Hey Vogue Knitting, I want my 5 bucks back

Have you seen the hot mess that is the Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2013 edition?

I’m usually happy to buy a download of Vogue Knitting without having first eyeballed the patterns before parting with my cash — usually there are some great patterns and it’s certainly worth a few dollars. But I have three words for you about this issue (or, ok, a few phrases with 3 words in each of them):

Knitted. Varsity. Jackets.

Intarsia. Animal. Faces.

Cropped. Wool. Sweaters.

This is a joke, right? The new April Fools’ Day is in now in June, right?

Just LOOK at these designs.

Vogue knitted varsity jacket. Um, no.

Vogue knitted varsity jacket. Um, no.

More ill-advised varsity jacket designs.

More ill-advised varsity jacket designs.

I’m sure the folks who designed these are smart, talented designers, and did what they could under the circumstances when a Vogue Knitting editor said to them, ‘hey, guys, we’re going in a really exciting direction this time. For this issue we’re gonna do VARSITY JACKETS!’.

Now get a load of this. It has all the latest essential design elements stylish gals want: it’s a vest! It’s a vest with a zipper! It’s made from Christmas colours! And who can resist a green and white puppy! Is this really in Vogue magazine??

A chunky, zippered Christmas vest with a puppy on it. You heard me right.

A chunky, zippered Christmas vest with a puppy on it. You heard me right.

Whoo boy.

Whoo boy.

And there are some cropped sweaters that, to be fair, are lovely if you like cropped sweaters. I don’t see the point of them, personally — if it’s cold enough for a sweater I’d like it to cover my whole torso. I don’t need people wondering aloud, as they do when you tell them you made the cropped sweater you’re wearing, ‘what happened — did you run out of yarn?’.

Here’s a lovely scarf from this issue. I think it’s really sweet that the staff at Vogue Knitting let their kids submit projects from their home ec class.

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Really, these designs are the kind of things that modern knitters spend their time trying to convince others that knitting is NOT all about.

Ok, I think that’s all the snark I can safely afford to withdraw from the Karma bank for now. Here’s the pattern that I would consider knitting from this issue. I like the clean lines, and of course, the colour blocking.

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But ultimately I kinda feel like I want my 5 bucks back.

How about you? What do you think of the patterns in this issue?

Noro Magazine Spring/Summer 2013

After checking out the rather uneventful anti-Rob Ford protest at Toronto City Hall this morning, Dave and I scooted over to the Chapters bookstore at Richmond and John Streets for a little browsing. And when I say scooted, I mean we went on our groovy purple electric scooter! Dave bought a Sound on Sound magazine, and I grabbed a Noro Knitting Magazine. (Later we would be perusing our respective magazines, and agreeing that we were both nerds. The only difference is that I’m very likely to read his Sound on Sound magazine as well, whereas he definitely won’t be reading my knitting mag.)

I have a love-hate relationship with Noro Yarn. When I first started knitting, I found it absolutely irresistible! I mean, how could anyone not love a self-striping yarn? Until you realize that maybe stripes aren’t always a good thing. And maybe you don’t like picking twigs out of your yarn every 10 yards or so. I do love Noro’s colourways, though. They always throw in an electric green or something that I think most people would think was out of place…and that’s usually the reason I love it. Anyway, normally I wouldn’t buy a whole magazine dedicated to nothing but self-striping wool, but one look at some of the patterns in the Spring/Summer 2013 issue and I had to have it.

Here are the drool-worthy designs I’ve added to my queue on Ravelry:

Sheer Panel Shift dress by Lori Steinberg in Noro Ayatori and Debbie Bliss Angel

I love the pastel tones in this dress (whaaat?–I’m not usually a pastel kinda girl) and the sheer panels at the waist and above the bust. Not really digging the sheer panels at the sides of the skirt–am I supposed to go commando when wearing this? I’ll just do the skirt without the sheer sides and keep my gitch on.  Or maybe I’ll never get around to doing this dress since I have so damn many patterns in my queue!


Lace Maxi Dress by Galina Carroll

Love the colours and the shape of this one! If someone knit this for me, I would most certainly wear it proudly. But knit all that fabric in lace? Someone please hand me a sharp knitting needle so I can preemptively poke my own eyes out. Not in a million years. (Maybe I could do it in a million-and-one years, maybe.)

Short Row ColourBlock Top by Wilma Peers

Short Row ColourBlock Top by Wilma Peers

I love the wedge shaped stripes and neck, the high neckline, and the streamlined look. (I don’t know about that skirt, though–even I, who wears colours and patterns together that my more conservative sister insists don’t go together, would not wear that skirt with that top.) Onto the Ravelry queue it goes….just as soon as I or someone gets this pattern into the Ravelry database.

ON THE OTHER HAND, there are a few doozies of the WTF kind in this issue:

Crochet granny squares are never cool.

Crochet granny squares are never cool.

Crochet granny squares are never cool. Even if you’ve styled them with awesome leggings and shoes. But I feel sorry for crochet, and for grannies, and because I’m a fan of most things homemade, I kinda want to root for the underdog granny square. So if you know of any instances where granny squares have been used and the result has been anything but awful, please bring them to my attention!

Everything is wrong with this.

Everything is wrong with this.

Everything is wrong with this, starting with the fact that it’s a vest. It’s not 1979. The colours, the hood…and did I mention it’s a vest?

Speaking of vests, and knitting late 70s/early 80s fashion, you might want to check out these delightful vest patterns I found in a vintage magazine. (post coming soon)

Actually, now that I look a little more closely at the magazine, there are more WTFs in it than drool-worthy designs. But worth the purchase price for me in the end.