Posted in Knitting, Magazine review, Work in progress

Magazine review: Vogue Knitting Winter 2008/09

I don't read too many knitblogs ("So why would you expect anyone to read yours, missie?"  "Shut up, negative self."), but now and then I run across one that makes me smile or gives me an idea.  Such is the case with Dr. Girlfriend Knits. I went to this blog seeking help with the Treads socks, which Kim (we exchanged e-mails, so we're on a first-name basis; we're buds, you know) designed for Son of Stitch 'n Bitch.  The pattern is written with some kind of short-row mitered heel that I just couldn't figure out.  Sadly, the response from Kim didn't help much either, and I ended up doing a flap and gusset heel because I know that technique.  Anyway, the point is, while I was perusing her blog, I ran across a review she had written of a knit magazine, and thought to myself:  "Hey!  I can do that!"  Especially since knit and crochet magazines are virtually the only thing I read these days (hangs head in shame).

And so, without further ado, this is one of the latest 'zines that landed in my mailbox, and what I think of it:

Love this cover shot.  Very wintry and cozy with the whole "bundled up against the Arctic" esthetic.

In the "News" section, among other tidbits, I found a brief mention of the film Coraline, which is based on a novel by one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, and which apparently features some exquisitely tiny handknits worn by its title character.  Very cool.  (And ha!  I found a way to mention a book and author that had nothing to do with yarn.)

This issue's focus is on bulky knits, so naturally the Yarns section features bulky yarns.  Wow!  Vogue actually recommended a budget-priced yarn:  Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick.

Interview with Sandra Backlund:  Meh.  I don't care about what makes designers tick, but OMG the photos of her work?!  What the hell is that?  Mounds and mounds and folds and folds of fabric over the bust and hips and shoulders?  These aren't garments.  They're monstrosities!  Oh, but she says they're intended as "high art" and not as wearable pieces.  So what's the point, I ask?  Obviously, I have low-brow tastes.

Okay, onto the the patterns:

