Friday, October 28, 2005

Magazine Reviews

I've decided that I miss doing reviews of the knitting magazines, so I've rethought my earlier decision and decided to do an abbreviated review of some of the magazines when I feel like it.

Vogue Knitting
Vogue's Holiday 2005 magazine is out and there is at least one very interesting surprise in the magazine.



The articles aren't overly interesting unless you're interested in learning how to do a Latvian cast-on. It occurs to me that if a pattern called for a Latvian cast-on, the pattern would describe in sufficient detail how to do this.

There are a total of 40 patterns in the magazine, although 9 of them are for pillows, and many of them are the regular crap that have been appearing in the magazines for years now. There are four designs that I felt were excellent and merited mention.

Zip-Front Jacket by Gabrielle Hamill



Simple, classic design, which is truly in "vogue" despite what the editors might believe. Excellent use of color and fabric and shaping. This would be a perfect design to base a standard zippered jacket for future projects.

Cabled Tee by Michael Kors



As part of thei designers' gift of style section, Michael has created a beautiful design using Plymouth's "Royal Cashmere". The pattern stitching is beautifully laid out and the shaping is extremely well done.

Oversize Overcoat by Vladimir Teriokhin



Difficult to tell from the picture, but seemingly a well thought out swing coat design, using vibrant colors with basic black background. While I'm not usually a fan of using black as a way to bring together color, I think this design works quite successfully, and will be perfect for a basic overcoat that is very stylish.

Nubby Little Top by Mari Lynn Patrick



Yes, I know it's hard to believe, but I am highly recommending this design by MLP. It's an excellent use of silk, where she cleverly uses short-row shaping. Since silk shows all inconsistencies, short-rows would seem to be a lousy idea for this yarn, but she incorporates the stitch changes at short-rows as a nice design element. I just think this kind of design should be encouraged.

Current Knitting
I've made some decent progress over the week on the Charles Scarf.



Sorry for the lousy picture, this will obviously have to be blocked. The yarn torques a little when knit in plain stockinette stitch, but I'm pretty certain wet blocking will cure all evils. I did think the picture showed the color of yarn very well. Charles will love the color.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding early spinning, Emma asks, "What do you think (as people whose opinions I respect) my focus should be during these early stages given that my interest lies in produce yarns for knittng that are relatively fine (fingering up to worsted) rather than the super bulky novelties that so many people seem to be producing?"

This is a very difficult question since I don't know which parts you're already comfortable with and what you're not. Drafting is by far the part of spinning that I think you should master. Once spinners have a good feel for drafting smoothly, they can create any kind of yarn they want. If you've already got a pretty good feel of the fine balance of the pull and holdback of drafting, I would focus on different methods of spinning based on different types of fibers. Also, trying to work toward ways of maintaining consistency in your spinning.

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