Monday, 10 April 2017

Cast On Spring 2017: A Review

Cast On has released their Spring 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it.

All Tied Up Skirt. I rather like this one, which is well shaped and carefully finished. The tie detail is rather interesting. I'd consider using a satin ribbon as a tie instead of making one out of the same yarn.

All Tied Up Vest. I'm less enthusiastic about the vest. I don't like cardigan-style sweaters that don't meet in the front, as they always look too small, and those three ties have a kitschy look.

Baby Dots Sweater. This is cute, though that neckline does look unfinished.

Bloom. Wow. This is just gorgeous.

Catalina Cardigan. The lacework and the overall design are pretty, but I'm not entirely sold on how this sits. Notice that the model is pressing the sweater to her in the front with both hands.

Easy Peasy Baby Hats. As the name promises, these would be easy to whip up, and they're also cute. This a perfect pair of attributes for baby clothes, because those little sprogs have a way of growing out of their knitted items at a perversely fast rate.

Gryphon Shawl. What a beautiful piece of lacework, and it sits beautifully as well.

Helena Pullover. A very pretty summer top. There is something about a simple stockinette summer top with a touch of lace.

Infinity Scarf. I don't tend to like a lot of fringe as it tends to get into and/or caught on things, but this fringed cowl is pleasing and looks easy to wear, and also has some interesting stitchwork.

Light the Torches Socks. These are a little too visually busy for my liking. Combining two different stripe patterns and a slip stitch pattern and a vibrant two-toned yarn choice adds up to a little much. I might dial this back a bit by going with a quieter yarn.

Sampler Pillow (top photo) and Seed and Moss Stitch Pillow (bottom photo). I'm not too taken with either of these. The Sampler Pillow's "samples" are all pulling out of shape. The Seed and Moss Stitch Pillow might be a good one to do in a beautiful, interesting yarn rather than in this plain cream, which looks a little too bland for this pattern.

Sitka Tree Ornament. These are really beautiful. The detailing is great, and I love the colours.

Squares Squared. Not bad. One doesn't see so many designs that implement squares.

Viter. A beautiful, classic piece.

Weekend Tea Cozies. These aren't anything special, but I suppose they'll get the job done.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Knit.Wear Spring & Summer 2017: A Review

Knit.Wear has released its Spring/Summer 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it.

Amherst Pullover. I'm liking the brioche detail around the neck, which is something different that works well. This is a smart piece in a casual way.

Bowery Tunic. I like the cable detail on the front of this sweater, but the shape and sizing is awful. This model looks swamped in this sweater, and that's before we see the back, which suffers from extreme mullet hem.

Cambridge Poncho. A comfortably and attractively relaxed piece with some excellent texture and good finishing. I'd neaten up the fit a little though. This is a piece that should be oversized, but one should aim for one size larger than the wearer needs, rather than two or three sizes.

Chatham Pullover. This isn't the kind of comfy sweater one wears while relaxing in an armchair by the fireplace with a glass of wine or mug of hot chocolate by one's side. This is the kind of sweater one wears while huddled in a ratty blanket in a darkened room, eating pork and beans straight from the can.

Chelsea Dolman. This thing is like a sleeping bag with sleeves, and unflattering's no word for it. Even the model is trying to warn us off with a subtle "I'm a Little Teapot" pose.

Dartmouth Tunic. Not a bad little piece if you're a fan of the tunic dress look. Shaping and detailing are good.

Falmouth Cardigan. I'm really not liking the way this bags in the back.

Greenpoint Wrap. Not a bad little understated stole. It will go well with quite casual clothes.

Hartwich Top. Cropped and slightly boxy is a hard shape to carry off. I'd lengthen and shape this top through the body, but otherwise leave it as is because the neckline and the sleeves are good.

Hyannis Port Pullover. Another baggy one, this time with some rough-looking stripes.

Lenox Pullover. This a very decent piece. The shaping is good, the detailing is interesting, and though it does have a back hem that curves into a longer length than the front, it's so well shaped that it cannot be called a mullet hem and works fairly well.

