Monday, 30 March 2015

Knitty Spring & Summer 2015: A Review

Knitty has released their 15th issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

The Hybrid Vigour. The designer of this piece came up with it as a way to answer her frustration with the fiddly, slippy nature of shawls: the shawl is connected at the ends, creating an item that is part shawl and part poncho. I hear you on the frustrating nature of shawls, sister, and I like this item. The lace is pretty and the piece hangs attractively.

Peppermint Bay Shawl. The lacework and the construction of this piece is impressive, but it does look more like a throw than a shawl to me.

Lawton Wrap. Another very pretty piece of lacework. A shawl pin makes it possible to don this oblong item with some style.

Nahant stole. The designer of this item tried fractal spinning and then designed this scarf as a way to use up the gorgeous result. Lovely piece, but good luck finding yarn this special in any store!

Crane Hill Tank. This piece combines crochet and knitting to good effect. The shaping is decent and the result is a simple, pretty, wearable top.

Myliu Lino Pullover. Not so taken with this one. The lace work is pretty and the yarn used here is lovely, but it doesn't sit all that well and isn't terribly flattering.

Mia Tank. Not bad. It has some interesting detailing and decent shaping. I think I'd make this to sit a few inches shorter on the wearer and in a more interesting yarn choice.

French Smock Sweater. This looks like a baby blanket with straps attached.

Lorinda sweater. This is a pleasant-looking cardigan, but I would run the buttons and buttonholes all the way down the front.

Geek socks. Cute socks. The slipped stitch technique has been used to give what would otherwise be plain stripes a more interesting vibe.

Evangelina sock. The ribbon drawstring on these pushes these into "too twee for me" territory, but the stitchwork is interesting and appealing.

Stars and Stares eye pillow. This pillow is designed to be filled with rice, buckwheat, or flax seeds, mixed with lavender, herbal tea, or mint, etc., and heated or cooled to be used not only on the face but on any tired or aching muscles elsewhere. The designer has come up with a few designs for the eye pillows, but if you've ever wanted to find a way to terrify your small children into not disturbing you when you're trying to take a nap, this one would your best route to doing that.

Victorian Mash-Up Hat. For this creation, Franklin Habit tried out knitting a couple of squares from a Victorian-era counterpane pattern, stitched them together, and topped them with Victorian-style knitted fringe. I don't think I'd actually put this on a baby. It looks like one of those novelty hats rabid sports fans wear at sports arenas, along with chest paint and giant foam fingers, in an effort to get on the Jumbotron. Since this child is too young to be a fan of anything except perhaps milk and cuddles, putting such a hat on this baby makes it look like a very small mascot for Team Yarn.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Debbie Bliss Magazine Issue 14: A Review

Debbie Bliss Magazine has released their 14th issue. Excuse my tardiness as it's actually been out for quite awhile, but as they haven't as of this writing updated their website with the preview pics from the new issue, I was unable to write my review until I finally messaged the Debbie Bliss Magazine Facebook page and the administrator helpfully pointed me to a set of preview pics elsewhere on the web. Let's have a look at the warm weather knitwear within, shall we?

Error Top. Basic little top. I can think of more positive messages I'd rather be wearing.

Bliss Top. That's a little more like it.

Quack the Duck. Cute.

Bob the Bunny. It's hard to go wrong with a bunny toy.

Smiffy. Cute.

Man's Bee Friend. Personally I wouldn't treat my best friend like this.

Le Chien A La Mode. Okay, fine, I have to admit this is kind of adorable. But I am still resolutely anti-knitwear for pets. I mean, we all know how that can end, don't we?

Classic Cardigan. Very basic. The yarn, which is Eco Baby Prints in Carnival, is pretty.

Guernsey. Okay. It's a little too big in the neck.

Shell Pattern Slipover. This is designed to be worn over something else, but I would make it more fitted and raise the armholes so it could be worn by itself.

Belted Top. Belts really don't belong in one's armpits.

Sweatshirt. I doubt this particular colour would appeal to many men, but this simple pattern would be wearable enough in another yarn.

V-Neck Cardigan. This isn't terrible, only too basic and a little unflattering, but there are so many better-designed cardigan patterns out there that it would make no sense to choose this one.

Sideways Knitted Sweater. Pretty little top.

Contrast Edge Cardigan. Very cute little piece. It's simple, but the collar and the contrast edging give it all the interest it really needs, and the shape is good.

