Monday, 9 February 2015

Projects for Busting that Stash

For today's post, I've put together a collection of scrap yarn projects and ideas for those moments when you decide it's time for some serious hand-to-hand combat with your stash. The afghan above, which I'm going to call the Scarf Afghan, was created by the blogger at Cauchy Complete. She knit a number of garter stitch scarves, improvising the stripework as she went along, seamed them together, and then added an I-cord edging. The better you are at putting colours together, the better your scrap yarn projects will look. The Cauchy Complete blogger has made this afghan work as well as it has by picking a good colour scheme for each scarf and repeating some of the same colours in different scarves.

Felting will help your disparate colours blend together better. This is the Felted Tote with Kureyon Scraps, by Janet D. Russell. It's a free pattern.

If you have yarn in various shades of the same colour and/or analogous colours, you can go for a gradient effect by making an afghan like this one. This afghan was made by the blogger from Pinne Hobby, which is written in Norwegian, but it looks easy to copy.

The linen stitch blends different colours together beautifully and will look good on both sides, as it does here. This is the Koigu Linen Stitch Scarf, by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. This pattern is available for $5.00(USD).

This Rainbow Scrap Afghan, designed by Cathy Mangaudis, is a crochet pattern (and is available for free), but it looked so good I just had to include it. The use of a neutral background or framing colour will really help pull a scrap yarn project together.

Another gradient effect in the Transition Stash-buster Shawl, by Karen S. Lauger. It's a free pattern.

This is the Slip Stitch Sampler Throw, by Irina Poludnenko. It's a free pattern.

This child's blanket will be a good way to use up all your brightly coloured yarns. The Puzzle Play pattern, designed by Melissa Leapman, was published in Stashbuster Knits: Tips, Tricks, and 21 Beautiful Projects for Using Your Favorite Leftover Yarn.

The Vivid pattern, designed by Tin Can Knits, is another pattern that uses a neutral framework to tie the different colours together. If you have colours that do go well together, you can make each square a single colour. This pattern is available for $5.00(USD).

No scrap yarn project would be complete without a mention of the Hexapuff technique, which merited its own post some time back.

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.