Showing posts with label Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine. Show all posts

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Debbie Bliss Magazine Fall/Winter 2014: A Review

Debbie Bliss Magazine has released its Fall/Winter 2014 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Ballet Slippers. These are nothing special. A quick search on Ravelry would produce a number of much more accomplished ballet-style slipper patterns.

Blackberry Stitch and Cable Sweater. The stitchwork used here is attractive, but the shaping of this item is really pretty awful. Also, if you make this sweater in this colour, you might want to avoid wearing a black bra under it as the model has done.

Cable and Moss Stitch Sweater. Classic cabled sweater with decent shaping.

Cable socks. A simple yet pleasing sock pattern.

Cabled Armwarmers. These look too much like upcycled sweater arms.

Cabled Mitts. Upcycled sweater arms, take two.

Cabled Shoulder Cape. This is actually pretty cute. The texture is good and the style has a certain piquant charm.

Cabled Shoulder Cape and Ribbed Top. I'm torn about this one. I think the idea of a cape and sweater set is a great new concept, but I'm not thrilled with this particular execution of it, which looks kind of like the model was putting on a sweater and skirt set and got the skirt stuck around her neck. This cape needs to look a little more like a cape. Adding a collar would help.

Cabled Swing Tunic. The shape of this one is totally unflattering even on this professional model.

Chevron Cowl and Handwarmers. Not thrilled with this set, which has a rather schlumpy look to it. The handwarmers again look like sections of sweater sleeves. A better fit through the wrist (and dare I say it, finger coverage) would help with that.

Cocoon Club. This is quite a nice piece. I'd want to try wearing it pinned it in front with a shawl pin for a more fitted, stylish look, though it's fine worn open.

Cropped Cable Sweater. It's hard to go wrong with a classic cabled turtleneck like this one. If the cropped length or waist-emphasizing deep waistband isn't for you, those design elements can be easily altered.

Dramatic Drape coat. This jacket definitely has great texture and a certain style, though I would suggest wearing it over something fitted and/or with a belt for a more flattering look.

Extra-Wide Multi Cable Tunic. My goodness, this is a sweater so unflattering the Debbie Bliss Magazine editors even acknowledged as much in the name of the design. I mean, not only is the the sweater huge, but there are two dropped shoulder seams in each sleeve. Horizontal stripes are notoriously hard to wear and this designer went with horizontal cables, and then there's the way the front panel protrudes. Don't take this to mean that I think every last woman's sweater needs to be some fitted little number. Sometimes a woman just wants to wear something relaxed and roomy, and if she wants all her sweaters to have that kind of fit, that can look just fine too. But there's a relaxed, roomy fit and then there's fitting like a house. This is definitely the latter.

Fair Isle Beret. Very pretty and classic child's hat.

Fair Isle Legwarmers. Legwarmers can look so fetching on a young girl, and this is a nicely worked pair.

Fair Isle Sweater. Lovely little sweater. There is something so appealing about fair isle patterns on a child.

Fair Isle Yoke Jacket. Love this pattern, which has a good shape and nice detailing. And you'll achieve the charm of a fair isle piece with far less work than an all-over fair isle pattern.

Hottie Cover. I don't know how practical this is, but then I never use a hot water bottle. I suppose it's cute and easily whipped up if you think you will use it.

Jacket With Contrast Band. Hoo boy. This looks like one of those dreadful beginner projects that reduce everyone but the gloriously oblivious maker to cringing and hoping that the light of realization will dawn on her at some point. And if it ever does, she'll first delete or destroy all photo or video evidence she can get her hands on, and then sit up all night behind drawn window shades, ripping the thing out and wondering if she'll have plausible deniability once the yarn is knitted into a different style.

Lacy Shawl. Very pretty lace shawl.

Moss Stitch Turban. Does anyone really wear this sort of thing for occasions other than filming a facial cleanser commercial?

Ombre Sweater. Ooh, really like this one. There's nothing quite like a gradient colour scheme when it's done right, as it is here. The mohair yarn used here really helps blend the colours.

Pajama Case. As with the turban... I don't know who would use this item. I for one do not want the bother of folding up my pajamas and putting them in a fussy little case every morning. And it's nothing special from a design perspective.

Parka. This is a little on the rough and ready side, like it needs more work to look finished. It looks cute on this child model, but then anything would.

Pink-Edged Sweater. Nice simple pullover. The contrast cuff and neckline is a nice touch, though there are much better colour combinations to use than the one employed here.

Shawl-Collared Sweater. Lovely, classic piece.

Short-Sleeved Sweater. This is a nice, simple piece. A large part of its charm is that it's knitted in Debbie Bliss's Angel, which is a kid mohair and silk blend and a really luscious, beautiful yarn.

Sleeveless Top. This is another one of those designs that have that crude and unflattering "beginner project" look. Even if you are a beginner knitter, there are better patterns out there for you.

The Sun and Moon Cushions. This is a cute concept that deserved a better, more artistic execution. These are just too simplistic to be appealing.

