Sunday, March 25, 2007

Vogue Knitting, Spring 2007

Welcome back to another round of "What were they thinking?" though my reviews aren't so scathing as usual (sorry if that disappoints anyone). It remains an eternal mystery, why VK can come up with really nice stuff for summer, yet turns out weird, freaky, or inappropriate for the season crap for winter. (Matter of fact, some of this is nice-but-not-seasonal, too.) I confess there are things in this issue I want to knit. So brace yourselves.

But first, before I get into VK, some exerpts from the advertising for you to puzzle over.

From Alchemy yarns:

From Berroco:

And from Decadent Fibers:

Okay. So. The magazine. Articles include one on the Baby Surprise Jacket and variations by Meg Swansen; an article about Koigu and how they do things and their business; an article about necklines from Nicky Epstein; and an article on closures (buttonholes, frogs, toggles, etc). The neckline and closure articles are worth the cost of the magazine, in my opinion. Lots of excellent information on alternatives to the usual stuff. Particularly useful for fixing up this season's crop of patterns with asymmetrical necklines, hems, and openings.

There's a 'season's forecast' photo montage showing what was on the runways for spring. Horrifying, but not Vogue's fault. In that case they're just repeating the news. The new yarn page actually displays the yarns in a way that makes it possible to tell what their structure is for once. Bonus points.

ON TO THE PATTERNS! As usual, words are mine unless in quotes, then they're Vogue's. Patterns referred to by number, not page. Photos are from the Vogue Knitting website. Though one of these days I'm going to scan in ALL the designs for one of these issues... Pretty sure that's legal for 'review purposes'. Haha.

The first section is "Land Ahoy" with nautical themes. (So original.) Lots of navy and white.

1. Short-sleeved cotton tee with stripes and some stranded color. Other than the obvious horizontal stripe problem, it's quite nice, if stupidly modeled. (Shoot the stylist. Please.) The model is wearing high heels with straps up to her knees, bikini bottoms, the sweater, and holding a bag. Oh yes. We go out like that all the time.

2. Mesh beach coverup in "Svale" from Dale of Norway. Useful, seasonal, nice, appropriate fiber... is this a sign of the apocalypse? I'm not wild about the hood, but that's just personal.

3. Red cotton tank. Back shaping so it doesn't just hang. Again, nice. I'm starting to worry.

4. Cabled cardigan. Nice enough, if oversized and boxy. It makes the model look rather large, and you know she's a twig. So I'm not sure it'd be flattering to anyone.

5. Cabled cotton tee with funky shoulder strapping. Lameass styling again - who hangs around in a short-sleeved sweater, bikini bottoms, high heels, jewelry, and sunglasses? I desperately want to knit this for myself and IT DOES NOT COME IN MY SIZE. Either I tweak the pattern, or I knit it and use it to inspire my diet. Thank you Vogue, for thinking size large means a 38 inch/98 cm bust. Assholes.

6. Navy and white cotton V-neck pullover. Nice except for the BIG HONKING NAVY STRIPE AROUND THE WAIST. Because we all need to make our waists look bigger. Though if you knit this and skipped the waist accents, it'd be a nice summer sweater.

7. More navy and white - this one is a double-breasted cardigan with a hood. (I'm not making it up.) What is the deal with hoods in summer?? Am I the only one who thinks it's stupid? At least the sweater has a waist.

Next section: "The Case for Lace" - because we all need convinced to knit lace these days. It's not like it's a sudden new craze or anything. Urgh. My big complaint about this entire section is, ALL THE LACE IS WHITE. Nothing says 'grandma' quite like a big expanse of knitted white lace. Plus it all looks the same.

8. V-Neck lace pullover in, get this, ALPACA SILK BLEND. In summer? Are they INSANE? I don't care if it has holes in it, you'll die of heat stroke.

9. Lace dress that's openwork so that you'd have to wear it over a slip, thereby making you wear two layers in summer and totally defeating the purpose of wearing lace (coolness) to begin with. At least it's knit in cotton, and would be kind of flattering to most figures.

10. Jacket knit in several directions (diagonal fronts, straight back). Also done in cotton. This is probably the pick of the litter if you want to knit some lace for summer, but I just flat-out don't like the lace patterns. For what that's worth.

11. Linen tank. Another one that's so openwork it'd have to be worn over something else, but it would look nice over another tank. And it's linen so it would be cool. Very boxy with no shaping, though.

