Monday, 16 March 2015

Knit.Purl Spring/Summer 2015: A Review

The Spring/Summer 2015 issue of knit.purl is out. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Ripple Edge Cardigan. This is pretty but it doesn't sit well. The edgings are rolling back on themselves and it really detracts.

Meandering Top. Rather a nice piece, though it could do with some waist shaping.

Swingback Hoodie. A very useful piece for summer with some great detailing.

Stepping-Stones Shawl. Love the edging on this shawl, but I am not loving that line of big holes down the centre. It's a deconstructive look that seems at odds with the rest of this elegant design.

Wavy Lace Cardigan. Can't say I find this one appealing. It doesn't sit well and looks ratty.

Featherfall Cardigan. Another nice cardigan with front edges that roll in on themselves.

San Lorenzo Wrap. This isn't normally the kind of thing I like, but this wrap is selling itself to me regardless. Because it is a wrap, I can give it a pass on the loose fit and construction and appreciate its several virtues: good texture, an interesting contemporary look, and it'll stay in place.

On the Edge Poncho. This looks like a horse blanket.

Striated Shawl. Very nice piece. Love the linear-style design.

Linen Rib Tank. Simple but effective.

Labyrinth Cardigan. This one's a little rough and ready for my liking, but it's pleasing on the whole. The collar doesn't sit all that well, but at least it's not rolling up or sagging. Do make sure you make this item in a size large enough for the wearer. A cardigan that is pulling apart in the front between its buttons, as this sample sweater is doing on the model, is a cardigan that is distractingly and unflatteringly too small.

Moth Wing Top. Dolman sleeves are normally too shapeless a look to appeal to me, but the designer of this piece has made this piece more flattering, and more wearably modest, by seaming the sides of the sweater.

Pointed Tunic. It fits, it flatters, and it's totally wearable. Very nice!

Medallion Blouse. Not a bad piece, but it could definitely use some waist shaping.

Hanky Tank. Elegantly spare design.

Eyelet and Welt Tee. Good lines and interesting detail on this one.

Lace Dolman Jacket. Pretty little cardigan that will prove very useful piece in summer, when it can be thrown on over a variety of outfits.

Open Back Bias Tank. This is one of those designs I mentally file under the label "Not for the Faint of Heart". If you have the confidence for this, it is a cute and casual layer piece for summer. I can see it working as swimsuit coverup at the beach.

Baler Cardigan. Nice classic piece with excellent lines and lacy sleeves to keep it from looking too staid.

Ladder Tank. This wouldn't normally be my type of thing, but it has good lines and visual interest. I can see it working as an interesting layer piece for summer.

Boatneck Dolman. Not liking this one. It looks both shrunken and too large, and it's unflattering even on this professional model.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Feline Fibre Genuis and other Knitting Fables

LuLu was getting a sinking feeling she ought to have taken that left turn at Albuquerque in order to get to the yarn store.

Shea had originally been mad at her cat Kip for shredding her latest (and nearly finished) project, but when she tried on the result just for the hell of it, she decided Kip might be some kind of feline fibre genius.

Kindergarten teacher Hazel was thrilled with the new outfit she'd made to wear while teaching a unit on dinosaurs to her class. She'd also dreamed up an idea for doing "cave painting" on the classroom walls with her students, and a "big bang"" experiment to do in the playground. Going off her meds was so good for her teaching skills!

Fed up with his mother's repeated promises to finish his new striped teddy bear "sometime", Chul-Moo decided to take matters into his own hands.

Cora felt that a bulky sweater went a long way towards balancing out what she considered to be problem hips. Now if she could only figure out an effective way to get her best friend Anna to stop emailing her links to articles about body dysmorphic disorder!

After getting charged with criminal mischief for tagging, Aviva took her case worker's advice and channeled her passion for making a mark into knitwear design. She found turning sweaters into the wall-like surface she wanted a bit of a challenge, but then it was a challenge she felt up to.

Madison felt that someday hot pants and afghan stripes were going to be just as universally known and quintessentially "Madison" as the little square suit and Chanel No. 5 were "Chanel".

