Friday, 15 June 2018
Cast On has released their Summer 2018 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?
Angelic. Love the texture, but that oversized and cropped shape is a difficult one to carry off.
Baby Butterfly Duster. The designer of this piece writes that she created the design because she needed a long cardigan to wear over her sleeveless dresses in summer. It does look like a useful piece, and its good texture and back pleat give it some style.
Bow Knot Pillow. This isn't bad. I think those decorative bows would get on my nerves if I tried to rest my head on this, but realistically this throw pillow is going to be almost entirely decorative. I'd make it in a more interesting yarn.
Camilla. This has beautiful stitchwork. I'd be inclined to scoop the neckline out a little more to rid this top of its slightly prim air.
Chase Cardigan. Pretty basic but quite serviceable and presentable. I'd make this so that the front edges overlap in order to get rid of that gap between them, because gaps between the front edges always make for an awkward, "too small" look.
Comet. Here we have the cover look, and it's a very eye-catching and Art Deco-esque piece.
Drunken Snakes. A classic cable and garter scarf.
Fall Cowlette. This isn't bad. I feel like this project needs a different colour palette, as those twisting leaves look more like shooting flames to me.
Faux Sheepskin Pillow. This is actually a fair rendering of a sheepskin-style cushion. And I can imagine it feeling comfy too, depending on what yarn one chose.
First Saturday (for Daughters). This is not a bad little dress. I would argue that the colour scheme isn't doing it any favours, though, and that the rosebuds on the bodice should be on the front of the dress, not the back.
First Saturday (for Moms). The lines of this sheath are beautiful, but I'd nix the rosebuds entirely, as they seem too cutesy for a grown woman's dress. If you'd like to ornament this dress, I'd try some sort of duplicate stitch design around the hem and neckline, or doing the dress in a more interesting yarn.
Fishing in France. Here we have another take on the classic Breton sweater. It's not bad.
Honeycomb Pullover. Classic honeycomb design pullover.
Leaves of Cordia. Very attractive pair of socks. And this photo is a welcome burst of colour -- so far this issue has been in subdued tones.
Lorelei Clutch. I like this from the outside, but I wish there were more pictures, as I have questions as to how this clutch is lined and whether it would keep its shape when held as one holds a clutch. If it folds over limply when held vertically or sags out of shape whenever anything is put inside it, it wouldn't work too well as a clutch purse.
Miss Nancy's Necklace. This doesn't look so much like actual jewelry as it looks like an embellishment for a knitted sweater that decided to make a stealth attempt at strangling its wearer.
Summer Lace Boxy Top. Not a bad little top. The wearer will probably want to wear it over another piece, so it's worth thinking about whether she'll want to wear layers in summer weather.
Tea Roses. These are very well-rendered leaves and rosebuds -- I've never seen any I liked better.
Ultra Wide Mock Cable Pullover. Very much like this one, which is truly striking and unique take on a cable front pullover.
West Village Cardigan. Not bad. The stitchwork is interesting. I'd widen the neckline edging and make the front button and buttonholes bands a little narrower.
Zig Zag Redux Socks. A very nice pair of chevron socks.
Wednesday, 4 April 2018
In today's post we're going to have a look at Cast On's Spring 2018 issue.
Baby Bear Sweater. This has some good stitchwork, and I like the contrast buttons. I'd add a garter stitch trim to the hem and cuffs to make it look a little more finished.
Bead Stitch Blouse. Very attractive piece. The shaping is good and the lacy stitchwork is really beautiful.
Delia Baby Dress. This little dress has the look of a late Edwardian ladies dress -- can't you imagine one of the ladies of Downton Abbey wearing something similar? -- and yet it's quite wearable for a toddler of our day. This is so lovely I wish I knew a baby girl to make it for.
Dragon Cape. I think this piece is one I'd enjoy seeing on someone at, say, a fantasy conference as a part of some sort of Game of Thrones cosplay, but it would look odd in real life. The dragon illusion is inventive, and the dragon clasps are fabulous, but the cape has an awkwardly proportioned look, the join between the black yoke and the body of the garment looks rough, and the hem looks unfinished.
Draped Top. Oooh, I rather like this one, which has such great lines and hangs so beautifully. The scalloped hem and ruching at the neckline give it all the detail it needs. It is a little long. I'd be inclined to either shorten it to hip length or go all out and make a dress out of it that can be worn over a chemise-style underlayer.
Drummie Bees and Snowflakes. This isn't a bad pattern, but the gradient colourway isn't quite working.
Fleck Stitched Vest. Useful layering piece.
Illusion Argyle Scarf. This is a fun and contemporary take on the argyle scarf. I'd add a fringe to the ends.
Lace Butterfly Halter. The straps of this look a little too on the thin and insubstantial side for my liking. I'd make them at least a little thicker. They look like I-cord. I'd consider braiding three I-cords together to make the straps, or perhaps crocheting the I-cord into a thicker chain.
