Saturday 5 March 2011

Vogue/Designer Knitting Winter 2010/11 Review

Here goes with a review of Vogue/Designer Knitting Winter 2010/11. I have taken all of the photos from the Vogue Knitting website unless otherwise stated. As an aside, I just don't get the reason for renaming Vogue Knitting to Designer knitting here. Really bizarre.

Sorry if this review seems late as I know the Spring issue is now available in the US, but it takes AGES to get over here for some reason. I only got this 2 weeks ago.

I plan on pricing the largest size available for each pattern, as that is the one I would most likely knit. If I can get the yarn in Ireland, I use that price, otherwise Euro prices are US Dollar prices converted, not inclusive of postage.

Substitute yarns I suggest are my own choice, your mileage may vary. I try to use the same fibres as the suggested yarn where possible, but will use others I think would be good if I can't find it. I have used 4 main online Irish retailers for my prices and will vary between them for fairness. I haven't priced anything using mostly acrylic, but if you want me to, let me know in the comments. Also, if you want me to say where I am getting my prices from, let me know too.

Let me say that I love this magazine, and don't mean this review as poking fun at it, more a light hearted reflection of it, and also maybe it will make the magazine think about the cost of the sponsored yarns it uses and the sizes it offers.

One main thing about this issue. It uses LOADS of chunky or heavier yarns. Now I can't knit garments in chunky yarn, I'm chunky enough! It also makes things very expensive, I think. Plus, chunky or heavier yarns are not all that popular over here. Once you go over Aran weight, the selection reduces significantly, therefore you'll see the same possible substitutes over & over again. Sorry!

In the ads at the beginning, I saw an ad for Alsatian Soaps and fell in love!

Pic taken from the Alsatian Soaps website.
Aren't they fab? I love the top right one, three skeins of yarn. I must get me some of these...

As always, this magazine has an article by the amazing Meg Swansen, that she has carried on from her mother EZ. This is probably my favourite part of the whole mag, I can't get enough of Schoolhouse Press.

It also seems to have a bit of an obsession with Nicky Epstein. She always gets a two or more page spread every issue with some flimsy design or other. This issue, it's an icord necklace:

There are two necklaces to knit. The Pendant Knot (gold) one first.
Size: 2 x 3" I reckon this is the size of the pendant part.
Yarn: Fonty Serpentine, 100% Nylon 142 yds/50g, 2 skeins
Weight: Sportweight
Cost to knit: $ 13 or €9.30

The Gilded Knot (blue) necklace.
Size: 3.5 x 3"
Yarn: S. Charles Collezione/Tahki/Stacy Charles Stella 74% Silk 26% lurex 84yds/25g, 1 skein
Weight: Worsted
Cost to knit: $11.95 or €8.55

Um. Um. It's a length of icord tied in a knot. I know it's an unusual use of icord, but it's icord. Still, might be worth a try if you're bored of an evening. All that icord would drive me batty, but you never know. Subs? Gauge is not important for this project, so knock yourself out! I think it'd look very different depending on what weight yarn you used. It could be cool in chunky.

The technique article is a bit of a treat this issue. The fab Nancy Marchant details her brioche knitting technique along with lots of different stitch patterns and also a scarf; It Takes Two:

Size: 5 x 27"
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Sock
Weight: Sock
Cost to knit: $19.99 or €17.95 from an Irish store.

I love this pattern, I think it's really clever. She divides the ball of yarn so the scarf begins with contrasting colours, and the keyhole is created by dividing the layers of brioche. Definitely one I want to try. Not to mention I love the shade she used.

Now we head into the patterns proper. Brace yourselves, here comes Winter Wonders:

First up is #1 Mans Cable Turtleneck by Josh Bennett:

Size: 42 - 48.5"
Yarn: Cascade Pastaza 50% wool, 50% alpaca 132yds/100g, 14 skeins
Weight: Aran
Cost to knit: $119 or €85.91

Oh, I forgot to mention the REALLY exciting pattern names. Get used to them, they're all equally complex. They must have spent days locked in a room coming up with such original offerings. Another designer they seem to have a love affair with. He's all over this issue. Not a bad offering I guess, except for the rolling at the edges. How can that be happening with ribbing? Ugh. Also, I think the neck might be a bit tall for the model, he looks like he might choke on his own Brylcreem at any minute. Subs? How about Tivoli Celtic Aran for €67.

