Wednesday, 10 January 2018
Cast On has released its Winter 2017/2018 issue. Let's have a look at it.
A Vest for Gus. This vest has a chain of cars worked in purl stitches on a stockinette background. It's a cute idea, but the cars are so difficult to see.
Apurimac Hat. This one is fun and bright and irresistibly eye catching. The colour palette is also beautifully worked out and it's technically very accomplished.
Black and White Hat. This is so smart. I love the herringbone pattern.
Black and White Mittens. I'm not quite as thrilled with the mittens as I was with the hat. Pointy mittens always look absurd to me, even though I know it's a traditional style of very long standing.
Bubbles Tunic. I'm not sure this one is quite working. The overall style has a rather severe look and the bubble motif is a little too random and simplistic to work with it. I do like the idea of the contrast buttons at the cuffs and side vents that tie in to the intarsia design on the yoke, but I'd replace the bubbles with a more detailed motif.
Caprice. The combination of the confetti yarn square collar and cuffs against the gray body of this sweater is not working for me. It looks like something worn by a Puritan-era family oddball, such as daft Aunt Chastity, who thinks it's hilarious to recite the Ten Commandments out of order and lock people in the outhouse.
Celtic Night Cowl. Nice design, and I love that it's done in a off-beat colourway meant to represent the Northern Lights.
Destiny Fair Isle Tam. I think I like this one -- that tartan band is really well worked out -- but I wish I could see it a bit better in order to be sure.
Dragonfly Top. Oh, this is fabulous. I'm not sure I've ever seen dragonflies used as a motif in fair isle, but now I suddenly want to see more of them. The colour scheme has a misty, dreamy quality that works really well.
Dragonfly Ski Headband. I'd be inclined to work this as a tam rather than as a headband, but again the dragonfly motif is certainly very lovely regardless.
Icarus Infinity Scarf. This is quite an delicately elegant piece.
Nikko Cardigan. I'm not really liking the toggle closures on this one, as it has too crude a look for an otherwise fairly polished piece. I'd replace them with some attractive buttons, and fix the dropped shoulders, though admittedly they are only slightly dropped and could be left as is.
Nosegay Cardi. This is really lovely. I like the combination of the floral sprigs with the lattice-like lace, which gives it such a "summer afternoons in the summerhouse" feel.
Wheat Chain Socks. These are quite handsome.
Where the Snakes Went Poncho. The design is quite cool and even elegant... but as someone who is not a friend of the poncho, I can't help thinking what a nice afghan this would make.
Winter Morning Cocoa Socks. Very much like these. The snowflake and bare trees motifs encapsulated in diamonds is a really fun, creative take on the argyle sock.
Friday, 11 August 2017
Cast On magazine has released its Fall 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?
A Basket of Posies. Not bad, though with its curling edges and crudely sketched-on flowers, it is a little on the rough and ready side. It's undeniably cute and the butterfly buttons are a nice touch.
A Road Less Travelled. I like this on the whole, but that collar is making me twitchy. It's supposed to be asymmetrical, but it looks merely askew.
A-Tisket, A-Tasket socks. Quite a good-looking pair of socks.
Alpine Hiking Vest. I like this piece, though I do note that the empire-waist level band won't flatter the well-endowed woman. If this vest is for a woman who requires anything larger than a B-cup, move that band down to her waist.
Baby in Basket Hat. At first glance, I thought this was some kind of little drawstring bag. It's not a bad little hat.
Color Block Tunic. I like the basic concept of a colour block tunic, but the execution didn't quite pan out. The look is too visually fragmented.
Diagonal Basketweave Cowl. A useful piece with some textural detail to keep things interesting.
English Diamonds Cowl. Pretty.
Garter Stitch Basketweave. A nice simple throw cushion.
Golden Aspen Texting Gloves. Fingerless gloves usually have a bit more finger showing than this, and the effect is a bit weird, as though the finger tips are showing because the glove fingers blew out at the tips rather than by design.
Green Aspen Arm Warmers. I'm liking these.
Hit the Road Cardigan. Oh, I like this one! Shaping and detailing are good, and those curving front basket stitch panels give the sweater visually flattering lines.
Mosaic and Slip Stitch Basketweave Pillow. That pattern has a smart visual effect.
Mr. Liss. This is supposed to be a fox, but it actually looks more like some sort of fox/anteater hybrid. Foxes' noses aren't that long.
Napoleon + Deseret Jacket. This is the cover look, and deservedly so, because that stitchwork is fabulous. It's impossible to add waist-shaping to a design like this one, but it would be possible to fix the dropped shoulders and make the sleeves neater fitting.
Orange Sassafras Texting Gloves. Here we have a little more fingertip showing, but also bunched up knitting because, I suspect, the fingers were simply too long for the model's hand. This one has a bit of pattern on the back, but it's not especially effective.
Picot Edge Table Runner. Not a bad decorative piece.
Red Maple Texting Gloves. These are just like the Golden Aspen Texting Gloves, only done in a light fingering yarn rather than in sport weight. I like the more polished look of the lighter yarn. I never like my gloves to look or feel like oven mitts.
Rib and Garterweave Pillow. This is a slight variation on the Garter Stitch Basketweave pillow above. I think I prefer the other one, because the smaller scale of the pattern gives the pillow a slightly more polished look.
Roaming Check Boot Cuffs. I can only sign off on boot cuffs when they can pass for the top of the boot. These don't.
Top-Down Market Bag. This is going to stretch all to hell as soon as one puts one's groceries in it.
Wayfarer. This has a dated, frumpy look, and zip fronts look bad when folded back so that the inner edge of the zipper can be seen, as here.
Zick Zack Fingerless Mitts. Quite like these, which are well-shaped and have a pretty colourway.
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
Cast On has released their Summer 2017 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?
Baby Fingers Blanket. An attractive and usable baby blanket, but the name of this item does give me a slight case of the heebie jeebies.
Disrupt. Lovely scarf. It's reversible too.
Dropped Petals Crescent Shawl. Some very attractive stitchwork in this.
Fairlane Tee. Interesting piece with a contemporary feel.
Fan Lace Cowl. Beautiful.
Fibonacci Fun Shawlette. I'm not too taken with this one, probably because it strikes me as unfinished-looking. I think it needs an edging of some sort.
Marled Boxy Top. Unflattering and boring.
Pataya. Flattering and pretty. The side detailing is a nice touch.
Quatrefoil Shawl. Exquisite.
Scandinavian Candle Coat (left) and Shetland Candle Coat (right). These are pretty, but the idea of putting any sort of knitted shades on candles (or even other light sources, such as electric lamps) makes me nervous. I've heard a story of an unattended candle -- that was on a ceramic dish -- setting fire first to the table on which it sat, and subsequently the wall the table stood against, and knitted items are surely more flammable than wooden tables and drywall. If you are going to put knitted shades on your candle holders, please be absolutely sure never to leave the candle unattended for any length of time.
Spring at Last. Nice socks.
Swarm of Wasps Top and Swarm of Wasps Skirt. I very much like this ensemble, which has a certain "retro gone modern" vibe, as though a classic thirties knitwear pattern had been revamped to give it a contemporary edge. Though I do have reservations about the fact that this pattern calls for worsted yarn. I'd adjust the pattern and knit it in a fingering weight.
Upper Yosemite Fall Shawl. Fabulous lacework.
Waterfall Cardigan. This looks quite good here, as the shaping is good, the lace is pretty, and the yarn drapes well, but I do have my suspicions regarding how well this cardigan will sit and remain in place on an actual woman in real life.