Monday, 20 February 2017

Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 61: A Review

Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 61 is out. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Porthtowan. I like the idea of the large scale zig zag, but not the colourway.

Soma. The lacework is gorgeous, but I'm not sold on the way this sits.

Nirvana. The texture's great and I love the sideways cable effect, but I would fix those dropped shoulders.

Moonbeam. I'm not usually a fan of the poncho, but this one is so light and delicate and drapes so well that it's working.

Kali. There's something about that middle panel that isn't working -- it looks too random and proportionally off, somehow. I'd do the whole sweater in the lace stitch.

Indira. An attractive, casual piece. I'm liking the gradient stripe effect.

Essence. Quite like this one. It's one of those elegantly relaxed pieces, with great shaping and a touch of textured detail.

Destiny. The stitchwork is good, but the baggy shape and dropped shoulders would make this look frumpy on most women. Even this professional model isn't quite carrying it off.

Celestial. A pretty, useful, go-most-places sweater for cooler days in summer.

Bala. Oooh, the curving lace detailing on this one is not only visually pleasing but very flattering, as it creates an hourglass effect. The only possible flaw in this one might be that the neckline should be cut a little lower, as it seems to be cutting the model off at the neck somewhat.

Anala. This is as basic as it gets, but then one can always elevate a basic pattern with a beautiful or interesting yarn in a colour the intended wearer loves.

Anaadi. There's some pretty lacework in this, but I would definitely neaten up the shape, fix the dropped shoulders and either cut down the neckline or make it a proper cowl or turtleneck.

Ahimsa. Basic tank.

Whelk. A simple yet very effective use of chevrons.

Urchin. This wrap looks so bulky and awkward that it presents more like a sweater that the model had only got half on before the overeager photographer jumped the gun and took the picture.

Seaton. Classic cabled cardigan.

Seaham. If I were making this, I'd scale the fit of this down from oversized to a relaxed fit, but it's not a very interesting pattern, so I would probably keep looking for another basic pullover that already fit well rather than bother to adjust this one.

Rockling. This is better than the longer-length cardigans we've seen thus far in this issue: it has decent shaping and fit. But I'm still not thrilled with it -- I think the front edges are a little too bare and needed some sort of finishing detail.

Periwinkle. A very pretty detailed little cardi. Not every woman can wear the cropped length, but the design can easily be lengthened for a wearer who would be better served by a longer length.

Padina. This is fairly plain, but it's adequate.

Oyster Scarf. Not a bad little scarf, but I can't say I care for the rolled up effect. I'd always be trying to unroll it, and of course it would promptly roll back up again, and I don't need a Sisyphean task hanging around my neck.

Mussell. A handsome lattice cabled pullover.

Lantic. I'm really liking the sporty, contemporary look of this one, and it'd be fun to pick out a colourway for it.

Hithe. I'd neaten up the fit of this, and it would be worth the effort because that lacework is gorgeous.

Croyde. Very basic and slightly awkwardly proportioned to boot. I'd pass on this one.

Clovelly. Some great cablework here, but I'd neaten up the fit and raise those dropped shoulders with a vengeance. The shoulder seam must be at the model's elbow!

Chalkwell. The stripes are fun and this project would be a great way to use up some odds and ends of stash yarn.

Bommie. Good shaping and that is one very striking Fair Isle pattern.

Bayberry. This one has a slightly different construction than the usual hoodie. The hood is less defined than hoods usually are, which gives it a shawl-like effect. I think it works, though I'd like to see how the hood looks when it's lying across the shoulders and back of this sweater. The cabling is excellent.

Barricane. I'd fix the dropped shoulders, but this is otherwise a solid classic piece.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Interweave Knits Spring 2017: A Review

Interweave Knits has released their Spring 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Blixen Tunic. I'm really liking the concept of translating the classic safari jacket into knitwear, and on the whole I like the execution as well. The shape is good and the pockets and cuff details are well worked out, but I'd put a collar on the neckline. Of course, the name of this design is a clear reference to Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke, author of Out of Africa.

Bristol Raglan. This is a fun take on the classic Breton striped jersey.

Charlestown Pullover. Classic cabled sweater.

Cowesett Tee. I like this one. The pattern, which was inspired by American Indian textiles, has a unique look, and the shaping is good.

