Tuesday, November 21, 2006

One Kiss Goodnight

It's that time again, where I actually go on hiatus with malice aforethought, as opposed to the rest of the year where I just dawdle off into the ether until someone reminds me that I have a blog.

I didn't useta poke at others' knitting, I really didn't. I actually subscribed to Vogue until they forgot why they were the 1,000 pound gorilla. I subscribed to Knitters' until they committed several cardinal sins--the first one being "not publishing anything that could reasonably be worn."

I subscribe to InKnitters for the articles--great techniques that actually make for interesting knitting and soemtimes (with a little tweaking) produce a flattering, wearable garment. Or, more likely, techniques that can be filched and re-worked into a more classic line.

And I subscribe to Interweave Knits for much the same reason, with the added bonus that sometimes I'll even want to make something up as written. But I am forcibly reminded that it's a mixed bag.

I mean, look at this. It's on the cover for good reason. A nice color, not too trendy, not too harsh, nicely fitted lines instead of the Garment That Ate New York, and yet I can see this being made in the largest size and still looking good on the wearer. It's what a sweater should be.

And this. I may knit me one of these and put sleeves in. Sleeves with just a skitch of bell shaping--or maybe dead straight. Not ribbed to fit the wrist, straight off the part of the forearm just where it starts to narrow.

And finally this. I have some yarn from Hunters of Brora that needs a life. You've hears of Harris tweed? Hunters of Brora is the mill that spins for Harris. Raspberry, black, or bottle green? Decisions, decisions.

But there are some really lousy design choices being made here. I'm going to skip the ones where it looks like the designer thought, "Hey! I could knit that!" without going to the next step, which is "Should I knit that?" Intarsia willy warmers on size 0000 needles are still just willy warmers--except with a lot more work.

No, I want to focus on the ones where I wonder just what they were thinking before the item went tragically wrong.

Like this one.

This is just a cloud of "feh" from beginning to end. It's a girly silhouette, with the neckline almost around his shoulders, and the round yoke cutting off the breadth of his body. The sweater is too long, so it's a half-assed tunic. And it's a big box. On a skinny little waif, it'd look cute--her pencil collarbones all sticking out, the excess fabric collapsing against her shrunken belly and flapping around her non-hips. You could even try to call it a boyfriend sweater on a chick, and you might get away with it. On a guy? No, not so much. Not unless his boyfriend is the ultra jealous type who wants to be certain no one but NO ONE is gonna look at Steve more than once.

I just want to grab it and yank the neckline up around his neck and ravel off the last four inches and put in some shaping to narrow the body around his hips. Oh, and remove his faux nose ring and teach him the pleasures of tea. He's trying waaaaay to hard to be trendy in his metrosexual sweater--and he's only made it to 2002. Sad. Really sad.

On the other hand, obviously the sample was sized for petites and they only had a tall model:

You can have a sweater with bracelet length sleeves or a sweater that hits at the high hipbone. Anything else looks like it shrunk in the dryer (eeeeeeek!!)or it belongs to your younger sister. Who's like, eleven, with really good taste.

Yes, I KNOW it's silly to knit inches of sleeve that you'll only push up out of the way. I habitually do the same thing. Could we at least compromise a little, and knit the forearm so it blouses out a bit above a rib or close-knit hem that holds the sleeve up so it looks like your sleeves are long enough? Like you just pushed them up for a minute, and any second now you're going to roll them back down because of course they hit right between your wristbone and ultimate thumb joint? Thank you.

And finally, this sweater, speaking of things that shrunk in the wash:

Well, we finally have a sweater to go with That Skirt. Now you have a whole outfit you can't go anywhere in. What the hell they didn't have a model thin enough? Look at the strain on the buttons! Waitaminnit--this comes in two sizes, a 30" chest and a 40" chest. So the model is probably 34" around, and looks shoehorned into the garment. The schematic shows a straight, boxy silhouette--it's being pulled out of shape to fit the body underneath, rather than oh, I dunno--building in shaping with short rows? Taking advantage of the fact that you're creating the cloth and the garment all at once so you can take a nip here and tuck there rather than taking the lazy man's way out and just writing in inches worth of negative ease?

Fie on you. Fie fie fie.

And that will do us till the new year. Perhaps in 2007 I will resolve to go ahead and poke at others' knitting to my cold black leathery heart's content. If nothing else, it looks like I'd get at least 4 good posts out of it. Maybe six--I'll have to review their publishing schedule.

See you once we've swept up the confetti and worked off the excesses of the holidays.

1 comment:

Tracy's Photogaphs said...

very good writing (I think).

Your comment on my website....basically, you've just summed up my point about myself:

Not an oustanding writer, much improvement needed if I chose to go professional, which honestly, really isn't my goal (right now) other than the required academic work I have to do for school, and maybe a few submissions for the "fun" of it.