Posted by: ritsukurimono | January 15, 2010

Knitscene W/S 2010,

Chinichio Collection
Can I just say now that I have a problem with how this redheaded model was styled throughout the magazine? She’s darling, she’s adorable, she’s constantly eaten alive by the knits she’s modelling. Can someone get a smaller size in here?

Looks like a bathrobe. Might have been more interesting in a different color.

I can’t really like this one, either, partly due to the styling and partly due to the knit itself. Look how stiff and armorlike it looks:

It’s a sweater knit on size 5s in worsted weight, worn with “several inches” of positive ease. I mean, it’s not like it’ll stop bullets or anything, but holy crap, you could certainly fit a SWAT vest in under that thing. Plus that ashy brown color does nothing for the model; it doesn’t bring out her hair and it makes her complexion look kind of rosacea-y. The buttons look undersized relative to the chunkiness of the stitch pattern. So much wasted potential.

This, on the other hand, I LOVE. Check out that gorgeous color! Look how it hugs the model’s curves! I love the military nod with the horizontal pleats, and I love the way her huge gold earrings and yellow tank complement the sweater and the golden background. That’s gorgeous. I know some people don’t like the whole unfastened-sweater bit, but sweater chains are coming back! Clip one of those on that baby and rock it in true Miss Pillsbury style. Also, I love this model; she makes everything look good.

At Winter’s Edge

Can I say again I love this model? I pretty much like the pullover, too; not super-sure about the double drawstring waist, but it’s not heinous. This is definitely a knit that needs to be done with negative ease, though, especially around the waist, or you risk obscuring the figure. I would also do it in a blend that has at least some crimpy fiber, unlike the super-drapy cotton-silk it’s shown in. You don’t want the lace tent effect.

Kind of dowdy and discombobulated. I don’t get it–why aren’t the two bottom buttons buttoned? Under what circumstances would you wear this? The yoked back gives a nod to a kind of Western feel, but the rest of the vest doesn’t follow through. Why is there a moss stitch collar but ribbing trim everywhere else? Even the model can’t save this one (and the less said about that flowery shirt, the better.) ETA: After seeing this in the magazine proper, I have to say that I was wrong and it really is not that bad. Man, this model is fantastic. I do still not get the allover ribbing trim save for the double moss stitch collar.

Was not expecting to love this cowl, but I do. Great color sense in coordinating the unapologetic bright cheery yarns, and the styling with that watermelon-pink long sleeved tee is pretty good too. ETA: Just realized that it’s attached to the vest. Good Lord, no. Would be nice with just the cowl, though.

Pro: It looks like you could buy it in a store. Con: It looks like you could buy it in a store. Look, I’m not ever one to be like, “Why would I knit it if I could buy it in a store? I want to be UNIQUE.” I’m a product knitter, and wearability ranks high with me. If you knit it (add waist shaping, it looks like it has none) you’ll probably wear it lots. But it also looks kind of boring.

Christ no. What were you thinking? It’s eight feet of single-ply yarn that will pill like a bitch.

Au Printemps
This entire section is pretty much a wash. I dislike the drab, muted color story they’re trying to tell here, too, especially against that backdrop. WHY, oh why, the crazy floating windows against that terrifying sky? It’s like a surrealist painting. Also: hair and makeup should be shot for that early nineties spiky flippy do with the trailing long braids and for making the model with the pigtails (bad enough) look like she hasn’t slept for a week. Also, NOTHING FITS. And neither of the models knows how to model.

Fake pockets and ugh, epaulets done in a gauge too chunky to lie flat. They’re like shoulder boils. Also, in the left picture you can totally see the top edge of the backdrop. :/ How unprofessional.

Eh, it’s a basic raglan done in Noro. I think there’s an online calculator that could spit out this pattern to custom fit you, and it could probably work in waist shaping, too.

I think this is the worst photo in the entire preview. The tee is basic and flares at the bottom in a way that cuts the model in half (dude, the 2000s are over,) the color is ugly and clashes with her layering shirt, the model looks awkward, the hair and makeup scream “prostitute moonlighting as a gypsy dancer,” the window! the backdrop! She looks so depressed. I would be too. To top it all off, there’s that backdrop top edge again.

First of all, what the fuck is up with that pose in the second picture? It’s very…”Deny thy father and refuse thy name! Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.” As for the sweater…where would you wear it? What would you wear underneath it? Why are the sleeves half-length and not short-sleeved? Why does the collar have that gap in front? Why is the front mesh and the back solid ribbing? Why does Cathy Carron want you to look like a prim Russian hooker?

