Showing posts with label Petite Purls. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Petite Purls. Show all posts

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Petite Purls Issue 16: A Review

Petite Purls has released their sixteenth issue, and in this issue instead of focusing on designs for children as they usually do, they've decided to feature designs for adults. Let's have a look at it.

This is the Bizzy Tunic. The description that accompanies the pattern says its "designed to capture the confidence and joy of little girl style. It invites you to play with color and bring back your girlhood days, while crafting a dress fit for a full-grown woman." I don't know if I agree with Thomas Wolfe's claim that "you can't go home again", but I will say that you should not try to go home in this unless you want to hear a bunch of comments about the whereabouts of your pants. The collar on this tunic doesn't sit at all well and the word "tunic" is not synonymous with "dress".

I quite like the Ava cap, which is sized for all sizes from baby to adult. Nice texture and a carefully finished ribbed band, and that decorative poppy is a nice touch.

This Cascade sweater is the adult version of the child-size Cascade sweater from Petite Purls' Winter 2010 issue. I think I actually like the adult version better, as the leaf motif button band is in better proportion to the larger sweater. It's a nice-looking design and would be a good way to showcase a beautiful variegated yarn. I'm not crazy about the back shaping, though. I like that there is back shaping, but wish it had been done more artfully.

The Adult Navajo Pullover is a very nice-looking man's sweater, with a simple, comfortable, and yet somewhat distinctive design. It's an enlarged version of the Navajo Pullover for boys.

The Tweedy Upsized is another adult version of a formerly published pattern for children, in this case the Tweedy design from Fall 2011. I'm not thrilled with either look, but in the case of the adult version I think I would like it much better if it were done in a sharper colourway and were styled better. Those muddy brown and purple tones don't do anything for a design that is supposed to have a smart and modern effect.

The Pembroke Hat is beautifully cabled and a nice-looking hat, but I can't help wishing there was some sort of edge finishing on it. However, that might be my girly tastes talking. Many men might prefer this sparely finished look.

The Radiant Vest design is sized for both children and teens and adults. It's a good, useful piece that looks equally appropriate and cute on both woman and child.

The Asa sweater is a very basic man's sweater that has been put together with some care. It fits perfectly, the colours are part of the official man colour canon and blend well yet still have some visual interest, and the waistband, cuffs, and collar all sit just right. It's a first-rate example of the ubiquitous chest stripe sweater.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Petite Purls, Issue 15: A Review

Petite Purls has released its fifteenth issue. Get ready for some cuteness!

The Baddies pattern is for monster and robot crocheted beanie dolls. Which are weighted so that they'll pop right back up when punched. These look perfect for the kind of small child who needs safe channels for his or her aggression. I totally would have made one or both of these for my nephew when he was little if I'd had the pattern. His preferred method of greeting me from the time he could walk until he was about five was to run towards me giggling happily when he saw me, just like his sisters did... but instead of holding his arms up to be picked up and hugged as they would, he'd wrap one arm around my legs and pound joyously on my kneecaps with his other fist.

Knit Kid and Purl Girl are only 1.5 inches tall, so make sure you have the patience to work on that scale. Then again even if it turns out you don't have the patience, at that size you may finish before you know it. I wouldn't be too inclined to make these as designed. They're really for knitters, not children, and many adults don't care for stuffed toys. If I knew a child who loved tiny toys, I'd consider making them as generic superheroes. I do like that they're of both genders.

The Halftone Hat was inspired by city skylines illustrations in comic books. This is a hat you make specifically for a child who loves superhero comic books.

The esoteric comic book appeal of some of these designs has been a little lost on me so far, but even I get the appeal of the Onomatopoeia sweater. It's funny and cute on its own merits, and reminds me of the screen captions that used to point up the fight scenes in the sixties Batman TV show, in which the arch criminal's henchmen used to just stand helplessly about, waiting to be punched or have their heads knocked comically together.

Super Suzy is totally cute, and I'd rather make an empowering friend like her than yet another princess or fairy doll.

The Wristbands of Fury would probably be great for a child who loves Wonder Woman and needs to deflect imaginary bullets, and who could use a pair of fingerless gloves.

