Knit, Inc

Vogue/Designer Knitting Holiday 2011 Review

Posted on: December 20, 2011

It’s review time again! It’s been forever since I last did a review, and I apologise for that. I’ve missed out completely on the Interweave Knits Fall review. 😦 If you want me to go back and review it, I’m sure I’ll get a chance over the Christmas holidays, but otherwise I’ll probably skip it. Even this Vogue review is out of date, the Winter issue came out today!

Here goes with a review of Vogue/Designer Knitting Holiday 2011. I have taken all of the photos from the Vogue Knitting website unless otherwise stated.

I’ve decided to skip the yarn comparisons this time due to the short timeframe. Hope that’s ok!

Let me say that I love this magazine, and I don’t mean this review as poking fun at it, more a light hearted reflection of it, and also maybe it will make the magazine think about the cost of the sponsored yarns it uses and the sizes it offers.

There’s a “feature” of note in this issue. Faux fur yarns. “Faux fur yarns bring plush luxury to edges, trims and textural pieces” they say. Eh no, they’re just fugly. There’s a 3 hour DVD showing how to knit all the swatches from Barbara Walkers stith dictionaries. Sometimes there can be a little too much hand holding, I think.

Queen Meg does an article on steeking. As always, it’s full of awsomesauce. The big interview is with Martha Stewart. One huge big ad for all the stuff she shills sells, IMO.

On to the patterns! First up is a freebie from SMC yarns, Holiday Cardigan by Deborah Newton:

This picture was taken from my iPad, as I couldn’t find one anywhere else. It’s an ok cardigan, a bit old-fashioned though. I don’t think the buttons or the loadsa pearls the model is wearing does anything to drag it into the 21st century either.

Next we have Aran Pullover by Kazekobo:

A surprising 5 sizes available. It’s a nice cross between a gansey and a cabled sweater. I am at a loss.

This one provides a bit more fun fodder, Boucle Vest by Faith Hale:

Um. It’s a hairy wine vest. Not so much boucle as loopy to be honest.

This is Cabled Front Jacket by Mari Lynn Patrick:

Shock Horror, I like this. I know, I’m such a cable-ho. I guess what I like is the buttonbands. Although, all that ribbing on the rest of it would do my nut. I’m also not wild about the hanging at the front bottom. And why is the model holding it closed like that? Is the hanging worse if she lets go? Maybe I don’t like it so much after all.

Onwards to Cable Edge Cardigan by Rosemary Drysdale:

It bugs me that this is offered in 6 sizes. It’s always only the loose tie-at-the-front/shapeless stuff that’s offered in larger sizes. This to me is plain Jane. And if you look closely at the photo on the right, it looks like the cable isn’t even knit on to the cardigan, there’s gaps in it. Huh? Boring. Also, is that seed stitch on the body? Hell no am I knitting a garment all in that stitch, that’s knitting suicide.

Next up is Cabled Dress by Mari Tobita:

This is one for the skinny minnies. No one else could get away with a ribbed dress knit in wool. You’d want to be shaped like a beanpole. Plus, bobbles! Imagine all the things they could get caught in. Doorknobs, jewellery, etc etc. Not to mention that bobbles are the work of the knitting devil.

Entrelac Wrap by Rosemary Drysdale is next:

I think this is a nice use of entrelac. It’s not a technique I personally like, but if you do like it, then fire away. Just not in the recommended yarn. I think it costs something like $150 to knit this. Yeah. Hahaha.

Kazekobo returns, with Fair Isle Hat:

There’s nothing spectacular about it, it’s a fair isle hat. No amazeballs new stitch pattern or colour combo. What does concern me, is the crown. is it just me, or does it look a bit like this:

Next is Gauntlets by Shiri Mor:

First of all, the colour. It’s a bit strong for the photo, I think. Not so much gauntlets, as fingerless mitts I think. And is that a jester-type picot edge I spy? They don’t come very far up the hands either, not even as far as the models knuckles. Not much warmth to be found in these, methinks.

