Thursday, 21 September 2017
Knitty has released its Deep Fall 2017 issue. Let's have a look, shall we?
Pistachio Saffron. This is meant to be a knitted version of a sweatshirt. It's not bad. It has an understated, comfortable look. The designer suggests that if you don't wish it to be quite so roomy, that you drop down a size and/or remove the A-line increases.
Hostkappe. This a too busy mish-mash of a pattern.
Glaswegian. This is a pleasant little number.
Alicorn. Classic and wearable cowl.
Cascadilla. This is wearable and has a contemporary feel and some nice detailing.
Turbulence. I'm uncertain as to what to call this piece. Shrug would do, but this is bigger and provides more coverage than the usual shrug. "Sweater shrug" is fairly accurate but sounds a bit silly. "Slankette", or an abbreviated version of the "slanket" (a blanket with sleeves) might be another idea but is even sillier. Leaving that question aside, while I don't think I'd wear this piece as I like knitwear to have a more definite shape and structure, this isn't a bad layering piece to be worn over casual clothes.
Boo Boo. This design was born when the designer made a sweater, didn't like the way the sweater fit the model, and so cut it down into a skirt. Much as I hate to discourage creative efforts to salvage projects gone wrong and to avoid waste, and as gorgeous as the fair isle and ribbed hem are, I don't think the remodelling effort was quite successful. The skirt looks too much like a made-over, tacked-together cardigan. I'd rework it a bit more, by either by omitting that line of hand stitching that's holding it together and putting in a zipper or buttons, or by skipping that front steek altogether and keeping the solid circular construction.
Wilwarinda. This one can be worn as either a wrap skirt or as a shawl, and I'm liking the visually interesting lines and colourway.
Habanero. Oooh, nice piece. This has excellent shaping, is flattering, and would look good over so many outfits and on so many occasions.
Cowichan Waves. This designer came up with this hat and cowl because she wanted to use the Cowichan knitting techniques she'd learned in a class (and she also wrote an accompanying post about the history of Cowichan knitting). I would say these pieces are a worthy addition to the traditional Cowichan sweater style.
High Voltage. The first quip that came to mind when I looked at these socks is that they'd be perfect to wear on a date with a Flash Gordon fan, but as I looked at them more carefully the energy bolts started to look more like sperm to me. I suppose they could still be a good thing to wear on a date with a Flash Gordon fan, but... perhaps not on the first date? But that's your decision, of course. I don't know your life.
Lesula. I'm quite liking these, which have the look of old school, dapper menswear.
Welcome. This is the kind of thing one wears to host a dinner party where one wants the dinner party guests kept slightly off-kilter and bemused. Or when one is the manic pixie dream girl type and everyone knows it's simply par for the course.
A Bit of Funk. This piece was designed for the designer's mother, who informed her daughter that she "was done being normal and from now on she was going to wear clothes that didn't even try to be normal". (Which is actually awesome and reminded me of Alison Lurie's lovely little essay on the day she turned her back on fashion at the age of 60.) The designer writes that she "tried to satiate her [mother's] appetite for weirdness... while designing something that won't embarrass my kids." I'm sure her mother liked her sweater coat and that the grandchildren will be unbothered by the sight of Grandma in it, but I don't think the designer quite succeeded in creating a coherent design. Weirdness in design requires an unapologetic panache and a certain internal logic, while this design is both playing it safe and classic and timidly proffering a few off-beat details.
I'd rejig this a bit here and there. The shaping and stitchwork in the body are great. I like the old style details of clasps on the front and silver buttons on the cuffs, so those can stay too. The pocket, which is in a similar colour to the body of the coat, looks merely faded, so I'd either do it in another, contrasting colour, or the same colour as the main colour. The lace edging at the hem and cuffs is a nice concept but a little too delicate looking for a sweater, so I'd knit the lace in a fun contrasting colour, possibly matching it to the pocket colour. I'm not thrilled with that back collar, with its rolling edges, or with the way it sits at the front, so I think I might change the shape to a square collar, and maybe add some embroidery to match what's on the pocket.
Roundup Rug. This little mat, which is woven, is a nice piece in itself, but I keep seeing it as a rug in the living room of a modern-style dollhouse rather than a kitchen table mat. But then I don't know either your kitchen table or your dollhouse.
Dendritic. Quite like these. They're attractive and practical and would knit up very quickly.
Monday, 12 June 2017
Knitty has released their Early Fall 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?
Ancyra. Not bad. I'm not thrilled with those unfinished-looking edges, but they don't show when the cowl is on.
Wolkig. Very pretty. The ruched effect is very attractive on a cowl.