On to the next pattern, #2 Womans Cabled Top by (guess) Josh Bennett!

Size: Only 3 sizes. Tut, tut, Vogue. 30, 38 & 44"
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend 70% Merino, 30% Silk 150yds/50g, 17 skeins
Weight: DK
Cost to knit: $195.50 or €159.91 from an Irish store.

Hahahaha €160 for a half length cardi? Not on your nelly. It looks to me like it's a poncho masquerading as a cardigan. I'm not sure. Not one for me, anyway. You could sub with the delicious Irish produced Cushendale Woollen Mills DK yarn for a mere €61. This yarn is sold in the US as Blackwater Abbey yarns I believe. You may remember I visited the mill last Easter.

A new section, Chalet Chic. The first pattern is #3 Reversible Cable Scarf by, you guessed it, Josh Bennett AGAIN. He's like the party guest that won't go home at the end of the night and all you want to do is clean up & go to bed:

Size: 13 x 65"
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes 50% Alpaca, 50% Merino 100yds/100g, 8 skeins
Weight: Aran
Cost to knit: $150 or €108.21

I find myself laughing a lot at this review. Hahaha €108 for a scarf? hahaha. Essentially it's just a cable scarf, nothing especially unusual about it. Subs could include Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran for €53.55 or Lett Lopi for €31.60.

I'm getting annoyed at Josh now. I've made moves towards the door, but he's still sitting on the sofa, drinking my wine. This will end badly I fear. Next pattern is #4 Mans Fair Isle Cardi by Josh "no home to go to" Bennett:

Size: 42 - 48"
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool 100% wool 233yds/100g, 12 skeins
Weight: Worsted
Cost to knit: $83.88 or €60.52

Is this fair isle? Not to me, certainly not in the traditional sense of the word. Still, preppy boys might like it. I reckon Simon Cowell would love it, the model seems to share his sense of taste in trousers up to their necks. Subs? How about Jamieson & Smith Shetland Aran for €105.99 or Lett Lopi for €102.70. No, I wouldn't either for that price. Kerry Woollen Mills Aran for €78 sounds a bit better, and Irish too :)

Right, Josh. I've had enough. I'm kicking you out. I don't care if you're not finished your drink & the last canapé that I was looking forward to scoffing alone once you'd buggered off, you're leaving. Don't let the door hit you on the bum on the way out. Oh, and you're never getting invited to my house again. EVER.
#5 Fair Isle Yoke Pullover by Josh "go home you bum" Bennett:

Size: 33 - 52"
Yarn: Aslan Trends Invernal 50% Angora, 25% Nylon, 25% Merino 295yds/100g, 8 skeins
Weight: Worsted
Cost to knit: $128 or €92.34

Look at the bottom of the sweater, at the top that's peeking out beneath. Doesn't it look like Octopus suckers? Does to me. And her skirt clashes with just about everything. This sweater is worked in pieces and seamed. WHY? Plus, I think the yoke looks way too tight. I reckon a boo boo was made with the stranding here. Also, those are not fair isle stitches, they're Norwegian! Sheesh. I couldn't find suitable subs that had angora, so these will have to do instead. Debbie Bliss Fez for €143 or Rowan Pure Wool Aran for €120.53. Yeah. Sometimes a substitute is not to be got at a reasonable price. This is not going to be knit by me. That was what EPS was invented for.

Next up is the imaginatively titled #6 Hoodie Jacket, coz it's a jacket. With a hood. By Laura Bryant.

Size: 45.5 - 59.5"
Yarn: Prism Merino 100% Merino 118yds/100g, 9 skeins
Prism Fern 100% Nylon 45yds/56g 3 skeins
Weight: Merino = Bulky, Fern = Super Bulky
Cost to knit: $291 or €210

Essentially this is a jacket with a fun fur hood. Two things occur to me about this. For a jacket, it's very short, and sleeves that short wouldn't keep anyone warm. You'd think they'd run our of yarn on the sleeves, and at that price I can understand why they didn't buy any more. Mad money for a short jacket. And as for fun fur? Do people still use this stuff? I know I couldn't find a substitute for it. My subs for this would be Brown Sheep Lambs Pride Bulky at €83.25 or Lang Mille Colori Big at €76.41. The nearest I could come to the fur is Sirdar Funky Fur that would have to be held doubled, at €10.88.