The next three patterns are part of a trio of Hats, again by deborah Newton. There’s an interview with her about it on the Vogue website, if you’re interested.

The first one is Hat With Wings:

This is the garment of the issue for me. It’s just barmy. WTF? I have no words, except to mention it’s a bit of an unfortunate title. Reminds me of…

Helmet Hat:

This one is a little better I think. I like the vintage look of it, but I don’t think I’d place the ear muff type thingy where it is. Leave that out and contine the band around, and I think you’d have a nice hat.

Last of the trio is Stocking Cap:


Reminds me of the hat Ebeneezer Scrooge was wearing in A Christmas Carol when he was in bed and the ghosts came.

Hoping for some normality, I’m ploughing onwards to Floral Pullover by Galina Carroll:

Aw. That’s a shame. Looks like it’s a sweater designed by the love-child of Sasha Kagan and Kaffe Fassett. Not my cup of tea at all.

Maybe Structured Jacket by Laura Bryant?

Nope, not here either. This is just another shill for Prism Yarns trussed up to look like a pattern. Boring. And I bet it costs a gazillion $s to knit as usual.

Knee Socks by Barb Brown:

Socks! yay! At last, something practical. Not the greatest stitch pattern, and the plain foot gets on my nerves a little. I like the pattern to flow onto the instep too. But it’s something normal! Yay!

The next two patterns are the same thing, one in laceweight, one in bulky, by Anna Al:

This is the lacewwight version, which is by far the nicer of the two. The bulky makes even the skinny model look hefty. I still wouldn’t knit it though.

Cowl Neck Pullover by Caleigh Noades is next:

Seriously. What the hell is this? the cowl neckline is so low, it’s not just the girls that would be on display, if you know what I mean. And what the F are the slits in the arms? You’d be frozen! Oh. Wait. It’s knit in mohair. Now I get it. Those slits serve a purpose. They’re for ease of access so you can scratch from the mohair itch. Clever.

New York Skyline by Renee Lorion:

This pisses me off. It’s an old VK pattern, “Re-released” using newer yarns. And those yarns are mohair. Icky ick. What is VKs fascination with mohair? IT ITCHES, Y’ALL!

Next is Vladimir Teriokhin with an Oversized Cable Top:

This is mad stuff. An oversized heavily cabled jumper knit in 100% wool. Waifs all over New york are fainting as we speak on the subways from overheating and the weight. And see the two braids either side of the central motif? Those suckers are sewn on afterwards. As if.

Next up is Marcia Cleary’s poncho:

It’s a blanket with a hole in the middle for your head. Nothing more. Reminds me of when I was a kid and would use an old bedsheet to dress up as a ghost for Hallowe’en. only that was way cheaper than this sucker would be to knit, I imagine.

Twinkle returns! Oh how we love your bulky as all get out and incredibly expensive to knit designs! These ones are imaginatively titled Arm Warmers. Must have taken hours to come up with that one:

Yawn. A basic eyelet pattern knit in bulky yarn that probably costs a fortune. I have an idea! Save $$$s! Wear a top with sleeves instead! You’ll thank me later.

This one is a doozy. Top and Skirt by Tom Dunne:

Hahahahahah. What the hell? A bulky top and a skirt with th weirdest hemline I’ve seen in a long while. it’s knit in bulky, lumpy alpaca. imagine the butt sag! This is redonkulous. Even the model looks big in it. and check out the left hand photo. The sleeves! imagine trying to hail a cab in that. Either your top would disintegrate, or rise up enough to show the butt sag to the world. Hells no.

Can the Chevron Stripe Top by Mari Lynn Patrick save us?

Oh. It seems not. Just what is this, exactly? It’s certainly not a chevron top. The only “chevrons” are where the top is somehow tied in the front. It’s bananas. If you have any sort of a belly that’s not caused by incubating a little human, this top would make it look 10 times bigger. Absolutely awful.

On to John Brinegar, and his Mitred Stripe Top:

These photos are only of the back, sadly. The front is pretty cool, it’s a round neck top but the large navy stripe makes it looks like a square neck. I like square neck tops. If boating and trips to the Hamptons are your bag, this is the top for you. Otherwise, I’d give it a miss. But I must read the pattern and see how he got the stripes to make that square effect. I may nab that for a future project.

