Knitting 89: Don't judge it by the cover
Apr 09, 2011
As a magazine editor, I know only too well that choosing your cover and "selling" your content is one of the toughest jobs for each issue. Sometimes they just don't work, May's issue of Knitting being a case in point.
If I wasn't a subscriber or a regular reader I wouldn't be attracted by the main image which doesn't flatter what turns out to be a glamorous long line wrap cardigan. The "cocktail colours, bright summer knits" with it's multicoloured text makes me think scary colour work in acrylic brights shades, completely at odds with the subtle and sensuous patterns within.
So I'm very glad I'm a subscriber because I did open the issue and discovered much to love in shapely dresses and flowing tunics - much more cocktail hour than cocktail colour.
I'd add that my favourite garment in the whole magazine isn't on the cover but there was a picture on the blog so I am able to point you in the right direction.
Amanda Jones' cocktail dress is chic and smart, and exactly the pattern I've been looking for. I have a large amount of silk merino mix DK yarn (similar to the Louisa Harding Grace the pattern calls for) that I purchased with to make a dress but for which I've failed to find the right pattern.
This though could be the one - lots of shaping with the A-line skirt should be flattering.The textures add to the sophistication of the dress and will add to the interest in the making. Worth the cover price alone this month.
Until I shift some extra padding developed during an injury enforced exercise ban, I also think the Jones dress will suit me better than the second one this month. The ruched sleeved dress (see gallery below) from Pat Menchini is a plain stocking-stitch column in DK with short textured sleeves. It will be very sexy on anyone without excessive lumps and bumps but that amount of stocking stitch could put some people off. But I would say go for it. Handknit dresses can be very eye-catching in the right way.
If you are after some looser stylishness then there is a lace sleeve tunic and kimono both from Sian Brown.
As I've noted before, mohair divides knitters and the silk/mohair mix for the lace sleeve tunic (bottom left) will be no exception. It will give this a-line tunic a lot softness and lightness but the hairiness won't be to everyone's taste. I'm wondering the lace bell sleeves and flowing stocking stitch body would work in a smoother laceweight. (If you do love mohair, the stashbuster project is mohair leg warmers this month).
Kimono is the victim of the unflattering cover. In reality it is lace-edged long line wrapover jacket/cardigan. Made here in a red bamboo DK it will either be dramatic and elegant or look like you are out in your dressing gown depending on your shape and the panache with which you carry off belted knitwear.
I'm more likely to go for Peggy, a Sublime pattern for a sleeveless waist length draping top.Made in bamboo and pearl (yes, pearl sourced viscose) yarn it is plain but shapely apart from a little reverse stocking stitch texture above the bust and a clever twisted neckline. A useful summer top for over a pair of capris with pretty sandals. And as a quick knit with a touch of style it would be a good option for someone wanting the knit their first summer top.
I've no pattern of doom this month but two I'm in two minds about.
I know ruffles are on trend but I'm not convinced by the hip ruff effect of Martin Storey's Bell Frill Cardigan - the rear view picture in the magazine is not what I'd think of as a good look - unless you are a 1970s tennis player. One frill perhaps on this otherwise shapely cotton cardigan?
Another candidate for adaption is the gold edged top (below), from Alison Robson, is a draping loose sleeveless top. It's pretty and simple with a lace edge. I'm just not sure why that edging is in the contrasting gold but then I'm one for stark glitzy contrasts.
Over all Knitting remains on form so don't be put off by the cover.