Monday, 27 July 2020

Knitty Spring & Summer 2020: A Review

Today we're going to have a look at Knitty's Spring & Summer 2020 issue.

Rullskridsko. A classic Fair Isle design. I'd make this one in a higher contrast palette, but that's not to say that this low-key colourway isn't attractive too.

Grapefruit Splash. This one would make a nice layering piece if, like the designer, you find yourself chilly in an air-conditioned building. The stripes and the contrast border make for such a fun, casual look.

Green Machine. I'd add a little waist-shaping to this one as it has a squarish, unflattering shape as is. I don't think I'd neaten up the fit, though, as one wants clothing to be loose in summer.

Bowknot Blue. Nice texture, but the shaping isn't flattering. I'd raise those dropped shoulders and add waist shaping.

Tigerwheet. This has a "I made it in home economics class and didn't finish it but convinced the teacher I meant to do it this way in order to pass the course" look to it.

Bidicot. This one would make a fun accessory for a plain outfit, but I'm not thrilled with how those edges look.

Peri Peri. This asymmetrical shawl seems to drape well and has a pretty lace pattern on it.

Noland. This is a lovely confection of a piece. The lace and the yarn are beautiful, and it has a such a delicate, graceful look. I'd be inclined to neaten up the fit on the body a little -- though I'd still leave it loose-fitting -- but it is fine as it is. it drapes well, and such a lightweight piece will never look bulky on the wearer.

Phiolet. Fun socks, even if the idea of wearing mismatched socks makes me twitch uncontrollably.

Farrago. These would be fun way to showcase a self-striping yarn.

The Ombis. I'm not a fan of mesh-like knitting as wearing apparel. The look is too shopping bag. This one looks like Ursula the Sea Witch's shopping bag -- if Ursula cared about reducing, reusing, and recyling, that is, which I doubt.

Monday, 8 June 2020

Vogue Knitting Spring & Summer 2020: A Review

Vogue Knitting has released their Spring & Summer 2020 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

#01, Structure. This is the first of six designs in what Vogue Knitting is calling a capsule collection. This piece is certainly the kind of reliable, versatile piece that works well in a capsule wardrobe. I'm not crazy about the mullet hem, but otherwise it's a classic that could be styled in any number of ways, and worn nearly anywhere.

#02, Staple. This is the kind of piece I'd rather buy than make because I find them tedious to knit and because knit tops like this are so readily available, but if you like a simple project and/or are really committed to making as many of your own clothes/gifts as you can, it's certainly a good t-shirt design as to shape and finish.

#03, Integral. This one's a little too minimalist for me, so much so that it looks unfinished, but the overall style has a "Mary Tyler Moore goes contemporary" vibe, and a woman could certainly do worse.

#04, Foundation. Knit skirts can be a challenge, but I think this one may pass muster. The shape is streamlined and classic, and the ribbing should help it keep its shape.

#05, Key. Good stitchwork and shape. I'd be inclined to add buttons and buttonholes, but then open front cardigans never sit well on me -- it's a boob thing.

#06, Elemental. Lovely.

#07, Zaffre. I like this on the whole -- the lace samplers and the lace and ribbed stitchwork used as edging makes for a good look -- but I'm not crazy about the notched collar, which comes across looking more bug than feature.

#08, Majorelle. Love the stitchwork in this. The shape is too boxy for my liking, but this is one of those linear designs that would be hard to reshape.

#09, Aegean. Love the "Edwardian blouse gone modern" vibe of this one. Maybe in my next life I'll have enough neck to wear it. I will say this design doesn't look all that practical for summer, as it will require an underlayer.

#10, Deep Dive. This is so beautiful I think I may have just found my wedding dress (and now I just have to find someone I'd care to marry). Both stitchwork and shape are excellent.

#11, Cable Trellis Dress. This is "from the archives" pattern, and was first published in VK's Spring/Summer 2002 issue. As soon as I saw the photo on Vogue Knitting's website I knew it was a re-run, and that I already had the issue it originally appeared in on my shelves, and it turns out I do indeed. It's a timeless piece that could have been worn to advantage at any time these past eighteen years.

#12, The White Way Cabled Pullover. This is the sweater version of the dress above, and the design concept works equally well in sweater form.