Denys Vest. Love the pattern on this vest, and the colourway is fantastic. That very cropped length would be awkward and unflattering on most women, but it could easily be lengthened. The name attached to this particular item makes me laugh. During her years in Kenya, Blixen had a long-term friendship and love affair with Denys Finch Hatton, a big game hunter, English army officer, and aristocrat, although sadly it was one of those cases in which she was much more attached to him than he ever was to her. If you've seen the movie you may remember the scene in which she began to mend his shirt and he told her not to. I'm imagining that she then told her laundress to shrink his vest in retaliation.

Elephant Vest. Cute, wearable vest. The little elephant motifs are so well rendered.

Hatton Sweater. Not a bad little number, though it's not showing to advantage here as it doesn't fit this lovely model well, nor suit her figure. Turtlenecks are not flattering on well-endowed women with short necks.

Kingstown Socks. These socks were "inspired by the motifs and colors of the Pacific Northwest". The design's fine, but I would have gone with a more blended colour scheme.

Narragansett Gansey. A classic piece.

Newport Pullover. I like this one, with its relaxed but not huge fit and its suggestion of cables, which adds the appeal of cables without the attendant bulk of cables. The yarn really appeals to me too -- I love that rich dark blue with the glints of turquoise. The yarn used here is Arranmore, made by The Fibre Co., and it's a mix of merino, cashmere, and silk, which sounds decadent.

Pfeiffer Shawl. The design is good, with attractive shaping and good stitchwork, but I've never been able to learn to like mustard and brown together.

Point Judith Pullover. I'm quite liking this one. The braided cable effect is really pleasing, and it was a good call to make this a henley.

Portsmouth Beanie. Rather a nice simple little cap.

Westerly Pullover. I'm liking this more polished take on the Cowichan sweater, but I would fix those dropped shoulders.

Wickford Wrap. A good-looking scarf.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Knitscene Spring 2017: A Review

Knitscene has released their Spring 2017 issue. Let's have a look at what's happening on this particular knitted scene, shall we?

Artisan's Vest. When I began to assess this item, I was uncertain as to whether I liked it or not for some long minutes, but then I realized what I really don't like is the styling, which does nothing for this vest. The vest itself has an original texture and careful finishing.

Dean's Cardigan. This has excellent texture and a good shape, but although the elbow patches have a certain whimsy, I don't know how much they're adding to the overall look.

Desert Flower Shawl. A lovely piece. It's pretty without being too delicate to be practical, and that's one appealing blend of colours.

Director's Vest. A simple yet effective and wearable piece.

Drafter's Cardigan. A pretty lacy-front cardi.

Geographer's Sweater. I very much like this one, with its pretty, polished detailing. Can't say the same for the dork styling Knitscene chose for this photo shoot. I half expected to see a pocket protector and glasses with tape on them before I came to the end of it.

Hitchhiker Tee. A nice little top with pretty touches of lace. I do like these little knitted tops, which go with everything from a office-appropriate skirt or trousers to jeans for running errands and shorts at the beach.

Hustle Shrug. This has that "shrunk in the wash" look and the embroidery looks as though it were designed by a ten-year-old.

Ironwood Shawl. An attractive and sensible shawl.

Outlaws Skirt. I wish I could have seen this one modelled. As it is, I feel inclined to put a seam in one end and zipper in the other and call it a cushion. However, this skirt appeared on Mindy Kaling in an episode of The Mindy Project, so I assume it must look pretty good on, and I like the hem detail quite a lot.

Red Clay Top. Quite an attractive, wearable design, though I can't say I care for that muddy colour.

Residential Vest. Very nice. The cabling on this vest is beautifully rendered.

Solea Shawl. A nice shawl design. I never have cared for the southwestern-style combination of brick red and mustard, but that's just a personal preference.

Sunflower Wrap. This one, with its arbitrary sections of lattice and fringe (with curling edges) and plain stockinette, looks more like a large, experimental swatch than a finished design.

Wilderness Cardigan. This is okay. It would make a relaxed, go-with-everything extra layer for unexpected cool days and nights in the summer.

Writer's Top. I'm not sure I understand what makes this a writer's top. Is it that the shoulder detail looks like a broken, and possibly beaten, pencil? If so, I'm not quite seeing the point -- literally or figuratively.