Monday, 26 August 2019

Knit Simple Fall 2019: A Review

Knit Simple has released their Fall 2019 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we? There is a Ravelry page for this issue, but as of this writing it only has two pattern pages, which I've added to the post.

This one's quite attractive and wearable. That is a nicely shaped neckline, and though there is a slight dropped shoulder I think it's fine for this design.

This one combines a 1960s-ish style with a contemporary colourblock concept, and the effect is fun, though there are more interesting colour combinations for this style than the one used here.

A really lovely cap and cowl set.

This one looks less like a shawl than it does an upcycled curtain. I'd have added a little more shaping.

This scarf looks like a beginner project -- like something someone with a modicum of knitting skill could make without a pattern. Actual patterns should offer knitters something more than that.

Very much like this one. It's simple, yet so wearable, and that neckline detail gives the piece such a polished look.

Cute, though I'm not quite satisfied with the rendering of the hippos. The circles look a little random and odd.

Also cute. I do like the combination of the hippos, the stripes, and the grass effect.

Not a bad little jacket. This design makes me think of Elizabeth Zimmerman's iconic Tomten jacket.

Simple and usable little booties.

Nice little baby sacque. I think I'd go with more interesting buttons on this one, as it needs a little something.

A very decent striped baby blanket. This would be a good scrap yarn project.

I would go with fun colours for these textured hats.

The design isn't bad but I'm finding the red and brown "brick wall" colourway used here a little too literal and not that pleasing.

Nice texture. I do like a faux fur bobble on a handknit hat.

A pleasing, simply textured hat.

A very decent hat and cowl set.

These are very smart.

Pattern #20, Wide Plaid Pillows. Very eye catching!

A nice tartan effect.

Really like this gingham-look afghan.

Pattern #23, Fingerless Mitts. Basic but serviceable enough.

I like the design of this set well enough, but the colours are making my retinas ache.

Simple crocheted stole.

This is an inoffensive little wrap, but that's one weirdly haphazard way to style it.

I think this one might make me feel as though I had two overextended dishcloths wound around my neck.

A rather cute set. The gray, hot pink, and orange colourway at least works better in this design than it did in the set four designs above.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Interweave Knits Fall 2019: A Review

Interweave Knits has released its Fall 2019 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Firefall Toque. I like the modern twist on the cabled devices on this hat.

Frost Mitts. Nice looking mitts. Though I must admit I'm looking past them to that extremely photogenic firewood the model is carrying. I carried plenty of firewoood growing up as a farm kid, and our firewood never looked anything like... that. I'm flashing back to the splinters and scrapes I used to get from that extremely rough-hewn, non-uniform length wood as I write this.

Balefire Mittens. Classic mittens with some texture and a variegated yarn to liven things up.

Spiced Cider Beanie. Classic ribbed cap.

Reaper Cowl. A handsome cowl. I like the horizontal pattern in it.

Quiet Nights Cowl. I quite like the pretty brick-like look of this one.

Sweet Dreams Pullover. A decent design, though I might add a bit of waist shaping and stitch up those open hems. I do have a bit of a thing for a detailed cuff.

Värma Pullover. A spare yet finished look. A bit of waist-shaping would be helpful here as well.

Page Turner Blanket. Such a polished, contemporary throw.

Kväll Cardigan. I like the sporty, retro vibe of this one, but I would neaten up the fit.

Orchard Cardigan. I like the shoulder detail, but not that back, which hangs so poorly.

Autumn Rain Shawl. A nice lace wrap.

Granny Smith Pullover. Very attractive and wearable, and the fresh, crisp colour scheme is perfect for both the design, and its name.

Caramel Apple Pullover. Classic cabled pullover.

Winding Roads Shawl. There is some beautiful stitchwork in this wrap, but that sickly greenish yellow colour is doing nothing for it.

Wine Press Pullover. I love the grape cluster detail on the sleeves, but can't say the same about those unfinished cuffs, which will get into everything the wearer does, and the side details aren't adding anything. Another thing to be aware of when making this design is that's made from light fingering weight yarn and is consequently semi-sheer (the model's bra can quite plainly be seen in both front and back views) and that this is therefore a piece that will need to be worn with an underlayer.