Napi. Not too impressed with this one, though there's nothing really wrong with it. A better, smarter colourway would make this design look more appealing and pulled together.
Rhombus Lamina. Now this is something different, although it's so different I don't know how wearable it is. I'd feel silly wearing this, but shortening the back to be the same length as the front and omitting the crocheted balls from the back point would dial this piece back from rather strange-looking to merely unique. I like the shape, the play of stripes, and the way the folded back hood endows the front with a shawl collar.
Collar and Tie. As I discovered when I researched a post on knitted ties a few years back, knitted ties are difficult to get right, but I have to applaud this design. It looks just as good as a fabric tie.
Longwing. Oooh, nice. The unusual shape and the stitchwork of this shawl work so well together, and it looks good on.
What the World Needs Now. Much as I applaud the sentiment behind these gay pride earrings (and that the designer donated the honorarium she received for the pattern to the ACLU), I don't know if I can get behind the execution. I don't think yarn makes attractive jewelry as it can never quite overcome that "made by a ten-year-old at day camp" look. I'd replace the yarn rainbow in these earrings with a bead rainbow.
Vis-à-vis. I'm liking the concept of adding a zipper to the cowl, which gives it a contemporary vibe that will work with modern clothes such as a motorcycle jacket. The cowl doesn't look so good worn unzipped and worn in a single long loop around the neck, but then cowls tend not to look good that way.
Sidebar Scarf. A handsome woven scarf.
Slow Fade. Some impressive shaping and stitchwork in these.
Vinculum. Not a bad pair of cabled socks. I'd make these a little longer in the leg.
Rose Window. As a lover (and crafter) of stained glass, stained glass-effect knitted projects are like candy to me. Very pretty little cap.
Bosco. This is an offbeat interpretation of the classic yoked cardigan. I like the combination of a traditional look with a minimalist, contemporary style.
Wisteria. Very nice classic piece that sits well, though I would add buttons and buttonholes all the way down the front bands rather than just the one.
About Lace. This is a pretty and wearable simple piece, but I wouldn't extend the lace pattern down the sleeve, as it creates a dropped shoulder effect, but would instead have the sleeve in stockinette to the edge of the shoulder.
Wednesday, 5 April 2017
Knitty has released their Spring & Summer 2017 issue. Let's begin our look at it with this pattern (which is also their issue cover shot), the Dingle hat. It's fun and pretty and I love the beautifully worked-out gradient colour scheme.
Stripdot. These have a slightly rough, crude look that's not very appealing.
Borrowed. This is a fabulous piece of work. Such gorgeous lacework, and I like that the designer did interesting directional work with it.
Amalgam. The Amalgam is designed to be wearable as a capelet and as a skirt, though as it is only 15" long it seems more likely to be used solely as a capelet. But then my opinion on this may have been coloured by the chronic skirt length argument that's been going on between me and my mother since I started buying my own clothes in 1987 and that, like the "I should have gone to teacher's college" argument, shows no sign of letting up. I do quite like this as a capelet. The mosaic strip is attractive and effectively blends the contrast colours together.
Brightstairs. This is... okay. I was going to recommend going with another colour scheme, but I think this might be a piece that needs a bright, offbeat colourway, as the design itself is offbeat.
Bakanasu. This piece has some really gorgeous stitchwork and it does appear to sit well, but I am having a hard time getting past the combination of acid yellow and eggplant yarn.
Checked Raglan. Not a bad piece. It has some nice detailing and shaping and good lines.
Thysania. The designer of this piece writes that "Thysania is a hybrid of a shawl and a cardigan, or an oversized shrug" and that she challenged herself to make a piece in the shrug style that was flattering on her. This is a difficult style to make work, and I think she succeeded. This sits and drapes really well. The stitchwork is interesting too.
Airelle. Nice little summer top with good lines. I'm imagining it in a variety of fun, fresh colour schemes.
Recital. This is one of those elegantly simple pieces that can be worn with practically everything in a woman's wardrobe and for most occasions for year after year -- until it falls apart from long, hard, quiet service. Draped necklines are hard to get just right, and this one works well.
Lycka. Not a bad little summer top. I'd make it a few inches longer, as it looks a little awkward and cropped as is.
Maryjane. The shape and the design isn't bad, but I don't know if I'd go with the yarn used here. It's a hemp yarn, and it doesn't drape well and gives the piece a stiff, boxy look.
Blurred Lines. This piece was custom-designed for Mindy Kaling's character on The Mindy Project. It has a certain "classic menswear meets one of the Peanuts Gang" vibe, and I can imagine it working if styled in the right way, which is to say, not the way it's styled here.