Monday, 23 December 2019

Knit Simple Holiday 2019: A Review

Today we're going to have a look at Knit Simple's Holiday 2019 issue.

Pattern #01, Wristers. This is a nice, simple pair of fingerless gloves with some inexplicable embroidered crap on them.

Pattern #02, Embroidered Scarf. I'm a little torn on this one. It's an attractive piece of handiwork, but I can't help thinking it looks too much like a dresser scarf to work as an item of wearing apparel.

Pattern #03, Embroidered Cardigan. This one isn't working for me either. It has a slightly frumpy shape, and the embroidery has a somewhat random look to it -- it's neither adding nor exactly detracting from the overall look, but is simply... there.

Pattern #04, Hat; and Pattern #05, Scarf. The scarf is fine, but the shape of that hat is, um, something. In this season of icy sidewalks, is wearing a bumper pad hat a thing now?

Pattern #06, Lovikka Mittens. More random and crude-looking embroidery. Seriously, a simple stripe or fair isle pattern would be a big improvement on this.

Pattern #07, Embroidered Mittens. This embroidery is supposed to be a "floral motif", but it looks much more like random clots of yarn.

Pattern #08, Snowflake Hat; and Pattern #09, Snowflake Scarf. This is a cute set. The embroidered snowflakes look like snowflakes, and I like the effect of the white on red.

Pattern #10, Snowflake Sweater. Very much like this one. It's simple and pretty and very wearable, and I would totally style it exactly this way -- with a little tartan skirt.

Pattern #11, Snowflake Cardigan. I like actual knitted part of this sweater, but that rough-looking embroidery does it no favours. Embroidered motifs can be dicey on knitwear. It can look really effective, and it can also look like it was done by a five-year-old.

Pattern #12, Purl Stitch Snowflake Blanket. This is perfectly lovely.

Pattern #13, Stranded Snowflake Hat. A very decent hat for a kid. It's cute without being cutesy.

Pattern #14, Striped Shawl. I'm a little meh on this one. I rather like the contempory play of stripes, but it's not as appealing as it should be. I think the problem is the colourway -- that charcoal isn't working with the old rose and pink. I'd do this one in a more neutral colourway for a sharper look and better wearability.

Pattern #15, Men's Scarf. This is a little unpolished for my liking, but the yarn is attractive and I think it works on the whole.

Pattern #16, Capelet. This is a pretty piece on the whole, but I'm not sold on the collar detail, which has an unfinished look.

Pattern #17, Family Socks. These are basic socks. They look like they'd be a good beginner sock for the inexperienced knitter.

Pattern #18, Men's Cap. A very decent basic cap.

Pattern #19 & #20, Cabled Set. Cute, classic set.

Pattern #21, Reindeer Mittens. These are a little cheesy, but I must admit they are the kind of thing that will delight a very small child.

Pattern #22, Headband. The brooch adds such a lot of style and visual interest to this simple headband.

Pattern #23, Long Cowl. Nice simple piece. The recurring bands of garter stitch combined with the gradient yarn give this cowl all the interest it needs.

Pattern #24, Sideways Cable Pullover. I like the looks of this one, but I do have my concerns about how it would hang when the wearer isn't posed for maximum effect the way this model is. This sweater looks as though it would be somewhat bulgy in the middle when left to hang naturally.

Pattern #25, Embellished Scarf. Attractive and wearable. This scarf would go nearly anywhere and with nearly any outfit.

Pattern #26, Lacy Scarf. Lovely!

Pattern #27, Waterfall Cardigan. This looks like it was made out of mesh shopping bags... in five minutes.

Pattern #28, Beaded Fingerless Mitts. Pretty and wearable.

Pattern #29, Fireside Throw. Nice piece, but I can't help thinking it would look better with a border.

Pattern #30, Mosaic Pillows. These have an attractive texture. The colourway is a little uninspiring, but of course that's easily remedied.

Pattern #31, Linen Stitch Basket. Your basic knitted basket.

Pattern #32, Half-Circle Rug. This one's a little too "whipped up" for me. Knitting designs do need to have a little more verve than a random swath of garter stitch.

Pattern #33, Pillow & Lapghan. I like the throw, but the pillow could use a rework. I'd lose the tassels, and either do the entire pillow in the dash and dot pattern, or possibly add a frame of garter stitch to it, as with the afghan.

