Wednesday, August 16, 2006

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  • Falling

    this is a poem about loving
    the world and everything in it:
    the self, the perpetual muscle,
    the passage in and out, the bristling
    swing of the sea.
    -Mary Oliver

    Thanks for all your lovely comments on my NewCaliforniaLifestyleTank - isn't it exciting to have a new FO around here? (And even more exciting that I still have readers. Thanks for bearing with the crazy schedule.) Speaking of knitting summer tanks - San Diego still has the legendarily perfect weather. Nevertheless, there's a part of my soul that knows autumn is coming. And that part of me still wants to pull out my scarves and thick socks and go on a hayride drinking apple cider. That same part of me wants to start knitting all 'my' winter sweaters and other wooly goodness. In the absence of an actual physical need to knit heavy wool sweaters, I'm going to think about it instead.

    Enter the Fall Interweave Knits. Just in the nick of time. I've seen a lot of folks commenting that this was not their favorite issue, or that they didn't think they would make anything out of it. My first impression was quite positive, that there's a lot of good stuff here. Granted, none of it falls into the "Drop Everything and Knit It NOW" category, but, really, new patterns rarely jump ahead in the queue for me. (A notable exception: Winter Folly here. That sweater just threw itself into my hands and said "Knit Me.") So, with the realization that, no matter how much I like a particular pattern in this issue, I'm probably not making it anytime soon , I sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed my romp through creative, interesting, and (mostly) wearable patterns. (This skirt is a notable exception to the "wearable" concept.)

    The Gatsby Girl pullover in Rowan Cashsoft (up left) - classic, stylish, incredibly flattering. And, with it's elbow-length sleeves, it may just be the one sweater I'd consider adding to my San Diego knitting list. There are reasons women used to wear corsets. I'm not advocating we go back to that (or to the WWII days when the Army issued regulation girdles to female servicemembers), but this is one lovely sweater. Then there's Kristin Nicholas' Little Majolica on the right. Aside from the obvious problems with handwashable fabrics for kids and the fact that my color sensibilities differ a great deal from hers, fun to knit, fun to wear. How much fun can you possibly have in a sweater? A lot, by the looks of it. Other winners include this lovely men's sweater that I could actually picture real, live men wearing (a rarity, to be sure), and Kate Gilbert's Silken Spencer. I'm too short for this, but it is tres chic.

    Now for the hard part. I just don't know what to make of this Northern Lights Jacket. My first impression was that it is absolutely striking. There's something I find really gorgeous about it. But it's also quite a bold pattern for a little, form-fitting jacket. And does anyone else find it vaguely remniscent of a butterfly? Thoughts? Comments? It is striking, but maybe there's something about it that's just a little bit off? The scale, perhaps?

    And then I would be remiss if I didn't point out at least one of the less-than-inspiring patterns in the issue. This Glasgow Lace sweater (yes, another moment of sympathy for this poor model who has been noted by others to always get the worse modeling assignments). Lovely lace, lovely yarn, lovely girl. But that is just not the place in the middle she (or any of us, for that matter) should be cut off with a swinging top. Unfortunate all the way around.

    I don't subscribe to knitting magazines for the patterns, in the same way that I don't read knitting blogs to find cool yarns/patterns/things to knit. Bonus when I do, but in general I do it to stay involved with the knitting community at large. This particular Interweave makes me happy to be a knitter. Actual knitting optional.

    18 Comments:

    Anonymous Rachel said...

    I really liked this issue of IW, and the Gastby Girl sweater is almost a drop-everything knit for me. I have two big projects that I MUST focus on now, but I think I'll actually allow myself to buy new yarn (not done since our WEBS trip in May) and make it. I'm going to Patternworks up in NH this weekend so I'll look for yarn there. Now I'm rambling.

    Matt actually said, unprovoked, that he could see himself wearing that men's sweater, which is a first, so I'm putting that one squarely on the "someday" list. As for the Glasgow Lace, I would make it, but I'd make it longer and add waist shaping. It's not near the top of my list, though.

    I'm sure you wanted my in-depth opinion on all this. Just to round it out, I will tell you that the Northern Lights jacket doesn't work for me. The pattern looks like the fact of an evil creature.

    8/16/2006 8:30 AM  
    Blogger Rebekkah said...

    I think that both of the red-headed-stepchild sweaters you posted are disappointing because both have the potential to be great, but really miss the mark in drastic ways.

    The cardigan just has too much going on, and I think you're right when you say that there's something off in terms of scale. The large main pattern, with all those colors, combined with that neckline and that background patterning, is just too much. I think it would look nicer if it were a plain background (maybe just with the netting look on the sleeves - but about half the length), and with that main motif on the front shrunk horizontally, so it were more of a yoke decoration than a neck to navel decoration.

    The lace pullover just needs to be about 4" longer, and I think it would be lovely. I think I'd also make the sleeves full length, maybe with very subtle bell shaping. I didn't look closely at the pattern in the magazine - is there waist shaping? If not (and I suspect not, because that's trick to do with an allover lace pattern), it would be neat to achieve some shaping by changing needle sizes. I really love the neckline on it, though.

    I've heard lots of love for the new Vogue and lots of hate for the new IK, but after looking through both, I prefer the IK. The patterns are more wearable for me (or easily adaptable to be wearable, while still maintining the feel of the pattern), and looking at the actual sock patterns in the Vogue, I was less impressed. I've seen nicer colorwork elsewhere, and am just not that into embroidery. I used my county fair winnings to buy my quarterly knitting magazine, and think I made the right decision going with IK.

    8/16/2006 8:31 AM  
    Blogger Marina said...

