Monday, 13 March 2017

Rib Magazine, Issue 1: A Review

Podcasters Eric (from the Sticks + Twine Podcast) and Devone (from the Handmade and Woolen Podcast) have just launched a new knitting magazine called Rib, and guess what... it's written specifically for men who knit and those who knit for them in what may be a knitting magazine first. Vogue Knitting has done at least one special issue for men, but to the best of my knowledge there aren't any English language knitting magazine titles that offer only patterns for men. It'll be interesting to see what design direction the magazine takes, and how it does in sales. Let's have a look at the first issue.

Dragonmoss. This is a handsome, non-fussy piece that I can easily imagine the bachelors of my acquaintance being happy to have on their couches, even though in some cases part of the pillow's job would be to hide the beer stains and broken springs.

Lakeshore Boulevard Pullover. I'm liking this one, which offers a modern take on the traditional gansey pattern.

Metropolitan Hat & Cowl. An attractive and wearable set. I like the lattice stitchwork on both hat and cowl.

Patina Pullover. This pullover couldn't be plainer, but as always with a simple pattern, using a beautiful and/or interesting yarn will give it all the interest it needs.

Stalactite Scarf. This one combines some clever stitchwork with a very cool, interesting yarn.

Urban Aran Mitts. A very nice-looking and wearable pair of mitts.

I'd say this magazine is off to a promising start with its six solid designs, though I am hoping in future issues we'll see more colour and daring in the designs.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Vogue Knitting Late Winter 2017: A Review

Vogue Knitting has released their Late Winter 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it....

Pattern #1, Textured Poncho. Very loose-fitting numbers like this one are not usually my thing, but I have to admit this one works pretty well because of the careful shaping and detailing and interesting texture. The colourway used here really isn't to my taste, but I am enjoying imagining this piece done in lots of beautiful palettes.

Pattern #2, Raglan Turtleneck. A basic pattern like this one can be the way to go when you have an interesting or especially beautiful yarn to showcase. I'd recommend scaling down the length of this sweater to suit the intended wearer's height if she isn't model-tall.

Pattern #3, Cabled Front Pullover. I like this one on the whole, but I'm not sure that stripe of white on the bottom is working. I find it distracting.

Pattern #4, Color Block Pullover. Sometimes colour blocking works and sometimes it looks as though the knitter simply ran out of one colour of yarn. I'm inclined to think this is one of the latter cases, though the two yarns used do work together very well, which helps a lot.

Pattern #5, Striped Pullover. What a gorgeous play of colour.

Pattern #6, Man's Hoodie. Nice piece. The self-striping yarn makes for a more interesting take on the too-standard "stripe across the chest" men's sweater.

Pattern #7, Cable Front Pullover. Perfectly shaped and very wearable cabled piece.

Pattern #8, Broderie Anglaise Shawl. Interesting texture.

Pattern #9, Cabled Shawl. Beautiful wrap.

Pattern #10, Maruna Hat. Cute hat. I don't know if I'd go with the pom pom, personally, but certainly it will suit some women and is a fun touch.

Pattern #11, Long-line Scarf. A handsome and polished scarf.

Pattern #12, Over-Knee Socks. This a wonderfully comfortable-looking pair of knee socks, but the combination of pumps and pom poms is not one we'll often see anywhere but on a professional model in a magazine shoot.

Pattern #13, Cabled Sleeve Scarf. Nice cablework, but the open tube style of this scarf would make me feel like I had a pair of longjohns tied around my neck.

Pattern #13, Pom Pom Hat. Another classic hat topped with a furry pom pom.

Pattern #14, Cowichan-Style Pullover. This is nice on the whole, but I would have put a little more effort into that collar, which looks somewhat unfinished.

Pattern #15, Cowichan Style Socks. Oooh, I covet these for both their attractive Cowichan-inspired design as well as their very evident warmth and comfiness.

Pattern #17, Bouclé Open Vest, and Pattern #18, Bouclé Pullover. I'm afraid I'm one of those hidebound, narrow-minded knitters who will never be lured away from her belief that sweaters should not look as though they were knitted out of bathmat.

Pattern #18, Heartbeat Wrap. This piece is interesting, polished, and wearable. Love the gradient effect and the sharp graphic appeal.

