It's that time. Actually, past that time. Had trouble getting motivated. As usual, photos are from the magazine or web site, quotes the same, all else is mine. (Also, I've figured out a way to do the review without breaking my momentum, which means a longer review... both good and bad, I guess. If you're here for just the patterns, scroll on down. They're here.)
For those who think I get off on criticizing people, guess again. I actually feel kind of bad about some stuff in this issue. But my job, as I see it, is to save KNITTERS time and frustration (and money). And some of this stuff has to be pointed out, if I'm going to do that. A great deal of this stuff is fine (other than crappy size selection), but most can be improved with an eye toward fit and optical illusion.
So, the magazine. The usual advertising-as-article. Rowan's making a new bulky yarn, may the gods save us. Plymouth is pushing matching his and hers sweaters - again I appeal to the gods.
There's a free pattern available on the web site (somewhere unmarked) that's a knock off of the white angora cardigan that Kate Middleton/Princess Kate wore during her wedding. I'd tell you if it was free to all or just free to those with a magazine, but, uh, I can't find it.
A page of knitting art that's kind of cute; I may need to get some for the living room.
Trendsetter Yarns is advertising Big Fuzzy Things.
The weather gets cold, and people start knitting super-bulky. I could cry tears of blood.
The 'new yarns' section is balls of stuff. AGAIN. No gauge swatches, AGAIN. Fuckers. Anyway, it's about 'chainette' yarns, the ones that are basically loosely-knit I-cord. Considering that Clara Parkes' all time favorite yarn is said to be one of these, in cashmere, they may be worth trying out. They aren't cheap, though; think scarf, not coat, no matter what VK tells you. Debbie Bliss is doing one in alpaca/merino; Lana Grossa has one in wool/silk/poly, and Rowan has one in 98% alpaca with enough poly to hold it together. HELLO, HEAT STROKE!
Ad with Maryilyn Monroe's hair photoshopped to wool. Creepy.
Franklin (Habit) interviews the winner of last issue's mohair contest. No idea why it wasn't in the LAST issue, but he's always interesting.
"News" is pushing a Nicky Epstein book from 2008. Some woman is knitting her way through it. I wish her luck with that. Sincerely.
Signature Needles is making circulars now, short and long.
UNICORN BOOKS IS PUBLISHING ANOTHER COLLECTION OF NORWEGIAN PATTERNS. "Norwegian Knitting Designs: A Collection From Norway's Foremost Knitting Designers" by Margaretha Finseth. MUST HAVE! Wait. It's a reprint from 2002. How very helpful for VK to leave that out. Anyway, if you didn't get Norsk Strikkedesign in 2002, now's your chance. (I love my copy. Just saying.)
Spotlight discusses the new "Principles of Knitting" and INSISTS that it's coming out this year. I hold not my breath, but I would like to give a copy to my MIL for Christmas.
Meg Swansen writes about how to do short rows. Three different methods; Barbara Walker, Yarn Over Method, and Japanese Method. Being cool, Meg also credits who taught them to her.
Technique is with Nancy Marchant, who shows how to do two-color cables in brioche knit. A brain-bender, but very cool. Have you bought her book yet? No? Why not?
The "Special Advertising Section" has a free sock patterns available on line at VK, from Kollage yarns, Alpaca with a Twist, Mountain Colors, Simply Socks, and Tilli Thomas. "Download this free pattern at vogueknitting.com" what, they couldn't bother to set up the actual pages and PRINT THE EXACT URL to make the patterns easy to find? Sheer laziness and bad planning. (Let me know if y'all find 'em.) There's also a free cardigan pattern from Classic Elite. This one's actually on paper. Y'know, so you can find it.
And then, the patterns.
Section one is "Masterpiece Classics". When I read the word "classic" in regard to knitting, I think of classic FASHION knitting, as in stuff created since 1920ish that's really iconic. Not FOLK KNITTING, which is a whole other category - and all the stuff in this section. Don't get me wrong. I love folk knitting. Most of what I do is considered folk knitting. I think it's timeless and produces sweaters you can wear until they fall apart, so there's not a thing wrong with it. BUT IT ISN'T FASHION. For folk knitting to cross over to fashion, it needs to be adapted in some way. In other words, "inspired by", not "a copy of". The majority of stuff in this section is plain old Folk Knitting, so again I wonder why in hell VK calls it fashion. But the few fashion bits they've got are pretty cool. This sort of thing, along with weird and/or dumb names and mis-labeled techniques, is not the fault of the designers, who have nothing to do with how the magazine is put together (or how their designs are modeled); it is on the heads of the editors, who should REALLY know better, particularly if they knit. (Allegedly. I hold not my breath.)
