Friday, 5 May 2017

Interweave Knits Summer 2017: A Review

Interweave Knits has released their Summer 2017 issue, and as they often do, they've selected designs according to a theme, which in this case is two of William Shakespeare's most famous comedies, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night. Let's have a look at the forms of knitwear unknown, as the designer's scratch pad and needles turn them to shapes and give to airy nothing wearable knitwear forms and a pattern name.

Goodfellow Top. Nice lacework, but I never can get on board with these tiny cropped tops over a big shirt. It has that absurd "shrunk in the wash and didn't think anyone would notice" look.

Helena's Shawl. Speaking of Helena, I fondly remember a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream that I saw in the spring of 1988 when I was 14 and in which the actress who played Helena dropped on all fours and pointed as she uttered the line, "I am your spaniel!" Hilarious as that was, thankfully a woman who wears this item need not be so abject and instead may carry herself with all grace and dignity this very attractive shawl imparts.

Hermia's Shawl. Though this shawl be but little, it is fierce.

Hippolyta's Cover Up. This must be the modern equivalent of Hippolyta's magical girdle, and like its predecessor, it seems to exist more for its enchantment (or seduction) value than as a practical item of wearing apparel. But I kid because I love. This cover-up is a very fetching and high-style little number, even it won't block many UV rays.

Malvolio's Cowl. This is quite a handsome piece, and a much more suitable accessory for the Puritan-minded Malvolio than the yellow stockings and cross-garters he'd been duped into thinking his beloved Lady Olivia wanted him to wear.

Midsummer Kimono. This isn't bad, and it would be a good compromise for someone who wants a wrap or shawl-like effect but can't be bothered with trying to keep them in place.

Olivia's Cape. What a fantastic piece. Everything about it is so beautifully done: the shaping, the herringbone pattern, the I-cord finishing, the finishing touches of the leather buckles. And while it's a piece rendered in a very romantic style, it's not too costumey to be wearable for real life.

Orsino's Vest. A handsome classic for the man who's busy trying to decide whether he really loves Lady Olivia or his handsome new page boy, Cesario, who is actually Viola. With such a confused lovelife, who has time to think about his clothes?

Puck's Tunic. This is quite a pretty and wearable summer top, and it's the perfect thing to wear when one is that merry wanderer of the night who is blithely toying with other people's lives for her own sardonic amusement. It will also work for the office, lunch with friends, or a date.

Titania's Shawl. This is a gorgeous, exquisite piece that's definitely fit for the queen of the fairies, even if she does fall in love with a partial or complete ass.

The Tudor Rose Shawl. Another fabulously beautiful lace shawl. This one and the previous one are both fit for a princess.

Viola's Coat. I'm not liking this one much. The collar has a skimpy look and the fronts sits so poorly that it brings to mind that old "gunny sack tied in the middle" simile. But then perhaps Viola, like Orsino, has no time to think about her sartorial choices. She's been shipwrecked, doesn't know whether her twin brother is dead or alive, is posing as a boy, working as a page, and dealing with several potential suitors, but she's also responsible for the momentum of one of the world's most famous plays.


  1. About the Midsummer Kimono, I personally detest fringe but without the fringe it would be okay and i love all the beautiful shawls but does anyone really wear them? The best is Puck's Tunic for pretty and something one could actually wear. Just my opinion. :)

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    1. Malvolio's cowl AND the very attractive model.

  3. I LOVE that cape! And those big, lacy shawls are amazing. I'm going to have to buy this issue, even though I'll probably never make any of them, just to see how they're constructed. Also, I'm totally with you on the cropped top over big shirt look. Even my fashion-forward teenaged daughter wouldn't bother trying to pull that off.