Pattern #19, Floral Vest. A lovely piece on the whole, but I don't know how much I like that blurred effect on the bottom. It looks as though the colours ran in the wash.

Pattern #20, Striped Turtleneck. A simple but very sharp piece.

Pattern #21. This one just plain messes with my head. It's like a knitted Rorschach test. I see car mats and rivulets of slush, which I suppose says I'm Canadian ad it's mid-winter, and I'm relieved that my psychological profile is no worse.

Pattern #22, Gradient Graphic Wrap. This one's a little too afghan-y to work as a wrap.

Pattern #23, Lace Cowl. Gorgeous.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 61: A Review

Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 61 is out. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Porthtowan. I like the idea of the large scale zig zag, but not the colourway.

Soma. The lacework is gorgeous, but I'm not sold on the way this sits.

Nirvana. The texture's great and I love the sideways cable effect, but I would fix those dropped shoulders.

Moonbeam. I'm not usually a fan of the poncho, but this one is so light and delicate and drapes so well that it's working.

Kali. There's something about that middle panel that isn't working -- it looks too random and proportionally off, somehow. I'd do the whole sweater in the lace stitch.

Indira. An attractive, casual piece. I'm liking the gradient stripe effect.

Essence. Quite like this one. It's one of those elegantly relaxed pieces, with great shaping and a touch of textured detail.

Destiny. The stitchwork is good, but the baggy shape and dropped shoulders would make this look frumpy on most women. Even this professional model isn't quite carrying it off.

Celestial. A pretty, useful, go-most-places sweater for cooler days in summer.

Bala. Oooh, the curving lace detailing on this one is not only visually pleasing but very flattering, as it creates an hourglass effect. The only possible flaw in this one might be that the neckline should be cut a little lower, as it seems to be cutting the model off at the neck somewhat.

Anala. This is as basic as it gets, but then one can always elevate a basic pattern with a beautiful or interesting yarn in a colour the intended wearer loves.

Anaadi. There's some pretty lacework in this, but I would definitely neaten up the shape, fix the dropped shoulders and either cut down the neckline or make it a proper cowl or turtleneck.

Ahimsa. Basic tank.

Whelk. A simple yet very effective use of chevrons.

Urchin. This wrap looks so bulky and awkward that it presents more like a sweater that the model had only got half on before the overeager photographer jumped the gun and took the picture.

Seaton. Classic cabled cardigan.

Seaham. If I were making this, I'd scale the fit of this down from oversized to a relaxed fit, but it's not a very interesting pattern, so I would probably keep looking for another basic pullover that already fit well rather than bother to adjust this one.

Rockling. This is better than the longer-length cardigans we've seen thus far in this issue: it has decent shaping and fit. But I'm still not thrilled with it -- I think the front edges are a little too bare and needed some sort of finishing detail.

Periwinkle. A very pretty detailed little cardi. Not every woman can wear the cropped length, but the design can easily be lengthened for a wearer who would be better served by a longer length.

Padina. This is fairly plain, but it's adequate.

Oyster Scarf. Not a bad little scarf, but I can't say I care for the rolled up effect. I'd always be trying to unroll it, and of course it would promptly roll back up again, and I don't need a Sisyphean task hanging around my neck.

Mussell. A handsome lattice cabled pullover.

Lantic. I'm really liking the sporty, contemporary look of this one, and it'd be fun to pick out a colourway for it.

Hithe. I'd neaten up the fit of this, and it would be worth the effort because that lacework is gorgeous.

Croyde. Very basic and slightly awkwardly proportioned to boot. I'd pass on this one.

Clovelly. Some great cablework here, but I'd neaten up the fit and raise those dropped shoulders with a vengeance. The shoulder seam must be at the model's elbow!

Chalkwell. The stripes are fun and this project would be a great way to use up some odds and ends of stash yarn.

Bommie. Good shaping and that is one very striking Fair Isle pattern.

Bayberry. This one has a slightly different construction than the usual hoodie. The hood is less defined than hoods usually are, which gives it a shawl-like effect. I think it works, though I'd like to see how the hood looks when it's lying across the shoulders and back of this sweater. The cabling is excellent.

Barricane. I'd fix the dropped shoulders, but this is otherwise a solid classic piece.