The Wonder-ific set is really more of a toy than wearable, but wouldn't take long to make compared to the hours of fun a child who liked them would have in them. And of course they must be worn with a cape at all times.

Like the Halftone Hat above, the Bricklayer Hoodie is based on comic book illustrations, this time of buildings in comic books. And it's a cute design, but I would rejig the pattern to make the placket lie closed in front, and possibly add buttons, a zipper or a leather lacing. Even superheroes shouldn't expose their chests in chilly weather.

The Super Stealth Gloves make me smile. Some of these designs feel too meta, as though they are more the kind of thing that adults think children will enjoy than something a kid will really relate to, but I can easily imagine a child having a lot of fun with these. Don't be surprised if your child spends the entirety of say, your next trip to the grocery store reporting back to the Hall of Justice.

I'm not sure I really get the appeal of the Superpants design. At sizes running from newborn to two years, they're for children too small to understand the concept of superheroics, and they're not really all that appealing to adults. To me the orange shorts look like diaper pants worn over pants, and the green legs as though they're supposed to be skin rather than tights, which are both unsettling thoughts in their ways. I think I might like it better done in another colour and worn with a matching sweater that would complete the look. The pants on their own look a little random and unfinished.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Petite Purls Issue 14: A Review

Let's have a look at the latest issue of Petite Purls, issue no. 14. As always with Petite Purls, which designs exclusively for children, you'll need to brace yourself for some seriously adorable child models.

This cardigan isn't the most accomplished design, but it's cute and wearable, and a relatively easy knit for a beginner with a few projects under his or her belt. The rainbow-like yoke above the tree or lollipop-style flower is just the kind of thing a small girl will like. And I like the two options as it gives a knitter a way to differentiate two sweaters if knitting them for two little sisters. I'm not a proponent of dressing siblings alike, cute as it might look to adults. Kids are individuals and shouldn't be treated or dressed like a pair of bookends, and the younger sibling may not at all like having to effectively wear the same sweater for years (first his or her own, and then as a hand-me-down). If you want to make a pair of coordinated sweaters for siblings, I'd really recommend making them at least somewhat different, as in this case.

This baby cardigan really doesn't have anything to recommend it. The colours are unpleasant in a... fecal... kind of way (and babies already keep fecal matters very much at the forefront of our dealings with them), and the design looks rough and slapped together, as though the designer just couldn't be bothered even trying. I mean, couldn't the designer have made the effort to make the neck and collar look somewhat finished? Or to make the single button less random?

I quite like this pullover. It's bright and eye-catching, and I always love to see Noro in action. I would make just one tweak: I'd knit in a bar of colour on the upper right side of the sweater to balance the colour bar on the lower left side. I might also not make the sleeves raglan so that the stripe can go all the way to the shoulder.

Nice baby pullover. I do think the collar looks a little awkward (babies don't have long necks and it doesn't make much sense to make them funnel-like collars), but otherwise this is adorable. And if you make this for a baby of your acquaintance, his father might just put in an order for one in his size.

Sock monkeys have never really appealed to me, and find the hood of this sweater to be just too unwieldy but must admit that if you like sock monkeys, and more importantly if the child in question does, this is a cute sock monkey cardigan. I love that the designer went the extra mile and used sock monkey buttons.

I quite like this hat. It's bright and colourful and the design feels both balanced and fluid. Perhaps this isn't surprising given that the hat is based on the South American chullo hat, and there's nothing like a design that's been around for a few centuries: the bugs have all been worked out, and the design has reached such a stage of perfection that even the imitations of it look good.

Love this argyle vest. Doing just a few argyle squares and placing them off-centre gives this sweater look fresh and updated and not as all as though it's meant to be worn with a pocket protector.

Eye-catching cardigan design that reminds me obscurely of some sort of Elizabethan court dress, as it often had that kind of lattice embroidery and purple and gold are a very royal colour combination. I don't care for the colourway and would make this in more subtle analogous colours like blue and green, but I'm sure that's much more due to my anti-yellow bias than because of any objective reason — this is a perfectly good complementary colour scheme.

