Posted by: ritsukurimono | February 15, 2010

Interweave Spring 2010 Preview

Another day, another season, another knit publication to review. Interweave’s Spring 2010 preview is up here. I’m sort of “bleh” overall at this issue, but there are some attractive pieces and well, spring season knitting tends to be sort of lackluster anyway, no? There were some huge issues with styling, specifically layering, in this issue. Let’s take it from the top.

The New Lace

Well, it’s a stole with lily of the valley lace on it. Kind of like Lily of the Valley Shawl from Lace Style, by the same designer.

I kind of wish they had found a bustier model to wear this sweater. The color looks great on her skin, but it really minimizes what bust she has while the handkerchief hem obscures her tiny waist, making this a total maternity top. the pattern notes say that it’s worn with 2″-3″ of positive ease, and this is just not the sort of top that you want to wear loose.

I definitely dislike the unevenness of the button placement; that’s just sloppy-looking. This is a sort of tricky shape to wear. It seems like it would be good for busty gals, but the neckline is quite high and doesn’t frame the breasts or collarbone, and there doesn’t seem to be a defined waist, which means the handkerchief hem just sort of billows, adding bulk. It really would be good for pregnant women, but might be problematic for the rest of us.

I kind of find this one darling in a vintagey sort of way. I like the detailing of the v-back a lot, the tailored touches, and I think this would be a versatile wardrobe piece. It’s nothing new under the sun (quite reminds me of the Katharine Hepburn Cardigan, in fact) but it’s a wearable shape that’s been updated in nice ways, especially in the neckline.

I also like how the column of closely spaced small buttons defines and highlights the waist.

Man, I really don’t like this one. I don’t like the choice of accent color–that eggplant and lilac (I’m sorry, that’s “blackcurrant” and “dewberry) together are killing me–and the fluffy fabric and that pose are making the model look huge when she’s not. I actually like the bands around the hem and sleeve cuffs, but the overembellishment of the neckline is so heavy and dragging on a featherweight garment.

I dislike the squiggliness of the contrast line around the v-neck and I hate hate hate how the top stripe in the v-neck itself is wider on the left than on the right.

Isn’t this the most attractive photo they took? Look, the model has a lovely figure! The collar stripes are in proportion with the rest of the garment, and the person who styled this shoot had the good sense to just layer it with a tank top. Dude, that seems elementary, but just wait until the end of this magazine. Apparently, it’s not.

It’s a very beret-y lace beret. I dislike that sort of thing, but hey, if it’s your cup of tea, go for it. Isn’t that coat great, though?

I find that this niche in my wardrobe is totally filled by garments of a more flattering shape. In fact, there just isn’t any shape to it. I just don’t know why you would knit this? Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing really wrong with it and I don’t hate it, but I would pass it by in a store, you know what I mean? But your mileage may vary.

I do think this is the first time this section where there is a major misstep in the styling. This is not an innately sophisticated garment. It might be a little more sophisticated in a different color, but there’s nothing complicated or interesting about that clear medium blue. Nothing wrong with that; there’s a place for uncomplicated rustic-ish long vests in bright colors in this world. But look, it’s paired with this diaphanous top in a dusty rose color, belted with a thin red belt, in a dining room with a freaking candelabra on the table. It’s such an awful mismatch. And yet, imagine this photo with the same sweater, in, say, a grey or even a more muted light blue! Wouldn’t that look better? (Props, though, for the watch and the earrings; those are great.)

Texture Goes Green

Oh look, it’s that model again. Of all the Knitscene models to reuse, you pick her? Seriously? She still can’t pose.

I really like this camisole! I think the braided texture portion is really interesting and flattering, and I like the slight ruching where it attaches to the body of the camisole. But seriously, look at that layering issue:

Oatmeal colored tank over printed dark blue long tank over periwinkle three quarter sleeve shirt. The two blues don’t even go with each other, let alone the color of the garment that they are selling.

Oh my god, is the long layering tank leopard print? Good christ.

Nothing much to say about this one; it’s all right if you like that sort of thing, I guess? It just looks really heavy and yet not that warm, which is a strange combination. I know it’s a wool/cotton blend so it’s probably decently thermal at least, but I don’t know, I just don’t find it very flattering. There’s that damn skinny red belt again.

Like the concept but not the execution. Are you really going to pay $259 to knit an enormous afghan out of cotton (37 skeins * $7, which is the price on Lion’s website?)

This is a tricky one. I like all the little finishing details–the button band lining, the buttons, the cuffs and hems–and I can sort of see men wearing it OR thinking it’s way too much in terms of texture, but you know, to each their own and some men would probably wear it, right? I think it’s a little poofy and big on the model, especially from the back view, but it would probably look good on some people, right?