Next we have #7 Cabled Hat by Deborah Newton:

Size: 21" circumference
Yarn: Alpaca with a twist Highlander 45% merino, 45% alpaca, 10% microfibre, 3 skeins.
Weight: Aran
Cost to knit: $39 or €28

I don't get this hat. Honestly. It reminds me of something, maybe the big hats they wear in Russia or Mongolia, I can't quite put my finger on it. I think it looks a bit ridiculous. I'd be afraid of wearing that in Dublin, I'd get slagged off no end. Maybe the slump in the economy is something to be grateful for, less builders to laugh at you as you'd walk by wearing this. Or maybe I'm being harsh. With the right head (i.e. not mine) this could look good. If you have such a head, subs could be Studio Donegal/Kilcarra Aran Tweed for €17, Spud & Chloe Sweater for €34.50 or Malabrigo Merino Worsted for €23.

Next up is #8 Loop Collar Vest by Lori Steinberg:

Size: 3 sizes. (Shame on you Vogue) 30 - 38.5".
Yarn: Filatura di Crosa Zara Plus 100% wool, 77yds/50g, 9 skeins.
Tahki Stacy Charles Natasha 38% wool, 32% Acrylic, 24% alpaca, 5% nylon, 38yds/50g, 4 skeins.
Weight: Zara Plus = Aran, Natasha = Super Bulky.
Cost to knit: $132.05 or €94.65

Oh dear. Oh dear. There are lots of things wrong with this picture I fear. First, is the loopy edging. What's with that? It reminds me of the lions mane washcloth with all the loops for the mane. Which is fine for a kids washcloth, but not so fine to be cocooning my face. I'm cranky enough in the morning before my coffee without looking like a lion. Second is the bust of the cardigan. Look at the picture on the left. See the right hand side of that picture? It's like all the arrows are pointing straight at the models nipples. Not a good look. If you wanted to knit this, I'm not really sure what you could use for the loops, but here's a guess. Try Kerry Woollen mills Aran for the cardi at €19.50 (great value yarn) and Wendy Wisp held double for the collar at €6.50.

Next is #9 Pocket Pullover by Helen Sharp:

Size: 33 - 52.5"
Yarn: Classic Elite Waterlily 100% wool, 100yds/50g, 25 skeins.
Weight: Aran
Cost to knit: $268.75 or €192.17

Hahahaha almost €200 to knit this in the recommended yarn? What a joke. I do like this sweater though. It's plain, but not too plain. I like the detail at the neck, but in the picture on the right, the top loop is hanging off the button. I wonder if they would keep falling off and you'd spend your days fixing it. I'm not so sure I'd put in the kangaroo pouch pocket at the front though, exactly where I don't want people to be looking. I think it's a possible knit for me. Subs? Well, how about Garnstudio Drops Alaska for €75 or Kerry Woolen mills Aran (again) for €69.64.

The next section is called The Art of the Cardigan. The first pattern is #10 Draped Cardigan by Norah Gaughan:

Size: 36 - 52"
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca 50% alpaca 50% wool, 215yds/100g, 9 skeins
Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light 50% wool, 50% alpaca 144yds/50g, 2 skeins
Weight: Ultra Alpaca = Worsted, Ultra Alpaca Light = Sport
Cost to knit: $92.50 or €66.14

I am in love. It's official. I love everything about it. From the colour, to the drape, to the ruffle, collar and cuffs. I must make this. I must. I have knit with Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine before (Pointelle Socks) and it was really nice to knit with, so I could actually be tempted to order the recommended yarn from the States. I've paid more than the price above for a garment. If I don't order it, I may use Drops Nepal and Drops Alpaca for €68.70. Because the prices here are so close to the original yarns price, you can see my dilemma. I shall have to mull it over. But it's alreay in my queue.

Next is #11 Ribbed Cardigan by John Brinegar:

Size: 41 - 55"
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Tonos Chunky 50% merino, 50% alpaca, 109yds/100g, 17 skeins
Weight: Bulky
Cost to knit: $312.80 or €223.67

Once you've picked yourselves up off the floor after the price to knit that, let's continue. It's a cardigan. Not a particularly exciting design, just a cardigan. It's fishermans rib. End of, really. I do love the models boots though, they look like powah boots. No one would mess with me while I was wearing those babies. Sub yarns? How about Debbie Bliss Glen for €113, Rowan Cocoon for €157 or Drops Eskimo for €84.

