Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Ill-Timed Moments of Clarity and Other Knitting Fables

It was the end of the school year, and the graduating class of the Acme School of Design was putting on their final student fashion show. Lucretia proudly modelled her project, which had what she called her "signature layered look" and what her teachers had come to resignedly call her "placemats, curtains, and remnant decor fringes tacked together" look.

Verna's project theme had been "A Bowl of Oatmeal". Her instructor pointed out that she'd been using very similar themes all year, such as with her projects "Cream of Wheat", "Tuna on White Bread", "Homogenized Milk" and "Like White on Rice", and that perhaps it was time to try using a more extended colour palette, and possibly also to look into getting treated for her protracted case of situational depression.

Dyce, who was very likely the most dedicated H.P. Lovecraft fan living, was very proud of her Cthulhu dress.

Fionnula, always the practical one, had devised a sweater that was both suitable for very cold weather and, when combined with a Swiffer mop handle, great for reaching those hard-to-dust spots under the bed and above the window cornices.

Merle had decided it was time the child's traditional romper went adult and post-modern.

Rhona was very proud of her combination of sixties-style florals and granny chic, as she considered the outfit a profound statement on the divide between sixties youth culture and that of The Greatest Generation. For her next project, she planned to go with a "Jackie O. Goes Filthy Hippie" theme.

Avis, ever the worst procrastinator in the class, had had to whip something up at the last minute and then not quite finished it, but she was pretty sure her asymmetrical mesh tank was a strong enough look that she didn't need to worry that she hadn't been able to make the pants that were supposed to go with it.

Libby felt her design niche was going to be creating looks for people who felt the cold everywhere but on the inside of their elbows, as her own experience had been that this was an critically under-served market.

Garth's recycled tin foil yarn was a big hit. He just wished it wasn't so painful to knit with.

Parnell had been pretty happy with his "R2D2 Discovers Pastel Street Style" look until he got halfway down the aisle, where he had a most unfortunate and ill-timed moment of clarity.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Cast On Winter 2018/2019: A Review

Cast On has released their Winter 2018/2019 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

A Leaf Unfurled. What a lovely, polished cowl.

Almost Argyle Sweater. This one has a playful, fun concept, and would be a good way to use up some small amounts of yarn.

Austin. Love the "threaded ribbon" effect of the dash and dot pattern.

Avila Breeze. This one has attractive stitchwork and a rather elegant look to it.

Book of Kells Sweater. I'm always an easy sell on Celtic designs. I think I would reposition the decorative panel a few inches to the south, though.

Cliffs of Moher Shawl. Such great texture.

Easy-Peasy Cabled Fingerless Mitts. Classic cabled mitts.

Fleur-de-Lis Cowl. Not such a fan of this one, but then the colour scheme isn't doing anything for it.

Gnome Hat. Cute children's hat. I'd be tempted to put a fake beard on the kid too, but then that's me.

Harmonious Echo. Classic cabled pullover.

Heart Sweater. This is rather girlish and fetching, but it does deserve a more fun colour.

Horizons Top. This has a seventies vibe to it, but not in a good way. Maybe I'd like it better in another colourway?

Incan Headband. I'm not sure how many people could carry off this look.

Kim and Greer. Fun concept, but those flowers aren't rendered all that well -- they look a little spindly and flattened.

Megane Hat. That's a eye-catching effect.

Megane Mittens. These and the hat above would make a nice set.

Minuet Shawl. Classic lace shawl.

Solomon's Island Cardigan. Not bad, though I'd recommend another colour. Any other colour, for that matter.

Summer Breeze. This has an awkwardly proportioned look to it.

Swedish Block Scarf. Simple, attractive and wearable.

Therese Flip Doll. I have a bit of a thing for topsy-turvy dolls, but not for this particular one, which looks a little cobbled together.

Thrummed Booties. Very comfy. It always makes me smile that thrumming looks like little hearts.

Warm Things. Another pair of classic cabled mitts.

Wasp Wing Cardigan Redux. Some beautiful lacy stitchwork in this one.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Piecework Spring 2019: A Review

Piecework has released its Spring 2019 issue. Let's have a look at it.

Weldon's Irish Lace Shawl. Timelessly attractive.

Molière's Embroidered Nightcap. Such beautiful embroidery. I don't know how many women this little cap would actually suit, though. I think I might feel not so much in tune with Molière's poetry as attired like one of Charles Dickens' satirically insufferable characters.

Ruhnu Mitts. Love the detail on these, especially the use of the contrasting colour.

A Boy's Scarf from Weldon's Practical Needlework. A handsome and timeless scarf.

Monday, 21 January 2019

Creative Knitting Spring 2019: A Review

Creative Knitting has released their Spring 2019 issue. Let's have a look all the delicate spring knits within, bearing in mind that as I wrote this review on a bitterly cold January afternoon in Toronto, I was forced to take to bed with a cup of hot tea on the night table beside me, and to type with slightly numb hands while keeping an ear out for a knock on the door, because my furnace wasn't working properly and I was waiting for a furnace company service person to show up. In other words, it was a little hard for me to get into a proper mindset for viewing light and lacy warm weather designs, but I did my best as a knitting reviewer should.

Bridler Pullover. Pretty and wearable little top.

Ingleside Tunic. This one isn't unattractive, but the sheerness of it and the long, narrow fit might make it less wearable and less likely to be flattering on many women.

Lipson Shawl. Some very nice stitchwork in this one.

Teresa Tee. Can't say I care for the bagginess of this one.

Headley Poncho. Gorgeous lacework, and it drapes well.

Laclede Scarf. I'm pretty sure the felted floral fringe on this one would give me a "cursed by a disgruntled witch" feeling and have me in a state of chronic fear that I was two minutes away from becoming a giant vegetable marrow, helplessly rooted to the ground by the fauna grown out of my former clothing.

Oakmont Shawl. Beautiful. It's hard to go wrong with a classic lace shawl.

Tacony Tunic. I actually love this look except for the crocheted flower on it, which has a chintzy look. Omit that and one would have a beautifully stitched asymmetrical tunic with considerable style.

Briarfield Vest. I just can't get on board with designs that involve a lot of bulky extra fabric. It's such an unflattering look. This one isn't even working on a professional model.

Bristol Cardigan & Blanket. I'm not sure this kimono needs to be as long as it is, but otherwise it's fine.

Copeland Cardigan. Not my favourite type of cardigan, but I must admit this does sit and hang well.

McKinley Cardigan. Not bad, but I would fix the dropped shoulders.

Baycrest Cardigan. Cute little cardi. The play of colour is so summery.

Laviere Shrug. This one has a "pieced together out of swatches" look.

Peacefield Pullover. I would like this one so much better if it were solid stockinette stitch rather than partly mesh. Mesh stitch always looks irretrievably "grocery bag"-like to me. Also, you can get weird-looking suntans/sunburns when you're wearing it. Ask me how I know this.

Rosselle Shawl. Another very attractive little shawl.