Saturday, January 14, 2006

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  • The Runway on My Needles

    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable
    we have to alter it every six months.
    -Oscar Wilde

    The new Vogue Knitting (Winter 2005/06) came in the mail yesterday - what did you think?

    My overarching impression: It's better than the last issue.
    My second thought: It would be hard not to be.

    One of the designs even made You Knit What! (one of the funniest websites ever and very much worth a long stroll through their archives), which is not a good sign.

    On closer inspection however (and good photos of the designs are available here), there are some really nice things in here. You definitely have to get past the first section, "Under Construction." Would that they had finished it . . . It features, among other things, a shrug-like contraption that can either be a deep V neck or a cowl neck, but definitely can't be either unless you have a 6-pack and a naval tatoo.

    The "Winter Wonderland" section is covered in bobbles - perhaps there was an avalanche during the photo shoot? - but has some lovely designs by designers you can count on. Kristen Cowan. Kathy Zimmerman. Nothing that I need to start this very minute, but good stuff. "Going Pro" has some classic pieces - Sasha Kagan is trying to torture me with all-over argyles in two different yarn weights. Does anyone think the mosaic pattern in sweater #26 is showing the wrong side? The accessories are cute. They usually are.

    And then we come to one of the great existential questions of our collective knitting existences:

    Why do people keep designing knitted skirts?

    I leave you to ponder that as I move on.

    One of my favorite things about magazines (and I love magazines - I get about 15 regularly) is all that stuff in the beginning. You know, the "In Brief" or "Around the Town" or whatever they call the little snippets of news and information. The knitting magazines are no exception. Interweave has the great Knitting Art and Knitted Artifact columns. Vogue always has a great technical article by Meg Swansen. This issue is on Armenian knitting, an entirely unknown-to-me approach to two-color knitting. It was apparently the style Elsa Shiaparelli used to knit the famous bowknot sweater at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (gallery tour here - it uses frames, but the sweater is under "Pour le Sport"). And here I'd always thought that was intarsia. Learn something new everyday. . .

    Generally, I like Vogue. I can't even talk about Knitters. (No link. It's a matter of principle.) My favorite knitting magazine by far is Interweave Knits - I think of it as for knitters by knitters. Vogue, on the other hand, has a crazy mix of knitting designers and high fashion designers (remember "Under Construction" above?) trying to bring the runway to your needles. Well, I don't really want the runway on my needles. But a sweater like my Winter Folly? If there's one an issue, I'll take it. At $5.99 for 37 patterns (less with a subscription), it's a bargain even if 35 are in the You Knit What! category.


    Blogger Me! said...

    I know how knitters like to "knetwork", so I thought I'd mention a friend of mine, Urban Domestic Goddess, who blogs at "Swanky Dinner Party" -- she's a diehard knitter of considerably skill. Her blog isn't knitting-related, but she's always interested in knitting.

    i s o n o m i a

    1/14/2006 6:09 AM  
    Blogger Chris said...

    Knitters. Argh. I don't know what I was thinking, subscribing to it. There must've been an abnormal issue that had something I liked. Every issue I get lately leaves me looking at the label, hoping it's my last issue...

    I think you're on the right track re: the "Winter Wonderland" section - a bobble blizzard would be the only excuse.

    1/14/2006 7:36 AM  
    Blogger kate said...

    I like one sweater...the seventh one shown in the "preview," the gray cabled cardigan (paired with the gray fedora). I'd probably knit it sans bobbles, though. Vogue is definitely known for their weird, often sack-like designs.

    1/14/2006 7:51 AM  
    Blogger Susan said...

    I haven't liked much of Vogue for a long time and even though I have a subscription to Knitters, it's no where near as good as it used to be. This brings me to my current FAVORITE mag - INKnitters. It's like the "thinking knitter's" mag. IMHO

    1/14/2006 10:28 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I love seeing all your works in progress. Looks like my life. Thank you for your witty comments on the new Vogue issue. My hubby and I had some good laughs about the designs. There are some in there I will knit. The turquoise cabled sweater, the red cabled shell. Wait, I'm seeing a pattern here. Better finish Mariah first. Have you swatched the Cascade 220 for Am Kimen? I'm thinking of using it as well, but haven't received my book yet to start swatching. Let me know. Thanks.

    1/14/2006 10:45 AM  
    Blogger Marina said...

    Thanks for the link and from your review, I'll hold off subscrbing to it. Still need to decide whether I'm keeping Rowan.

    1/14/2006 12:14 PM  
    Blogger Nikki said...

    I always find Vogue disappointing, but at least it's usually entertaining too. I find the ads are often more inspiring than the actual text of the magazine!

    IK is my fave by far. Mmmmm.

    1/14/2006 3:39 PM  
    Blogger Elinor said...

    I'm not sold on Vogue, I must admit. Ditto on Knitters. IK is the only mag I'd be interested in buying.

    1/15/2006 5:38 AM  

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