Knitty Spring-Summer 2011 Review

Knitty went up yesterday afternoon, and didn’t get completely clobbered!  Which is great.  But the issue itself is…not so great, sadly.  They’ve almost given up on articles, and the patterns are both relatively few and extremely uninspiring.  Even Stitches in Time is, well, you’ll see.

Julia by Jennifer Wood: I really want to like this.  It’s got a sort of chiton, sword-and-sandal feel to it.  Something about the execution is off, though, and I can’t tell what exactly the problem is.  Perhaps it’s just that it’s so clearly a summer garment but can’t be worn alone; the neckline is way too deep, and the fabric isn’t opaque, so without something under it you’d be flashing the whole world.

Corrinne by Crystal Erb Junkins: This is the first of the patterns from this issue that is just boring.  Not that there’s anything wrong with a nice, basic pattern, but usually Knitty is a little more adventurous and a whole issue full of nice basic patterns gets old.  It’s a cardigan, with a yoke, in garter stitch.  I shall wave a tiny flag.

Adeline by Heather Hoefle: A bolero for a coverup, OK, though it’s the second boring pattern of the issue.  But I have never gotten the point of coverups with short sleeves.  Maybe it’s because of my personal quirk, where I won’t warm up unless my elbows are covered, but I don’t see the point in something that’s going to leave me still chilly, especially given that the single button lives at about navel level and the thing looks like it’s about to slip off the model’s shoulders at any moment.  It’s knitted in the world’s dullest off-white yarn, in stockinette.  And just for fun, it’s in pieces and seamed.  No thank you.

Rondeur by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark: Very clever construction, but a whole lot of effort to end up with a not-very-flattering t-shirt.  (Seems to me this is the same designer who had two of my least favorites in the latest Interweave Knits, too, which implies I just don’t like her style.)  Short sleeves are a down-check, and I really don’t like the way the bust shaping hits on the model.  Shirttail shaping on the hem is a cute touch, but it really doesn’t go with the rest of the look, in my opinion.

Daedalus by Jodie Gordon-Lucas: I can see where the designer was going with this, but it just doesn’t work.  Way too much extra fabric hanging around; it might look nice when standing but it’s going to get all bunchy and annoying as soon as you try to sit down.  It’s a great big rectangle with sleeves, about as wide as the wearer’s arm-span, and that’s just not practical; it’s an art piece, not a wearable garment.  I do like the eyelet pattern and the lace on the collar and sleeves, though.

Make Up Your Mind by Julie Crawford:  From the front, this is an OK piece, once you get around the fact that an openwork pattern on the bust means another ultra-summer garment that can’t actually be worn alone.  I like the bands of different stitch patterns, though I have some misgivings about the wisdom of horizontal stripes on people who aren’t as petite as the model.  But it’s a racerback, and I know of approximately three women who don’t hate racerbacks.  (Also, there has got to be a prettier color in the yarn the designer used, but since yarn color’s easy to change I won’t complain too much.)

Amiga by Mags Kandis: The front bands are the interesting parts of this cardigan.  They’re wider than usual, and pretty clearly picked up and knit perpendicular to the main body; the buttons are the kind where you wrap yarn around a ring.  These things save the pattern from being boring as all-get-out.  I don’t know if I’d want to use the suggested thick-and-thin yarn, but that is personal preference, and honestly the effect is quite nice.

Omelet by Joyce Fassbender: The first of three lace shawls.

OK, time for a digression.  I get why people like knitting lace.  It’s challenging, thus fun, and leads to a really pretty finished product.  What I don’t get is the determination of designers that the finished product must then be worn, as a great big piece of fabric draped over the wearer.   I am in the SCA; I have worn draped garments; you spend too much time trying to make sure that nothing falls off, gets caught in anything, or goes into your dinner to accomplish much that’s practical.  Pretty lace pattern, great!  Put it into a sweater.  Or, you know, a doily.  I guess a lot of people don’t have doily-type houses these days, but still.  Sweater.  If you don’t want to deal with fitting issues, there are ways around the problem.

Right.  Digression over, back to your regularly scheduled rant review.

So Omelet’s pretty.  It’s a pretty lace shawl.  Next?

Lilah by Heather Storta: Another pretty lace shawl.  I kinda like this one because the designer was inspired by a book I’ve read, and rather liked, that being the sequel to Sharon Shinn’s Archangel.  And most people don’t do black for lace, so that’s a nice touch, and the manipulation of the lace motifs to give the desired effect is great.

Forest Ridge by Mary Formo: Lace, and not even big enough to have a prayer of staying on through its own weight.  The yarn’s a lovely color, though.

Verdant by Susan Newhall: The technique on this one is quite cool.  There’s a background yarn, with which you work all the stitches, and also a motif yarn which is only used where you want the motif.  Therefore, on the motifs you’re knitting with both yarns at once; if you carry them correctly, you end up with the motif yarn mostly covering the background.  It seems rather more fiddly than I’d want to deal with, but the basic idea is really neat.  That said, I find the pattern kind of boring; it looks like rather like wallpaper from the era when stylized vines were cool.

Summer Neckerchief recreated by Franklin Habit:  It’s a triangle.  It’s so boring they don’t even show a picture of it laid out.  And it’s intarsia to boot.  I expect better pattern choice out of Franklin.

Ornamental, Susanna, Rivercat and Zingiber: Socks.  Apparently twisted stitches are big these days.  Ornamental has a neat heal treatment.

Evelyn’s No-Sew Blankie by Janice Kang:  A nice quick little knit for a gift or the like, and the construction is neat enough to be interesting.

Flappy Flounder by cheezombie: A really cute little toy, if you’re OK with fish and great bit googly eyes.

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One Response to “Knitty Spring-Summer 2011 Review”

  1. Pattiisknittinginflashes Says:

    I looked at the patterns and thought the very same thing. Found nothing I wanted to cast on.


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