Friday, 5 May 2017
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.
Friday, 17 February 2017
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.
Monday, 14 November 2016
Interweave Knits has released its Winter 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?
Limerick Henley. This is okay, but I'm not liking that dog-eared front placket. Wearing it buttoned up would solve the problem.
Cork Pullover. Classic cabled sweater.
Dublin Pullover. A particularly gorgeous fair isle pullover. Love the colourway.
Tullamore Pullover. Another solid classic.
Galway Pullover. Some attractively intricate cable work on this.
Bangor Pullover. A handsome classic.
Killarney Tunic. A simple tunic like this could be a useful piece in a woman's wardrobe. You might want to adjust the length of this one to the wearer's height, as a lot of women would find it difficult to carry off a long line piece. The idea is to make a tunic rather than something that presents as a shrunken dress.
Belfast Cardigan. This one's just about perfect -- it sits so well, and the cables are so well-plotted. I love the shawl collar.
Ennis Pullover. Unsurprisingly for what is clearly an Irish-themed set of designs (see the pattern names), the designers have gone all out on the classic cabled sweater.
Donegal Sweater. Love the diamond stitchwork in this one, and the shaping is very good.
Newcastle Cardigan. Strikingly attractive and unique.
Bray Cardigan. Another classic cabled cardigan.
Solstice Capelet. A lovely little capelet. This could be perfectly wearable for those of us who have no intention (or, er, opportunity) of getting married too.
Waxwing Shawl. A pretty and ethereal shawl.
Brambling Topper. What a pretty, lacy top.
Juul Cardigan. I wish I could be more certain of the design of this one -- it's difficult to tell what's going on in the front. It does look a little too much on the clumsy and bulky side to me.
Snow Bunting Jacket. This one would be a stunning piece to wear over a simple bridal gown or other dressy outfit. The lace work is gorgeous and the lines are simple yet stylish.
Maria's Veil. This one looks like quite a high-impact bridal accessory in the photo, but I have my suspicions as to how well it would remain in place if the wearer weren't clutching at it the way this model is. It is an undeniably impressive piece of lacework regardless. Also, if the name is a nod to The Sound of Music... well-played, Interweave Knits.
Monday, 10 October 2016
Interweave Knits has released their Holiday 2016 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?
Knotted Mittens. I do love Celtic knots, and it's not often one sees them on mittens. As an aside, I am suddenly consumed with the desire to buy a tartan down vest.
Montgolfier Hat. Classic cabled hat.
Entwined Capelet. The intertwined cabled pattern is well worked out, and this cape is so well-shaped that it hangs beautifully.
Mason's Hat. Another handsome cap.
Mason's Scarf. A classic scarf to go with the cap just above.
Traveler's Socks. Oooh, wouldn't I love to have these in my sock drawer on some cold winter's day.
Nested Knot's Hat. Quite like this one, with that unique-looking band around the bottom.
Traverse Mitts. A good-looking pair of mitts.
Snowman Family. I've seen cuter snowman families. The button on the front looks random and pointless, the arms don't look right (snowman have short, straight stick arms, not long curved ones), and the snowmen need hats and possibly noses.
Reindeer Woods Blanket. The colour scheme could have been better planned, but otherwise this is quite a desirable piece. I like the whimsical border pattern, and it was a smart idea to line this piece as the chartwork won't look good from the wrong side, and it will also make it warmer and help it keep its shape.
Moccasocks. Very inventive and striking.
Latvian Mittens. So pretty, and I love the muted colourways.
Ho! Ho! Ho! Christmas Stockings. I'm not sure how much I like the "ho ho ho" sections of this stocking, as they look rather muddled to me, graphically speaking. Otherwise the design is quite attractive and the stocking looks as though it would hold a decent amount of goodies and trinkets, which is very much to the point when it comes to providing a stocking for Santa to fill.
Deep Winter Stole. Oh my goodness. I would find this piece too large to wear and would use it as an afghan instead, but is it ever a fantastically gorgeous piece of lacework.
Mantilla Stole. Another very impressive piece of lacework.
Shetland Shawl. Exquisite.
Windsor Vest. A fairly classic vest done in an offbeat colour scheme. Changing up a fair isle's colour palette like this is a good way to make a fair isle design look fun and current for a child.
Little Snowflake Sweater. This is so perfect I may just have to make it for my grandnephew. It's very clever of the designer to have put the snowflake bands on the sleeves rather than across the chest as per usual.
Tiny Tidings Overalls. This is a little too "odd droopy drawers" for my liking. It looks like something this area mom would have come up with.
Schoolwalk Cap. I'm not a big fan of the Peruvian Cap for non-Peruvians, but it is cute on a child. This is reversible, which should help a bit with keeping the cap presentable between washes as well as making it warmer.
Stirling Sweater. Nice piece. I like the detail around the neck and the cuffs.
Little Badger Girl Pinafore. I can't say I find this jumper pleasing. It has a certain crudeness and lumpiness to it.
The Hat Stocking. Strikingly attractive.
Wee Mittens. Cute, although anything on this small a scale generally is cute.
Norwegian Mittens. Some impressively intricate chartwork on these.
Balmoral Dress. I very much like the chartwork on the hem and the pockets, but the neck and armhole edgings have a rough look to them. I think I'd do this one in a finer yarn (it's a worsted) and add sleeves for a more polished look.