#13, Ripple Dress. This crocheted dress has excellent shaping and stitchwork like the "Deep Dive" dress above, but then again, it is crocheted, and the odds of my voluntarily crocheting myself an entire dress are about the same as my ever getting married. This dress does have a rather bare effect, which can be either a pro or a con, depending on your perspective.

#14, Conscious. This is a fun, contemporary take on the Breton stripe sweater, but I would nix the mullet hem.

#15, Curve. The colour and the styling give this lace shawl such an eye-catching, modern look.

#16, Reversal. Such a fun, energizing play of colour and texture in this one.

#17, Departure. The yarn for this shawl is Koigu Painter's Palette Premium, and having daubed more than a few palettes with paint myself, I have to agree that it's well named. The play of colour fascinates me, and the lace pattern and shaping is attractive as well.

#18, Tweed Chevron Pullover. I like the chevron stripes, but not the boxy fit. I'd neaten up the fit on this one considerably -- fortunately this is one of those designs that won't be compromised by a reshape. Honestly, the only things that ever look good to me in boxes are the goodies I order online and could hardly wait to have arrive.

Friday, 1 May 2020

Cast On Spring 2020: A Review

Cast On has released its Spring 2020 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Blackwater Mosaic Pullover. I like the mosaic bottom of this sweater, but am not sure I care for the colour-blocked sleeves, which make the sweater look like it's a short-sleeved number worn over a white long-sleeved t-shirt. I'd be inclined to work the bottom half of the sleeves in mosaic too.

CCB Cardigan. This one's a bit of a retina-searer, with its eighties-style day-glo colours. But of course there's no need to make it in these particular colours if they don't do it for you. I can see this being cute in a single colour in a mohair blend -- as long as the cropped length and boxy shape works for the wearer. It does tend to be a hard silhouette to carry off.

CCB Pullover. This is going to prove a much more wearable version than the cropped cardigan take above. But I'd add some waist shaping, and go with another colourway.

Cable and Rib Sweater. This one has a classic, polished look to it.

Crocus in the Snow Headband. There is some pretty stitchwork in this, and I love the evocative name of the pattern, but I can't imagine anyone I know actually wearing it.

Crosswind Tee. Nice piece. The shaping is good, and I like the telling detail at the hem and on the sleeves.

Hats for Kara. These are pretty basic, but they're certainly serviceable enough.

Heartbeat Pullover. Classic cabled pullover.

Hearts Hat. Cute hat. There is something about the heart shape that makes for an appealing design.

Intertwined Hearts Pullover. Love the elegant cable detail on this one.

Kendall Dress. Um, this one needed quite a bit more work. It looks both odd and unfinished.

Mandala Cowl. This one has an eye-catchingly different look to it, with its range of fair isle design devices and atypical colourway.

MCM Pillow. Simple but effective design.

Metropolitan Modular. I rather like the design of this colourblocked sweater, but not its colourway, which has a "this is what I had in my stash" look to it.

Njord Pullover. Nice top! I like the combination of the diamond pattern body with the ribbed sleeves and hem.

Old Moons Top. This is one of those designs that would be satisfying to make because of all the techniques one gets to use to make it, but wouldn't be so rewarding to wear. It would require a layering piece underneath, its empire waist will be problematic in terms of what figures it works on and what pieces it works with, and I don't think that back opening is flattering or even particularly attractive.

Rain Chain Pillow. Nice cushion!

Ripple Henley Sweater. This one is fun -- like a contemporary take on the Charlie Brown-style sweater.

Slipped Stitch Tablet. This is... okay. I guess when it comes to protective cases, I prefer a case that's closer to "elegant and polished" than it is to "toilet paper cosy".

Sort of Charlie Brown Vest. I don't know if anyone will believe me, but I swear I wrote the Charlie Brown reference in the Ripple Henley Sweater review above before I set eyes on this design. I like this take on the Charlie Brown vest as well -- the reference isn't so obvious as to be costume-y. Though the wearer should definitely take care when flying kites or kicking footballs while wearing it.

Wild Range Socks. Handsome socks.

Zig Zag Chevron Vest. I quite like this one, which has a smart thirties-era knitwear vibe -- and that is one of my very favourite knitwear vibes.