These next patterns are part of a trio. Tri-set cowl, sweater and vest by Cheryl Murray:

I’ve  not a lot to say here really. It’s a cowl. It’s a ginormous sleeveless “vest” (cardi if you ask me). It’s a sweater that you can’t see coz it’s hidden by the aforementioned cowl and vest.

Onwards to Textured Jacket by Pat Olski:

Oh dear. Looks like string vest man has struck again.

The waistband solid stitch area is ok though. Not so sure about the elbows, it kinda reminds me of leather elbow patches on mens jackets in the 70s.

We must be near the end now, surely. This is a vintage re-release, Vintage lace Blouse:

So sue me, I like this. Not that I’d ever have the figure to wear it, or would feel comfortable with the see-throughness, but I like it all the same.

This is another re-release, Cabled Topper:

Ya’ll know my fondness for cables, and this hits the spot. Apart from the bobbles, that is. Those suckers would be left out of this if I were to knit it, I’d add sleeves instead.

Lace wrap by Andrea Jurgrau:

This to me is probably the best pattern of the issue. I like the simplicity and the edge detail. I think this is lovely, and most probably will knit it. The shock!

Black Tie Skirt by Leanne Prouse:

How can you follow something as normal and nice as the previous garment with something so obviously fugly as this? Seriously, I’ll have some of whatever this designer is smoking, coz it must be good. This is just pure barmy. I bet Yoko Ono would love this, it’s so off the wall. Seriously, imagine someone actually wearing this. Hellz no.

This is Lace Yoke Pullover by Védis Jónsdóttir:

If this weren’t that shade of blue, it wouldn’t be half bad. It’s a basic pullover, but the lace yoke is a nice detail. I must read this one to see how they achieved the yoke decreases. If, that is, it’s knit in the round. I sincerely hope it is. It’s certainly something I would knit for myself, using EZs EPS.

This next one is Zippered Cardigan by Deborah Newton. Seriously Deborah, weren’t the hats enough for you?

This to me is a fairly basic waffle stitch cardigan that is made “cooler” by the addition of lots of zips. Big woop.

Next is the Cover Cowl by Shiri Mor:

I’m not sure how you can call this a cowl. To me, a cowl is knit in the round and is a solid piece of knitting, no? This is a scarf. That’s held together with a shawl pin. Taking it as that, I think it’s a nice scarf. I’d wear it.

On to the last pattern! Yay!

Artisan Sock Elbow Gloves by Tili Thomas:

I like these, but again they fall foul of naming. These are not gloves. Gloves have fingers. These are gauntlets or fingerless gloves. I’m such a pedant. Apart from that, they’re nice enough. I still think I’d rather save money and wear sleeves instead.

So there you have it. A severely abridged version of my usual review. I hope to review VK Winter and IK Winter over the Christmas holidays, so stay tuned!

Good knitting!


7 Responses to "Vogue/Designer Knitting Holiday 2011 Review"

Brilliant! You’ve such a way with words! -kaffe fasset’s love child! *snort*

Hee hee, you’ve done it again! Hat with Wings?!? Oh, the photo you followed up with was too much, lol! I flipped through this mag in the store; flipped through it, didn’t buy it, and now you see why. When will you learn, VK???

Love it. Typical VK with some gorgeous things, some bland things and some rather strange things 🙂

Oh and both blues are exactly the shades I love! I am a blue fiend.

Great review. Reminded me of a very funny book I looked through today (great having coffee in a book shop!)

The book and website of the same name is regretsy. It’s hilarious! I was crying laughing. Not always a good look when having coffee with a toddler in a book shop!

The Top and Skirt by Tom Dunne is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a good long while 🙂 Seriously, who knits that stuff???

I know, right? Imagine the size it’d make anyone who wore it. Talk about a hefty outfit.

You are a hoot. But then, this issue is chock full of material for you, isn’t it! My word!

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