  • Meg Swansen's Snail Hat — Cute, and it does indeed look like a snail or conch shell, but otherwise, meh.
  • Jared Flood's Almeara Gloves — Gorgeous, challenging, and someday I will tackle them.
  1. Lace Scarf — The cover piece is such a huge HUGE scarf/shawl/wrap that, if I made it, I would just go ahead and make it wide enough for a blanket.
  2. Cropped Turtleneck — Side to side knit with bobbles and cables.  Looks like fun, but not for me.
  3. Textured Cape — I love the fact that this cape, which is more like a coat, has slits for arms/hands to slip through.  I can see myself making this, if not for me, than for my mother.
  4. Raglan Jacket — Flyaway-style cardi with big lace pattern on lower half.  Pretty.  The big yarn and huge buttons set it apart from the run-of-the-mill. A possibility.
  5. Round the Corner Hoodie — LOVE LOVE LOVE!  Nice shaping, cut-away front, 3/4 sleeves, lace shoulders…the only thing that gives me pause is the endless endless seed stitch.  But it's in my Ravelry queue.
  6. Medallion Jacket — Unusual radiating rib design on the back, nice shawl collar, but it doesn't interest me.
  7. Pullover with Scarf — Shapeless and oversized, and the scarf looks like yarn barf.  Someone must have liked it, but I don't.  Interesting yarn, though.
  8. Wrap Coat — Belled sleeves and a herringbone stitch pattern, but I really dislike coats with no fastenings.  And it's too short to call it a coat, anyway.
  9. Cropped Hoodie — I gotta tell ya, I don't understand the huge fuss people are making of this piece on Ravelry.  What is the point of a long-sleeved hoodie that ends just below the bust line?  My reaction when I saw the photo:  "Where's the rest of her sweater?"
  10. Cabled Jumper — First, let's specify that this is a "jumper" in the American sense of the word:  A sleeveless dress intended to be worn over a blouse or top of some kind.  I'm not overly fond of knit dresses, but this one interests me.  Except for that banded cable and ribbing at the hem, which turns the piece into a bubble dress, and I hate bubble dresses (hates them hates them my precioussss….'scuse me while I stuff Gollum back into his book).
  11. Eyelet Cable Cardigan — Cute!  And in my Ravelry queue.  I think I'll make it a little longer, though.  From the photo, it looks like it ends just below the waist, and I prefer cardigans that are at least high hip length.
  12. Cabled Pullover — Mock turtleneck with lace panel at front.  Pretty, but not for me.  And pockets?  I suppose they're an interesting design element, but these are utterly useless, and pockets should never be useless.
  13. Buckle Trim Pullover — Lots of texture and a variety of cables.  The deep slit neck is fastened with a strap and buckle, hence the name, although this trim could be left off.  Looks like it would be fun to knit.  I'm not crazy about the belled sleeves, but this is a possibility.
  14. Cabled V-Neck Pullover — LOVE LOVE LOVE!  Flatteringly wide but not too deep V-neck, and covered with narrow cables.  In my Ravelry queue.
  15. Belted Cardigan — Tunic length wrap cardigan with cables and a notched collar.  Nothing special here. In fact, I bet I could find a similar piece at virtually any large department store.
  16. Cabled Tunic — Cowl neck and done up in a pretty gold mohair yarn. The model is dressed as if she's headed to the office, with a midcalf pencil skirt and short wool blazer.  If I wore this to my office, I'd die of heat prostration.
  17. Bulky Coat — Bubble coat.  'Nuff said.  At least the pockets aren't useless.
  18. Cabled Wrap — Oh, is that what this is?  It looks like a shapeless rectangular piece of something with slits for armholes and held together in front with a giant safety pin.  Which only proves once more that I don't get "fashion".
  19. Squares Scarf — Oversized scarf that could easily double as a wrap with lots and lots of multicolored intarsia squares, 20 different colors in all.  Why, yes, it is Kaffe Fassett, how did you know?  Beautiful, but not for me.
  20. Fair Isle Cardigan — Very colorful and interesting Fair Isle pattern.  However, it's a zippered front, which intimidates me, and the pattern calls for steeks, which scares the hell out of me.  But maybe.  Someday.  A long long time from now.  I'm not quite that fearless yet.
  21. Zig Zag Dress — Again with the knit dress.  Pretty, with a V-neck and a Southwestern flair in the coloring, but not for me.
  22. Felted Bag — More Southwestern-influenced colors and patterns.  Interesting metal brads and post-felting embroidery.  A possibility.
  23. Opera Gloves — Beautiful delicate cable pattern and virtually the only piece in this issue NOT made with a bulky yarn.  These would make the perfect gift for a particular friend.  A possibility.
  24. Cabled Socks — I believe I've seen a similar sock pattern in Two At A Time Socks.  Nothing special here.
  25. Bulky Hat — You know those hats worn by the Sherpa guides on Mt. Everest?  The hats with the little pointy tops?  I googled for a picture and I can't find one.  Anyway, that's what I thought of when I saw this hat.  Again, someone must have liked it.
  26. Lace and Fur Scarf — I'm sorry, I just can't get my head around yarn made of beaver fur.
  27. Cabled Belt — Even if I still had a 24-inch waist, this ultra-wide belt would be a "no".  How does one sit down without that 5-inch buckle digging into one's innards?  
  28. Fair Isle Scarf — Sized for children but easily made longer for adults.  Simple and traditional two-color Fair Isle pattern.  A possibility.
And that is Vogue Knitting Winter 2008/09.

(I originally intended to review two other recent magazines in this entry but, given the length of time required, those will have to wait until later.  Besides, I need to pull out the thesaurus and find suitable synonyms for "interesting".  Tune in tomorrow!)

P.S.  Getting back to those Treads socks, a kind person in the LiveJournal Knitting community pointed me in the direction of an online visual tutorial of the type of heel the pattern describes.  Next time I'll know what to do.

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