1. Nordic Gloves by Lone Smevik Soleng (apologies if I got the name wrong).
2. Squirrel Cardigan by Yoko Hatta. Again with the term "Fair Isle" in the page blurb. SERIOUSLY, VK? SERIOUSLY?
3. Nordic Cardigan by Shiri Mor.
4. Oversize[d] Nordic Pull by Kristen Nicholas.
Russian Prime. And since Meg writes for VK they could have done a technique article tie-in, and made things really helpful. OH YEAH. BUT THEY DIDN'T. While I'm ranting, have a look at this:
5. Colorwork Vest by Cheryl Murray.
6. Snowflake Jacket by Yoko Hatta.
7. Nordic Yoke Pullover by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud.
8. Fair Isle Hat by Mary Ann Stephens.
9. Fair Isle Cardigan by Rosemary Drysdale.
Section two. (Please no more mislabeled folk knitting, my heart can't take it.) "The New Trend; Captivating twists pop against a field knit in the comeback color of the season". Please note, this 'comeback color' makes most of the population look like shit. The model is a striking woman with the best coloring possible to wear this lime green, and SHE doesn't really look good in it. So, you know... be ware.
10. Cable Raglan Dress by Sarah Hatton.
11. Cabled Cardigan by Mari Tobita.
12. Cabled Shrug by Devin Cole.
13. Wave Cable Jacket by Ellen Liguori.
14. Ribbon Cable Cardi by Helen Sharp.
like this... Wired ribbon is nearly impossible to straighten out again, once it gets bent. So the first time you fold this sweater? You've permanently fucked up the ribbons. Use regular, it'll be fine. If you fall in love with a wired ribbon, that's okay: get a pair of pliers and pull out the wires and you're good to go. HUSBEAST: "WIRED ribbon? Bitch, please. Do you want Dracula's collar or some shit?"
15. Ribbed Turtleneck by Pat Olski.
And our next section, my eternal favorite, the super bulky designer WTF section! "Bold bands of color invigorate that unmistakable Twinkle Silhouette." Oh, suuuuure. You betcha. HUSBEAST: "That's some bulky-ass shit. Is that for wearing around the house, is that what that is? It's gotta be. Plus size? HORIZONTAL STRIPES. That doesn't make sense."
16. Striped Cardi by Twinkle.
17. Striped Back Top by, yes, Twinkle.
Section, uh, three? Four? Next. Section next. "The Art of Lace." Blah, blah, blah. Giant portrait of Marie Antoinette looming over the photo shoot; not sure that's quite the way they wanna go, historically speaking. Then again, VK doesn't seem to know KNITTING history, so, why am I surprised? LET ME EAT CAKE, BITCHES. (Do not bother telling me that quote wasn't historically correct. What do you see around here that's historically correct? Hey. Is that a cupcake?)
18. Lace Cardi and Cowl, by E J Slayton.
19. Lace Turtleneck by Jenifer Stark.
20. Lace Bodice Top by Laura Zukaite.
21. Lace Shawl by Candace Eisner Strick.
Section next to last! YAY! "All About Ease" Knit these timeless fashions to look utterly boxy and waistless. No. Wait. "Unwind in generously sized toppers that give you room to breathe." Am I the only one who thinks "topper" sounds like a dominatrix? Yes? Okay then!
22. Bulky Topper (HA! A plus sized dominatrix?) by Mari Lynn Patrick.
23. Cowl Neck Pullover by Maie Landra.
24. Lace Belted Cape by Kristen Omdahl.
25. Rib Yoke Topper [insert your choice of dominatrix joke here] by Anna Cohen.
26. FUN FUR COWL, BABY! by Vladmir Teriokhin.
27. Jacket by Vladmir Teriokhin.
28. Cropped Topper (HA! Short dominatrix!) by Faith Hale.
named Vagina? Wait, what??!? Hang on...
SECTION LAST! HOT FUCKIN' DAMN! "What you want NOW!" Allegedly fast knits for allegedly instant gratification. "Knitterly [WTF?!] enough to hold your interest, small enough to wear almost instantly." Some of these WOULD make nice gifts. And at least everything isn't freakin' red again.
29. Hooded Neck Piece by Kalurah Hudson.
30. Lace Scarf by Carol Sulcoski.
31. Textured Hat by Simona Merchant-Dest.
32. Fingerless Gloves by Judy Sumner.
33. Leaf Mittens by Pat Olski.
34. Lace Scarf by Nancy MacMillan.
35. I-Cord Gloves by (ha) Karen Kendrick-Hands. Ha.
36. Cabled Leg Warmers by Yoko Hatta.
37. Braided Cowl by Laura Zukaite.
That's it. Stick a fork in me, 'cause I am DONE. Until next time, knit wisely.