That's a Wrap. Hmm, this has some style, and the texture is good. Make this in a beautiful yarn and it will serve you well.

Toasty Tunic. Nice piece. The texture and shape are good and it'll work well with leggings as it is styled here. That neckline sits rather low, but it's easily raised if you'd prefer that it lie higher.

Tweed Coat with Back Pleat. Love this piece. The shape is good and it has polished little details like the buttoned straps on the cuffs and, apparently, a back pleat, though we can't see it here.

V-Neck Tunic. Very simple v-neck pullover in Angel. Again, it's the Angel yarn that makes it.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine Spring 2014: A Review

Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine has released its Spring 2014 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Argyle Cardigan. This isn't a bad design, but I don't suppose too many young boys will be willing to wear this colourway. That's easily remedied, of course.

Ballet Wrapover. Ten years ago I made one of my nieces a pink surplice sweater similar to this that she was able to wear as her warm-up sweater for ballet class (as well as other places). The other little girls in her class asked her where did she get it and what did it cost, and when they found out it wasn't going to be possible for them to buy one like it, they were distinctly not happy. I like this design even better than the one I made for my niece — the lines are better — so if you make this cute sweater for the little ballet student in your life, be warned that it may not go over well with her classmates. Teeth may be bared and ballet slippers may be stolen.

Boxy Jacket. Oh dear, this is not good. The yarn is unattractive and the fringing makes the sweater look like it's ravelling. The shaping isn't so bad at least — it's not as boxy as one would expect from the title of the design.

Cable and Lace Cardigan. Nice little classic design.

The Cable Pullover is another nice classic piece.

The Cable Vest is another standard piece.

Love the subtle elegance of the Chair Throw. I'd want to make it into a full-sized afghan.

The Chevron Lace Skirt is pretty but the way the model is standing makes me suspect that it doesn't hang that well when it isn't forced taut. It's also see-through.

The Chevron Lace Top is also pretty but on the shapeless size. I'd neaten up the fit by making the sleeves shorter and narrower and adding waist shaping.

College Cardigan. Don't care much for this one. It's just too bulky, shapeless, and crude looking.

Cowboy Shirt. Don't like this one much either, which like the design above is also a crude imitation of a classic style. I don't even know what those devices on the yoke are supposed to resemble.

Eagle Cardigan. This one's a bit better in terms of evoking the charm of the original design it's imitating. I don't care for the colourway, but of course it's possible to make it in any colours one wants.

Hooded Zipped Jacket. Nice basic piece. It's so basic I would want to make it in a more interesting yarn — something with some texture or slubs of a another colour.

Intarsia Jacket. Not crazy about this one, which is more than a little loud. I'd at least go with a colourway that works together a little better, i.e., different shades of one colour with maybe one accent colour.

Laundry Bag. This item is very Martha Stewart-esque in effect, but a knitted laundry bag doesn't sound like the most practical of ideas. Laundry can get heavy and a knitted bag will stretch out. Also, won't it absorb odours?

Lavender Pockets. I think I prefer the usual sachets for holding scent, and I prefer my lavender in cookies. Specifically these ones, which rock.

Mexican Sweater. I rather like this one. The symbols on it would appeal to a small child.

Moss & Garter-Stitch Cushion. Quite like this one, with its quietly elegant texture.

Moss-Stitch Blazer. This one is so poor an imitation of a suit jacket that it's just sad. It sits so badly (check out the way that front centre pulls up in the front), and the pocket handkerchief is cheesy. I can't imagine any little boy of my acquaintance wearing this at all willingly.

Moss-Stitch Tunic. This one isn't bad, though I would neaten up the fit a little.

Poodle Motif Cardigan. This is kind of cute, but I would make it to fit a little better. Children's clothes should be loose-fitting to allow for growth and comfort (and to be age appropriate, as fitted clothes are such an adult look), but "loose fitting" is not a simile for "huge" or "sloppy".

Red & White Striped Top. This one's cute. I like the collar, which evokes the middy style.

Shawl-Collared Jacket. I like this one in general, but again it's too big.

Sherrif's Waistcoat. This one's cute, and look, it fits!

Sleeveless Top with Fringe Detail. Not good. The yarn is just so unattractive, the fringe detail has that nibbled-by-the-gerbil look, and the lines are awkward and unflattering. This top is actually bulging out in front.

Sleeveless Top With Peter Pan Collar. This isn't bad, though again I might neaten up the fit.

Star Kerchief. This could be a cute costume detail for your little western movie aficionado.

Striped Cushion. Simple (and an easy knit) yet effective.

Striped Sweater. Wearable and basic.

Striped Throw. This simple design is eye-catching and attractive.

Trench Coat. There are a number of knitter versions of classic fabric garment designs in this issue, and I think this one might be the most effective. It looks quite smart, and it's wearable.

V-Neck Sweater. And we end well with this design. I love the very clever sailboat and life preserver details on this tennis and yachting club style sweater, which makes for a perfect child's version of an adult's classic. Very cute!