Fredag Socks. Classic two-tone cabled socks.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2019: A Review

Vogue Knitting has released its Early Fall 2019 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Pattern #01, V-Neck Tunic. This oversized Shaker knit vest is taking me back to circa 1986, when items like this were very in style. Except back then it would have been made in some bright colour: aqua, hot pink, or electric blue.

Pattern #02, Geometric Pullover. Nice shaping and design. It would be fun to pick out a colourway for this one.

Pattern #03, Yoked Pullover. Love this one, which has great shaping and a striking and attractive yoke design.

Pattern #04, V-Neck Vest. Nice shaping and stitchwork in this one, but I'm not sure I'm on board with the yarn choice, or with the pairing of this vest with the rest of the model's look, great as that dress and jewelry would be on its own.

Pattern #05, V-Neck Cardigan. I like the lines of v-shaped contrast stitches on this one. To a casual glance, it has the look of single large stitches, which is rather meta.

Pattern #06, Cropped Cardigan. A cute cropped cardigan for those who can pull off a cropped length. If you (or the intended wearer) can't, well, it can always be lengthened.

Pattern #07, Gradient Cardigan. This one, which is knit of two strands of laceweight, turns three colours of yarn into a perfect gradient colourway by combining two strands of the adjoining colours to create a bridging colour. It's a great technique to use if you can't find a satisfactory gradient colourway -- they can be hard to put together.

Pattern #08, Multipatterned Cardigan. I'm not crazy about this one, but I think the problem is mostly the "sunburned taco" colourway. I have a bit of a weakness for these "sampler" type designs, which are such a great chance to flex one's knitting muscles.

Pattern #09, Chevron Cardigan. Classic, wearable cardigan with some nice stitchwork.

Pattern #10, Cropped Cardigan. The only thing I don't like about this one is the cropped shaped (admittedly, I'm biased, as I cannot wear cropped tops of any sort). Otherwise it's lovely, with such a polished, crisp look, and the stitchwork is fantastic.

Pattern #11, Fair Isle Yoke Pullover. I like the concept of embroidering designs from the yoke on the body of a sweater, but I'm not convinced that the particular yoke and embroidered devices employed here work well together.

Pattern #12, Lace Scarf. What a lovely piece of work.

Pattern #13, Textured Wrap. Great texture and a very handsome look overall.

Pattern #14, Gradient Wrap. Another beautiful wrap. This one was done with a single variegated yarn.

Pattern #15, Lace Wrap. Simple and pretty.

Pattern #16, Brioche Cowl. This one's so striking you could build an entire outfit around it.

Pattern #17, Two-Tone Pullover. This is a Kaffe Fassett design, and as hesitant as I am to critique a Fassett design (I mean, who do I think I am, really?), I can't sign off on those choppy-looking sleeves. I'd cast on extra stitches when I got to the armholes and knit the sleeves of a piece with the body, eliminating both the dropped shoulder seam and the checkerboard pattern.

Pattern #18, Amber Leafy Coat. Wow, this is simply a fabulous piece of design. I can't help feeling I'd like to change the shape since the A-line silhouette is not my friend, but there are those rare designs that shouldn't be altered, and this is one of them.

Pattern #19, Cliffs of Moher Sweater. My goodness, you couldn't not notice this one if you saw it on anyone. The combination of Celtic designs and texture and a rainbow yoke is fun and fresh and lovely. And wonder of wonders, this pattern is available for free!

Pattern #20, Celtic Flame Coat. This is another amazing piece of design. The Ravelry pattern page for this pattern describes it as "show stopping" and I don't disagree. But I think if I were making it I might be inclined to skip the stripes and the gradient colours and make the coat in a solid colour with a contrast Celtic device colour. Just the stitchwork and the Celtic designs are enough to carry this piece. And this pattern is available for free!

Pattern #21, Colorwork Vest. This is one from the archives, a Kaffe Fassett design from the Vogue Knitting Holiday 1986 issue. Even with all the fashion fluctuations of the last 33 years, I don't believe there's been a year since this was published that it wouldn't have been wearable just as it is.