Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2015: A Review

Vogue Knitting has released their Spring/Summer 2015 issue preview, so let's have a look at it. Before we do, I note Vogue Knitting seems to have stopped posting the 360° videos on YouTube, where formerly we could view a neutrally styled model in a neutral setting showing us every aspect of each item. However, VK has improved their preview pictures, making them quite comprehensive, so I at least hardly miss the 360° videos.

#1, V-Neck Shell. Classic tennis wear. Which, happily, one doesn't need to play tennis to enjoy wearing.

#2, Deep V Pullover. This is a nice piece too, but do measure the intended wearer to make sure that v-neck isn't going to be too low for her liking. What looks elegant on a tall model can look borderline indecent on those of us who are less vertically blessed.

#3, Dolman Sleeve Tee. Oooh, very much like this crisp, striking little top. It's a contemporary reimagining of sportswear.

#4, Contrast Hem Tank Top. This is nice overall, though I don't know how much the contrast hem adds to it. It's fine here because it disappears into the white skirt the top has been paired with, but might look a little needlessly distracting when paired with jeans. I'd consider either leaving it off altogether, or using an analogous colour.

#5, Colorblocked Polo. Very cute and smart. Vogue Knitting, you are almost making me want to take up tennis so that I have an excuse to make all these tops, and that is saying a lot. I have played tennis exactly once, and it did NOT go well. We're talking "getting hit in the head with my own serve" not well.

#6, Textured Shell. Sleek and contemporary!

#7, Tank Dress. Not so taken with this one. It's a little too afghan-ish.

#8, V-Neck Cardigan. Nice, sporty little summer cardi.

#9, Bateau-Neck Top. I like the stitchwork on this, but that's not the best colourway for it and I would reshape this item to give it a neater, more flattering fit.

#10, Missoni-Inspired Mini Dress. Sadly, this looks less like a Missoni than an afghan.

#11, Stranded-Colorwork Jacket. Oooh, so much love for the stranded colourwork on this piece, which looks fantastic, but not sold on the shape. This jacket is not going to look good worn open. I'd go with a much more structured, standard fit jacket style.

#12, Drop-Shoulder Tee. I'd either raise the dropped shoulders on this, or leave the sleeves off entirely and add an edging to the dropped shoulders, which would turn it in to a cap sleeve. There are also more inspiring colourways out there than this one.

#13, Drop-Shoulder Hoodie. I very much like this one on the whole. The texture, the pattern and the lines give it an offbeat, original style, and it looks wonderfully comfortable. I would fix the dropped shoulders though.

#14, Turkish Tunic. Another strikingly off-beat and original creation. This would definitely catch my eye if I saw someone in it on the street. The back looks especially good. This design may not be for the woman who doesn't care to emphasize her waist, though.

#15, Drapey Wrap. This is a lovely piece, but I'd be inclined to make it a bit bigger so that my couch could wear it instead of me.

#16, Adenium Lacy Stole. The texture of this is something truly different. I have never seen anything like it, and I look at a LOT of patterns. Not sure I care for the shape, though. I think I'd be inclined to either make this somewhat narrower to improve its wearability, or to make it much larger and put it on a couch.

#17, Caterpillar-Stitch Socks. Very fun, clever socks, and best of all, they're fun and clever in an entirely adult way.

#18, Scoop-Neck Top. Nice piece. Like the subtly gradient stripe effect.

#19, Abstract Pullover. I like this piece quite a lot on the whole, but I would totally ditch that bisecting line on the body and sleeves. It's distracting in a bad way.

#20, Kimono-Sleeve Top. Boxy, bulky, and has extraneous "seams" running everywhere. NEXT.

#21, Cardigan. Pretty, but I would reshape this to make it less boxy and better fitting.

#22, Smock Top. This is one of those pieces that are good conceptually, but didn't get the execution they deserved. I very much like the idea of a top with contrast piping, but this item looks askew and uneven.

#23, Bateau-Neck Pullover. Like the texture and the neckline, but again I would fix the dropped shoulders. Those abbreviated sleeves appear to be such an awkward length from the back.

#24, Pullover. This would be a nice lace summer coverup for those of us who don't like having to fuss with keeping a shawl in place.

#25, Kimono-Sleeve Tee. Nice detailing on this one.

#26, Open-Front Cardigan. What we have here is a brave attempt to do something original with the collar and front pieces of a jacket... that didn't end well. The back is good, but the front just looks awry and unfinished.

#27, Haapsalu Lace Shawl. Attractive, old school style shawl.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Pom Pom Quarterly Spring 2015: A Review

Pom Pom Quarterly has released its Spring 2015 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Vitsippa Hat. Nice work! This design would be effective in any number of colourways.

Tambourine cardigan. This is a nice piece as well, with a certain vintage charm. The cropped length won't work on every woman, but that's easily remedied.

Swedish Pancakes mitts. Attractive and polished. They'd look good in any colourway, but this old rose is very pretty indeed.

Mysa tunic. I'm on the fence about this one. It has a clever construction and some visual interest, but it does come across as a little on the frumpy side. It's not doing this model any favours. I'd consider neatening up the fit a bit.

Mångata pullover. Nice texture and love the striped edgings, but the cropped, boxy shaping of this is going to be hellishly unflattering on most women. I'd do a reshaping and also skip the top stitched triangle at the neck, which looks like an unwise afterthought.

Lysende top. Another one for the "frumpy and dumpy" category. This looks like something one of the Golden Girls would have worn.

Lus top. There isn't a really clear shot of this piece available either in the preview or on Ravelry, but I've got my doubts about how well this sits around the torso. However, it has its good points (i.e., the sleeve detailing, the neckline, the second colour stitch pattern), and, as long as it isn't baggy or boxy or cropped, could be a young, fetching style.