Elysia wasn't exactly happy about being given the part of "turkey baster" in her community theatre's avant garde Thanksgiving play, but as she kept reminding herself, a true thespian gives 100% of herself to every role she takes on.

Elysia's neighbour Vicky, who had gotten cast as "mashed potatoes and peas", was less philosophical, and instead vowed to give up her stage ambitions and write a romance novel about an aspiring actress who got all the best parts in everything as well as all the leading men, because her talent and beauty was too remarkable to be ignored.

Keefe had decided that a "swim sweater", which left a tantalizing something to the imagination, was the best way to attract all the ladies at the public pool. Much to his disappointment, he'd only been approached by one 67-year-old woman so far, and that was only to kindly advise him that his sweater was going to both slow him down in the water and hang to his knees when wet.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Easter Egg Socks

This video, from YouTube user Kris Krafter, demonstrates how she dyes yarn for sock knitting by knitting tubes on her hat knitting machine, colours them using Easter egg dye, plastic wrap, a microwave and salad spinner, winds them back into yarn balls, and then finally knits up the yarn again on her sock knitting machine, and all to a lively salsa beat. It's fun to see how the dyed yarn knits up, and the resulting socks might just make for interesting Easter egg hunt finds.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Cast On February-April 2015: A Review

With today's post, I am adding a new magazine to the roster of knitting magazines I review on this blog. Today's review will be of the February-April 2015 issue of Cast On: The Education Journal for Knitters, which is the official publication of the Knitting Guild Association, and which I had somehow not been aware of until recently though it has been in publication since 1988. This kind of thing is yet another example of why you won't hear me claim to be on top of what's going on in the knitting scene. I just try to keep up enough to not embarrass myself too often. And am apparently falling short of even that.

After browsing through the patterns in their back issues on Ravelry, I can only say I am very glad to have belatedly discovered Cast On, which seems to offer collections of patterns that are very consistently my preferred kind of knitwear design: wearable, flattering, polished, and technically interesting.

The Anniversary Cape. Quite pretty!

Boho Banded Jacket. Not too taken with this one, though it does have quite a bit going for it. It deserves better shaping, because as is it looks a bit like a rug tied in place.

Celeste Sweater. Pretty summer top, though I would make it more fitted through the lower body. It looks a little maternity top-ish as it is.

Chain Mail Scarf. Attractive, interesting and wearable little scarf.

Fountain Lace Tank. Very pretty, and rather sexy in the nicest of ways. Love the fan-like lace detailing. It maybe could do with better finished edges.

Lacy Boat Neck Sweater. I can't see enough of this to assess it properly. What I can see doesn't look all that flattering.

Maggie Prescott Jacket. I very much like this chic and contemporary jacket on the whole. I'm a little torn on the lapels, being inclined to think the lapel should continue down to the hem of the jacket, but then I wonder if, although it's unusual, it isn't working perfectly well as it is and in fact making the jacket what it is. Hmm.

May Day Flower Socks. Lovely, lacy little socks.

Montego Tee. Love this one, which is contemporary and has a "smart 1930s sportswear" vibe at the same time.

Short Row Baby Blanket. Elegantly simple.

Short Row Pillow #1. Very cool and totally useable design that would look right in most home decor styles.

Short Row Pillow #2. I don't like this cushion pattern as much as the one above, but it's still an attractive and eye-catching piece.

Simply Striped dress. Love this one, with its wonderful clean lines.

Two Faced Shell. I am usually a tough sell on anything asymmetrical and think colour blocking is a high level design skill that doesn't work most of the time it's employed, but though this has both, I like it so much that I've added it to my favourites on Ravelry, which means I am very seriously considering making it in the next year or two. The shape is so good and polished, and the design is visually striking. My one tweak would be to lengthen this a little so as not to show any midriff.

Undulance socks. These are well designed, though the sample colourway is making my eyelids twitch.

Wedding Shower Gifts. Nice little washcloths.

Westray Vest. This is another design I can't assess properly because the only picture available doesn't show enough of it. What I can see looks like a nice, classic cabled vest.