Monday, 20 November 2017

Pom Pom Quarterly Winter 2017: A Review

Pom Pom Quarterly has released its Winter 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it.

Tabular. I rather like the colourblock yoke detail, but not the cropped length. However, that's easily changed.

Stellate. Very cool, contemporary style wrap.

Selenite. This isn't a bad twist on a simple striped sweater. I'd neaten up the fit a touch.

Orianna. Nice, and rather fresh, combination of fair isle and cables.

Fluorite. I really like these, and yet technically they are almost as simple as socks can be. Reverse stockinette stitch and a range of expertly arranged subtle colours make them very interesting.

Ephemeris. Another very cool shawl with a modern appeal.

Dipyramid. Very catchy graphic effect.

Bindrune. Love the stitchwork on this cardigan, but not its shaping.

Cobaltoan. Love both the brioche and the colour palate used in this hat.

Chrysocolla. A fun and visually interesting mix of cables and bobbles.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Knit.Wear Fall/Winter 2017: A Review

Knit.Wear has released its Fall/Winter 2017 issue. Let's take a look at it.

Balsa Slouch Hat. Simple, useful, big needle knit.

Bendz Pullover. It's clear that a lot of care and effort went into this one, which has some interesting shaping and detailing, but the overall effect is that of a "frumpy, depressed homeschooling mom of seven". I half expect those pockets to be stuffed full of used tissues.

Bianca Pullover. Classic cabled pullover. I'd just fix the dropped shoulders.

Big Sur Pullover. The shaping of this one says "horse blanket" to me, an effect that is only added to by the harness-like straps at the neck. Giddy up!

Demetria Cowl. This looks luxuriously soft and luscious, but it's so large that it looks awkward and/or overwhelming no matter how it's styled. I'd scale back the size somewhat.

Eckersberg Pullover. Some beautiful stitchwork on this one, and the cabling is so good.

Eira Pullover. Another solid cabled pullover.

Elderberry Ribbed Cowl. Another simple, big needle knit, but it's a perfectly adequate pattern. This is one to do in an interesting yarn.

Hansen Pullover. I'm really liking the Art Deco-esque cable effect on this turtleneck.

Iclyn Sweater. I love the cable chain motif on the front and sleeves of this design, but the mesh shoulders and asymmetrical hem don't quite work with it. It feels as though the designer tried to combine too many elements into one design.

Janus Pullover. Nice! Love the lattice cable effect.

Kobke Pullover. A slight variation on the classic gansey.

Lumi Tunic. Some good stitchwork in this. I'd neaten up the fit a bit.

Lundbye Scarf. I do like a scarf with good stitchwork.

Marstrand Pullover. A smart little number. I even like the shaping of the hem, as it's so organic to the lines of the sweater.

Monterey Tee. Beautiful lacework in this, and I like the neckline and cap sleeves, but I would neaten up the fit through the body a little.

Niamh Pullover. This looks like one of the sloppy shaker knit sweaters we wore back in the eighties, but even in the eighties we knew better than to tack a couple of placemats on the bottom.

Olwen Cardigan. This is another frumpy piece. Even the model can't give it any allure, though she's plainly giving it a hero's try.

Rorbye Cardigan. This doesn't look too bad through the upper body, but the way it hangs below the waist is just tragique.

Skovgaard Hat. This is cute in an elfin way, and yet it's cute in a way one needn't be under 15, or even 25, to wear.

Thorvaldsen Pullover. A attractively cabled piece, and I even think the dropped shoulder effect is okay here because it sits so well when rendered in this exceptionally soft yarn, but I would fix that slight mullet hem.

Topanga Canyon Cardigan. The shaping of this piece makes it look like it's a sweater that's given up on itself and indeed, on life in general.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Knit Simple Holiday 2017: A Review

Knit Simple has released its Holiday 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Pattern #01, Handwarmers. Simple, useful pattern.

Pattern #02, Ribbed Hat. Not bad. I'm not thrilled with the shape of the top, though.

Pattern #03, Cacti. If I were to make one of these, I'd use it as a pincushion.