SPEAKING OF PRIM RUSSIAN HOOKERS. Oh my god, this picture belongs at Awkward Family Photos. Again, WHAT WAS THE STYLIST SMOKING? Grain colored sack dress? I know what goes with that! Black knee length leggings and white cowboy boots! NO. NO THEY DON’T. I know black and white are considered neutrals, but this is proof positive that they are not actually magic and do not go with everything. I mean, the dress isn’t too terribly bad. Generic in that knitscene kind of way, but it’s just that it fails to fit the model in such an epic way. YOU CAN SEE THE BOTTOM EDGE OF THE BACKDROP AND THE BOX SHE’S STANDING ON. Christ.

Ew. Enough said.

Around We Go
I’m not going to hit on everything in this section, because it’s mostly pretty generic. Anything I pass by, I do so in the spirit of benign neglect.

The return of The Only Good Model! Look at that smile. Look at how she makes you feel more kindly towards an essential failure of a cloche hat! Cloche hats are meant to come down across the brow and slope down to the nape of the neck, partially obscuring one’s view of the lady’s eyes in that delightful 20s vamp sort of way. Look! This is a classic cloche hat:

Cloche hat from Boring Sidney’s Etsy shop.
Observe how that mannequin head looks oh so mysterious and chic, as if it has a complete grasp of the art of millinery! Contrast that with:

That is no cloche. That, my friends, is a bucket hat. A bucket hat with tremendously ugly brim decreases (check out that bunching.) And yet such is the power of the Good Model that she makes you go, “Well, the picot is rather darling, and the ribbon quite adorable!” Hire this model again, Knitscene. She’s pure magic.

Kind of cute. Would make nice socks if you wanted a matched set.

This, on the other hand, is just plain ugly.

Triangular Shawls
The first two are kind of so-so. (Is the Emily Shawl essentially Birch/Kiri? ETA: It’s not, it’s more like Shetland Triangle.) But the third one is really quite lovely.

I love how it’s not just “Figure how to increase 2 stitches per row of a lace pattern nicked from a stitch dictionary, cast on at center neck, repeat until done! Tada! It’s a lace shawl pattern!” Everything flows so nicely. It’s done in worsted, too, which I like–I’m fond of large-gauge lace; it looks kind of sculptural and effortlessly stylish in that Anthropologie sort of way–but i can see this working very well at finer gauges as well.

Raggs & Marls

Sweater that slaps on a wide horizontal stripe textural element to a boatneck pullover with no waist shaping? I can only see that working well on tiny, twiglike things with negative ease. And look! It’s Redheaded Model, who is a tiny, twiglike thing! Yet she is dwarfed by this sweater, because the smallest bust size is 35″. Come on, Knitscene.

It’s a scarf. The nubbly texture gives it that undesirable “homemade, not handmade” sort of look, not helped by the “I had some partial skeins left over from another project” color changes. I guess it’s actually overdyed, judging by the name? Bleh.

Do you know a man who would wear this? I guess I do, but they’re all skinny filthy hipsters (said with love!), not burly guy-next-door types like this model. This is a sweater made for perpetuating the horrible Boyfriend Sweater Curse stereotype. “Look what I made for you, honey! Isn’t it handsome?” “Uh……yes?” “Why aren’t you wearing that sweater I made you, honey?” Because it’s atrocious, dear.

I kind of love this. I think this is also The One Good Model again, with her hair down this time, living up to her nickname. Love the prim glasses, love the coy smile, love all the little touches about this sweater–the red trim, the little heart, the double stripes at the cuffs, the horn buttons and especially that they’re sewn in with red yarn! I don’t like the unevenness of the buttons–look how far apart the first two are, and then look at the last two–but that’s just poor sample knitting on someone’s part. I probably wouldn’t make the screaming red heart elbow patches:

Yikes. That’s too twee. But maybe in the marl grey used for the body of the sweater, perhaps with a judicious decorative red yarn crossstitching around the edge? That would take it from “Pushing Daisies” to “Ysolda” in the whimsical spectrum, I think. Not that I didn’t love Pushing Daisies and cry when it got cancelled, or anything.


  1. now how do we get the editors to read your excellent review?!

  2. Why does the owner of this blog suck lemons?

  3. […] never take consistency in trim for granted again after that mix ‘n match Western vest from last winter’s Knitscene.. My only qualm about this sweater is just my personal dislike for geometric lace. Overall, […]

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