Next section, "Baby Couture - Crib notes for chic heirlooms from four real grownups." Uh huh. As opposed to fake grownups?

12. Blanket and pillow cover out of alpaca/silk/cashmere blend. Cleaning that should be a treat when the baby pukes on it.

13. Simple baby cardigans in baby cashmerino. Nice. By Debbie Bliss. Go figure.

14. Jumpsuit. It's really beyond description, but the closest I can get is, it looks like a garden threw up on a simple white cableknit. Maybe it would be okay if you left off all the frills. Maybe.

15. Another simple baby cardigan, this one with floral embroidery. Done in, amazingly, SUPERWASH WOOL. Amazing. Pretty and useful. Wow.

Next section, "The Paper Chase". Officewear for summer. "Professional panache at its most newsworthy". The photo shoot is in a small room wallpapered with newspapers. One of the lamer themes from VK. (Though it still doesn't beat the packing crates from last year.) The model is anorexic and the photographer took every photo with her head at the exact same angle, so the photos drive you batshit even when the styles aren't too bad.

16. Sideways-knit cardigan thingie. I like it, and it's nice, but it's very slouchy and casual. They tried to dress it up with a funky (humongous) belt, but it still isn't something I'd wear as formal officewear. It's more along the lines of the sweater you keep in your cubicle.

17. A wearable suit. If you're anorexic. The style's fine. It's knitted skirts that make me wonder.

18. Seed stitch vest thingie. Nice, but I'd knit it in silk or alpaca and wear it in winter over a turtleneck. No one needs an extra layer in summer, for crying out loud. And if they DO, it needs sleeves. No idea what it's doing in the warm weather issue.

19. Short-sleeved cardigan thingie with waist shaping. Ditto above on if you need another layer, it needs sleeves. But nice enough.

20. Knitted dress. Anorexic model who still looks pregnant in it. Lameass pose. I need not go on.

21. Sideways-knit tank with a cable across the shoulders. This'd make a nice summer knit for someone looking for something fast and easy. And it comes in plus sizes - probably all the way up to a forty inch bust! oo!

"The Easy Life." Six 'very easy, very vogue' patterns for summer.

22. Halter. Nice if you have no boobs. I actually like it. I just wish I were 15 with no boobs again because that's about the only time in my life I could have worn it without getting arrested.

23. Knit dress. This is my favorite of the whole magazine. It's in horizontal stripes of bright colors, makes the model's butt look two feet wide, and the model is PISSED. She hates that dress. Look at that smile. That smile says "Snap this picture, motherfucker, so I can get the hell out of this." Ahahahaha. You can't beat entertainment like this.

24. Boat-neck sweater. Horizontal strips again, and not something I'd wear in summer. Even though it's cotton, it's thick and heavy.

25. Poncho-cape-beach coverup-thingie. I love this except it's knit in CASHMERE. Who can afford that much square footage in cashmere, and if you could, would you take it to the BEACH??!!?? It'd be really nice in a wool/cotton blend, though.

26. Bathrobe. It's a fucking bathrobe. Brandon Mably once again rides on the coattails of Kaffe Fassett and designs something totally unflattering. The model has got to be a twig, and she looks like she's huge. And it's knit sideways, which means it will grow until the sleeves drag on the floor.

27. Raglan crop-top. Nice, and if we added some inches to the bottom, most of us would even wear it. Though what's with long sleeves and a cropped belly? Am I the only one who thinks that looks stupid, like wearing a hat with shorts and sandals?

"Designer Allure". This is where they get four designers (only one of whom I've heard of) to do sweaters.

28. Lacey short-sleeved cardigan, knit in bulky yarn with horizontal strips. Bad in too many ways to count. The model doesn't look thrilled with it, either.

29. Crocheted lavender cardigan with 3/4 length sleeves and dorky bows. IT ISN'T VOGUE CROCHET, ASSHOLES!

30. Cardigan that I think was supposed to have an Elizabethan line to it and instead makes the model look pregnant. This would be flattering to plus sizes - but oh, yeah, IT DOESN'T COME IN PLUS SIZES. Assholes.

31. Cardigan - in cashmere/silk blend, haha - with short sleeves that have no finishing. It looks like someone took a nice cardigan and chopped the sleeves off it. And the cashmere/silk for summer sounds like heat stroke to me.

And that's it. We got short-changed another couple articles this time around.