But then it seems like they’re trying to bill it as being reversible, and there is the point where I go, “That nubbly texture is probably a no go for 99% of the male population and just a setup for failure and perpetuation of the Boyfriend Curse myth.” Also I don’t like the way the button band lining is visibly sewn down on the reverse side; a feature that I liked as neat and finished-looking on the front side has become kind of shoddy work, which is always disappointing. It would have been more than okay if they’d only stopped at the one side.

Side by Side

Boxy, cropped little sweater. Maybe too cropped and too boxy, but the side-to-side knitting direction gives the back a sort of interesting drape.

In any case, it does the sixties mod thing a lot better than some of the later garments in this issue.

I really like the back of this cardigan: it fits perfectly, the raglan sleeves and standup collar give it a really pleasing well-tailored look, the stitch pattern plays with translucence and polka-dotting in a sweet way.

The front is pretty nice as well; the ribbon gives it a sort of shawl lapel tuxedo kind of look that is different yet flattering.

But once you ruche it up…Ye gods. That is not flattering. Her breasts have melted! Not only does it make the model look flat as a washboard, it actually makes her look like a washboard. Why would you make a cardigan that gives you the deflated, droopy dugs of an eighty-year-old?

In conclusion, this is an adorable sweater. You should make it! But please, please don’t ruche it up like that.

Nothing wrong with it, but boring. Looks like it belongs in Knitscene or Knit.1, not IK.

Styling mismatch or styling genius? You have the good sense to pick out that sharply tailored trenchcoat in a killer dark blue, and that’s the bag you pick to go with it? Please. Alternatively, the stylist is just working with what they’ve got and selling a bigger dream than usual. Whatever. It’s a cotton messenger bag with an icord strap empty, so the instant you put anything in it it’ll be dragging on the floor.

The directional knitting on this looks interesting. It would probably look good on girls with a bit of a bust. Just not over a dress shirt, as suggested by the photo. That shirt is not business casual, Interweave, come on.

All of a Piece

This, I really like! Both the sweater and the styling, pretty much. The sweater is a perfect spring layering piece, would look good in different sizes and colors with minimal modification, and the proportions are slimming.

The choice of a layering garment is spot-on and that skirt is great. I even like the choice to pair it with rainboots; they work with the flowers on the skirt to give it a very whimsical spring feeling, and this shoot must have been shot sometime last fall or winter. I think this is really charming.

That’s really, truly awful. The inspiration is pure class, all Jackie O in the sixties with her impeccable Chanel, but the execution–there are all sorts of places for large-gauge garter stitch, okay? Hap blankets! Tomten jackets! Other patterns of EZ extraction! A 60s swing jacket? Not the place for large-gauge garter stitch. And the sleeves are partially stockinette, so it’s a design feature.

It hits in the wrong place, too, at almost the fullest part of the hip, making the model look as wide as a whale. And you know that garter stitch will grow and grow over the course of the day–you might have a car coat by the end of it. I really can’t fault the stylist for this one–the grey driving gloves? The white shift dress? Perfect. S/he did their job. It’s the rest that’s the problem.

The model still can’t model, but it almost doesn’t matter, because HOLY SHIT WHAT THE HELL, STYLIST?! Who puts a long, baggy tank top over an even longer, baggier blouse, especially when one is petrol blue and the other one is salmon? Especially when the strings of the blouse are all loose and flopping everywhere. Look at that crap:

That is a shape you have to be absolutely swimming in. It’s not something where your voluminous tank top can be kind of filled out by the voluminous blouse you wear it over. The point is to say “Look how tiny I look in this HUGE SACK,” not “Look how I….kind of fill out this HUGE SACK!” Good lord.

The extra sad part is that the camisole actually has some nice detailing. Not that the model isn’t covering it up, or anything (bring back Wonderful Model! She wouldn’t pull that shit) but it’s charming and I might actually knit it.


  1. Yeesh. Some of those things are just butt ugly.

  2. You have hit the nail on the head, and with great wit. I laughed out loud. Thanks! I’m up too late trying to figure out Boscage Right Mitt PSSO3… I’ll try again in the morning. This post is the perfect way to end the night.

    • Haha, thanks! Boscage Right Mitt PSSO3 is different because it happens on the left needle–the fourth stitch on the left needle (slipped on the previous round) is passed over the first three stitches and dropped, and then you work the three stitches you dropped the slipped stitch over.

      Please let me know if anything is unclear or your have more questions!

  3. […] able to play with ruching the front like that if you’re working with a lighter fabric (like Audrey’s Cardigan from Interweave Spring 2010), but Chiral is knit in a worsted weight alpaca/wool/nylon […]

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