Monday, 18 June 2018
Knitty has released their First Fall 2018 issue. Let's have a look at it.
Study Hall Shawl. This one has a sharp, contemporary appeal.
Autumn Sunset. The clocks and the fair isle scrolls make for an unusual mix of motifs, but the combination works because the designer has used the same self-striping yarn throughout.
Fenton's Arrow. The combination of this piece's striking pattern and the fantastic yarn is killer. One couldn't not notice this cowl.
Watch It! This designer has figured out a way to both keep her hands warm and keep her Smart Watch visible. These gloves have a flap that can be snapped closed over the watch or opened, as desired. I admire the ingenuity and practicality of the flap feature, and these gloves are also quite attractive with good shaping and Celtic knot detailing. I also like the long cuffs on them, as short gloves tend leave an inch or two of bare wrist exposed.
Wicked Thicket. An attractive and very warm-looking brioche hat.
Mightiest Oak. The heart on this hat is meant to symbolize the designer's nephew's heart condition, but as meaningful as it is it looks a bit silly and I'd leave it off. Otherwise the hat's a good-looking item.
A Fool for All Seasons. This is rather cute and well-worked out. Dressing as a court jester wouldn't be my thing, but if it's yours, you do you!
Shoe or Sock? That Is The Question. The first of these are similar to the very basic style of house slipper that was ubiquitous when I was growing up. The second is a little more interesting, but still look slightly unfinished.
Habiliments. A very nice-looking pair of beaded socks. I do like a sock that keeps its detail for above the ankle. I am most emphatically not a goofy socks person.
Carnivore. A very attractive and wearable vest.
Gibson. I'm not a fan of the rolled edge look as a rule, but this cardigan works. The shape is good, it sits so well, and the lace sleeves look great. I'd go so far as to say it has a certain relaxed elegance.
Prairie Park. I like the overall concept here, but this one could do with some tweaking. The bands of linen stitch around the waist and sleeves work really well, but that rectangle in the centre looks random and awkward. I'd be inclined to work with it some more -- to turn it into more of a pattern and flow it around the neckline as well. And I think the model could have done with a little more ease in the fit.
Millville. This is one of those wretchedly askew, unflattering pieces that give me the vapours. Dropped shoulders, mullet hem, boxy oversized shape... this piece truly has it all. But not in a good way.
Friday, 6 April 2018
Knitty has released its Spring + Summer 2018 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?
Collab. This cowl is so named because it was a collaboration between three of Knitty's technical editors. It has a pretty lace pattern and the gradient colourway is fun (but good luck finding a yarn that's at all similar -- it was hand-dyed and spun by one of the editors who worked on the project).
Charmayne Shawl. A pleasant little shawl.
Arashi. Lovely lacework in this one.
Cliff Walk. I like the contemporary vibe of the stripes in this one, though not the drab colourway.
Legetta Legetto. This is a beautiful piece of work, and it hangs so well.
Marigold. Nice socks. That's an interesting lace pattern.
Escape Reality. These are fun, and they'd be a great way to use up odds and ends of yarn.
Thriambus. Nice cabled ankle socks.
Pip. This item came into being when the designer was asked to design something with a cotton self-striping yarn. She came up with a pattern that is admirably suited for such a yarn, with a horizontally striped yoke and vertically striped body. The shaping is good, and the stitchwork is attractive.
Mila. I think this one would make me feel like I was wearing a beach bag. Maybe I'd like it better if the colour combination was more attractive.
April Showers. I'm not a fan of the open front cardigan -- they always look like they just don't fit, and I don't find it a flattering look -- but that said, this is a cute and well-constructed piece.
Clafoutis. I like the top part of this piece, but find myself unable to like the lower part of it. Those dropped stitch and unseamed panels have a tattered, bedraggled look.
Sea Turtle Stack. These little turtles are unqualifiably cute.
Wednesday, 3 January 2018
Let's have a look at Knitty's Winter 2017 issue, shall we?
Fallingbrook. An attractive cabled hat and mittens set.
Kate's Kitten. This is undeniably cute, but I think if I wanted to knit a cat, I'd rather knit a cat that looked like... a cat... rather than a Humpty Dumpty with ears.
Tiina. Nice! I'm liking the diamond cable effect.
Funny Ellada. This looks like something a Home Ec student turned in for the knitting component of their course work after cobbling it together in a few days, because the semester was over and it was either turn something in or fail the class altogether.
Tescherae. This one is absolutely fabulous and a visual treat.
Fylgje Shawl. This is an attractive modular shawl. I also think the basic idea could be used to make a lovely contemporary style afghan.
Isochronal Arc. The use of colour gives a contemporary feel to this lace capelet.
Carreau. Quite like this one. There's a smaller version of this pattern done in black and white, but I think it's the colourway of this one that makes the pattern.
Crusader. This cowl is a little too careless and random in style for my tastes, but I must admit that it works well as styled and worn here. The yarn is beautiful and the colours work well together and suit the model.
Ceibo. This isn't so much a design for a cropped top as it is a scarf with pretensions and sleeves.