Onwards to the next pattern, #12 Collared Cardigan by Sharon Sorken:

Size: 3 sizes (c'mon) 35 - 39"
Yarn: Artyarns Ultra Bulky 100% merino, 110yds/100g, 13 skeins.
Weight: Bulky
Cost to knit: $292.50 or €209.15

Why is this only in 3 sizes? It doesn't look to me like there's anything in it that would make it hard to resize. That's just lazy publishing. All it is is a wrapover. Doesn't float my boat. Every time you moved it would bulge open and you'd be driven mad squishing it back under the belt or pulling it over at the top. Wear it open if you're going to wear it at all. Subs could be Brown Sheep Lambs Pride Bulky for €111 or Twilleys Freedom Purity Eco Chunky for €75.

The next pattern is #13 Hooded Jacket by Debbie Bliss:

Size: 36 - 54"
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Luxury Tweed 85% merino, 15% angora, 96yds/50g, 26 skeins
Weight: Aran
Cost to knit: $260 or €185.91

Alost €190 for a garter stitch jacket? Eh, no ta. Substitute Studio Donegal/Kilcarra Aran Tweed for €85.55. That's more like it. Now, on to the pattern itself. It's nothing new, or unusual, it's just a garter stitch cardi with a hood. But, it's nice and classic, and has a good range of sizes.

The last pattern in this section is #14 A-line Cardigan by Mari Lynn Patrick:

Size: 35 - 54"
Yarn: Plymouth Taria Tweed Bulky 40& Merino, 30% Silk, 30% Llama, 135yds/100g, 13 skeins
Weight: Bulky
Cost to knit: $195 or €139.44

I like this cardi. It looks oversized and slouchy but still has some structure to it. I could see myself wearing this while curled up on the couch on lazy Sundays. It does seem to have a large skirt to it though, look at the way the model is pulling it round herself to try and hide the extra fabric. But, I have a big bum, so that's not an issue for me. :) A possible make I think. Subs could be Twilleys Freedom Purity Eco Chunky for €90.55 or Drops Eskimo Mix Colour for €92.40

The next section is titled Urban Outfits. The first pattern is #15 Leaf Motif Pullover by Renee Lorion:

Size: 34 - 54"
Yarn: Bergere de France Origin Merinos 100% wool, 105yds/50g, 17 skeins.
Weight: Worsted
Cost to knit: €114.41

The yarn is wrong in the magazine. It calls it Bergere de France Merinos which I couldn't find. I could only find Origin Merinos. I do like this sweater, I think it's an unusual motif. I don't like the neckline shape or the fact that it looks unfinished at the neck. I'd have to change that. But, I do think once altered it would look great. Another possibility for me. I'd sub with Garnstrudio Drops Alaska for €55 or Kerry Woollen Mills Aran for €58.50.

Next we have #16 Cabled Pullover by Mel Clark:

Size: 3 sizes (BOO) 34 - 42.5"
Yarn: Naturally Pride Wool 100% NZ Merino, 109yds/50g, 14 skeins
Weight: DK
Cost to knit: $97.30 or €69.57

I am so mad about the sizing on this one, as I really like it. What a load of tosh, 3 sizes. I found it really hard to get a price for this yarn too, there seem to be very few sellers. I'd sub with Artesano Superwash Merino for €83.30, Drops Merino Extrafine Superwash for €54.60 or Rowan Pure Wool DK for €59.40. I'm sulking over this one.

Next is #17 Bulky Pullover by Jacqueline Van Dillen:

Size: 35 - 53"
Yarn: Brown Sheep Shepherds Shades 100% wool, 131yds/100g, 13 skeins
Weight: Bulky
Cost to knit: $104 or €74.36

I really like the look of this yarn, such a shame it's not available here. Wish I could say the same for this sweater though. Is it just me or does the neck in the right hand picture look really weird? Like it's twisting? Maybe it's just me. I like the stitch pattern on the back, plain on the butt and easing up into the torso. Perfect for taking eyes off the bits you don't want eyes on. Subs could be Lambs Pride Bulky for €129.50, Alafoss Lopi for €104 or Drops Eskimo for €76.80.

The next pattern is #18 Cabled Topper by Michele Wang:

Size: 41.5 - 65"
Yarn: Cascade 128 Superwash 100% Merino, 128yds/100g, 10 skeins.
Weight: Chunky
Cost to knit: $115 or €82.23.

