Friday, 10 February 2017

Twist Collective Winter 2017: A Review

Twist Collective has released their Winter 2017 issue, and it's a very solid effort from them, with barely a thing in it I wouldn't make and/or wear myself. Also, there were three articles in it that I recommend: one excellent article on sleeve shapes; another on various hem finishes; and, for sheer what-the-hell value, one article on Canadian dance company Corpus' production Les Mouton ("The Sheep"), a live art installation in which three dancers dressed as sheep, are "herded, penned, fed, milked, and sheared. They bleat, eat, and copulate (not too graphically), escape into the audience, let children and adults feed and pet them, or just stand and stare into space as sheep are wont to do." It sounds hilariously bizarre, and I want to see Les Mouton myself.

But let's have a look at the designs in this issue, shall we?

Cranston. A handsome cabled cardigan.

Fenugreek. VERY nice hat and gloves set.

Epidote. Another nice take on a classic cabled cardigan.

Hashtag. #nicework

Arise. That is some very impressive lacework.

Merriment. An attractive Fair Isle hat and mitts set.

Cloudburst. I'm usually a hard sell on drape front sweaters, but I like this one. It's well shaped, it drapes beautifully, and that lace mohair looks simply decadent.

Hearthstone. Some excellent cabling in this one, highlighted by an argyle-like tracing of contrast colour on one side and around the hem. It's a subtle but very effective extra touch.

Abri. Love this little floral motif. It's playful and pretty in an adult way.

Illicium. Love the stitchwork in afghan, but it deserved a better colour palette.

Arcturus. Another impressive shawl. I'm especially taken by the almost quilted effect of the stitchwork.

Aniseed. Another lovely shawl.

Confectionary. Very wearable and nice-looking design on the whole, but I'm not liking those very openwork raglan seams. They look too messy and like a mistake.

Wafla. I like the waffle and tuck-like texture, but the front does not sit well.

Macoun. Another handsome cabled classic.

Palazzetto. I'm quite liking this contemporary capelet.

Frostpane. Very nicely finished, and I like the combination of cable and lace.

Caulkins. A comfy classic.

Bay Laurel. Oooh, so pretty. I like the leaf effect, and that is one nicely finished neckline.

Tourelle. Another good-looking cabled design.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Pom Pom Quarterly Spring 2017: A Review

Pom Pom Quarterly has released their Spring 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Hanabira. Not a bad little crocheted cardi. Another colour scheme would do more for it.

Izumi. Love the leafy lace detailing on this one.

Arrosa. What a lovely shawl. The proportion of lace to plain knit is perfect: it has enough lacework to make it look delicately pretty, and yet not so much that it'll be constantly catching on everything.

Tinea. Like the cable detail and the colour scheme, but I'm not thrilled with the way this one sits.

Astera. What a perfect bag. It could go nearly anywhere, from the beach to the office.

Bombus. I like the bubble stitch in this one, but not the shaping, which has a frumpy look.

Odonata. Quite like this relaxed tunic.

Signal. I don't think I could wear this one without feeling like I should also be wearing oversized shoes and a big red nose.

Melli. This is quite pretty in its way, but cropped and boxy with dropped shoulders is a very difficult shape for most women to carry off.

Sun Rays Quilt. A lovely little piece of work.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Knitter's Magazine 125: A Review

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.