This jumper is one of those patterns that really make me sit up and take notice because it is so original and striking. I love the yoke, the corresponding hem edging, the little pocket with the birds, the pretty touch lent by the ribbon at the yoke. And this is a very practical design in that it could originally be made dress length and morph into a sweater as the child's arms and legs grow (as every parent knows, a child's limbs generally grow faster than anything else).

Not a fan of these bibs, which are rough and amateurish looking. However, they're cute and easy to whip up and I'm sure no one really asks more than that of something that's going to be spit up and slobbered upon.

And we end on a high note with this wonderful butterfly tam. I love that the designer managed to marry butterflies and fair isle design, I love the bright, striking colourway, I love the technically accomplished design. Kudos to this designer for this piece.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Petite Purls, Issue 13: A Review

I only discovered Petite Purls when I began this blog, and I was sorry not to have seen it before. It features very cute and clever patterns for children's clothing and toys, and all their patterns are available for free online. Let's take a look at Petite Purls' Issue 13.

Not a bad little doll, though the shape of the wings looks rough, I wouldn't have made the arms and legs that stringy because they look out of proportion with the rest of the doll, and I would have coordinated the colours a little better. Though I suspect any little girl who was given this wouldn't be as critical as I'm being.

This sweater is pretty, but maybe not all that wearable. It looks like a sweater made to be worn only in summer, but I would feel it needs to be layered over something because it'll show a good bit of the skin on the little girl's chest, and putting something under it makes it not practical for summer's heat. Maybe I'm just being a little too prim about feeling a toddler shouldn't wear this sweater by itself?

This vest is a "Pirates of the Caribbean sweater". Creating a theme sweater is one way to get away from the usual "stripe across the chest" boy's sweater pattern.

Really, really like this one! This dress with its knitted bodice would be a good way to use up small amounts of yarn, be quick and easy to make and very cool and comfortable to wear, and is ever so pretty.

This would have been cute to make for a boy in say, 1942, but I wouldn't make it for a small boy in 2012, any more than I would dress him in knickerbockers. It's just too quaint and odd-looking and out of step with how boys dress now, and would make him stand out from other boys in a way neither he nor they will like. The designer does say she lives in Germany, and maybe this look would be quite appropriate there, but I can't see these shorts working for a North American boy. Though I bet the mother in this Onion article would think it "really smart".

These two patterns are crocheted, but they're so adorable and inventive that I just had to include them. Once you're finished making the whale and its little ocean blanket, the blanket can be folded up and stored away in the whale, along with some toys, making it the perfect take-along item for going to the beach or the park.

Another practical idea: a pocket on the front of a sweater to hold the baby's toys. It reminds me of the sleeper I gave one of my nieces when she was born and that had a squeak toy sewn into the front of it. It made playing with the baby very convenient. Though my niece's two older siblings (then aged 3 and 15 months) did get a little too into squeezing their newborn baby sister to make her clothes squeak.

Quite like this one. It'll look just right with a dress and be the perfect cover up for summer evenings. The XO cable on the sleeves is cute in a age-appropriate way. The sleeves are too long but when you're making clothes for children it's a good idea to aim for a size too large so they can get two years' wear out of it instead of just one.

I wouldn't have included these sweaters as they are just generically nice (although those colour combinations are unusually sharp and crisp) but for one detail: the strap that allows for the rolling up and fastening of the sleeves. It's very practical and will help you keep your child presentable right through sandbox time and finger painting... until lunch gets spilled down the front of the sweater.

Another cute, cool, comfortable, easy-to-make summer dress with a knitted bodice and fabric skirt.

The two knitted bodice dresses in this post reminds me of a similar one I made for my little grandniece, using a pattern from Vogue Knitting's Spring/Summer issue from 1990, though I just used the basic instructions and did not include VK's intarsia pattern or go with anything like its colourway. But I made it entirely from materials I had lying around and even had enough yarn left to whip up a matching purse. I'm not going to be posting much about my own projects on this blog, but just for this once, here's the picture.