As always, things in quotes are from the magazine, and all photos are from the web site. Patterns are referred to by the number assigned in the magazine, not the page number.
First thing I noticed about this VK was that it's thin on patterns: twenty-nine of them. A quick flip through the backlog of VKs laying about shows that usually there are thirty-five to thirty-seven patterns in a winter issue. Considering three of these patterns are hats, they're really cheaping out this time around.
The new yarns are shown (on page 16) in pom-pom form. And just in case you might possibly be able to make out the yarn structure, some idiot sprinkled fake snow on top of them. So all you see are balls of puff. Anyone making pom-poms out of pure cashmere yarn should be flogged. Repeatedly.
There's an article on knitting and knitting books from Canada, like the US has suddenly realized people knit in the Great White North. Duh.
Meg Swansen discusses two-end or twined knitting, with a hat pattern as an example. It's an old Scandinavian technique covered in "Two End Knitting" by Anne-Maj Ling. If you like the technique in the magazine, get the book. I've got it, and it's worth the money. (A sweater made this way is listed in the Year of Me goals.)
Nicky Epstein discusses embroidery which I don't think belongs in a knitting magazine, but I'm a grouch and a purist. They can eat their crochet directions, too.
Article on Brandon Mably. Eh. Is he totally overrated, or is it just me?
Nice article on Scandinavian knitting, for anyone interested in that Strikke-along we've been kicking around. The suggested reading list contains several books in other languages that I've never heard of before, so that's nice.
and... THE PATTERNS:
First section is called "The Big Chill". VERY original. They've got a quote from Shelley to start it off and the whole thing is shot inside a house with fake snow and snowballs laying around. Not the lamest shoot I've ever seen from VK, but it's up there.
1. Lace sweater done in two kinds of yarn (silk and silk/mohair), giving it a cutaway look in the places it's done with thinner yarn. Kind of a cool idea, but in the magazine photo the yarns are two slighly 'off' colors - one greenish, one reddish, and looks really, well, bad. If I could find two perfectly matching yarns and wanted a lace sweater for winter (yeah, that would keep me warm) I'd consider it. Except for that silk/mohair hatred I have.
2. The cover sweater. Modular cabled hexagons sewn together into a shrug thing, with ribbing for the sleeves and neck. This is potentially a cool sweater, if it were made longer and not shown on a model that looks like an anorexic albino. As it is, it looks like complicated-to-knit shoulder pads.
3. Short lace jacket in thick-and-thin yarn. Because if you're going to the bother of knitting lace, you should always use yarn that obscures the stitch pattern. And what is the point of knitting a short sweater out of bulky yarn? Are you trying to stay warm or not?
4. Cabled sweater knit with bulky yarn. Because the sweater just isn't big enough and won't make you look fat enough, with JUST the bulky yarn. Probably is damn warm, though, if you used it as an outside pullover. The neck is pretty horrifying. Not one but TWO layers of bulky ribbing and cables.
5. I bet if the model sat up straight, those bobbles would poke out like a row of nipples on the belly of a pig.
6. Is it possible to come up with a more unflattering shape for a sweater? The idea of knitting a Fair-Isle pattern with variegated yarn is a good one... why not just knit the damn Fair-Isle? Why this patchwork weirdness that not only looks stupid but adds hours to the seaming time and requires two-stranded purling?
7. A knitted patchwork skirt in, among other things, brushed mohair. There are no words. Even the model looks pissed. And the styling... is that a jersey dress that's been sliced up the middle, over top of it??!!??
8. Sideways-knit Fair-Isle. I've been looking at patterns like this for a while now, seeking something with a vertical line that's more flattering to the female figure. While this is the best of the lot that I've seen, what the FUCK is up with the total lack of edging? Are they allergic to it? It looks unfinished as it is. And would curl like crazy if it weren't starched, or the model moved. As it is, I bet they've got it pinned down around that neck line.
Three unnumbered hat patterns, all knit in bulky yarns (which makes finishing a bitch), none flattering. The stocking cap with the rolled brim probably sticks out from your head three inches. VERY Vogue.
"New York Noir" is the next section, with the photos taken in what looks like a studio set up to be a roof top. What with being based in New York and all, I suppose it was too much to ask, that they get outside and take photos of the actual CITY.
9. Knitted jacket. What in HELL is up with that pose? Does the model have scoliosis? Flipping to the back, I can see from the schematics that it's a rather nice tailored jacket. But if your bust measurement is over 45"/114cm, you're shit out of luck.
