Monday, 28 September 2015
Interweave Knits has released a special gifts issue in time for us to make things for the upcoming holidays. Let's have a look at it, shall we?
Sugar & Spice Hat. Cute and cleverly worked out as to colour and design, if it is more my idea of a hat to wear when one is going out for a beverage and/or baked goods, rather than a hat to sport when one is baking at home.
Felted Entrelac Potholders. These potholders are not bad looking, and rather eye-catching, which is a good thing in an item with a diabolical ability to hide itself away just when one wants it. These could also be made in colours to match your kitchen.
Buck Jacket. This is rather a nice, wearable piece, though it deserved a less blah colourway.
Felted Snowmen Pillows. Way too kitschy and slapped together for my tastes.
Mega Aran Throw. Classic Aran afghan.
Lucky Hearts Pullover. Quite like this beaded child's sweater, which is very wearable and the kind of thing many a little girl would love, but I would leave off the beads that appear on the bottom hem, as they look to be a touch too much to me. I would also neaten up the fit through the bottom. I don't like to put very fitted clothes on a child, but I don't like putting them in things that fit like a tent either.
Bulky Waves Scarf. This is definitely a more attractive and graceful-looking warm piece to pair with a winter coat than the usual bulky knit rectangular scarf.
Sister Legwarmers. The stitchwork is pleasing enough, but I can't say I find such short legwarmers flattering or attractive on even these models' legs.
Sweet Little Cardigan. Pretty and classic child's sweater.
Alpaca Poncho. This isn't an unattractive piece at all, though it does look a little constrictive to wear. But then this woman also puts her books under glass, so perhaps she has some compartmentalization issues.
Compordach Mittens. Nice mittens. I like the idea of using a different colour for the lining. Little hidden touches like that do add something to the pleasure of using an item, even if the wearer is the only one who knows they are there.
Gotland Mittens. Pretty, but I wish they were more shaped. I can see why they aren't though, shaping the wrist would spoil the looks of the pattern.
Appliqué Mittens. I would have taken this idea steps farther by say, making the appliqués more decorative and better coordinated.
Ragg Convertible Mitts. I wish I'd been able to make my father a pair of these mitts back in the day when he was doing construction work and he was wearing a pair of mittens over a pair of gloves and would take the mitts off to do anything that required manual dexterity. Such mitts would perhaps have made his work days easier and they would have matched his socks.
Starflower mittens. So pretty!
Damask Mittens. The child's version is very cute, but the adult version looks a little too unfinished.
Olivia's Journey. Very nice!
Newfoundland Mittens. I get that the index finger makes these mittens more practical, but man do they ever look ridiculous and even a little disturbing.
Madder Mittens. Another very pretty pair of mittens.
Fancy Braid Mitts. Not a bad pair of fingerless mitts.
Trapper's Hat. I am sure this is quite warm and practical, but it does look more than a little silly, like something a hipster mushroom farmer would wear.
Badge Cowl. This is handsome, wearable piece.
Homestead Shawl. This is Mrs. Hipster Mushroom Farmer, but at least she has better taste in knitwear than her husband. This is a rather nice understated piece, and would be a good project for a beginner.
Sampler Stole. When Mrs. Hipster Mushroom Farmer goes out to inoculate the mushroom logs, she likes to throw an afghan on over her coveralls. She was dressing like a couch before it was cool.
Plain & Fancy Hat. Mr. Hipster Mushroom Farmer felt that being a good mushroom farmer meant being one with the mushrooms, which in turn meant dressing like one.
Winter Thyme Cowl. Mr. and Mrs. Hipster Mushroom Farmer were generally mocked and shunned by their neighbours, but a few of them did deign to ask for Mrs. Hipster Mushroom Farmer's lovely cowl pattern.
Lace Ribbon Scarf. I'm not sure I would care to wear this one. It's so literal a rendering of a ribbon that it would make me feel gift-wrapped.
Orchid Scarf. When Mr. and Mrs. Hipster Mushroom Farmer decided to add start growing orchids as well as mushrooms, Mrs. Hipster Mushroom Farmer made a lovely orchid scarf to commemorate the occasion and to help her dress the part. As their neighbours agreed, those hipsters might be unbearably pretentious and have a incomprehensible suspender fetish, but they did usually know their knitwear.
Lace Basket Scarf. This one's a bit rough-looking for my tastes.
Galax Shawl. The lovely shawl that Mrs. Hipster Mushroom Farmer made and donned in an effort to entice the hired man to run away with her and start a new life as owners of an ironic bowling alley.
Monday, 25 August 2014
Interweave has released its annual Interweave Knits Gifts 2014 issue, which starts out slow but then gets to some really fantastic patterns. Let's begin.
The Fawn and Reindeer Ornaments. This design could use a little more polishing, as they are a little on the lumpy and shapeless side. I'd maybe put a cardboard square in these rather than stuffing, and make the design a bit more detailed.
