Monday, 6 February 2017
Today's post is a review of Knitter's Magazine 125, and it is with great regret that I say it is also the last Knitter's Magazine issue I will review. The Knitting Universe has announced that they are discontinuing the magazine in order to focus on their website, STITCHES expos and camps, and the occasional book. I may, of course, be reviewing some of these books, but I am sorry that Knitter's Magazine will not longer be in production. People sometimes ask me what my favourite knitting magazine is, and the answer is that I don't have a favourite, but that some of the magazine titles I review have their stand-out qualities. Knitter's Magazine consistently offered some of the most visually and technically interesting patterns I reviewed, and I always looked forward to reviewing it. Their patterns may not always have gotten glowing reviews from me, and sometimes went too far in the direction of "interesting" until they looked like the kind of get-ups your flakey art school teacher always wore, but they were never run-of-the-mill boring or basic, and at their best they could be runway-level innovative and eye-catching. I think I might do a tribute post featuring a selection of Knitter's Magazine's best designs within the next month or so. But for now, let's have a look at this last issue.
Evergreen Do hat and cowl. Fairly standard, but the buttons and the oversized texture give it some interest.
Éclair capelet. I think I might like this one better if it were in a different colourway. The combination of the checkered entrelac effect and a near retina-searing colourway is a bit much.
Berry Patch. I'm liking this more as a piece of knitting (so many visually interesting details!) than as a garment, because this piece would be difficult for any non-professional model to carry off.
Band Jacket. Not liking this one much. All those lines give this cardigan a choppy, fussy effect.
Heather Mist. The texture and shaping of this is decent, but I think I'd do this one in a bolder, more interesting yarn choice to help counterbalance the slightly prim feel of it.
Rising Tides. The blurb for this one says, "Our cover scarf looks like a complicated stripe, intarsia, or woven design but is the result of short-rows repeating across the length of the piece, creating undulating waves of color. Garter stitch and a long-color-repeat yarn marry beautifully." I have to agree. This is a fine piece.
Pewter Vines. A very pretty camisole.
Dentil Work. If you want to do this one in three colours, I'd recommend that you go with a colour palette that wasn't inspired by Neapolitan ice cream, as otherwise you might as well just do it in one attractive yarn.
Boyfriend Brioche. I like the general effect of this one, but not the sloppy shape and sizing. Neaten that up and this would be an interesting and eye-catching piece.
Sea Grass & Saffron. This is quite a cool piece. The shape, the texture and the colourway are all impressively attractive and interesting.
Side-Winding Cables. This one's a bit bulky-looking for my tastes, but it's wearable and nice-looking enough.
Blue Ridge. Interesting texture, good shaping, and it hangs well.
Tilt, Turn & Tie. This is one of those items that deserved better styling. It's an interesting, well-shaped piece, but here it blends into a blah, monochrome outfit.
Nacre. This one employs a beautiful yarn and some great stitchwork, but the frumpy shaping ruins the total effect.
Chevron Sheath. This is a well-shaped dress, and the texture's good, but that yarn looks simply grimy through the midsection.
Ropes & Rails. A classic crew-neck pullover with a cable pattern that's just that little bit different from any cabled sweater you've seen before.
Earn Your Stripes. The colourway has a muddy look, the styling is unfortunate (the model looks trussed up), and technically speaking the shawl isn't anything special.
Friday, 14 October 2016
Knitter's Magazine has released issue 124, or their fall issue. Let's have a look at, shall we?
Nomad Jacket. This isn't bad from what I can see -- and it's undeniably a graphically striking piece -- but I do wish I could see the front in order to be able to assess it properly.
Bamboo Bars. This has a rough and ready look and the colourway is something of an eyesore.
Bonfire. Lovely stitchwork and a really eye-catching gradient colour scheme.
Autumn Sunset. The shape has an unfortunate boxiness, and I'm not sure that yarn works on a garment-sized scale.
Outlines. A boxy sweater that looks like the love child of a Muppet and a bathmat.
Saffron & Steel. This one is both graceful and distinctive.
