Friday, 28 June 2019

Cast On Summer 2019: A Review

Cast On has released its Summer 2019 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Ant Egg Dishcloth. I hate using knitted dishcloths (I find them unwieldy and they get so gross and gunky compared to a j-cloth, which can be rinsed clean), and don't particularly like the idea of associating insect eggs with my dishcloths, but this designer has tried something new with this project and the other two dishcloth patterns in this issue by experimenting with a hemp yarn rather than using the usual cotton yarn. She writes that she is a convert, that the hemp dishcloths "dry quickly and scrub dishes surprisingly well, and our prototype has not developed an odor. They would also be very effective for exfoliating!" If you like knitted dishcloths (and many people do), it may be worth trying a hemp yarn next time you're making some.

Barely There Chevron Scarf. That's an attractive lace pattern, though I can't say I think this colour scheme is doing the design justice.

Basketweave Headband. If this were hot pink and teal, it would look like something that is straight out of an 80s-era exercise video, and that should remain there.

Bobbles, Bobbles, Bobbles. Adorable!

Brereton Shawl. I like the contemporary vibe of this one.

Cable Column Pullover. The stitchwork is attractive, and the shaping is good, but it is always a bit of drawback to have to wear an underlayer with a sweater, as one would need to do with this one.

Clara's Wee Jacket. This jacket is so carefully shaped and finished, and the simple embroidered dragonflies are a nice touch.

Cowl With a Twist. This isn't a bad design at all, but it looks inside-out to me, and it's making me twitchy.

Crossover Hemp Top. This isn't terrible, but I would make it in a more interesting yarn, which is to say any other yarn but this one.

Easton Tunic. I am here for the combination of brioche, the Art Deco style detail, and this yarn.

Fibonacci Striped Sweater. This is a strikingly unusual colourway, and it works amazingly well, especially when combined with the saddle shoulder construction.

Fisherman's Rib Stadium Scarf. A simple and classic stadium scarf.

Gazley Circle. Not bad. The play of colour and the honeycomb-like stitchwork work together well.

Grace. I rather like this colourblocked dress, and want to see it in a fun colourway.

Hemp Summer Skirt. Here we have the boring crossover vest from earlier in this review paired with a skirt that reminds me of a forties-era lampshade. Though there isn't anything objectively wrong with either the vest or the skirt design, I'm not sure these two pieces do anything for each other -- they don't seem to belong together stylistically -- and I definitely wouldn't do either of them in the sample colourway.

Mitts With a Twist. Here we have the mitts version of the cowl above. Still not bad design-wise, still looks inside out, and still making me twitch.

Monaghan. I'm generally an easy sell on a Celtic cable design, and this cardigan is so wearable and attractive.

Rainstorm. Simple brioche scarf with a touch of colourblocking. It works.

Saffron and Curry Garter Step Dishcloth. The saffron and curry colour combination is giving me mild retina burn, but I do like the stitch used here.

Shifting Ribs Pullover. Not bad. I like the idea of using stripes in the centre to transition between the two blocks of colour.

Staghorn Vest. Here we have the cover design, and it was good choice for it, because both shaping and stitchwork are excellent and the result is lovely, especially in this robin's egg blue.

Summer Harvest Placemat and Trivet. I'm finding these quite appealing in a homey, crafty way, and am imagining them on a sunlit breakfast table with coordinating stoneware mugs and dishes.

Twisted Blocks Dishcloth. I like the stitch in this one.

Up and Down Cable Socks. A very attractive pair of socks, and I love the interlocking cable pattern used in it.

Waffle Check Socks. I like the sporty, groovy look of these, with their fun combination of the check pattern and striped gussets.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Knitty First Fall 2019: A Review

Knitty has released its First Fall 2019 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Collanne. This wrap makes for an attractive, casual look, and it would be a fun design to pick a colour scheme for.

Banrion. This wrap has the look of a classic Breton sweater combined with ship cables, and I'm here for it. Very nautical.

Last Night I Dreamt. Classic cabled cap, and it's reversible, which is always a nice plus.

Mrs. Rabbit's Muffatees. This cowl and mitts set, which have an interesting slipped stitch texture, were inspired by Beatrix Potter's work. Even if you don't think you'll ever happen to make this set, do check out the pattern page, which features a lovely little biographical essay about Potter, and is illustrated with some charming watercolour sketches.

Brenton Point. This is an interesting new take on the fair isle yoke sweater, and it has a certain fresh, contemporary feel to it. I think it's the combination of the solid background colour on the yoke, which gives the yoke a cowl-like look, the use of simple diamonds in the yoke, and the minimal detailing in the body of the sweater. The shaping is good too.