Marblehead Poncho. Seriously, knit.wear editorial staff, I'm starting to get concerned about you given that you've picked all these saggy depression sweaters. May I get you some nice endorphins? Or perhaps a little serotonin?

Nolita Top. This is something different. I'm a hard sell on mesh pieces, but this one is so carefully detailed and finished that it works quite well.

Northampton Cardigan. I like the collar and the sleeves on this, but I don't like the way the sweater hangs and bags once we get below chest level.

Park Slope Top. I do very much like the mosaic pattern and the interesting stitchwork in the body, but the stiff, dolman sleeves look so awkward that they're throwing this piece off. I'd reshape them, or make them cap length.

Quincy Scarf. A handsome and luxuriously drape-y scarf.

Rockport Vest. This looks like a half-finished project.

Sturbridge Pullover. Let's see, this has dropped shoulders, a cropped length, a boxy shape, and a mullet hem. Which is why this professional model is adopting some elaborate pose in every photo, because even she cannot make it look attractive when she's standing in a natural, realistic way.

Sutton Place Wrap. Love this one. That is some really artistic and creative cablework.

Tribeca Tunic. This is a beautiful piece. The cowl neckline sits so well, and the lacework is exquisite.

Two Bridges Cowl. Such beautiful stitchwork.

Wellfleet Pullover. Not bad. It has a dropped shoulder, which as you know I hardly ever like, but I think it works for this design, because it turns a simple chest stripe into something more interesting. The fit's a bit too big and there's a tiny mullet hem, but on the whole this is a sporty, casual piece, perfect for wearing with leggings or yoga pants.

Williamsburg Tee. Very pretty top that will likely look very fetching worn on its own.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Knitty Spring & Summer 2017: A Review

Knitty has released their Spring & Summer 2017 issue. Let's begin our look at it with this pattern (which is also their issue cover shot), the Dingle hat. It's fun and pretty and I love the beautifully worked-out gradient colour scheme.

Stripdot. These have a slightly rough, crude look that's not very appealing.

Borrowed. This is a fabulous piece of work. Such gorgeous lacework, and I like that the designer did interesting directional work with it.

Amalgam. The Amalgam is designed to be wearable as a capelet and as a skirt, though as it is only 15" long it seems more likely to be used solely as a capelet. But then my opinion on this may have been coloured by the chronic skirt length argument that's been going on between me and my mother since I started buying my own clothes in 1987 and that, like the "I should have gone to teacher's college" argument, shows no sign of letting up. I do quite like this as a capelet. The mosaic strip is attractive and effectively blends the contrast colours together.

Brightstairs. This is... okay. I was going to recommend going with another colour scheme, but I think this might be a piece that needs a bright, offbeat colourway, as the design itself is offbeat.

Bakanasu. This piece has some really gorgeous stitchwork and it does appear to sit well, but I am having a hard time getting past the combination of acid yellow and eggplant yarn.

Checked Raglan. Not a bad piece. It has some nice detailing and shaping and good lines.

Thysania. The designer of this piece writes that "Thysania is a hybrid of a shawl and a cardigan, or an oversized shrug" and that she challenged herself to make a piece in the shrug style that was flattering on her. This is a difficult style to make work, and I think she succeeded. This sits and drapes really well. The stitchwork is interesting too.

Airelle. Nice little summer top with good lines. I'm imagining it in a variety of fun, fresh colour schemes.

Recital. This is one of those elegantly simple pieces that can be worn with practically everything in a woman's wardrobe and for most occasions for year after year -- until it falls apart from long, hard, quiet service. Draped necklines are hard to get just right, and this one works well.

Lycka. Not a bad little summer top. I'd make it a few inches longer, as it looks a little awkward and cropped as is.

Maryjane. The shape and the design isn't bad, but I don't know if I'd go with the yarn used here. It's a hemp yarn, and it doesn't drape well and gives the piece a stiff, boxy look.

Blurred Lines. This piece was custom-designed for Mindy Kaling's character on The Mindy Project. It has a certain "classic menswear meets one of the Peanuts Gang" vibe, and I can imagine it working if styled in the right way, which is to say, not the way it's styled here.