Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Knitscene Fall 2017: A Review

Knitscene has released their Fall 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

All Spice Cardigan. Sometimes in my reviews I say an item looks like it belongs to an exhausted and depressed homeschooling mother of seven. This is definitely a design from that look book. In this case, mom has not bothered even to dress, but simply threw a shapeless, stretched out, baggy sweater on over her nightgown, and by the end of the day it'll have pablum and peanut butter smeared on it somewhere.

Arkins Poncho. I'm not a big poncho fan, but this sits fairly well, and that stitchwork is fantastic.

Ashes Cardigan. This looks like a not particularly happy marriage between an 1980s Shaker knit and 1990s grunge style.

Blake Shawl. And here we have the cover design. The texture's great.

Brighton Hat. Cute cap.

Chili Pepper Cardigan. The stitchwork around the front edges and cuffs is lovely, and it's pretty well-shaped, but it does concern me that the model is pulling or holding the edges in place in every shot.

Cranberries Cardigan. This has such an awkward, lumpy look.

Fleet Cardigan. This looks baggy and as though the knitter who made it didn't quite have enough yarn to knit a full-length band around the front edges and decided to make do and pass it off as a design feature.

Hills Cardigan. This sweater, which is worked in two flat pieces, presents as combination of a shawl on top and a cardigan down below. And I like the concept, but I do wish the lower half of the cardigan fit better.

Logan Mitts. A simple, useful pair of mitts.

October Cardigan. This one looks as though it was pieced together out of scraps of knitting.

Seeds Cardigan. This one wouldn't be so bad if the dropped shoulders were fixed, but it's nothing special either.

Walnut Cowl. I like the texture on this, but don't like those unfinished, curling edges. I'd put a seed stitch border on this cowl.

Weston Socks. Classic pair of ankle socks. Which I would not pair with a pair of ankle strap stilettos.

White Smoke Cardigan. Some beautiful detailing on this one. The back looks great. I still wish the body were a bit better shaped, but out of an issue of inexplicably frumpy cardigans, this one is the best.

Wynkoop Cuffs. These boot cuffs aren't bad so far as their cables and ribbing goes, but putting fringe on boot cuffs will make the wearer look as though she's recently been wading shin-deep in a swarm of rats.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2017: A Review

Vogue Knitting has released their Early Fall 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Pattern #1, Open Stitch Wrap. This one's a little rough around the edges for my liking.

Pattern #2, Chevron Stitch Wrap. A nice blanket scarf. The texture keeps it interesting.

Pattern #3, Slip Stitch Stripe Wrap. This one's a bit rough and chunky for my tastes, and does anyone else see a wall of little people all standing on one another's shoulders when they look at the stitchwork?

Pattern #4, Diamond Textured Wrap. Some excellent stitchwork in this.

Pattern #5, Shetland Twist Wrap. Beautifully intricate cables.

Pattern #6, Textured Wrap. This sampler style piece isn't quite pulling together visually, even though it's monochrome. I'd pick two or even three of those stitch patterns and repeat them rather than having each section in a different stitch.

Pattern #7, Cabled Raglan Pullover. Classic piece with good shaping.

Pattern #8, Kimono-Style Cardigan. The back of this piece looks fantastic. I'm not so thrilled with the front, but then I don't much like open front cardigans. I'd be inclined to turn this one into a pullover.

Pattern #9, Cable Detail Cardigan. This isn't bad, although it's a little on the rough and unfinished-looking side for my liking.

Pattern #10, Dipped Hem Pullover. Nice, classic piece.

Pattern #11, Diagonal Stitch Pullover. Excellent shaping and stitchwork.

Pattern #12, Eyelet Raglan Hoodie. I'm not usually a fan of mesh, but I do like this mesh pattern, with its twisty, almost lace-like look. The shaping and detailing are pretty good too.

Pattern #13, Strata Hat. Nice hat, but I don't know if I'm fully on board with those ear flaps, though I must admit those earflaps are as nicely designed as earflaps could be. The hat has the look of a helmet from a Narnian series illustration. This isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Pattern #14, Lace Pattern Cardigan. I must admit this piece overcomes my usual objections to loose, drapey cardigans. It sits very well, the lace is beautiful, and the effect is romantic and contemporary at the same time.

Pattern #15, Striped Ruana. The stripes and colourwork are irresistible. I would expect no less, as this is a Kaffe Fassett design.

Pattern #16, Striped Boat Neck Top. Such a fun, eye-catching piece.

Pattern #17, Fitted Mock Neck Tee. This is a fun piece too, although I don't think the colourway is working all that well.

Pattern #18, Fringed Vest. This one has that "floormat from the mudroom" look.

Pattern #19, Swing Hem Tunic. I'd be inclined to make this one a little longer, to turn it into a dress, and to rework the colour scheme.

Pattern #20, Bias Stripe Pullover. With its bad shape and unfinished edges, this sweater looks more like a design in progress than a completed piece of work.

Pattern #21, Fibonacci Fade Vest. Love the colour scheme, and this vest sits quite well.

Pattern #22, Striped Dress. This is wearable, fun, modern and even cool, but I do keep hearing the words, "Please do not adjust your television set," whenever I look at it.

Pattern #23, Lace Up V-Neck Pullover. This is okay, as the shaping is good and the colour scheme is well-worked out, but those dangling drawstring cords would drive me crazy.

Pattern #24, Striped Raglan Pullover. This is a reprinted pattern that originally appeared in Vogue Knitting's Spring Summer 1989 issue. It's okay, but it's not the pattern I would have selected from that issue to re-release (I checked, and yes, I do indeed have the issue), and although the VK editors have suggested substitute yarns to use to recreate the colour scheme shown here, I'd rework the colours.

I like the idea of crocheting decorative buttons, but these look a little kitschy.