10. The obligatory knitted dress. Because even if you had the figure to wear one, you'd be SO ready to spend five months knitting it and be done just in time for summer. Assholes.
11. Every girl needs a row of eyelets right across her tits.
12. Striped bolero shrug thingie. Okay. Is it me, or does this model look freaky, like one of those composite photos where they turn a person's eyes upside down?
13. I like this, but does "Knit a garter-stitch rectangle with short rows on one side for ruffles" REALLY count as a pattern? And for some dumbass reason it's not listed as a "Very easy, Very Vogue" pattern.
14. For some reason I can't explain, I like this. Even though it's really fussy compared to what I normally wear, with all those ruffles. But as a coat? You'd catch pneumonia with that open chest. And it would turn into the Knit from Hell if you used the recommended yarn - a boucle mohair. Boucle mohair. Hahahahaha. Right. I'd rather cut off a few of my fingers.
15. Cabled pink cardigan with 3/4 length sleeves. Nice enough, but I'd knit it in cotton and wear it as a spring jacket, not for winter.
16. Ditto for this one. Pink bolero with short sleeves and a lace inset. Not terribly warm for winter. And the construction method is INSANE: knit everything, even the ties, as separate pieces and sew together. 'Cause knitters love seaming so much.
Next up is a section entitled "Designer's Resort Crochet". Resort. Crochet. It's shot in a makeup studo, so so much for that resort thing. AND IT'S NOT FUCKING VOGUE CROCHET, NOW, IS IT, MOTHERFUCKERS?
17. Grey crocheted dress that's so openwork you'd have to wear it over another dress. Ugly color and about as warm as fish net.
18. Little lace camisole/tank top. Also about as warm as wearing nothing. And what is UP with the model's hands? She looks like she should be auditioning for the role of the alien in "Alien: Resurrection".
"Man to Man" is the next section, making me roll my eyes before I even read the text. "Men can be such finicky boys when it comes to knits." Let's not be patronizing or anything. And FYI, the husbeast would not be caught dead in any of them. The gimmick is, they had men design all these. Yeah, like that made a difference.
19. By Brandon Mably. Maybe if you left out the giant, honkin', stupid hand print on the front. And dropped shoulders are SO flattering on men. Har.
20. By Leigh Witchel (??) Uh... yeah. Fussy enough?
21. I am imagining giving the husbeast a sweater with an asymetric hem line and having him ask me what was wrong with it and how come I screwed it up.
22. Sweater vest with a pattern of purl squares over it. In red, white, and blue. Not bad if you changed the colors. If you know a guy who wears sweater vests these days. Anyone? Maybe I hang out with too many engineering types.
Next section, "Coat Check" also shot in a photography studio. They went to great lengths on this issue, I can tell.
23. Knee-length coat in five shades of brown. The yarn is held double throughout. Nice enough, but it'd cost a fortune to knit and the weight would have it down to your ankles after the first wearing.
24. Cabled-all-over coat. In beige. Eh.
25. Knee-length ribbed coat knit in CAMEL. Yeah, that's affordable. Probably the least inoffensive of these coats, but it reminds me of a bath robe.
"The Subject is Roses" is our last and final section. More like flowers, but the Plant Freak in me will let that one slide. And of all places to do a photo shoot, yeah, let's have one in an over-cluttered kitchen. Grand idea.
26. Floral dress. It's hydrangeas on it, matter of fact, not roses. (I know this 'cause it's by Annie Modisett and I read her blog.) I'll bet the model is holding that pillow the way she is because it makes even her ass and hips look fat. By the way, Modisett was told to knit a floral dress, so she did... it's not really the deisgner's fault on a lot of these things. Often even the yarn is dictated.
27. Boxy, off-the-shoulder blue sweater with bigass roses done in intarsia. This model is probably a size six and she looks huge. Oh yes, I'll have one of these. (Still, it'd be nice to rip off the rose pattern for a knitted bag.)
28. Little floral shirt thingie. I like it, but it says 'spring' to me, or even 'summer', not 'winter issue of Vogue Knitting'. And that cute little lace edging? It's machine-made and sewn on. Isn't that cheating?
29. Black chenille kimono with big floral motifs duplicate-stitched on it. Nice, but with that pose over the stove I keep waiting for the sleeve to catch fire.
And that concludes this winter's Vogue Knitting, because they ripped us off for about six patterns.