Friday, 13 April 2018

Noro Magazine Issue 11: A Review

In today's post we're going to have a look at Noro Magazine Issue 11. Before anyone points out that this was the Fall/Winter 2017 issue, yes, I am rather late in getting to this review, as I'd been neglecting my blogging, but better late than never, and I'm nearly caught up on the backlog of reviews now.

Pattern #01, Faux Double-Breasted Cardi. I rather like this one. As we can see from the styling here, it would make a good cool-weather top layer. I can't help feeling that it would be more useful with long sleeves, but if you do lengthen the sleeves, make sure to make them a little more fitted.

Pattern #02, Textured Cocoon Cardi. I think this one would make me feel as though I was wearing a hammock.

Pattern #03, Diamond-Texture Cardi. Another nice topper. I like the retro feel of the cut and the great texture of the diamond pattern.

Pattern #04, A-Line Cardigan. I like the sleeves and bodice of this one, but that is waaaaaay too much excess fabric about the hips. This very tall, slim model is really putting the effort into making it work and still not quite pulling it off.

Pattern #05, Elbow-Length Cardi. Very wearable. I'm not a big fan of the open front cardigan, but this one sits really well.

Pattern #06, Long Ribbed Cardigan. This one's so bulky it's more of a jacket than a cardigan, but it also sits well, and that is one pretty yarn.

Pattern #07, Diamond Motif Scarf. Very attractive scarf, and this is definitely a "how to showcase Noro" item.

Pattern #08, Marled Cowl. Some interesting texture and colour in this cowl.

Pattern #09, Brioche Cowl/Capelet. A nice, simple yet not boring capelet. The colours are so appealing.

Pattern #10, Infinity Cowl. I love the stitchwork in this one. It's an excellent choice for this yarn.

Pattern #11, Star Blanket. So pretty and fun.

Pattern #12, Fringed Poncho. This looks like a floormat with a hole cut in the centre.

Pattern #13, Striped Poncho. Love the yarn in this one, but the construction makes it look like a bathmat tacked together.

Pattern #14, Fringed Poncho. This one's an area rug with a slit in it.

Pattern #15, Capelet & Arm Warmers. I like the capelet, but not the arm warmers, and not the combination of the capelet and the arm warmers. After all, if you need to keep both your torso and arms warm, wouldn't you just wear a sweater?

Pattern #16, One Button Capelet. Simple and wearable.

Pattern #17, Kimono Ruana. This one looks like an afghan. Call me old-fashioned, but I stand firm in my belief that clothing designs should look like clothes and fit and flatter the wearer, rather than presenting like something that would look better on a couch or a floor.

Pattern #18, Pullover With Origami Collar. This collar is knitted separately, and I'm really liking the concept of a cowl made to coordinate with a pullover, which can then be worn together or separately. I like both the cowl and the sweater as well. The cowl has an interesting architectural look, and the yarn in that sweater is so very pretty.

Pattern #19, Oversized Vest. I like the vest part but not the oversized part.

Pattern #20, Cable Embellished Top. I like the design on the whole -- those interlocking circles are an interesting look -- but again, it would be so much more attractive if it fit. The model's slanting her body backward to make all the excess knit hang behind her, and how often does one stand that way in real life?

Pattern #21, Jacket. I like the yarn used here, but not the design. The jacket has a rough, unfinished look like a beginner project, and those lacing details look crude.

Pattern #22, V-Neck Cardigan. This isn't terrible but it isn't great either. It doesn't seem to sit all that well, and though that mitred construction creates an interesting effect in terms of the yarn's 90 degree change in stripe direction, the seam itself is unattractive and distracting.

Pattern #23, Pencil Skirt. Love this one, and I would style it very much as it's been styled here, with a simple, solid-colour pullover and matching tights, as the skirt itself holds all the visual interest the outfit needs.

Pattern #24, V-Neck Pullover. Love the yarn, which is like a Monet water lily painting, but I'd fix those dropped shoulders and neaten up the fit -- or just go with another more polished pullover pattern entirely.

Pattern #25, Poncho Top. This is another oversized piece, but this one actually has enough shape to it that it hangs pretty well.

Pattern #26, Sleeveless Tunic. This one had some great detailing -- love that wrapped effect in the neck, the ribbed edges, and the line of stitching up the front and on the pockets, but I'd neaten up the fit considerably. This is a piece that should be roomy, but I'd aim for one size larger than the wearer needs rather than more, and make those armholes much smaller.

Pattern #27, Shell Stitch Wristers. These crocheted "wristers" are actually quite interesting from a design perspective, with their beaded crocheted floral effect contrasted with ribbing, but I can't help wishing they were part of a sweater.

Pattern #28, Short-Row Scarf. A very attractive scarf. The play of colour and play of width work well together.

Pattern #29, Boxy Cardigan. This is quite pretty, and the shape is rather good, but I think I would add two more buttons at the top, as this has a "barely held together" look with only one.

Pattern #30, Bias Miniskirt. This skirt has that "reclaimed afghan" look, and worse, it looks as though it was made out of an afghan that was beyond redemption.

