Friday, January 07, 2011

Review: Winter Vogue

Vogue or IK? Vogue or IK? Knitters seem to like to debate which is the better knitting magazine. I subscribe to both, and I don't have a preference. Rather, it seems like I'll like one a lot and then hate the next issue of the same magazine a lot.

So the new Vogue Knitting (Winter 2010/11) is out, with the theme of "Forever Cozy". While 'Vogue' and "cozy' don't really go together in my book, I found this issue pretty good.

The Good: Cute fair isles in the "Chalet Chic" section (numbers 4 and 5: no twee names for VK!) The entire "Art of the Cardigan" and "Vintage Modern" sections have a lot of great knit patterns. I like #19 in the "Urban Outfits" section..a long cable pullover with a 'capelike cowl'. #25 has a creative cable pattern on the back (but needs to be lengthened). Maybe 6 patterns I'd think about knitting. The article on brioche looks very thorough (although VK has a reputation for being technically, um, iffy). But we'll give them the benefit of the doubt). The editorial pictorial on row counters kind of cracked me up. Is Vogue running out of things to talk about? Still, it made me laugh since it was just a bit ridiculous to devote a page to a bunch of things that all look alike.

The Bad: VK has recently tried to tap into the sock knitting trend but ends up with socks that are dull (31 and 32) or just whackadoodle (33. There are embroidered cardinals on it. Seriously). The "Urban Outfits" section features pastel colors: odd for a winter issue AND for a feature on Urban Outfits. Several patterns feature awkward length sleeves...#2 has kind of cabled batwing sleeves that end at the elbow and #6 is a zip hoody with what looks like fun fur trim on the elbow length sleeves. This makes me feel like either the designer was too lazy to write out a pattern for long sleeves, or that the yarn companies want to make the yarn for an entire project more affordable. Matters little. I don't like it. Finally, the "Fiber Optics" section features things in black and white, which I should love, but I don't. Grown women should not wear mini dresses with intarsia hearts around the bottom (#24).

The Ugly: The accessories shown with some of the patterns are horrendous. Examples: the 'jauntry' mustard fedora on #2 which looks ill fitting, a weird furry mustard SOMETHING underneath the scarf of #3, a bronze velvet pimp hat and dominatrix boots on #11, and the furry mustard SOMETHING re-appearing on #17. Scaryhair in the 'Vintage Modern' feature. And only one pattern gets my ugly vote: a 'cutaway vest' that has a loop-stitched collar. That's one pattern that the weird furry mustard SOMETHING might have helped.

All in all, though, a pretty good issue. Here's a question. When you buy a magazine, do you look for a percentage or number of possible knits for you?

See photos from the issue here!

1 comment:

Kim said...

I love it when you use "twee"!

Absolutely, there's a "buy/don't buy" threshold for me. I take the number of patterns in an issue I like/would knit, and divide the magazine cost by it. If it's a reasonable amount to pay for each pattern, I buy the magazine.

In this, the green cardigan with the great ruffles just about pays for the whole issue.