Showing posts with label magazine reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label magazine reviews. Show all posts

Friday, 20 April 2018

Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 63: A Review

Today we're going to have a look at Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 63.

Nabeela. I love the stitchwork in this one, and fixing those dropped shoulders would interfere with the pattern significantly, but I can't help wanting to do it anyway, because those sleeves do look so absurdly short. If I were modifying this pattern I might go with a seamless sleeve, picking up stitches from the body and extending the pattern down the sleeve. But then you could just decide you like the loose shape and make it as it is.

Delft Cardigan & Skirt. This is lovely. The shaping of both the cardigan and skirt is good and the Delft china-inspired motif of blue florals on a white background is so beautifully interpreted.

Deeba. A very simple yet effective colour block effect, and the shaping is good.

Isad. This ripple pattern could have looked afghan-y, but this designer took the look an extra mile by employing slipped stitch and stranded techniques, and the result is a polished, contemporary wrap.

Paragon. A smart new twist on the classic striped sweater.

Taibah. I like this coat, with its offbeat colourway and variety of interesting stitchwork. The belt isn't doing much for it. It might be better to add some waist shaping, change the collar to something that sits a bit better, run the buttons up a little higher on the bands, and forego the belt.

Dudson. A simple, well-shaped tank.

Moorcroft. A nice piece -- the side detail is attractive -- but I'd neaten up the fit a little and add waist shaping.

Vanaja. A very decent looking boho-style crocheted bag.

Stafford. I'm finding this one unappealing. It has a rough, wrong-side-out look

Waterford. The pattern in this is quite charming, but the surplice shaping is unflattering even on this professional model.

Kayla. Pretty lacework, but again I don't think the surplice wrap effect works well. Surplices are hard to get right, as I know from having made two that I was so unsatisfied with that I wound up taking them apart again.

Spode. I like the bold, contemporary look of pattern on this one, and it's fun to look at the pattern and figure out what everything is.

Calico. The tucked, multi-layered effect of this pattern is inventive and attractive, but I can't help thinking it would work better on an afghan, as it's a rather bulky effect.

Ziana. As hard as they've tried to style this piece, it still looks like a random swath of knitting slung around the model.

Porcelain. The "teapots and vases" pattern is fun and eye-catching, but the shape is not flattering.

Beswick. A nice, wearable piece, but I'd add more buttons, as that one lone, single, isolated button looks so terribly lonely. NO I AM NOT PROJECTING THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Hasina. This is a basic top, but it's totally wearable and useful as a well-made basic tends to be.

Minton. I like both the colour block effect and the sideways cable/dropped stitch stitchwork of this piece. The design is good too.

Garima. I like the concept of a solid colour body combined with shoulder and sleeve detail, but I would go with a seamless construction here to get rid of that unfortunate shoulder seam in the middle of the detail, and make the body neater fitting.

Wedgewood. Wedgwood, Spode, Delft, Minton, Porcelain, Waterford... Rowan's on a real china kick with this issue, with more we haven't gotten to yet. Not that I'm complaining. I have a bit of thing for beautiful tableware, and china patterns are a great source of inspiration for knitwear design. I quite like this design too, though again, I'd have gone with a seamless sleeve construction here rather than this dropped shoulder seam. Though in the case of this particular sweater, modifying to get rid of a dropped shoulder seam would be a fairly complex job, so unless you are quite skilled you'll probably prefer to just make it the way it is.

Daya. An attractive yet neutral wrap. I like the combination of the contrasting textures.

Haviland. Not a bad tunic, though I'd stop short of the fringe.

Eshana. I like the madras plaid-like effect of this crocheted wrap.

Coalport. Classic cardigan with some interesting and unusual textured stitchwork.

Saguna. This one's as plain as it gets, but then sometimes a simple pullover design like this one is just the right choice for a beautiful yarn.

Tang, Song, Ming. I like all three of these pillows, but I'm not sure I'd use the three of them together. I'd probably pick one design, reverse the colours of it for pillows one and two, and make pillow number three in a solid matching or accent colour.

Lanika. I like the pattern through the body, but this has an unfinished look. Curling edges always do make feel a bit twitchy.

