Monday, 28 March 2016

Knit Simple Spring & Summer 2016: A Review

Knit Simple has released their Spring & Summer issue for 2016. Let's take a look at the simple knits therein.

I like the concept of this striped child's hoodie, but I wish it was a little more finished. The hemline looks like a mistake.

Very cute faux denim jumper!

Quite like this backpack. I don't know if it's lined, but if it isn't, I'd recommend lining it with a sturdy fabric and possibly interfacing for strength and durability.

Rather a cute little fringed tank for the pint-size nouveau hippy in your life.

The pillow with a pocket for toys is a nice concept, but this particular execution of that concept leaves something to be desired aesthetically.

Kind of cute and fun.

Quite attractively striped. There's definitely an art to creating a good striped knitwear pattern.

Not bad. The shaping is good, and echoing the openwork stitch used in the shoulder area in the hem unifies the design.

This is very simple, but not bland (check out the hem detail), and the shaping is good. Use a beautiful yarn for this one and it'll be quite a polished, useful piece.

Rather a nice lace poncho that should be handy for the beach.

This one needed more work, because I'm looking at it and thinking, "And...?

These are all lovely. The one on the bottom right is probably my favourite, and the one on the bottom left is probably the one I like the least.

I like the cushion, but the long tassel braids on the afghan would drive me crazy. Not to mention that they would lend themselves rather too well to pet ingestion and sibling pummeling.

I can't get behind the concept of a floor doily.

This is a rather nice-looking bag, but those are distractingly ugly handles. If I couldn't find better handles than that, I'd make some by knitting or crocheting over some very strong cord.

This is dead simple, but by the same token it will look good in quite a lot of living rooms.

Nice-looking bathroom mat. The yarn and the grid design of it work well together.

Good looking pillow. That swooping stitch is something new.

Not sure how I feel about this one. The stitchwork is rather interesting, but the long vertical lines give it something of a dragged out feel. I think I might like it better if it were shorter and in a brighter colour.

Very pretty lacy top with excellent shaping.

Sharp little shawl. This would look good with a denim jacket and other casual clothes.

I think I might like this one better if it were done in a yarn with a smoother texture and if it had better finishing around the edges. As it is, it has that "clawed by a cat" look.

Classic Breton-striped sweater. Though I don't know if that garter stitch line in the middle of each stripe is adding much to the effect. Plain stockinette would look just as good if not better.

A lovely cowl.

This one's a bit "I'm going to take these odds and ends from my stash and just make this one up as I go" (not that there's anything wrong with that), but it's cute and useful enough.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Creative Knitting Spring & Summer 2016: A Review

Creative Knitting has released its Spring & Summer 2016 issue. Let's have a look at it.

Daphne. The construction of these flowers isn't bad at all, but I'd be attaching them to other items, such as a little girl's purse, rather than to shoes where they are going to become filthy in no time.

Modern Garden Tank. A very pretty and summery look. I wouldn't have thought embroidery could look so well on garter stitch.

Petals & Stripes. I like the stripes but am not sold on the petals. It's hard to make this kind of appliqué work on a grown woman as it tends to look kitschy.

Wildflower Purse. This looks like the kind of thing a little girl makes at craft camp and gives proudly to her mother, who receives it with an Academy Award-winning simulation of appreciation, never uses, and smuggles out of the house and off to a thrift store once her daughter has forgotten about it.

Electric Flower Socks. These would be the perfect thing to wear the next time you're cast for a 1980s Jane Fonda workout video. Don't forget to make yourself a matching headband.

Eyeglasses Case. This looks roughly made, and soft eyeglasses cases like this one don't actually do much to protect eyeglasses.

Regency Sweater. This is a very pretty and rather romantic look on the whole, but the rather wonky-looking wavy lines and beads at the neckline and cuffs aren't doing much for it. I'd nix the lines and stick with some simple beading.

Soirée Purse. Very pretty and finished-looking and something a little girl could carry with her best dress as well as being something a grown woman could easily use as an evening bag if made in colours to go with her evening wear. I'm imagining it done in black or a metallic.

Ruffled Cardigan. Quite attractive, and so well shaped that it sits perfectly.

Entwined Bolero. The description for this calls upon us to "re-engineer the cowl by making it part of a stylish, modern bolero". I'm not seeing how the word stylish applies here, and I'm not sold on the idea of combining the bolero and the cowl in principle, though I might like to see other attempts at it. It looks like a pain to get in and out of, for one thing. And what are we to call such a creation? The cowlero? The bocowl?

Blakefront Cardigan. Very pretty little item.

Lavender Sails. The lace design here is very good, but the lines of this piece have such an unfortunate foreshortening effect on the model that it looks as though her shoulders are sagging nearly to her waist. I'd tweak this so that the opening of the sleeves sits at cap sleeve level.

Golden Shores Shawl. Some lovely lacework in this piece.

Summer Swing Tee. This is acceptable design, but it definitely deserved a more attractive yarn.

Artisan Tunic. The tunic is well shaped, but the decorative stitching on it has an unfortunately crude look.

Upcycle Notions Case. A fun bag. The pattern descriptions suggests using old gauge swatches, but it could also be done with wool sweaters that are past being wearable.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Knitty Spring/Summer 2016: A Review

Knitty has released its Spring/Summer 2016 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Liquid Honey. An attractive piece of work that can be worn either as a shawl or as a scarf.

Gocce Shawl. I'm quite taken with this piece, which is beautiful, original, and visually interesting.

Pinwheel Shawl/Vest. Quite like the lacework in this one, and the beautifully finished edges. The pattern also offers instructions for turning the shawl into a vest with the aid of a shawl pin.

Pincha Shawl. Very pretty! The yarn used here works incredibly well, evoking the veined look of real leaves.

Skyesong Shawl. This is nice enough, but a little too openwork for my tastes. I always imagine pieces like this catching on absolutely everything.

One Skein, One Stick. This is a woven piece, and although I know beans about weaving, I like it. The texture is great.

Inhabit Pullover. In the introduction to this pattern, the designer says she created this piece for those like herself who don't like figure-hugging, close-fitting garments, and that this sweater, which she is modelling herself in the photos, was designed to be lived in. Certainly there's nothing wrong with a loose-fitting garment, and this loose fit does look fine on her as it's not so loose as to be sloppy, but I can't help mentally tweaking it by raising the dropped shoulders.

Bay Laurel Pullover. This looks something that was randomly tacked and slapped together so as to have something, anything, ready for a deadline.

Dubrovnik Cardigan. This one has a nice simplicity and just the right amount of detail.

Mod Waterfall Vest. This piece, which has a crocheted back and a knitted front, is one of those unstructured pieces that I've tried to like but just can't. To me they usually look like something a ragged, slatternly Dickensian character would wear pinned around her while on her way to the work'us.

Stiorra Pullover. Love this one. The lace inset detailing on the back and sleeves is ever so pretty. The pattern is sized for eight years up through adult size 3X.

Mejram. When I first saw this I thought it looked silly, but the more I look at it, the more I think detachable sleeves are an idea that could work on any woman as long as they're on a sweater that otherwise suits her. After all, it has worked in the past. In the early nineteenth century dresses such as this one were often made with detachable sleeves to make it possible for the women they were made for to use them for both day/evening and winter/summer wear.

Eternal Spring Socks. Very pretty socks!

Feel Good Socks. I like these so much I might just have to make some myself, in white. I like perfect little cotten anklet socks like this and I can't seem to find them anymore.

Rectify. And another nicely detailed sock pattern to round out a trio of them.