About Woolly Wits

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

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Woolly-Wits Reviews Knitty First Fall 2013

Back from vacation and I found the Fall issue of Interweave Knits in my held mail.  But, since I am still digesting my disappointment in that, I want to backtrack a little and review the First Fall issue of Knitty because it’s a good one.  I’ll get to IK when I am feeling more hopeful.

Knitty patterns are a reflection of their philosophy – a little walk on the wild side.  As a result, they typically skew young and hip.  That doesn’t always make them a good fit for an older, stouter knitter.  But, I love that their models are real people.  For those less familiar with Knitty, their designers are required to submit not only knitting patterns, but also publishing-ready photographs.  Since they are knitters and not professional fashion photographers (and not receiving a huge monetary compensation for their work), their models are typically themselves, friends or relatives.  In other words – real, genuine people with real bodies.  (Unless they happen to be buddies with CocoRocha and can catch her on a day off.)  Thus you have the opportunity to see the garment in a size 12 instead of a size 4, and can more easily imagine what the sweater might look like on you. 

Sinnesfrid by Madeleine Nilsson is the perfect example of a lovely vest shown on a full-figured, very real body.  And, it really shows that body off to its advantage.  Garments that conform to the body are more flattering than boxy shapes.  On the model, Sinnesfrid is a snugger fit than might be comfortable for some of us, but it is easy enough to simply knit a little larger size.  What else does it have working for it?  Side are shaped to emphasize the waist, the buttons and button band create a lengthening vertical line down the torso, and the square neckline opens up the neck.  What don’t I love so much?  The line where the pattern stitch begins cuts right across the bust.  This is not a good look for the full-figured.  I would move it up or down (probably up) so that focus is not drawn.  But, only two minor changes to a pattern is pretty good for picky me!

beauty shotVertical Ridge by Lyn Hale is a nice demonstration of the slimming effects of vertical vs. horizontal design lines.  And, it flares out from the waist for some shaping that emphasizes Lyn’s lovely hourglass shape.  A very nice design – but beware!  You want to be very careful where end your vest.  It should never be across the fullest part of your hips and thighs as it will only make them look broader.  If you are uncertain of your best length, Sally Melville’s book,   Mother-Daughter Knits: 30 Designs to Flatter and Fit, has an excellent discussion of finding your most flattering sweater length.  (Note to self:  good topic for a future post.)  If you need to alter the length, it is a little more challenging because you will need to cast on more or fewer stitches, so be sure to work a good sized swatch.  Complicating the matter is the effect of gravity, which will cause the lengthwise-knit sweater to grow, so estimate a little on the short side and block your swatch with a little extra tug across the rows.  Tug a little more for a heavier weight yarn.

Lewis by Jamie Besel is another nice sweater.  Fitted, v-neck, vertical patterning – all good.  For the bigger busted gals – be sure to knit the correct size so that the chest fits snugly without pulling.  I am not loving the way the model’s generous bosom is pulling the lace open. 

The Jackaroo cardi by the fabulous Amy Herzog is another good choice for real people.  Love the strong vertical lines at both center front and center back – so slimming!  Buttons and buttonband are another slimming element.  This sweater would not be so fabulous if it were buttoned all the way up to the neck because it would become boxy.  But, wear it open in fall or with a scarf in winter and you are set.  Did I mention the side shaping?  All good.  What’s to watch for?  The diagonal lines created by the slash pockets draw focus to the hips.  They also add volume to the tummy, so not the best choice if you carry any weight there.  But, the sweater could be worked without the pockets, although they are so cute it would be a shame.  The only thing that really strikes me as a little off is the ¾ sleeve length.  A sweater worked at a gauge of 18 sts per 4” always seems to me as more outerwear, and for outerwear I would want longer sleeves.  But, that is not a difficult trick. 

beauty shot

Not talking about Canoe. 

Do I love Checks & Balances by Boadicea Binnerts?  I do!  Would I every knit it for myself?  Never!  But maybe for my fifteen-year-old daughter . . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment