Sunday, November 19, 2006

Forever and a day

I know, I know...I've been wretched about posting lately, but that's mostly due to the upcoming holidays...Too many surprises that could be ruined so can only post non-gift items from here on out, so that basically is, well, not a whole lot...just socks, as those fill my commuter time...

Here's Lucy!

I'm thorougly addicted to Socks That Rock from Blue Moon at the moment. There's something so squeegy-yummy-sproingy about their yarn that's just fun to knit. The colorway was designed around Wendyknits' cat Lucy and I've had Siamese so I had to get it...pools and flashes bizarrely but that's ok...turned out a wee bit long/big so not entirely practical for wearing with shoes but they're fantabulous as bed socks...almost like heating pads for the feet, so I like them...and no...I am not that flexible...for those not paying attention, those are my hands in the socks...

Got the newest Interweave Knits mag and reviewing the patterns seems to be the thing to do these days, and considering the lack of other content, here goes:

Cardigan for Arwen: Okay...probably will have a knitalong in blogland, but I don't personally like to knit sleeves sideways for fit reasons and drape reasons. Nice use of plaited cables and the hoodie aspect is nice. Needs a closure (easy enough) and personally, I'd like it a smidge longer.

Venezia Pullover: Gorgeous. My pick of litter for the issue. Some folks are intimidated by the small gauge needed for the fair isle work and by fair isle in general, but folks, really, it's not hard...only 2 colors per row, so it doesn't matter if the pattern calls for 2 or 30 colors...never more than 2 at a time. Unlike most fair isle sweaters, this is nicely shaped so much more flattering than more traditional designs. Kudos. This is good stuff.

Equestrian Blazer: Nothing particularly equestrian about it, but it's a cute design. Not something that I'd wear because it would look terrible on me, but I'd knit it for someone with the right body type for it. Also not sure if the thin shawl collar would behave well.

Pewter Coat: Really like this with the exception of the too-wide collar (probably fixable). Very nice cabling and seems to be a flattering shape with the not-typical-in-fancy-cables shaping. Would be fun to knit.

Enid Cardigan: Another really lovely design with its quasi-retro yoke pattern but modernized with the dropped neck and roll edge cuffs.

Retrograde Pullover: I like it. I know a lot of folks don't but I think the styling of the photo hurts the design. I'd also not make it as long. There's actually something quite retro and classic about it, funked up with the reverse stockinette thing going on. I'd also use a cleaner looking ribbing for cuff and hem.

Nantucket Jacket: Another very nice design...Again, I think the styling of the photo gets in the way...I actually like the 3/4 sleeve but could see it in a full length sleeve as well. Lots going on without looking too busy.

Refined Raglan: It's actually a good design, again with a problematic photo. This is something that needs Ann Margaret styling...a little 50s/60s hostess sweater. Needs a 3/4 sleeve, a better (read, not flat orange) color, to be the right size for the model and over some slim black pants. I'd also very slightly crop the sweater for a better proportion.

Rambling Rose Cardigan: Um. Hard to really tell about this one because it's so obviously way too small for the model, but it's really busy...the scallop shell detailing on the hem and cuffs are overkill...that sort of thing needs to be a standalone element, such as on the Dale of Norway Haiti sweater...combining it with the panels of lace and the two-tone business, well, as Nina Garcia would say, "I'm not sure the taste level is there." Coco Chanel would recommend taking something away...It's just too much.

Provincial Waistcoat: I know a lot of folks really like this, and I guess I see their point to a degree, but my problem with it is the chunkiness of the gauge. I just want it to be finer scale...not a lot, just a the next yarn weight down. It loses the delicacy I think the designer may have been trying to achieve and I think it wouldn't be that flattering for many...It makes the model look thick so that doesn't bode well for the average woman.

Corded Yoke Pullover: I like the concept of the design but can't see it as wearable for many. Sweaters just don't look good over strapless bras and anyone over 20 would end up looking a bit silly...very interesting use of i-cords but I doubt many will bother with it.

Cabernet Ribs: Another design with great concept but dubious wearability for real people. I love the idea of the "vest" part being 2 strands of the kid mohair and the sheerer long sleeve "under" it as being just 2 strand and having it all as one piece, but it fits like a leotard and even kid mohair itches when next to the skin so...well, there it is.

Touch Me Tunic: Bulky highly textured cami-tunic that makes the model look like she has a might love handle. Um. No.

Thrummed Mittens: Absolutely nothing original about the design or concept. Fine for anyone who doesn't already have 42 variations of this pattern.

Arctic Diamonds Stole: Nice lace piece inspired by Alaskan Native parka trim patterns. Don't like the color of the yarn they chose, but sure, I'd make it...would also be a great first project for new lace knitters.

Rustic Holiday Stocking: Not one of the better knit holiday stockings I've seen but it's ok. It's NOT ok, however, as a hat. Just cuz it fit on someone's head doesn't make it a hat, folks...well, not unless the egg nog was mightily spiked...then everything's a hat.

Jawbreaker Cardian: Ick. The assymetrical collar thing simply doesn't work here (rarely does but this is much further from working than usual).

Wine and Roses Mitts: Love these and I'm not a huge fan of fingerless gloves (aka "I was too lazy to do the fingers so I stopped halfway up the hand"). They're delicate which makes it obvious they're not intended to be glove/mitten substitutes and a nice size project for pricey cashmere yarn.

Cable and Bobble Headband: No no no no. Especially no to the pom-poms. This isn't 1972 folks...and it wasn't cute then either. I don't know anyone who'd wear this, aged 6 or 60 or anything in between.

Cowgirl Slipper Socks: Simply an excuse to write a pattern calling for Buffalo yarn which is about $100/yard (well, not quite that pricey but it's up there in terms of yarn, so you don't want projects that require much of it). They're slipper socks so obviously not meant to act like normal sock socks. And yes, the feather and fan pattern on socks has been done to death, but these would work up very fast in any worsted weight yarn so a nice last-minute gift for someone you wouldn't commit as much time as knitting real socks in fingering gauge.

Tweed Beret: Berets aren't my fave, but as far as berets go, this is a nice one, with the recommended yarn being one with enough body for the thing to keep some shape without the felting that real french berets undergo.

There you have it...overall another worthwhile issue of my favorite knitting mag...I don't know why I even bother subscribing to Vogue Knits and I know I won't be renewing that subscription as there's never anything to knit in them...