    I read somewhere that folks are seeing faces in the Northern Lights Jacket!! Well, that put me off it right away ;-)

    8/16/2006 9:16 AM  
    Blogger Lou said...

    I love IK. I find every issue inspiring. I never knit patterns from magazines. I don't know why, I just don't. But I buy them, read them and save them for reference and inspiration. I hated the Northern Lights jacket. It looks like it has a demonic face on the front. I have to hide that page from my kids or they won't be able to go to sleep at night.

    8/16/2006 9:38 AM  
    Anonymous Kristen said...

    I like a lot of the patterns in the Fall IK. I'm even fond of the skirt as it reminds of a skirt I actually did sew, and wear, out of my dad's ties when I was a teenager. And the lace sweater definitely needs to be longer.

    8/16/2006 9:53 AM  
    Blogger Carole said...

    I didn't notice the "face" on the Northern Lights jacket when I saw it in the magazine. But now? It looks like a crazed tikki glass from a Chinese restaurant. You know?

    8/16/2006 11:07 AM  
    Anonymous Marisa said...

    I lovelovelove Gatsby Girl... I've already purchased the yarn :) I'm just waiting for it to get a bit more cooler here before starting.

    BTW I think I heard we're supposed to be getting another heat-wave next week - might want to hold off on the wool projects just a little longer :)

    8/16/2006 12:33 PM  
    Blogger Marsha said...

    I've actually almost finished the Swallowtail Shawl and love the pattern. However, the rest of the IK Fall didn't do much for me, it's not my favorite issue. I don't really make sweaters but occasionally find something in it that I love. From a previous issue the Embossed Leaves Socks, I've done several times. Since I've not received this magazine for too long I've orders some back issues with projects that I want to do and this magazine is really the only one that I've actually done projects from. Most magazines I buy are for inspiration.

    8/16/2006 1:43 PM  
    Blogger Jenn said...

    I pretty much liked the issue too. Sure, some stuff I usually cringe at (especially whatever the poor redhead model is wearing - why does she always pull the ugly stick?), but overall, two thumbs up.
    And yeah - the jacket does seem to have an "evil" face - a bit creepy. Besides, I really don't need any more attention drawn to what's not really there if you get my drift! :)

    8/16/2006 3:35 PM  
    Blogger Meg said...

    Thank you for the thought provoking tour of the latest IK. All I did was look for models wearing the same clothes.
    But I have formed a few preliminary opinions about the patterns. The Northern Lights Jacket - I don't like it because it reminds me of something I would have worn in my high school days - back when I was into Really Colourful Clothing and the Grateful Dead. Contrary to what people are saying about Glasgow Lace, I like the short length and elbow-length sleeves - in fact, that'll probably be the first thing I make from that magazine (perfect for Sydney spring, where the temperature changes can be drastic and frequent - maybe you need one for the San Diego climate too?).
    The Weekend Sweater (I think that's what it's called - by Veronik Avery) is also waving at me from across the street like someone I haven't seen in a while. I really like it. I think it's to do with the name. I like the 'idea' of going to the mountains for a weekend where it'll be a little chilly and taking that sweater with me. (If I knit it, will we go?) Not to mention that I unrealistically originally thought the name meant one could make it in a weekend.
    Although based on the preview of the magazine before it came out I said I didn't like anything, there were actually about 3 or 4 things that got a little post-it flag as a 'might make someday' marker. And a few more things I would definitely make as gifts for others.

    8/16/2006 5:01 PM  
    Anonymous Leah said...

    I think you are spot on with your IK review. For the most part I liked it and my initial reaction to the Northern Lights sweater was similar to yours. Looks like something that could be really cool, but doesn't quite make it. Too bad, because it has some really nice elements.

    8/16/2006 5:06 PM  
    Blogger krisknits2 said...

    I didn't post earlier, but I love your tank. Great job.

    8/16/2006 5:55 PM  
    Blogger Punkin said...

    I too share some of your sentiments. I just bought my first knitter's magazine subscription (IK) this summer and it is not so much for the patterns but for the inspiration and the information. The reason I visit knitting blogs is also for inspiration by other's enthusiasm, their talent, their expression through knitting, and a sense of community. ...... and once in a while I have the joy of finding a pattern that must go on my knitting list.

    8/16/2006 5:55 PM  
    Blogger silverarrowknits said...

    I feel so bad for the red-haired girl. IK seems to pick every knitted good that accentuates each of her negative attributes. The Glasgow Lace just makes her look short and stubby and I am sure she isn't in real life.

    Also, the problem with the Northern Lights jacket is that it looks like a freakish owl face.

    8/16/2006 7:56 PM  
    Blogger Nonnahs said...

    I quite like this issue of IK, actually. And I LOVE the Gatsby Girl pullover. Love it. Love.

    8/17/2006 11:16 AM  
    Blogger Carrie K said...

    That Northern Lights looks a bit like a butterfly, or a face. I liked it at first glance too but then got a bit skeeved by it.

    Autumn in San Diego looks an awful lot like Summer.

    8/17/2006 4:15 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    No comment on the Northern Lights jacket, but I do agree about the unfortunate assignments for the poor redheaded model. She's probably fairly slim, but most the sweaters she models cut her off midstream. I agree with the previous commenter too that many of the sweaters just miss the mark and can be adapted - usually by lengthening them. Few of us indeed can bear the cropped look!
    Dorothy (Missouri Star)
    dswaite@mac.com

    8/18/2006 4:09 PM  
    Blogger Linda said...

    Your tank top is great! I love the Gatsby top, hate the northern lights, but there were a few others I liked. I plan to get a subscription to this mag. again. (I had stopped it before)

    8/21/2006 11:37 AM  

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