Pattern #04, Leafy Dishcloths. These are a fun change from the usual square dishcloth.

Pattern #05, Long Cowl. This is a bit crude looking for my tastes.

Pattern #06, Dog Pillow; and pattern #07, Clutch. Can't say I care for the dog pillow, which looks slapped together and silly. The clutch is pretty basic.

Pattern #08, Cowl. This is rather pleasing. The shaping is good and the yarn makes it.

Pattern #09, Scrubbies; and pattern #10, Textured Scarf. The dishcloths and scrub mitt are okay. I rather like the scarf, though I think it needs a fringe.

Pattern #11, Messy Bun Hat. This hat design gets points for creativity, but the "hair bun as pom pom" look has the effect of a pom pom that's gone into moult.

Pattern #12, Stroller Blanket. I don't like the "crudely slapped together" look of this blanket. The yarn is beautiful, but it deserved better.

Pattern #13, Rainbow Scarf. Nice little shawl.

Pattern #14, Key Fobs. I don't think I'd care to have my keys look like they belonged the world's smallest cheerleader.

Pattern #15, Cold Shoulder Top. I'd be inclined to make this in a yarn more suited to a special occasion, such as a silk, or some kind of novelty yarn. Pairing a shoulder-baring design with a mohair worsted makes for rather odd look.

Pattern #16, Two-Tone Party Top. I rather like the effect of the colour blocked laceweight panels, though I don't think I would pair something in these candied shades with a black leather skirt.

Pattern #17, Two-Textured Sweater. The combination of a merino yarn with a laceweight yarn creates the effect of a piece half-eaten by moths, which would make me anxious to get the thing off before the larvae came back to finish the job.

Pattern #18, Crossover Top. This is rather unique and attractive, and a good way to add a warm and interesting layer to a simple outfit.

Pattern #19, Open-Back Top. This sweater looks as though it realized it was too frumpy in the front view, and decided to compensate by going full-on vamp in the back. The ultimate effect is about as successful as overcompensation usually is.

Pattern #20, Crochet Top. This one looks as though a video game screen background decided to start a new life as a sweater.

Pattern #21, Square of the Month KAL. Some beautiful stitchwork in this, and I like the gradient effect, but I'd ditch those distracting raised seams.

Pattern #22, Basketball; and pattern #23, Basketball Court Blanket. This is such a great concept, and it's well rendered. I am sure the little basketball fan in your life would be thrilled to get a blanket and a cushion that can be both played with and snuggled with.

Pattern #24, Football; and pattern #25, Football Field Blanket. The ball and field idea works equally well with football.

Pattern #26, Soccer ball; and pattern #27, Soccer Field Blanket. And here's the soccer set, which is also well done. As a Canadian, however, I must point out that there's no hockey puck and blanket set. Maybe I'll have to design one myself, as I know a little hockey fanatic who would like one.

Pattern #28, Hobo Tote. This isn't an unattractive bag, but unlined knitted bags do tend to stretch terribly, as I see this one is doing, even though it has only a few light items in it.

Pattern #29, Striped Tote. This bag looks a little sturdier than the previous one. The designer has added handles and stabilized the knitted tote by sewing a purchased tote bag into it, which is an excellent idea. Do make sure the purchased tote bag and the knitted one coordinate well in terms of colour. The white handles we see here don't complement the ivory and green knitted bag.

Pattern #30, Crochet Tote. This isn't such a bad-looking bag, and it will be sturdier than a knitted bag because crochet is stiffer and less stretchy than knitting. I'd still line it, though.

Pattern #31, Felted Boat Bag. This one's felted, which is another way to make a knitted bag less prone to stretching. This looks like a good beach bag to me.

Pattern #32, Simple Tote. This thing wouldn't have the strength to hold anything without stretching all to hell, and it's not much to look at. I'd give this one a pass.

Pattern #33, Slouchy Market Bag. The pattern of this is very pretty. I'd line this though, not only to strengthen the bag, but because I wouldn't care to have the contents of my bag showing through it. Women don't only bring home picturesque loaves of French bread and celery stalks from the gocery store -- sometimes we bring home tampons.