About Woolly Wits

I am a hand-knitting designer and teacher. See and purchase my published designs on Ravelry.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What TO Wear Review of Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2010

Last week I reviewed the fall issue of Interweave Knits.  Just in under the wire (before the fall issue is published next week), is my review of the early fall issue of Vogue Knitting.  They have combined their spring and summer issues and introduced this new one so they have three cool weather issues and one warm weather issue.  This is probably a great idea from a marketing perspective, but has me all out of whack. 

Shawl Collar Sweater from Laura Zukaite’s Luxe Knits, Art Yarns ad,
page 8

I love the drape of this garment and the super-body-lengthening scarf/collar. This would be a great choice for the rounder apple-shaped body who carries her weight through the torso, especially the abdomen, but has thinner legs.  With this body type you want to put all the emphasis at the shoulder and hem - with very little visual excitement in between.  This long, long shawl collar is very dramatic and artsy - and a great opportunity to use a really special yarn. 

Cardigan Design by Yvette Silverman, Cascade Yarns ad, page 37

Again, I love the drape on this garment. The vertical patterning of the knit stitches against a purl background really lengthen the body. And, the peplum defines a waist (for those without one) and gives volume to the lower half (for those who are top-heavy. And, with a simple top and v-neck, this would be a great design for the more busty girl.

Short Sleeve Cardigan, Isager ad, page 41

Again we have vertical knit stitches against a purl background to lengthen the body. But, this time they end in a pretty bell shaped lace pattern at the hip. The elbow-length sleeves also have the lace edge trim for a lovely finished look. The neckline is (again) a v-neck, but, in my opinion, buttons too high. However, as we are knitters, that’s an easy fix. I would omit at least the top buttonhole and probably the top two, but then I am happy to wear a camisole under a top that’s a little too low for comfort.

#11 Long-Line Vest by Erica Schlueter, page 65

And then there’s Maude . . . .

This is a retro look that’s been ready to make a comeback for a while now. And, maybe it should. It’s a great look to lengthen the body to make you appear taller and slimmer, especially when the lines are not interrupted by a lot of color or texture. This design has beautiful shaping, which makes all the difference. (For comparison, see #13, which has no shaping and is nowhere near as slimming.) The cable work at the v-neck has a subtle beauty and relieves the monotony of all that mind-numbing stockinette stitch.

#16 Lace Cardigan by Fiona Ellis

At first I was underwhelmed with this design, although it hits many key ‘what to wear’ elements: lightweight, v-neck, open cardigan, etc. The bracelet length sleeves are right on trend for this winter. Then I noticed the lace panels on the body. They are skewed from the horizontal by short row wedges. This give a huge uptick in the knitting interest, it not the flattery factor. These diagonals are still a little to close to horizontal to be truly curve-enhancing. But, all in all, this is a very nice sweater, especially for a more petite figure.

#17 Belted Shawl Collar Cardi by Renee Lorion

This is a classic shape, and with the wrap and v-neck shawl collar, a really flattering one for most women. As is typical of this design, this one is cabled. Generally, cables fall into the ‘what not to wear’ category, since they add a lot of bulk. But here, Renee has placed vertical panels of lace between the vertical cable panels, which lightens it up, adding drape and reducing bulk. And, two strong vertical elements definitely make the wearer appear taller.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What TO Wear Review of Interweave Knits Fall 2010

One of my goals for this blog is to guide knitters though current issues of the major knitting magazines in search of patterns which best obey the rules of dressing to look longer and leaner. I’ve been slow to get this going since I’ve spent most of this summer away from home with no access to a scanner, but with the fall issues arriving, and my return imminent, I will attempt to pick up the pace. So, we jump into the fall issue of IK in search of designs which are not crewneck pullovers . . .

Florence Cardigan from Mission Falls Silhouette pattern book, page 15

A great, great classic sweater which will flatter lots of different bodies. It hits all the key points for my body type – curvy, broad shoulders, short-waisted. The design is simple – a fitted v-neck cardigan - with mostly stockinette stitch. What makes it sing is the lace which wraps around all the edges, creating a very flattering vertical panel in center front.

Cloisonné Jacket by Deborah Helmke

This is a practically perfect design for the inverted triangle body – broad shoulders and narrow hips. The shoulder line is a plain stockinette in dark brown. Just above the bust, is a lovely organic color work design in the brown and a bright blue. At the hip line, there’s a strong strip of brown and then a band of lace in the bright blue. All the emphasis at the hip to balance the shadowed wide shoulders. And, add to that a v-neck which fastens with a single hook and eye just above the bust. So, you get a diagonal neckline to visually cut the shoulder line, and it fades into a body-lengthening narrow open front. See? Perfect.

Arching Cables Jacket by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark

Soooo cute! And what fun to knit! This short, shaped jacket begins with a cabled belt which is turned on its side. Stitches are then picked up from both sides to knit the cabled top and ribbed bottom. And, expecially clever is the v-shaped increase panel in the center back to create additional shaping. The short sleeves are right on trend for fall. This style would work on many different body types, but perhaps not the busty. If one of those girls with plenty were in love with this design, I would highly recommend adding short rows to create a bust dart. This would also not be my first choice for bodies proportionately bigger on top, since the drop shoulder creates excess fabric, which means visual weight!

Cardigan in Tilli Tomas advertisement, page 117, design by www.jenniferknits.com

The disclaimer is that there is only one view of this sweater, and a rather arty one at that. But, I like what I see, and the hidden problems can be addressed with simple alterations. This is a great design for the A & B cup gals, as well as those who need to balance out a larger bottom half. The tuck pleats across the upper chest , as well as the ruffle at the v-neck add volume, but in a very modern way. Since I can’t tell from the photo whether there is waist shaping, I will HIGHLY suggest it be added if missing.

Forest Vest from the Classic Elite Woodland pattern booklet, back cover

Just like the Cloisonné Jacket (above) this is a great design for the inverted triangle. It’s got a v-neck – and double-breasted at that – and plain stockinette stitch at the shoulder. From the low hem to just above the bust are body-lengthening cable panels. They are not so dense as to add visual weight to the torso. The fit is close to the body, and possibly a little A-line (it’s hard to tell from photo). With a lot of attention at the bust, as well as the double-breasted closure, it’s not a good choice for the full figured. But, all those inverted triangles should take a long look.