Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Pom Pom Quarterly 5th Anniversary Re-Release: A Review

For its 5th anniversary, Pom Pom Quarterly has re-released its Summer 2012 issue. This blog was up and running then, but since I didn't realize Pom Pom Quarterly existed until late 2013 (sigh), I only began reviewing it then. Let's have a belated look at the premiere issue of Pom Pom Quarterly.

Kipper socks. Not bad. I do tend to like a textured rather than a multi-colour sock pattern, as I am not a crazy socks person.

Netherton cardigan. I'm also not a cropped/mini cardigan person, but this isn't a bad example of the kind.

Netherton jumper. A pullover version of the previous design. It's a decent piece for women who like the style.

Overbury mitts. Well-shaped convertible mitts. The button's a good idea because it will keep the top of the mitt from flapping about when it's not over the fingers.

Skipworth mitts. Garter stitch... no detailing... they do seem to fit well, but I don't think the designer put enough effort into this design.

Wick Lane. A beautiful little lace shawl.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Rib Magazine Issue 2: A Review

Rib magazine has released its second issue. Let's have a look at it.

Navigate Pullover. A handsome and eye-catching new take on the classic cabled pullover.

Rigging Pullover. I'm not thrilled with the way the collar sits on this one, though otherwise it's a nice piece.

Survey Pullover. An excellent use of colour blocking -- and colour blocking can be tricky to pull off.

Cayley Pullover. Lovely piece, lovely colour.

River Rocks Scarf. This brioche scarf has more style than most men's scarves, and yet it's quiet enough for any man to wear. I love the reverse colourway effect of the two sides.

Direction Mitts. Some interesting detailing.

Fickle Steps Socks. I'd wear these myself.

Orienteering Hat. A simple, attractive cap.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Interweave Knits Summer 2017: A Review

Interweave Knits has released their Summer 2017 issue, and as they often do, they've selected designs according to a theme, which in this case is two of William Shakespeare's most famous comedies, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night. Let's have a look at the forms of knitwear unknown, as the designer's scratch pad and needles turn them to shapes and give to airy nothing wearable knitwear forms and a pattern name.

Goodfellow Top. Nice lacework, but I never can get on board with these tiny cropped tops over a big shirt. It has that absurd "shrunk in the wash and didn't think anyone would notice" look.

Helena's Shawl. Speaking of Helena, I fondly remember a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream that I saw in the spring of 1988 when I was 14 and in which the actress who played Helena dropped on all fours and pointed as she uttered the line, "I am your spaniel!" Hilarious as that was, thankfully a woman who wears this item need not be so abject and instead may carry herself with all grace and dignity this very attractive shawl imparts.

Hermia's Shawl. Though this shawl be but little, it is fierce.

Hippolyta's Cover Up. This must be the modern equivalent of Hippolyta's magical girdle, and like its predecessor, it seems to exist more for its enchantment (or seduction) value than as a practical item of wearing apparel. But I kid because I love. This cover-up is a very fetching and high-style little number, even it won't block many UV rays.

Malvolio's Cowl. This is quite a handsome piece, and a much more suitable accessory for the Puritan-minded Malvolio than the yellow stockings and cross-garters he'd been duped into thinking his beloved Lady Olivia wanted him to wear.

Midsummer Kimono. This isn't bad, and it would be a good compromise for someone who wants a wrap or shawl-like effect but can't be bothered with trying to keep them in place.

Olivia's Cape. What a fantastic piece. Everything about it is so beautifully done: the shaping, the herringbone pattern, the I-cord finishing, the finishing touches of the leather buckles. And while it's a piece rendered in a very romantic style, it's not too costumey to be wearable for real life.

Orsino's Vest. A handsome classic for the man who's busy trying to decide whether he really loves Lady Olivia or his handsome new page boy, Cesario, who is actually Viola. With such a confused lovelife, who has time to think about his clothes?

Puck's Tunic. This is quite a pretty and wearable summer top, and it's the perfect thing to wear when one is that merry wanderer of the night who is blithely toying with other people's lives for her own sardonic amusement. It will also work for the office, lunch with friends, or a date.

Titania's Shawl. This is a gorgeous, exquisite piece that's definitely fit for the queen of the fairies, even if she does fall in love with a partial or complete ass.

The Tudor Rose Shawl. Another fabulously beautiful lace shawl. This one and the previous one are both fit for a princess.

Viola's Coat. I'm not liking this one much. The collar has a skimpy look and the fronts sits so poorly that it brings to mind that old "gunny sack tied in the middle" simile. But then perhaps Viola, like Orsino, has no time to think about her sartorial choices. She's been shipwrecked, doesn't know whether her twin brother is dead or alive, is posing as a boy, working as a page, and dealing with several potential suitors, but she's also responsible for the momentum of one of the world's most famous plays.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Vogue Knitting Summer 2017: A Review

Vogue Knitting has released its Summer 2017 issue. Let's take a look at all the summery, knittery goodness inside.

