns.

Blackberry Stitch and Cable Sweater. The stitchwork used here is attractive, but the shaping of this item is really pretty awful. Also, if you make this sweater in this colour, you might want to avoid wearing a black bra under it as the model has done.

Cable and Moss Stitch Sweater. Classic cabled sweater with decent shaping.

Cable socks. A simple yet pleasing sock pattern.

Cabled Armwarmers. These look too much like upcycled sweater arms.

Cabled Mitts. Upcycled sweater arms, take two.

Cabled Shoulder Cape. This is actually pretty cute. The texture is good and the style has a certain piquant charm.

Cabled Shoulder Cape and Ribbed Top. I'm torn about this one. I think the idea of a cape and sweater set is a great new concept, but I'm not thrilled with this particular execution of it, which looks kind of like the model was putting on a sweater and skirt set and got the skirt stuck around her neck. This cape needs to look a little more like a cape. Adding a collar would help.

Cabled Swing Tunic. The shape of this one is totally unflattering even on this professional model.

Chevron Cowl and Handwarmers. Not thrilled with this set, which has a rather schlumpy look to it. The handwarmers again look like sections of sweater sleeves. A better fit through the wrist (and dare I say it, finger coverage) would help with that.

Cocoon Club. This is quite a nice piece. I'd want to try wearing it pinned it in front with a shawl pin for a more fitted, stylish look, though it's fine worn open.

Cropped Cable Sweater. It's hard to go wrong with a classic cabled turtleneck like this one. If the cropped length or waist-emphasizing deep waistband isn't for you, those design elements can be easily altered.

Dramatic Drape coat. This jacket definitely has great texture and a certain style, though I would suggest wearing it over something fitted and/or with a belt for a more flattering look.

Extra-Wide Multi Cable Tunic. My goodness, this is a sweater so unflattering the Debbie Bliss Magazine editors even acknowledged as much in the name of the design. I mean, not only is the the sweater huge, but there are two dropped shoulder seams in each sleeve. Horizontal stripes are notoriously hard to wear and this designer went with horizontal cables, and then there's the way the front panel protrudes. Don't take this to mean that I think every last woman's sweater needs to be some fitted little number. Sometimes a woman just wants to wear something relaxed and roomy, and if she wants all her sweaters to have that kind of fit, that can look just fine too. But there's a relaxed, roomy fit and then there's fitting like a house. This is definitely the latter.

Fair Isle Beret. Very pretty and classic child's hat.

Fair Isle Legwarmers. Legwarmers can look so fetching on a young girl, and this is a nicely worked pair.

Fair Isle Sweater. Lovely little sweater. There is something so appealing about fair isle patterns on a child.

Fair Isle Yoke Jacket. Love this pattern, which has a good shape and nice detailing. And you'll achieve the charm of a fair isle piece with far less work than an all-over fair isle pattern.

Hottie Cover. I don't know how practical this is, but then I never use a hot water bottle. I suppose it's cute and easily whipped up if you think you will use it.

Jacket With Contrast Band. Hoo boy. This looks like one of those dreadful beginner projects that reduce everyone but the gloriously oblivious maker to cringing and hoping that the light of realization will dawn on her at some point. And if it ever does, she'll first delete or destroy all photo or video evidence she can get her hands on, and then sit up all night behind drawn window shades, ripping the thing out and wondering if she'll have plausible deniability once the yarn is knitted into a different style.

Lacy Shawl. Very pretty lace shawl.

Moss Stitch Turban. Does anyone really wear this sort of thing for occasions other than filming a facial cleanser commercial?

Ombre Sweater. Ooh, really like this one. There's nothing quite like a gradient colour scheme when it's done right, as it is here. The mohair yarn used here really helps blend the colours.

Pajama Case. As with the turban... I don't know who would use this item. I for one do not want the bother of folding up my pajamas and putting them in a fussy little case every morning. And it's nothing special from a design perspective.

Parka. This is a little on the rough and ready side, like it needs more work to look finished. It looks cute on this child model, but then anything would.

Pink-Edged Sweater. Nice simple pullover. The contrast cuff and neckline is a nice touch, though there are much better colour combinations to use than the one employed here.

Shawl-Collared Sweater. Lovely, classic piece.

Short-Sleeved Sweater. This is a nice, simple piece. A large part of its charm is that it's knitted in Debbie Bliss's Angel, which is a kid mohair and silk blend and a really luscious, beautiful yarn.

Sleeveless Top. This is another one of those designs that have that crude and unflattering "beginner project" look. Even if you are a beginner knitter, there are better patterns out there for you.

The Sun and Moon Cushions. This is a cute concept that deserved a better, more artistic execution. These are just too simplistic to be appealing.

That's a Wrap. Hmm, this has some style, and the texture is good. Make this in a beautiful yarn and it will serve you well.

Toasty Tunic. Nice piece. The texture and shape are good and it'll work well with leggings as it is styled here. That neckline sits rather low, but it's easily raised if you'd prefer that it lie higher.

Tweed Coat with Back Pleat. Love this piece. The shape is good and it has polished little details like the buttoned straps on the cuffs and, apparently, a back pleat, though we can't see it here.

V-Neck Tunic. Very simple v-neck pullover in Angel. Again, it's the Angel yarn that makes it.


  1. The Angel designs and kits pieces are really nice but I don't think much of anything else.

  2. I love the sharp put-downs - e.g. 'fitting like a house'. But I agree, some of the designs are very nice, especially the children's Fair Isle. Don't have any availeb kids to knit for just now....

  3. aside from the kids' patterns, everything else is shlumpy frumpy and really not creative. Boo.

  4. Love the kids patterns, but my nieces live in a climate that's too warm for knitwear most of the year.