10 August 2007

My 1st Take on the VK 25th Anniversary Issue

I finally tracked down a copy of the current Vogue Knitting issue. I have mixed feelings about it. Lily's VKTech article is IMO, pretty much worth the price of admission. It is a well written piece that you can come back to over and over again. Any time Lily is talking technical and construction
a thoughtful knitter will pay attention.

The sweater map and Norah's swing coat. Hmmm, I like the idea of a sweater map section especially if that means that Vogue is going to continue down the path of publishing unconventional designs and providing the sort of support that helps more conventional knitters to step outside the box/comfort zone. But if it going to be a meaningful feature it really needs to be a serious discussion of construction choices for a featured design -- more truly tech and less feature fluff.

Norah's design, I'm not really a fan of this one. For the most part she gives good cable and she and I are both polygon obsessed but this combo really doesn't work for me. I find it to be an odd mish mash of both design directions. I haven't studied it enough to know whether it also relies too much on blocking (one of my pet peeves) but I can't help but be struck a bit of editorial/copyproof confusion. The page 148 semicircle reference (no, not really) doesn't match up with the reality of the construction as laid out elsewhere in the magazine. Three triangles and a godet (gusset by any other name) doesn't a semicircle make.

I'm not hugely concerned about whether there are any designs I'd actually knit since I almost never knit some one else's designs.

That said, in the Designer's Panache segment, I like the James Coviello (#44) on page 159 but I'd lengthen the sleeves and probably bell them at the bottom with or without a ruffle to match up with the body of the garment. I also like the Michael Kors pieces 45 & 46. Of the two, I can see myself knitting #46 but the whole double breasted look with the saucer buttons would not be on my hit parade.

In the Craftwork section, I like the hat (#47) and I love the colours in the skirt/dress #49 but that's about it -- maybe just too close to couture? I dunno.

In the Well Red section, I love Lily's dress (#41) on page 156. I'm pretty sure I've seen this or a sibling on La Lily herself from time to time. Mari Lyn Patrick's #40 on page 155 is another I could see making/adapting. Ditto for Shirley Paden's #37 on page 152. Teva Durham's offering in this section (#39 on page 154) is very interesting but I find that, like many of Teva's designs the gauge and motifs are too big for me and for my taste. If I did more knits for svelte Amazons I'd probably be more enthusiastic.

Most of the "A touch of classic stuff" just isn't for me. You might think that my centre out instincts would be stirred by #28 on page 144 but you'd be wrong.

It is a counterpane converted into a sweater. It would make a better counterpane. Nikki Epstein did a much better version of counterpane come sweater many years ago complete with classic Nikki frou-frou knitted embellishments.

And I feel much the same way about Pam Allen's counterpane come sweater in the Fall IK. Given the gauge of the IK offering, it might be better suited as a counterpane cushion cover.

In Textured messages, I like 8, 9, 10, 14, 16 & 17. Number 11 reminds me a bit of a boiled wool or Chanel style jacket so I'd shorten the hell out of it and look for a straight tweed skirt to combine it with.

Number 13's sleeve and yoke are gorgeous but the side to side body would get a revisit with an eye toward working the front and back in either a pick up and knit down or a knit up and graft solution.

Of the Top 10 hits, I've always liked #26 (on page 141) and from time to time I've looked at that issue and thought about converting it from pullover to swing coat. Enchanted Forest (#25) on page 141 is still way, way too hunky chunky for me.

My feeling about Annie's 2005 Fall cover sweater hasn't changed. I think Vogue was great to publish it but I still think it needs a gusset, it relies too much on blocking to make it work and to tell you the truth? It reminds me of one of my grandmother's braided rugs.

The old guard and new guard fluff interview pieces didn't do much for me. It seems a bit too self-congratulatory but then the whole issue is more than a bit that way and why not? Twenty five years of doing anything is a milestone worthy of note. A knitting magazine all the more so as the craft's popularity has not been consistent in those 25 years.

But you know, if there's a top ten, there's also got to be a WWVT? What Was Vogue Thinking top some number or another. One of the first that springs to mind are the knitted lace pants from Spring 2003.

As per usual, this mag was almost as much about the ads as it was the published patterns. The good thing for me about the ads is that while I'm not likely to go forth and buy the patterns I'm highly likely to knit/design something based on the inspiration photos. The Signature Needles ad on page 91 sounds like a gimmick that's at least worth a click-see.


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