Quite reasonable yarn cost there for a 65" chest "topper" I think. But, what's with the sizing? 41.5" smallest? How is this meant to be worn? You can see on the model it's WAY too big, hence the belt. It looks like there's no shaping in it, by the size of the armholes. I'm willing to bet that's all bunched up in the back to make that silhouette. However, with a few mods I think it could be nice. I'd add shaping and sleeves I think. Subs could be Drops Eskimo for €52.80, Rowan Cocoon for €119.90 or Twilleys Freedom Purity Eco Chunky for €67.15.

Next is #19 Cowl Neck Tunic by Lidia Karabinech:

Size: 34 - 54"
Yarn: S Charles Collezione Tinka 100% Merino, 108yds/50g, 24 skeins.
Weight: Aran
Cost to knit: $190.80 or €136.43

Very 1960's looking picture with her jaunty hat. Not my kind of garment I'll admit, but I can see how others might like it. It could look very well on someone with broad shoulders. Subs could include Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran for €160.69, Kerry Woollen Mills Aran for €78 or Drops Nepal for €83.20.

On we go to #20 Belted Tunic Cardi by Mari Lynn Patrick:

Size: 38 - 48"
Yarn: Plymouth Chunky Merino Superwash 100% Merino, 109yds/100g, 15 skeins.
Weight: Chunky
Cost to knit: $180 or €128.70

The model scares me in this picture. She looks like she's going to start a fight. Plus, what the hell is going on with the shirt underneath the cardigan? Looks ridiculous. I don't get this garment really. It's Chunky weight, therefore meant to be an outer garment, yet it has no buttons and short sleeves? Look at the way it gapes at the top & bottom. Not on my list, that's for sure. Subs could be Debbie Bliss Glen for €101.15 or Drops Eskimo for €74.40.

A new section, Fiber Optics, and hurrah for an older model! It's fantastic to see a regular person instead of a waif of about 12. The first pattern is #21 Two Colour Rib Cardi by Lisa Whiting:

Size: 2 sizes. AAAAAGH 35.5 & 39"
Yarn: Zitron/Skacel Lifestyle 100% merino, 170yds/50g, 18 skeins.
Weight: Fingering
Cost to knit: $179.10 or €128.06

I am so mad. 2 sizes. Seriously? What a waste of magazine space if that's all you're going to publish. I'm equally mad coz I like it. There's no way I'd use the recommended yarn at that price, I'd sub with Brown Sheep Nature Spun Fingering for €39.50. I'm basing that on the price I think it is of €3.95 per ball, as there's none listed on the stockists site. You could also use Cushendale 4ply for €51.75. Grr.

Next we have #22 Graphic Wrap by Brandon Mably:

Size: 27 x 52"
Yarn: Rowan Alpaca Cotton 72% Alpaca, 28% Cotton, 148yds/50g, 8 skeins.
Weight: Aran
Cost to knit: $100 or €71.50

I suppose it's a nice wrap, but I'd be inclined to call it more of a blanket. I'd say in Aran weight that'd be heavy enough. You could sub with Lett Lopi for €43.45 or Drops Nepal for €39.

Next is #23 Entrelac Cardigan by Rosemary Drysdale:

Size: 32 - 52"
Yarn: Tahki Zara 100& wool, 137yds/50g, 18 skeins
Weight: DK
Cost to knit: $225 or €160.96

Another farcical price to knit. This cardigan doesn't fit, either, That model is slim, yet look at the way it makes her belly appear to bulge out below the belt. Why on earth is there no button band or method of closure on it? Smacks of laziness to me. Subs could include Rowan Pure Wool DK for €94.05, Drops Merino Fine Superwash for €85.80 or Cushendale DK for €63.

#24 Jumper by Louisa Harding is next:

Size: 35 - 56.5"
Yarn: Louisa Harding Millais 50% Wool, 50% Acrylic, 65yds/50g
Weight: Super Bulky
Cost to knit: $159 or €119 from an Irish retailer

They really pushed the boat out with this pattern name, Jumper. Sheesh. It's a plain tunic with a few hearts & a picot edging. Hardly ground beaking, but still it's pretty. I'd be inclined to wear it as a long top, if I were to knit it, which I won't. Subs? Rowan Big Wool for €149.25 or Istex Plotulopi held double for €47.60.