Raglan Sweater With Chevron Edging. Very pretty. The lace edging is a nice finishing touch on an otherwise simple and well-shaped sweater.

Frill Edge Cardigan. Don't care much for this one. The hem shaping doesn't look designed, but as though it shrunk and pulled in the middle, and most women aren't going to care for that bulky ruffle around their hips.

Raglan Sweater with Bow. Both the bow and the way the body is belling out over the waist ribbing are unfortunate.

Antimacassar. This isn't a bad effect, but I can't imagine wanting to fuss around with one of these on the furniture. Victorian novels often describe their female characters as having to repeatedly straighten their antimacassars, and women have acquired careers since then.

Tealight Holder Covers. I often see examples of these tealight covers on the net. I'd like to see some research on whether they're safe.

Lace Cushion. Nice lace pattern.

Cabled Floor Cushion. Classic and looks comfy.

Lace & Cable Cushion. Don't like this lace pattern as much as the previous one. The two lace stitches don't work together that well.

Cabled Throw. A rather unique cabled effect with a contemporary feel to it.

Smock Dress. Cute concept, but the design could use a little polishing up. I'd smock the pockets and improve the shape of the collar.

Moss Stitch Tunic With Pockets. Uninteresting and badly shaped. I'd keep looking for a better boy's sweater pattern.

Wraparound Apron. No way would I spend time knitting something for the express purpose of getting paint slopped all over it. This is what Daddy or Mommy's cast off shirts are for.

Dress with Pocket. They're not even trying in this issue, are they?

Smock Coat. Basic little jacket. A more interesting yarn choice would do something for it.

Beret. Basic as basic can be.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Creative Knitting Summer 2015: A Review

The Summer 2015 issue of Creative Knitting is out. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Brahni Lace cardi. Nice little piece for summer. If you don't care to emphasize your waistline, decrease the height of the waistband on this one.

Caldew vest. It looks like Mary, Phyllis, and Rhoda have a new neighbour. Her name is Beverley and she just loves reminding them that she's engaged and they're not. Also she habitually wears shapeless knitted and crocheted vests that don't sit well unless she poses very carefully.

Metta pullover. Looks rather haphazard.

Vervain Tank. Not a bad look for casual summer wear.

Albany Tee. Standard lacy top that could definitely stand to fit better through the waist and hips.

Channel cowl. Nice cowl. If you wear cowls in the summer.

Dawning sweater. Nice lace pattern, but this shaping wouldn't look good on too many women. This model is barely getting away with it. I'd fix the dropped shoulders and the potentially awkward sleeve length and make the body a non-cropped length.

Headwaters Tank. I like this sheer tank until my view travels down to the very unfinished-looking hem.

Indus top. Looks like a cowl that got too big for its lot in life and decided to try to pass as a top.

Riverine tank. Baggy and crudely shaped.

Anise Wrap. Lovely and polished, with terrific texture and shaping.

Fen Neckerchief. Not a bad little wrap for summer.

Meuse shawl. I wish I could get a better look at this. What I can see looks okay, though that is a rather muddy-looking colour.

South Beach scarf. Pretty texture and colourwork.

Summer Morning Sky shawl. Another pretty little piece.

Elise Dress. It's a bit on the lumpy and bulky side, but it is cute enough. I do have my concerns about how open those sleeves are and what can be seen through them from the side view.

Her Darling Accessories. Cheesy.

Honeysuckle Tunic. Cute if slightly shapeless little tunic.

Wild Indigo Blanket. Striking and contemporary.

Canyon Cowl. Pretty.

Coastline Hat. It's a bit afghan-y in design, but I suppose it's not a bad little piece if you wear knitted caps in summer.

Dock on the Bay Tote. Very cute bag. I would want to line it to keep it from stretching out.

Moving Currents cap. Nice little cap.

Sand & Sea Mat. This doesn't look big enough to be useful for the beach.

Seashore Pillow. Not a bad pillow design. I'd like to see this in a more interesting colour.

Seven Seas Pillow. Too granny's afghan for me. A less traditionally afghan-like colourway would help.

Soft Shells Runner & Stitch Blocks. The idea here is that these squares can be assembled to make napkins, washcloths and a table runner, but I don't think the square designs work together well at all.

Sunroom Throw. These two colourways aren't doing anything for each other.

Under the Boardwalk. The pattern descriptor refers to this hat as "ultra-chic". Um, no. Putting some effort into the colourway might elevate this hat to cute, but I fear chicness is not its destiny.