Aynsley. A sharp, graphic effect. I'm dying to see it done in another colourway.

Olena. Pretty, though I wish I could get a look at those front edges to see whether and how they are finished.

Umnia. An interesting combination of mosaic stitchwork and colour blocking, though I don't feel this colourway does the design justice.

Barlin. An attractive and useful summer cardi.

Janan. The shoulder/side shaping is unfortunate, and the sleeves look like a mutation.

Maida. This crocheted cardi has a smart, contemporary appeal.

Gayana. I can't imagine any occasion for which I'd care to wrap a swath of crocheted fabric over my jeans and call it a skirt, and for obvious reasons this "skirt" can't very well be worn on its own.

Foolan. This one is pretty. The round eyelets in its crocheted pattern make me think of octopus suckers, but in a reasonably positive way.

Parul. This tank has the interesting colourway and stitchwork of the coat above without its problematic shaping. A nice piece for summer.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Noro Magazine Issue 11: A Review

In today's post we're going to have a look at Noro Magazine Issue 11. Before anyone points out that this was the Fall/Winter 2017 issue, yes, I am rather late in getting to this review, as I'd been neglecting my blogging, but better late than never, and I'm nearly caught up on the backlog of reviews now.

Pattern #01, Faux Double-Breasted Cardi. I rather like this one. As we can see from the styling here, it would make a good cool-weather top layer. I can't help feeling that it would be more useful with long sleeves, but if you do lengthen the sleeves, make sure to make them a little more fitted.

Pattern #02, Textured Cocoon Cardi. I think this one would make me feel as though I was wearing a hammock.

Pattern #03, Diamond-Texture Cardi. Another nice topper. I like the retro feel of the cut and the great texture of the diamond pattern.

Pattern #04, A-Line Cardigan. I like the sleeves and bodice of this one, but that is waaaaaay too much excess fabric about the hips. This very tall, slim model is really putting the effort into making it work and still not quite pulling it off.

Pattern #05, Elbow-Length Cardi. Very wearable. I'm not a big fan of the open front cardigan, but this one sits really well.

Pattern #06, Long Ribbed Cardigan. This one's so bulky it's more of a jacket than a cardigan, but it also sits well, and that is one pretty yarn.

Pattern #07, Diamond Motif Scarf. Very attractive scarf, and this is definitely a "how to showcase Noro" item.

Pattern #08, Marled Cowl. Some interesting texture and colour in this cowl.

Pattern #09, Brioche Cowl/Capelet. A nice, simple yet not boring capelet. The colours are so appealing.

Pattern #10, Infinity Cowl. I love the stitchwork in this one. It's an excellent choice for this yarn.

Pattern #11, Star Blanket. So pretty and fun.

Pattern #12, Fringed Poncho. This looks like a floormat with a hole cut in the centre.

Pattern #13, Striped Poncho. Love the yarn in this one, but the construction makes it look like a bathmat tacked together.

Pattern #14, Fringed Poncho. This one's an area rug with a slit in it.

Pattern #15, Capelet & Arm Warmers. I like the capelet, but not the arm warmers, and not the combination of the capelet and the arm warmers. After all, if you need to keep both your torso and arms warm, wouldn't you just wear a sweater?

Pattern #16, One Button Capelet. Simple and wearable.

Pattern #17, Kimono Ruana. This one looks like an afghan. Call me old-fashioned, but I stand firm in my belief that clothing designs should look like clothes and fit and flatter the wearer, rather than presenting like something that would look better on a couch or a floor.

Pattern #18, Pullover With Origami Collar. This collar is knitted separately, and I'm really liking the concept of a cowl made to coordinate with a pullover, which can then be worn together or separately. I like both the cowl and the sweater as well. The cowl has an interesting architectural look, and the yarn in that sweater is so very pretty.

Pattern #19, Oversized Vest. I like the vest part but not the oversized part.

Pattern #20, Cable Embellished Top. I like the design on the whole -- those interlocking circles are an interesting look -- but again, it would be so much more attractive if it fit. The model's slanting her body backward to make all the excess knit hang behind her, and how often does one stand that way in real life?