Much though I hate to admit it, I think this issue is worth buying. The articles are worth it, and there's one or two knittable/wearable things in here for everybody. Even if you do wind up wearing them in winter.


Cynder said...

Your review had me busting a gut. Thank you. I needed that this morning :)

Amy Lane said...

That tank dress was was your review...I'm starting to look forward to these almost as much as the Sehkmet-you-fucker posts...(and that lavender cardigan thingie--I LIKE crochet, but that thing was cup-cake fussy, wasn't it?)

amy said...

You know, I've never bought Vogue because I don't have time to go through the magazine and see if I'd like it and it's worth the money. But I would like those articles... and you have just gone through the mag for me. Thanks!!

knitfix said...

Thanks for the laugh. You are right on the money. When will they get it? You made me miss YOU KNIT WHAT?

Lynn said...

Thanks for the review!
I will now actually go purchase the silly thing. :) I used to be a subscriber, but hated it at least 1/2 the time!

I really like that poncho/coverup/blanket thing. The colors in it are beautiful. But the beach?? *snicker* Almost as good as that knit granny square noro coat they did a few years back. Damn thing was huge. Who the hell could afford the yarn?

Debi said...

Great review!

Vogue's sizing with 38" being a LARGE is why they will NEVER get my $$$. Designs for real women get my cash!

Camille said...

If a 39 inch bust is a plus size, then there's a problem. I have one, and yet I wear a size 6 (US).

I liked some of the patterns in there, but not enough to buy the magazine

Bells said...

you know, I never feel the slightest inclination to buy VK. I get all I need out of it right here!

Catie said...

loved the review

Anonymous said...

Geez I'm so glad that it's not just me who looks at these so-called DESIGNS and wonders just who in hell would be caught dead wearing them... hmmm, maybe THAT's when they'd get worn... in one's casket to be buried six feet deep!! Deb

Anonymous said...

I hadn't even looked at the magazine yet but I will take your advice and buy it for the article on necklines.
This is going to be my year of perfecting my craftsmanship!

Kristen said...

I have to agree with you on every. single. point. Especially the ones that ended in "Assholes."

Are these people summering above the Arctic Circle, maybe? Because MAYBE THERE, they'd need to wear a cashmere coverup. If they were covering up a bikini, anyway. Next year we'll get the patterns for the matching mohair summer boot socks.

MrsFife said...

Living where I do, any time anyone uses "summer" and "Sweater" in the same sentence, I break out in a rash...I've seen everything from t-shirts to pullovers to lacy wraps called sweaters!
Oh and when I sprained my neck, I went around with my neck at the same angle that model has :)

Louiz said...

Must. renew. subscription.

Sarah said...

The funny thing is I like 31 even with short sleeves. But I'd want it for winter when I need to keep my core warm while chasing the children, you know.

Julie said...

I think 31 would be great with real sleeves, or even what's there with some kind of finished edge, like ribbing to match the other edges. It's the unfinished edge that makes it looks so stupid.

debsnm said...

First, Why, oh WHY is it that only red, white and blue are "suitable" summer wear? Next, where in this hemisphere is it cold enough in the freaking SUMMER to wear a sweater? I kind of understand the hood thing with a cover-up - presumably, you've been in water, and your hair looks like crap, so you need something to cover it up.
As for sizing, we all know that Vogue still lives in that weird world where the "normal" size is 0 and "fat" is a freakin 4. It's issues like this that keep me from getting a subscription.

sienna said...

I'm completely with you about #5. I need, need, need it...but have to decide how much ease there is and how to enlarge the pattern. Perhaps, maybe, only stick-thin people work at Vogue but do they not open their eyes when their out of the office?? Aaargh!

Fancy Pants said...

I do so love your reviews of VK. I was going to do one myself this issue but, in light of yours, I'm not even going to try. I've been disappointed by the last two issues myself. Weirdly enough, before I got a subscription, I loved everything in the magazine. Now, I like one or two things from it and I'm not sure I would knit any of them. At any rate, hilarious review. Thanks!

Andria said...

I must concur with Kristen that all my favorite reviews ended with the word "assholes" - particularly "IT ISN'T VOGUE CROCHET, ASSHOLES!" Also, that yarn? Gorgeous colors.

deirdre said...

I had coffee coming out of nose reading your reviews - not always a good look for me, but nice way to start the day -

thank you!

Julie said...

Anyone else wanting to comment on this review is welcome to e-mail me at

Comments have been closed.