Next is #25 Cable Back Cardigan by Tom Scott:

Size: 3 sizes (and they mark it as available as a plus size??) 51 - 58.5" Madness.
Yarn: Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds Chunky Undyed 100% wool, 120yds/100g, 8 skeins.
Weight: Bulky
Cost to knit: $111.60 or €79.83

I found it hard to locate retailers for this yarn, it's not one I'd heard of before. The sizes available are bananas. Look how skinny that model is, yet you're meant to believe she's wearing a 51" chest cardigan? Much creative pinning at the back I suspect. Ridiculous. Subs could include Twilleys Freedom Purity Eco Chunky for €51.35 or Drops Eskimo for €43.20, if all that purling didn't drive you insane.

Next is #26 Twinkle Coat Dress by Twinkle:

Size: 35 - 42.5"
Yarn: Twinkle Soft Chunky 100% wool, 85yds/100g, 17 skeins
Weight: Super Bulky
Cost to knit: $340 or €243.22

Ahahahahha €243 for a coat. Ahahahahha. Twinkle seems to be another pet fave designer at VK, and honestly I don't see the appeal. Her yarns are ridiculously expensive and always massively chunky. Never in a million years would I knit some of the patterns she has designed. This one isn't her worst by any means, but you'd have to be thin as a rake (and very rich) to wear it. If you are one of those people, you could sub Debbie Bliss Como held double for €430 (!) or Lang Anouk I think is the same weight for €136.85.

Another new section now, Vintage Modern. Is that an oxymoron? I suspect these are reprints of older VK patterns.
The first pattern is #27 Tie-Front by Vogue Knitting:

Size: 32 - 50"
Yarn: Koigu Mori 50% Merino, 50% Mulberry Silk 185yds/50g, 9 skeins.
Weight: Fingering
Cost to knit: $224.91 or €160.89

Yeah. €160. The model reminds me of the evil one from Superman II:

Joking aside, I suppose it's a nice enough top. You could sub with any sock weight yarn, but I've picked Sublime Baby Cashemere merino Silk 4ply for €56.25 or Baby Alpaca Silk Cashmere for €64 for a bit of luxury.

Next is #28 Horizontal Cables by Vogue Knitting:

Size: 32 - 48"
Yarn: Knit one crochet too Ambrosia 70% Alpaca, 20% Silk, 10% Cashmere, 137yds/50g, 11 skeins.
Weight: Sport
Cost to knit: $124.85 or €89.31

I think I remember a sideways cable cardigan being on the front cover of a VK before. It was in white. Anyway, I like this. I'm not mad about the collar, I'd probably change it, and make it longer too. Subs could include Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino for €71.40, Sublime Extra Fine Merino for €47.60 or Artesano Alpaca for €44.

Moving swiftly on to #29 Ribbed Pullover by Vogue Knitting:

Size: 32 - 46"
Yarn: Zealana Willow 12ply 70% Merino, 30% Cashmere, 73yds/50g, 21 skeins.
Weight: Super Bulky
Cost to knit: $320.25 or €229.09

Another chortle at the price to knit. I don't have a lot to say about this, I think it's a bit masculine & boring to be honest. Subs include Lang Malou for €143 or Bulky Lopi for €159.85.

On to #30 Ski Sweater by Vogue Knitting:

Size: 32 - 52"
Yarn: Be Sweet Brushed Mohair 100% Mohair, 120yds/50g, 10 skeins.
Weight: Bulky
Cost to knit: $173.50 or €124.11

I have precisely one thing to say about this sweater: ITCHY. That is all. I'm not even going to bother with possible subs for this.

The final section (whopee I hear you cry) is Socks in the City.
The first pattern is #31 Cabled Knee Socks by Star Athena:

Size: 7" foot circumference
Yarn: Claudia Handpainted Yarns 100% merino, 175yds/50g, 4 skeins
Weight: Fingering
Cost to knit: $52 or €37.19

A very small foot circumference I think. Would require lots of modding to fit my tree trunk legs. Subs could be loads of yarns, but Lang Jawoll would cost you €12.75 or Malabrigo Sock €37.90.

Next is #32 Eyelet Socks by Star Athena:

Size: 7" foot circumference
Yarn: Classic Elite Alpaca Sox 60% Alpaca, 20% Merino, 20% Nylon, 450yds/100g, 2 skeins
Weight: Fingering
Cost to knit: $37.90 or €27.11.