Fault Lines. This is so 1986 in its oversized shape and graphic motif that I'm pretty sure I saw it on the cover of some Sweet Dreams romance novel, done in pastels and neon.
Soda & Ash. I do like the stripes, but while the descriptor for this piece claims that the "silhouette is generous, versatile, and perfect for chasing the chill", to me it looks perfect for horseback riding, because it would cover both the rider and a good part of the horse.
Magical Notes. I like this one. The lacework and the shaping are good, and the muted seashell colours are pretty.
Black Hills. This one has that "made of afghan" look.
Sand Mesa. This one has that "made of afghan" look and that "makes me feel like a couch" look. Such unflattering lines.
Tailored Tiles. Some nice mosaic work and the shaping is good, though as will be made clear by the next photo, the styling here does this piece no favours.
City Skirt. Here we have the matching skirt to the previous cardigan, which looks much better over short-sleeved and low-necked top. The lines of the skirt look good, and this really is a rather sharp-looking knit suit.
Alpha/Beta. I get where the designer was going with this, and it does have some nice features, such as the shaping through the body and the stitchwork, but that waistband makes the design looked tacked together and the slit sleeve looks terrible when the model raises her arm.
Alpha/Beta. This is the same design as the one above, done in a different yarn. It's a slight improvement, but the waistband still looks wrong and the sleeves still don't sit right.
Turquoise Trails. I'm really liking the bands of mosaic, which gives this piece quite an original look. I would raise the dropped shoulders and neaten up the fit a little, and I'd love to see this in some other colourways -- which is not to say this one doesn't work.
Southwest Duo. The skirt is well-shaped and a lot of fun, but that vest hangs like it's not even clothing.
Brushstrokes. That curved hem is different and beautifully done, and I like the shaping on the whole, but I think I might go with a cowl neck on this sweater as it'll echo the shape of the hem and the collar in the existing design is not going to cooperate by remaining in standing position as it must if it's to maintain the lines it ought to have. Also, that is one gorgeous yarn -- it's like a wearable Monet painting.
Wednesday, 13 July 2016
Knitter's Magazine has released issue 123. Let's have a look at it, shall we?
Lady in Red. I like the top, but the skirt looks like a costume from a modern dance exploration of the issue of urban poverty. In the description, the skirt is described as a "car wash skirt", which is more apt than any joke I could make.
Golden Patinas. Interesting and attractive stitchwork.
Mint Cooler. The lace is pretty, but the piece is so Dorothy Zbornak.
Knit, Knot, Net. Love the stitchwork in this throw. It feels both contemporary and timeless.
Crescent & Arch, version 1. Attractive shawl.
Crescent & Arch, version 2. The yarn used in this version is fabulous.
Buds & Wings. I wish we could see the top as a whole. I do like the stitchwork, but am not thrilled with the look of the edges of the cap sleeves, and the description says this piece has a "hi-low split hemline in seed stitch", which probably means it has a mullet hem.
Caribbean Blocks. This shawl has an interesting construction, but though I like the yarn used here, I don't know if it was the right choice for this project. The pooling seems a little much when it's employed in combination with the checkerboard effect of the stitchwork and the stairstep edges. I'd like to see this done in a solid colour with perhaps some sharp stripes in an accent colour or two along the lace border.
Morning Mist. Pretty, and I like the denim-like look of the yarn.
Twist & Torque, pullover & skirt. The shaping is good, and that ripple effect is fantastic, but I would like to see this in a happier colour.
Twist & Torque, cardigan vest. I'm a hard sell on asymmetrical pieces, but this one sits so perfectly and is so interesting it's like a piece of wearable art.
Twist of Lime. I wish I could see this better. From what I can see, though this is an interesting direction for knitwear design, I don't think the result is quite working, either in its colourway, its shaping, or its details.
Bells & Pulls. Some attractive detailing on this one.
A Maze 'N Miters. Interesting construction. I think this one needed a more united colourway to make it work.
Salted Caramel. This one needed some more colour -- in fact, any colour -- as it is so blah.
Diamond-T. Classic diamond pattern short-sleeved pullover.