Pattern #31, Cabled Asymmetrical Vest. This one has some nice detail and the construction looks good, but I do have my suspicions about the lines of the body, which I can't see properly in this one photo that's been made available.

Pattern #32, Tunic Cardigan. Attractive design on the whole, but I'd neaten up the fit.

Pattern #33, Textured Stripes Hat. Nice hat. The yarn is delicately pretty.

Pattern #34, Oversized Asymmetrical Vest. Oh dear. The fit, the mullet hem, the sheer depth of those armholes... the neckline and the yarn is attractive, but the shape and sizing need a pretty thorough overhaul.

Pattern #35, Simple Cardigan. When it comes to "simple" as a descriptor for patterns, simple should indicate that there is not very much detailing, rather than that the designer didn't put enough effort into designing a collar that it would sit properly.

Pattern #36, Ribbed & Ridged Vest. Some nice stitchwork in this, and the yarn is beautiful, but this vest needed edge finishing at the neckline, hemline, armholes, and front edges.

Pattern #37, Ribbed Scarf. One almost can't go wrong with a classic ribbed scarf, and it's a good way to showcase a beautiful variegated yarn like this one.

Pattern #38, Sideways Hat. I like the yarn used in this hat, but not the shape or the fact that it sits stiffly upright. If I wore this, I think I'd feel as though my name should be Tuppity, Feefo, or Jinks, and that I should be living in a tree and making cookies for a living.

Pattern #39, V-Neck Vest. Not bad. It's nothing special, but it fits, has a decent shape, and is wearable.

Pattern #40, Cozy Capris. These capris remind me of that episode on Six Feet Under in which teenaged Claire and her best friend Parker try magic mushrooms and do some sewing while under the influence. The usually caustic Claire, who always gets sentimental when high, makes a pair of ball-fringed culottes in a crazy fabric or two, and presents them to her mother, Ruth, with a fervent hug and a declaration of love. Ruth, who is always thrilled to get any demonstration of affection from her children, proudly wears the culottes the next day, which only adds to the suffering caused her daughter's 'shroom hungover. Which is to say that while I may enjoy being reminded of this scene... I wouldn't make or wear these capris unless I was high on magic mushrooms or something.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Knit Simple Spring & Summer 2018: A Review

Knit Simple has released their Spring and Summer 2018 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Pattern #1. The classic tennis sweater. This one's been in style for a century or so and seems likely to remain so for another century.

Pattern #2. Cute sailboat-themed bag. I'd line this one and put some sort of sturdier handles on it.

Pattern #3. The Breton stripe is another "can't miss" summer classic.

Pattern #4. This design isn't for the faint of heart, perhaps, but this isn't a bad bikini. The shaping is good, the stripes are sporty, and being that it's crocheted it should actually hold its shape reasonably well when wet.

Pattern #5. This dress is cute and beachy on the whole, but those straps and armhole trims do look a little skimpy in comparison to the stripe pattern. I'd widen them a touch.

Pattern #6. Cute and nautical. For the little wannabe naval officer or castaway in your life.

Pattern #7. This is another classic -- the little girl's sailor dress -- but it could stand a few improvements. I'd make that sad little tie into a proper bow, and improve upon that choppy-looking line of red on the collar by using some other method of knitting it in place, such as garter stitch edging or applied I-cord.

Pattern #8. I think this hat might make me feel as though I was dressed as a certain someone who knows how to have a lot of good fun that is funny. It's not a bad hat at all, but I think I'd do it in another colourway or play with the stripe pattern a little to make it look a little less Dr. Seuss-ish.

Pattern #9. This cloud pattern baby blanket is totally cute, and a remarkably effective look for such a simple design.

Pattern #10. The cloud theme isn't working nearly so well in this pullover. The clouds look like random bleach stains.

Pattern #11. We have here a crib mobile with clouds, moons, stars... and... mice with angel wings. Cute mobile, though I am finding the inclusion of angel mice a little random.

Pattern #12. For your baby on its more grizzly days.

Pattern #13. More weirdly random clouds.

Pattern #14. Some cloud pillows. I rather like the white garter stitch cloud, and might make a sun or rainbow pillow to go with it. The smug gray cloud looks like it just rained on someone's parade.

Pattern #15. Not a bad afghan. I rather like the pinwheel-like motif.

Pattern #16. A plain but wearable pair of socks.

Pattern #17. These are pretty basic but fine. I feel like I can't assess them properly because they're not on a pair of feet and I don't know how they fit.

Pattern #18. A nice lacy pattern on these.

Pattern #19. I think I would stop short of putting all those dangly little crocheted circles on the edge of this crocheted wrap, as they would drive me stark raving mad. The wrap is plenty detailed and interesting enough without it.

Pattern #20. Not a bad crocheted wrap. The colourway is good. But I can't help thinking it would be a nicer-looking piece if it were, er, knitted.

Pattern #21. I think every little girl I've ever known would be beside herself with delight to get such a beautiful, ethereal pair of fairy wings.