Pattern #1, Lace Ruana. Beautiful lace and drape. Belting a ruana, as has been done here, would help keep the look flattering and in place.

Pattern #2, Oversized Pullover. This looks like a mesh bag with sleeves, and having all that excess knit fabric flapping about under my arms all day would drive me right up the wall.

Pattern #3, Lace Hoodie. If someone had told me in advance that there would be a lace hoodie in this issue of Vogue Knitting, I wouldn't have had high expectations of it, but this is really a terrific piece. The combination of lace and such a sporty style works well, resulting in a piece that's very pretty and is neither too casual nor too formal to be useful for daily wear, besides having all the appeal of a fun and unexpected design twist. Moreover the lace is gorgeous and the shaping is perfect.

Pattern #4, Lace Skirt. This is quite pretty, and as the pattern description says, could be worn with either a blouse and heels or a t-shirt and sandals, but the pastel pink yarn takes it a little to close to doily territory to me. I'd go with a less delicate shade of yarn.

Pattern #5, Lace Sampler Poncho. This looks like a lace tablecloth with a neckline.

Pattern #6, Thigh-High Stockings. These are very pretty (i.e., great lacework, excellent design), and they definitely strike a chord with me given my raging thigh-high stocking fetish, but I do question how wearable these would be, even in cotton, for summertime. They wouldn't look right worn with sandals or any other kind of of summer footwear that I can think of, for one thing. I think I'd make them in wool for cold weather wear.

Pattern #7, Leafy Lace Pullover. Very pretty lacework.

Pattern #8, Counterpane-Inspired Shawl. If you're the sort of person who has the panache to carry off a dramatically large lace shawl, I'd recommend this one. If you consider yourself devoid of panache (as I do), make this shawl without quite so much fringe and enjoy your beautiful afghan.

Pattern #9, Socks. Quite like these, with their natty, retro feel.

Pattern #10, Cowl. Nice piece. Love that it has a reverse colourway on the inside.

Pattern #11, Hat. Like this hat too, with its argyle-like effect.

Pattern #12, Cropped Tank. So smart and so beautifully detailed. It's a cropped length, but if that won't work for you or the intended wearer, it would be easy to lengthen the piece.

Pattern #13, Sanquhar Gloves. Like these too. They have a place on the wrist where one can include the wearer's initials, which is a fun extra touch.

Pattern #14, Arbor Cardigan. I'm not usually a fan of the drape-front cardigan, but this one hangs quite well, and the intricately patterned front and back is a work of art.

Pattern #15, Maevh Cowl. Beautiful leafy lacework, and it hangs so well.

Pattern #16, Tasseled Poncho. While I respect that Vogue Knitting has fully committed to this look by putting tasseled capris on the model, this poncho still looks like something out of a seventies-era homemaker's magazine.

Pattern #17, Textured Tank. Simple and wearable.

Pattern #18, Linen Stitch Stripe Pullover. Interesting variation on the classic Breton stripe pullover.

Pattern #19, Relaxed Tee. There's a relaxed fit, and then there's a "depressed and scarfing chips on the couch while vacantly watching movies on Lifetime" fit, and this is one of the latter.

Pattern #20, Chevron Lace Tee. I like this top on the whole (great colour and stitchwork) but have my concerns over the slightly baggy fit through the waist. But then it's not possible to add waist-shaping to every piece because sometimes it'll interfere with the pattern, and there are people who like and/or can carry off what this pattern's description calls a "blousy fit".

Pattern #21, Supersized Shawl. Another shawl of dramatic size, though this one is of far less impressive stitchwork. I'd be inclined to leave this piece on a couch.

Pattern #22, Swing Back Tank. I'd consider making this one a little longer than intended and using it as a cover-up for the beach.

Pattern #23, Mesh Jacket. I like this one, which has smart lines and would make a very useful little topper for summer.

Pattern #24, Cropped Lace Cardigan. I'm not too taken with this pattern, which is a reprint from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 1995 issue. It has too much the look of random samples of lacework tacked together. Vogue Knitting has styled it well here, though, as it looks pretty good worn over a clean-lined, fitted dress.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Knitting Needle Nightmare: A Video

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

In the very special episode of Grandma's Cats Are Trying to Kill Her, Lucas has to foil his grandmother's two murderous cats after they contrive to get into Grandma's sewing room. As for the video itself, I live for the day when screenwriters will take the time to google any craft-related terms they use to find out what they really mean. The writers of this video do not seem to have grasped the definition of "afghan" or to know the difference between "knitting" and "sewing".

Otherwise, the video isn't a bad little watch, and while cats shouldn't play with yarn as it will mess up their small intestine and possibly kill them if they ingest it, if you're facing imminent death at the paws of your beloved but homicidal cat, you're justified in distracting it with yarn until you can escape to a place of safety.