Pattern #21, Jacket. I like the yarn used here, but not the design. The jacket has a rough, unfinished look like a beginner project, and those lacing details look crude.

Pattern #22, V-Neck Cardigan. This isn't terrible but it isn't great either. It doesn't seem to sit all that well, and though that mitred construction creates an interesting effect in terms of the yarn's 90 degree change in stripe direction, the seam itself is unattractive and distracting.

Pattern #23, Pencil Skirt. Love this one, and I would style it very much as it's been styled here, with a simple, solid-colour pullover and matching tights, as the skirt itself holds all the visual interest the outfit needs.

Pattern #24, V-Neck Pullover. Love the yarn, which is like a Monet water lily painting, but I'd fix those dropped shoulders and neaten up the fit -- or just go with another more polished pullover pattern entirely.

Pattern #25, Poncho Top. This is another oversized piece, but this one actually has enough shape to it that it hangs pretty well.

Pattern #26, Sleeveless Tunic. This one had some great detailing -- love that wrapped effect in the neck, the ribbed edges, and the line of stitching up the front and on the pockets, but I'd neaten up the fit considerably. This is a piece that should be roomy, but I'd aim for one size larger than the wearer needs rather than more, and make those armholes much smaller.

Pattern #27, Shell Stitch Wristers. These crocheted "wristers" are actually quite interesting from a design perspective, with their beaded crocheted floral effect contrasted with ribbing, but I can't help wishing they were part of a sweater.

Pattern #28, Short-Row Scarf. A very attractive scarf. The play of colour and play of width work well together.

Pattern #29, Boxy Cardigan. This is quite pretty, and the shape is rather good, but I think I would add two more buttons at the top, as this has a "barely held together" look with only one.

Pattern #30, Bias Miniskirt. This skirt has that "reclaimed afghan" look, and worse, it looks as though it was made out of an afghan that was beyond redemption.

Pattern #31, Cabled Asymmetrical Vest. This one has some nice detail and the construction looks good, but I do have my suspicions about the lines of the body, which I can't see properly in this one photo that's been made available.

Pattern #32, Tunic Cardigan. Attractive design on the whole, but I'd neaten up the fit.

Pattern #33, Textured Stripes Hat. Nice hat. The yarn is delicately pretty.

Pattern #34, Oversized Asymmetrical Vest. Oh dear. The fit, the mullet hem, the sheer depth of those armholes... the neckline and the yarn is attractive, but the shape and sizing need a pretty thorough overhaul.

Pattern #35, Simple Cardigan. When it comes to "simple" as a descriptor for patterns, simple should indicate that there is not very much detailing, rather than that the designer didn't put enough effort into designing a collar that it would sit properly.

Pattern #36, Ribbed & Ridged Vest. Some nice stitchwork in this, and the yarn is beautiful, but this vest needed edge finishing at the neckline, hemline, armholes, and front edges.

Pattern #37, Ribbed Scarf. One almost can't go wrong with a classic ribbed scarf, and it's a good way to showcase a beautiful variegated yarn like this one.

Pattern #38, Sideways Hat. I like the yarn used in this hat, but not the shape or the fact that it sits stiffly upright. If I wore this, I think I'd feel as though my name should be Tuppity, Feefo, or Jinks, and that I should be living in a tree and making cookies for a living.

Pattern #39, V-Neck Vest. Not bad. It's nothing special, but it fits, has a decent shape, and is wearable.

Pattern #40, Cozy Capris. These capris remind me of that episode on Six Feet Under in which teenaged Claire and her best friend Parker try magic mushrooms and do some sewing while under the influence. The usually caustic Claire, who always gets sentimental when high, makes a pair of ball-fringed culottes in a crazy fabric or two, and presents them to her mother, Ruth, with a fervent hug and a declaration of love. Ruth, who is always thrilled to get any demonstration of affection from her children, proudly wears the culottes the next day, which only adds to the suffering caused her daughter's 'shroom hungover. Which is to say that while I may enjoy being reminded of this scene... I wouldn't make or wear these capris unless I was high on magic mushrooms or something.