I haven't bothered factoring in the light yarn at the top of the cuff, any scrap would do. Again with the small feet. Bit of a meh pattern for me. Subs? Dublin Dye Merino Sock for €41 or Drops Fabel Plain for €10.40

Last but not least is #33 Bird Socks by Lisa Whiting:

Size: the magazine says 3.75". Huh?
Yarn: Lornas Laces Shepherd Sock Solids 80% wool, 20% Nylon, 3 skeins & loads of embroidery thread
Weight: Fingering
Cost to knit: $33 or €23.59 not including the embroidery

Holy socks Batman! These are insane. I love them! I'd never make them in a million years, but they look amazing. A work of art. Sub any sock yarn and brush up on your embroidery skills!

And that's yer lot! Hope you enjoyed this review. lots and lots of bulky and chunky knits this time. Hopefully the next issue will have some lighter weight garments.

Good knitting!


charlotte said...

Love the review, Sinéad! I laughed at quite a few spots - Vogue always has been insane with their prices. Not realistic at all for us mere mortals who must finance our own wardrobes.

If I may offer some insight into the big winter hat - the problem is that Dublin just isn't cold enough! My Dub fiance laughs every winter as it gets colder here and people care less and less what they look like. He calls it an American thing, but I think it's a natural reaction to the cold and wind.

You know those big Russian fur hats? People totally wear them in the winter in New York...and not just the Russians! I can't quite bring myself to that point yet - maybe the Vogue hat is for me. :)

Knitrageous said...

Great job Sinéad! Can you imagine the shock a new knitter would experience upon taking the magazine to the yarn store to get the recommended yarn? Forget that hobby!

There is no fashion out here in West Texas. It's hot, windy and backwards! I wear my scarves if it gets below 70 degrees! ha ha

Knitrageous said...

P.S. Sorry! Do LOVE LOVE LOVE the soaps!

Louellen Lawson said...

As I started reading your review...I realized that perhaps I should get my pie in the oven because I would be way behind if I started AFTER I read your post. I enjoyed this a great deal. I especially liked the different yarns listed and the ones you suggested. I haven't broadened my yarn horizons much and need to do that and your variety listed encouraged me to do so. I understood almost all of the post. But, not sure about what 'bugger' and 'slagged' mean. Can you enlighten me?
I didn't care for too many of the designs but so wished I could read about Meg's article. I don't get the Vogue magazine. I should check with my library.
Thanks so much for your time in putting this together.
Charlotte mentioned that the colder it gets the less people care what they look like...I am THERE. Maybe it comes with age....but warmth is just more important to me than looking good. lol

Anonymous said...

Hahahahahaha, oh I do love these reviews!!!

When I saw Superman II woman, I about died - I remember that movie, very well.

I also fail to see the Twinkle appeal. You'd have to be Twiggy to look good in those knits. I'm too short and too 40 years-old to even bother. I don't even know if my 14 year-old would look good in those.

I miss the articles since I no longer subscribe but I really don't miss the patterns as much.

There was a white sideways cardi on the cover before -- I knit that one, and I think that was the last VK pattern I knit.

Nic said...

Hilarious review hon!

' Josh "no home to go to" Bennett'

I snorfled my tea on this one.

I'd have to say that your review is way more interesting than most of the knits, tho' I'm with you on the green ruffled wrap cardigan.

I like the wierdo hat 'cos of the cables but I'll admit that it IS wierd. The problem I have with this style of hat is that I always imagine it with the top flap undone and hanging down over the face. Then it just gets scary!

sheknitupthat said...

Brilliant review! Well done :D Loads of reading in that! I liked the ones that you liked and ... omg that loopy frily thing? WTF?!

Two Cables and a Frapp said...

OMG that was funny ! I have this issue and never noticed that he had so many designs in there. Now the evil woman from Superman, I'm still laughing about that one. -- I am in agreement with you about everything. Why can't they take the time to do the figuring for a more of the larger sizes ?

Bionic Laura said...

Great review! I laughed out loud at so many parts. Especially at poor ole Josh who just wouldn't go away. He can have that yoked jumper, you're right the yoke looks wrong.
Love these review posts, it's nice to have a real perspective on what a garment would cost and how it would knit up.

Tara said...

I love, love, LOVE your reviews, Sinéad! I'm totally waiting for yours to come out before buying ANYTHING from now on :) The cabled pullover (number 16?) is great, I agree. And those final socks are the BOMB! I'd love to make them.