Friday, 6 December 2019

Vogue Knitting Holiday 2019: A Review

Vogue Knitting has released their Holiday 2019 issue. Let's have a look at the glam holiday-style knits in it, shall we?

Pattern #01, Victoriana. This sweater is designed to evoke women's sweaters of the 1890s, and I must agree that it is a nice update of that style, with its elongated cuffs and slightly puffed sleeves, while being completely contemporary and wearable.

Pattern #02, Marilla. Not so thrilled with this one. The slight colour change between the body of the sweater isn't working for me -- the effect is neither interesting nor effective, and just looks like it doesn't match. This would be a design to change up with a different yarn choice, because I bet it could be a good look with the right two contrast or complementary yarns.

Pattern #03, Oceana. I quite like the overall pattern of this -- it's bold and fun -- but I would scale it way the hell down fit-wise.

Pattern #04, Wallaby. Well... um... the neckband works. The dwarfed sleeves and front pouch don't, and the overal look is dull and bunchy.

Pattern #05, Gibson Girl. As someone with a love of Edwardiana, I applaud this issue's design direction. I don't think I could wear a puffed sleeve sweater because I'm someone who needs to downplay my upper half, but I certainly like looking at this piece, and those sleeves wouldn't be a pain to wear because of their neat-fitting cuffs.

Pattern #06, Rhombus. This is a fresh and contemporary take on the diamond pattern.

Pattern #07, Parallelogram. This is quite smart, but it is a cropped length, which isn't the easiest length for most women, and one would really have to break out one's design skills if one wanted to lengthen it.

Pattern #08, Quadrilateral. This designer has cleverly turned the "wrong side" into a design feature with a strategic use of the floats. The result is a reversible scarf that can be used to showcase two different looks. I'm impressed, and will be keeping this technique in mind for the argyle tam and cowl set I have on my 2020 project list.

Pattern #09, Losange. Very smart, and also wearable.

Pattern #10, Argyle. This is a nice update on the classic argyle vest. It would be a fun project for which to pick out a colourway, but I would advise staying away from a yellow and black combo for this one, as it would make one feel a little too Charlie Brown-ish.

Pattern #11, Openwork Shawl. This shawl is more about completing one's look than about warmth and practicality. It is going to catch on everything.

Pattern #12, Pull Jacinthe. Lovely. This design would be a good candidate for a luxury yarn, as it is pretty enough to be worn to a casual evening event.

Pattern #13, Fleur de Glycine. This one is both lovely and visually interesting, and has a fresh, contemporary feel. I just found myself spending several minutes straight looking at it, as the lines curved and undulated before my eyes.

Pattern #14, Iris Éthéré. Very pretty. I like the combination of the angora, the lace, and the beads, which has such a luxurious look, and also that the beads were used sparingly.

Pattern #15, Veste la Pivione. This is pretty, and as I consider the pattern further than its immediate impression, what suprises me is how wearable this piece is. It could work over a simple dress or top and trousers outfit, and be dressed up or down.

Pattern #16, Cramosie. This is lovely, and I would totally wear it myself. I would neaten up the fit a little, though.

Pattern #17, Châle de Lavande. A very handsome wrap. The stitchwork is beautiful.

Pattern #18, Pétale de Rose. Ordinarily if I were to review a one-sleeved wrap in seashell colours with a fringe of scale-like "petal stitch", I might be inclined to make jokes about mutant mermaids, some of which occur to me immediately, but in this case I just can't. "One-sleeved wrap" is a weird concept, but this designer has executed it with such incredible artistry that I can only gaze at the result in awe. The stitchwork is beautiful, the yarn is lovely, and this is actually an amazingly wearable piece because when the wrap's end is thrown over the sleeved shoulder as it is in the second photo, the silhouette is quite classic. Wow.

Mock Plaid Pullover. This is Vogue Knitting's "from the archives" pattern for this issue. It originally appeared in Vogue Knitting Fall/Winter 1985 issue. It has also been reprinted in a book of collected "classic" Vogue Knitting patterns. I find it hard to get behind, let alone in, a sweater capable of housing several people, but to each their own, I suppose.