Fika socks. These are on the plain side, but they'll do perfectly well. Not all of us want elaborately detailed socks.

Elske socks. How cute are these? If your answer is something along the lines of "verging on adorable", then you like these socks approximately as much as I do.

Blommande shawl. Pretty little thing, as lace shawls tend to be.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Cage Knitting!

The Assisted Living Sports Network brings you the trailer for Cage Knitting 4: The Cast Off, featuring knitters Betty Hegarty and Barbara Sandwich, both of whom look like knitters to beat. And only one will walk out of the cage with a new pair of slippers.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

I See Knitwear and I Want to Paint Its Back

If adding colour to your knitting via intarsia, stranded, or even duplicate stitch techniques isn't your thing, or if you just love dabbling in paint, there is another way to add colour to your knitted items. Twist Collective offers us a tutorial on how to paint knitted pieces with dyes and foam or stencil brushes. This is a technique that will take some time to master, because dyes can create a halo effect or have sediment or blend with each other, creating a new colour that may not be what the crafter wanted — and don't forget that your "canvas" or knitted item took time to make. Twist Collective recommends that knitters trying this technique take the time to experiment with the paints on paper towels first.

Natural fibres are best for hand painting. Blogger Lynette, of Le Tissier Designs, shows us some samples of her hand painted knits and comments on how the different fibres took the dye.

It's also possible to use paint rather than dye (though dye is likely preferable to paint as paint will stiffen the knit as dye will not). In this video, YouTube user The Answer Lady demonstrates how how to paint knits using spray paint, Sharpie markers, and stencils.

In this video, The Answer Lady uses a stencil and a sponge dipped in paint to stencil her knitwear project.

In this video, The Answer Lady uses rubber stamps and an ink pad to add dragonflies to her sweater.

In this video, colour is actually removed from the knitted item with the aid of rubber stamps dipped in bleach. The bleached design can be coloured in with sharpies afterward if desired.

Then again, knitting itself can become a tool for painting on other items. This blog post tells us how to use knitted swatches to stamp knitting pattern on paper to make knitting-themed wrapping paper.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Thinking of the Moon

Thinking of the Moon, a "silent muffler" knitting animation by Miho Yata, with piano accompaniment by Mie Yanashita, tells us the story of the thief who wishes for the moon, and finally gets it through the magic of yarn. You may be interested in checking out the other silent muffer videos I've posted previously: Film Muffler and Cherish Garden.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Interweave Knits Spring 2015: A Review

Interweave Knits has released their Spring 2015 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Potter's Shawl. Simple little shawl with enough detail to make it attractive. The staging of this photo is a bit of an eye roller, because I can't think of anything less likely to mix well than a hand knit shawl and wet clay. Even Demi Moore managed to be more authentic than this when she mucked about in clay in Ghost (i.e., she went sleeveless and had a shirtless Patrick Swayze draped over her rather than a shawl).

Ribbon Tool Shawl. Pretty, and the shape lends itself to being worn a few ways and to staying in place in general.

Velum Cardigan. I usually don't care for these loose drape front cardigans as they tend to look frumpy on non-model types (which, of course, is most of us), but this one isn't too bad. It lies well and has good texture and detail. I still wouldn't recommend it for a short woman, though.

Beech Leaf Shawl. Not as taken with this one. The rolling inner edge makes it look unfinished, and the shape is a bit awkward.

One Way Tee. Cute little summer top.

Timetable Pullover. The combination of a cropped front hem, lace-trimmed mullet hem, and elbow-length long sleeves just make this one look askew and unfinished.

Five Points Shawl. Nice contemporary-looking piece.

Stone's Throw Socks. Nice! I like the combination of a variegated yarn and a subtle ripple pattern.

Sleeper Car Jacket. This open front cardigan is quite pretty in itself, but it looks frumpy even on the model. I'd be inclined to add some waist shaping and neaten up the fit a bit.

Eastbound Sweater. This shaping is so 1980s, and that's not good. This kind of boxy, oversized fit combined with dropped shoulders does no woman any favours.

See what I mean about this being 1980s shaping? It's so 80s, it's Flashdance.

Second Story Tee. Another nice summer top. The diagonal lines are an effective touch. I do think the piece could use some waist shaping, though.

Union Station Cardigan. Very much like this one, which is pretty and well-shaped, with a visually striking chevron lace pattern. This piece definitely deserved better than to be styled over overalls.

Endless Rose Cowl. The pattern on this is lovely, but the height and stiffness of the cowl does give it an unfortunate resemblance to a neck brace. I'd consider cutting this down a little to suit the neck length of the intended wearer.

Rheya Cardigan. This lacy cardigan is attractive enough, but the fit and the cropped sleeve length is giving it a shrunk-in-the-wash look, and I am having a hard time looking past the pleated shorts they've been paired with. Knife-pleated shorts, Interweave Knits? Really?

Corcoran Pullover. Not favourably impressed with this one. The stitchwork is a little too afghan-like and the model's bra is visible through it.

Miranda Cardigan. Quite like this very wearable, contemporary design. This is my idea of a good open front cardigan that would look good on most women, because the neat shape keeps it flattering and polished-looking.

Gibraltar Henley. Nice looking sweater. I'm imagining it in white or ivory and getting a lot of use as a go-to piece for those occasional chilly summer days or evenings.

Honey Pullover. Great shaping and attractive lace detailing on the sleeves is all this piece needs to make it work. This is one to make in a fresh, bright shade of the intended wearer's favourite colour so she can love wearing it all summer long.