Cool Bearing. This is totally cute, and in a way that's sophisticated enough for an adult to wear.
Oberon. Classic cabled cardigan.
Nukumori. These are a sort of abbreviated form of legwarmers -- kneewarmers, if you will. Though they've clearly been carefully designed (check out the shaping), they look a little awkward, as though they're going through a form of hosiery puberty that leaves them stranded somewhere between kneesocks and thigh highs.
Stellen. Love the lacework in these.
Battle of Wills. That is one snazzy-looking cable!
Instant Mash. I like the woven, cushy look of these children's mittens.
Skew Too. Simple, unadorned mitts. This is one of those patterns that would be a good choice for showcasing an interesting yarn.
Thursday, 21 September 2017
Knitty has released its Deep Fall 2017 issue. Let's have a look, shall we?
Pistachio Saffron. This is meant to be a knitted version of a sweatshirt. It's not bad. It has an understated, comfortable look. The designer suggests that if you don't wish it to be quite so roomy, that you drop down a size and/or remove the A-line increases.
Hostkappe. This a too busy mish-mash of a pattern.
Glaswegian. This is a pleasant little number.
Alicorn. Classic and wearable cowl.
Cascadilla. This is wearable and has a contemporary feel and some nice detailing.
Turbulence. I'm uncertain as to what to call this piece. Shrug would do, but this is bigger and provides more coverage than the usual shrug. "Sweater shrug" is fairly accurate but sounds a bit silly. "Slankette", or an abbreviated version of the "slanket" (a blanket with sleeves) might be another idea but is even sillier. Leaving that question aside, while I don't think I'd wear this piece as I like knitwear to have a more definite shape and structure, this isn't a bad layering piece to be worn over casual clothes.
Boo Boo. This design was born when the designer made a sweater, didn't like the way the sweater fit the model, and so cut it down into a skirt. Much as I hate to discourage creative efforts to salvage projects gone wrong and to avoid waste, and as gorgeous as the fair isle and ribbed hem are, I don't think the remodelling effort was quite successful. The skirt looks too much like a made-over, tacked-together cardigan. I'd rework it a bit more, by either by omitting that line of hand stitching that's holding it together and putting in a zipper or buttons, or by skipping that front steek altogether and keeping the solid circular construction.
Wilwarinda. This one can be worn as either a wrap skirt or as a shawl, and I'm liking the visually interesting lines and colourway.
Habanero. Oooh, nice piece. This has excellent shaping, is flattering, and would look good over so many outfits and on so many occasions.
Cowichan Waves. This designer came up with this hat and cowl because she wanted to use the Cowichan knitting techniques she'd learned in a class (and she also wrote an accompanying post about the history of Cowichan knitting). I would say these pieces are a worthy addition to the traditional Cowichan sweater style.
High Voltage. The first quip that came to mind when I looked at these socks is that they'd be perfect to wear on a date with a Flash Gordon fan, but as I looked at them more carefully the energy bolts started to look more like sperm to me. I suppose they could still be a good thing to wear on a date with a Flash Gordon fan, but... perhaps not on the first date? But that's your decision, of course. I don't know your life.
Lesula. I'm quite liking these, which have the look of old school, dapper menswear.
Welcome. This is the kind of thing one wears to host a dinner party where one wants the dinner party guests kept slightly off-kilter and bemused. Or when one is the manic pixie dream girl type and everyone knows it's simply par for the course.
A Bit of Funk. This piece was designed for the designer's mother, who informed her daughter that she "was done being normal and from now on she was going to wear clothes that didn't even try to be normal". (Which is actually awesome and reminded me of Alison Lurie's lovely little essay on the day she turned her back on fashion at the age of 60.) The designer writes that she "tried to satiate her [mother's] appetite for weirdness... while designing something that won't embarrass my kids." I'm sure her mother liked her sweater coat and that the grandchildren will be unbothered by the sight of Grandma in it, but I don't think the designer quite succeeded in creating a coherent design. Weirdness in design requires an unapologetic panache and a certain internal logic, while this design is both playing it safe and classic and timidly proffering a few off-beat details.
I'd rejig this a bit here and there. The shaping and stitchwork in the body are great. I like the old style details of clasps on the front and silver buttons on the cuffs, so those can stay too. The pocket, which is in a similar colour to the body of the coat, looks merely faded, so I'd either do it in another, contrasting colour, or the same colour as the main colour. The lace edging at the hem and cuffs is a nice concept but a little too delicate looking for a sweater, so I'd knit the lace in a fun contrasting colour, possibly matching it to the pocket colour. I'm not thrilled with that back collar, with its rolling edges, or with the way it sits at the front, so I think I might change the shape to a square collar, and maybe add some embroidery to match what's on the pocket.
Roundup Rug. This little mat, which is woven, is a nice piece in itself, but I keep seeing it as a rug in the living room of a modern-style dollhouse rather than a kitchen table mat. But then I don't know either your kitchen table or your dollhouse.
Dendritic. Quite like these. They're attractive and practical and would knit up very quickly.