Little Dancer Ruched Jumper. I quite like this one, but I can't help feeling it would look better with sleeves in a stockinette and ruched stitch to match the skirt. That's not to say it isn't perfectly wearable and attractive as is, and happily I do know two little girls who are of an age to wear it.
Little Rosebud Aran. I'd fix the awkward-looking dropped shoulders and go with a ribbing at the neckline which, if made deep enough, would also eliminate the problematic cable ends at the centre front.
Mayfair Cardigan. A really lovely piece.
Peek-a-Boo Skirt and Top. This would be a cute little ensemble for a little girl (it is also sized to adult's extra small and small). I'd do it in a fun colour as this one's a little blah.
Physician's Sweater. This design, which incorporates the DNA strand and the caduceus, is elegantly rendered, but I can't help feeling that it's a little too gimmicky to appeal to an actual physician as clothing. As an editor, it amuses me to imagine a version of this sweater with a delete mark on it, but I wouldn't wear it.
Rose Gold Hoodie. This has a rather shapeless, flimsy look.
Springtime Illusion Washcloths. These look a little rough and ready to me, but then I'm a hard sell on knitted dishcloths as I can't bear using them. But I know lots of people do love knitted dishcloths, and as the pattern descriptions says, this would be a good way to practice illusion knitting.
Summer Shoulder Shawl. An attractive little wrap.
Turicum Shawl. This is a fun, contemporary piece.
Two-Color Cable Top. Nice design. I don't happen to think the colours used here does much for it, but it would be fun to come up with one's own colourway for this one.
Whirlwind Barn Quilt Hat. According to the designer of this hat, "[o]ver the past few years, large painted quilt squares have appeared on barns, houses, and commercial buildings in northern Vermont. Barn Quilt Trails are rapidly developing and can now be found in many parts of the country." That does sound like a fun direction for an outdoor art installation, and reminds me of a news item I read some years back in which a woman painted her car to look like a giant crazy quilt using bottles of nail polish. Quilting is such an art that there's certainly no reason why the quilting aesthetic should be confined to just one medium. This hat was inspired by Vermont's quilt square art, and it's an attractive and wearable piece.
Wednesday, 10 January 2018
Cast On has released its Winter 2017/2018 issue. Let's have a look at it.
A Vest for Gus. This vest has a chain of cars worked in purl stitches on a stockinette background. It's a cute idea, but the cars are so difficult to see.
Apurimac Hat. This one is fun and bright and irresistibly eye catching. The colour palette is also beautifully worked out and it's technically very accomplished.
Black and White Hat. This is so smart. I love the herringbone pattern.
Black and White Mittens. I'm not quite as thrilled with the mittens as I was with the hat. Pointy mittens always look absurd to me, even though I know it's a traditional style of very long standing.
Bubbles Tunic. I'm not sure this one is quite working. The overall style has a rather severe look and the bubble motif is a little too random and simplistic to work with it. I do like the idea of the contrast buttons at the cuffs and side vents that tie in to the intarsia design on the yoke, but I'd replace the bubbles with a more detailed motif.
Caprice. The combination of the confetti yarn square collar and cuffs against the gray body of this sweater is not working for me. It looks like something worn by a Puritan-era family oddball, such as daft Aunt Chastity, who thinks it's hilarious to recite the Ten Commandments out of order and lock people in the outhouse.
Celtic Night Cowl. Nice design, and I love that it's done in a off-beat colourway meant to represent the Northern Lights.
Destiny Fair Isle Tam. I think I like this one -- that tartan band is really well worked out -- but I wish I could see it a bit better in order to be sure.
Dragonfly Top. Oh, this is fabulous. I'm not sure I've ever seen dragonflies used as a motif in fair isle, but now I suddenly want to see more of them. The colour scheme has a misty, dreamy quality that works really well.
Dragonfly Ski Headband. I'd be inclined to work this as a tam rather than as a headband, but again the dragonfly motif is certainly very lovely regardless.
Icarus Infinity Scarf. This is quite an delicately elegant piece.
Nikko Cardigan. I'm not really liking the toggle closures on this one, as it has too crude a look for an otherwise fairly polished piece. I'd replace them with some attractive buttons, and fix the dropped shoulders, though admittedly they are only slightly dropped and could be left as is.
Nosegay Cardi. This is really lovely. I like the combination of the floral sprigs with the lattice-like lace, which gives it such a "summer afternoons in the summerhouse" feel.
Wheat Chain Socks. These are quite handsome.
Where the Snakes Went Poncho. The design is quite cool and even elegant... but as someone who is not a friend of the poncho, I can't help thinking what a nice afghan this would make.
Winter Morning Cocoa Socks. Very much like these. The snowflake and bare trees motifs encapsulated in diamonds is a really fun, creative take on the argyle sock.