The Mini Stocking pattern. This is a pretty little stocking and would make a good way to "gift wrap" a gift card, though I would shape it a touch more.
Swagger Sweater, Swagger Hats, and Snowflake Coozie. These aren't the kind of thing I would take time to make, but I have to admit they are kind of fun and would make neat little party decor items. Also if they were all made unique, they'd be a good way for your guests to keep track of which beer bottle was theirs, a sort of knitter's version of wine charms.
The Humpty Bunny design. Very cute. And there'll never be any need for all the king's horses and all the king's men to try to put this bunny together again.
Knitted Strawberries. These are a good knitted rendering of strawberries, should you need knitted strawberries to decorate anything.
The Kit and Kat Pullovers. I like these designs on the whole (and what little girl who plays with dolls at all wouldn't like a "mommy and dolly" sweater set) but the combination of worsted weight yarn and ribbing do make the little girl's sweater look more than a bit on the bulky side for my taste.
The Teatime Linen Set. This would be a cute little set to make if you feel like indulging that tea party-loving child in your life, and it will be gratifying to remember that no actual tea will ever stain your work.
Mama's Socks. These are just adorable. Love the design and the colourway.
Treasure Bags. As someone who has whipped up many a little matching purse to go with the most recent little girl's dress or sweater I've made, I'm happy to see these patterns. Very pretty lacework, and it comes in both the square and circular version.
The Sweetheart Tablet Cover and Faeroe Phone Covers. These are quite pretty, and practical too, as they are lined to protect the gadgets they cover. The tablet cover is my favourite, probably because the designer had the room to go with a more detailed design. If I had an iPad or a cell phone, I'd totally knit or sew covers for them, because so many of the commercially made covers for them are hideous.
The Fir-Cone Sachet. Oh, how lovely. There's nothing quite like the charm of a beautifully detailed little piece like this one.
The Winter Woods Hat and Gloves. Very pretty and eye-catching set. I'd make the wrists of the gloves more fitted. The designer was probably trying to tie the gloves to the hat, but slouchy gloves don't work nearly as well as a slouchy hat.
The Leaded Window Shrug. This one is objectively an outstanding piece of design, but it perhaps doesn't work as well when considered as a piece of clothing. The front's baggy shape isn't flattering, though the back looks quite good.
The Barcode Cowl. Love this one. Being able to create a polished-looking, eye-catching piece out of only garter stitch (which tends to look beginner project-ish) is a sure mark of an accomplished, talented designer.
Woodstove Slippers. Not thrilled with these. I've seen slippers very like these before, and they're a bit too frumpy grandma for me. Using an off-beat colourway might elevate them a little.
The Cottage Christmas Blanket. This design is awesome — it's another very accomplished garter stitch project — but I would go with another colour scheme. That yellow used for the trees gives them an unfortunate "yield sign with the chicken pox" look.
The Rosebud Hat. Very much like this one, but then I tend to be a sucker for any kind of rose-themed design. I'm imagining this is in various rose-like colour schemes: red, pink, peach, yellow, and white, and always in a mohair/angora blend.
The Gingham Scarf. I love this scarf so much that even though I don't like gingham I suddenly want to see more gingham-inspired knitting projects.
The Fairbanks Cowl. Nice classic cable piece.
The Captain's Return Hat. Another lovely cabled piece.
The Voussoir Hat. An impressively intricate design.
The Radcliffe Cowl. Really lovely. The texture's great, and the contrast edging really finishes it off. This is one of the most attractive cowls I've ever seen.
The Medallion Mitts. Not all that taken with these. The overall texture is very good, but the medallion part on the back of the hands looks less like a medallion than it does muddled stitchwork.
All Points East Shawl. A lovely piece.
The Galaxy Cowl. Quite like this one with its subtle play of colour. This piece would be a great way to add a touch of colour and style to a neutral, basic outfit, or conversely, a neutral tone to a colourful outfit.
Mackenzie River Hat. Nice piece. It's well-shaped and has a good texture.
The Backroad Hat. Full disclosure: I actually know Elizabeth Elliot, the designer of this piece, mostly as an "internet friend" as we are both longtime members of an internet community, but we also met in person at a Vegas wedding back in September 2006. I suppose that doesn't sound believable, but I understand there's a video of the wedding ceremony that documents not only our presence at the event but also our (and every other attendant's) expressions of dawning horror as we realized that "Elvis", who gave away the bride and sang a couple of numbers, wasn't wearing any underwear. But I digress. Nice simple hat that will be a good way to showcase a variegated yarn and will fit well because of the elastic properties of the stitchwork used.
The Stashbuster Hats. Quite like these hats, which as the design's name suggests, will be a great way to use up odds and ends of yarn while looking like a polished design rather than way to use up yarn.