Promenade. This is quite eighties in its design, although the subdued colourway is contemporary. It's fun in its way, but I would fix those dropped shoulders.

Fugi Rib. I like these so much that I've added them to the sock patterns I've got saved as favourites on Ravelry and hope to get to in 2020.

Don't You Want Me. This one is definitely very 1980s, and of course the name of the pattern very specifically references the 1980s (and has given me a wicked earworm). They're fun, and the perfect thing to wear when you want to imagine you're dancing under a strobe light in a 1980s-era dance club.

Bremen Town Bag. Oh, this is a fun design that makes me smile. Yay for clever, plucky animals who band together, outwit a group of robbers, and make a happy, comfortable life for themselves after their heartless owners kick them out on the street for being too old. I can't help wishing the top edge was finished a little more nicely and/or had a flap, though.

Ozzie the Opossum. I'm trying to get past my utter repulsion for opossums here and assess this design fairly, so I'll just say this design is really well done and makes a horrifying species of rodent look cute and cuddly and now I'm going to go do something else as quickly as possible to get my mind off the mere existence of opossums.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 29: A Review

Pom Pom Quarterly has released Issue 29. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Argil. This one's a little on the rough-looking, unpolished side for my liking, though it does have a certain sportiness to it.

Sanctuary. Very attractive. Love the texture.

Rookwood. Such a handsome, contemporary-style wrap.

Earthen. Perfect summer cardigan. I would raise the dropped shoulders, though.

Ogee. Nice camisole. The stitchwork is beautiful.

Faience. Wearable and attractive summer top.

Minton. The stitchwork in this bag is nice but the shape is schlumpy.

Rievaulx. I like the colour block effect used in this top, and am having fun imagining different colour schemes for it.

Tesserae. Nice use of mosaic knitting on this fun and striking summer top.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Interweave Knits Summer 2019: A Review

Interweave Knits has released their Summer 2019 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Assateague Pullover. Love this one. Just LOOK at that beautifully intricate yoke.

East Beach Tee. This is pretty decent. I like the stitchwork and the aqua contrast trim on the lilac. I'd make it a littler neater fitting.

Cumberland Pullover. This one has the look of a beautiful lace blouse.

Clearwater Coverup. Not so thrilled with the lie of this, and for a coverup it doesn't cover up all that much, although the stitchwork is nice.

South Ocean Pullover. Quite decent. I like the subtle horizontal stripes, which is a nice way to give a simple pullover some distinction.

Van Damme Tee. Nice texture.

Kalaloch Pullover. This one has a great yoke, but can you imagine how aggravating it would be to wear a pullover that pulls up at the side when you raise an arm like the model is doing? I'd rework the design to raise the armholes to where they belong.

Ocean City Pullover. It is so nice to see a mesh piece that doesn't look remotely like a shopping bag. This is a very attractive piece, and I love the lace motifs around the waist.

Laguna Pullover. Very nice, but I would neaten up the fit.

Cove Beach Pullover. This is one of the best colour-blocked pieces I've ever seen.

Malaquite Tee. Decent, but I'd make it to fit the wearer. Things look so much better on the wearer when they fit, and think of the savings in knitting time and yarn when you make things smaller!

Baja Hoodie. This is making me flash back to the nineties, when the Baja hoodie or "drug rug" was such a thing. And it seems they've come back. This Baja hoodie is much nicer than any of those worn back then. I'd consider making it, while I was never tempted to wear a drug rug back in the day, unless you count the time or two I wore a loaner drug rug from a boyfriend because we were out somewhere and I was cold.

Grand Junction Shawl. Very striking blend of colours and patterns.

Rocket Pop Socks. Cute socks. Though I am having a bit of difficulty getting past that I hate this particular kind of popsicle. I'll be an easy sell on ice cream sandwich socks should any designers out there be thinking of making those.

Sonora Cacti Socks. These look like cacti as they might look in some sort of 80s-era video game, such as one entitled "Go West, Young Pac-Man". This is not a bad thing.

Tubac Stole. This has a lot of contemporary-style appeal, and it drapes well.

Silver City Shawl. Very attractive wrap.

Desert Sunset Shawl. Love the colours in this so much that I am keeping them in mind for my future use.

Lobster Socks. These ones are more than a little busy visually for my liking, but they are fun in their way.

Avo Toast Socks. These are pleasing both visually and as a sly reference to the whole avocado toast thing.