It's review time again! Here we go with Interweave Knits Summer 2011. I have taken all the photos from the Interweave Knits website unless otherwise stated.
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.
This issue has lots of linen in it again. They only had a linen section in the Spring issue. Hmm, yarn companies must be really trying to push linen yarn at the moment. I find linen very hard to work with, and equally hard to substitute for (not to mention expensive). I've tried my best to find good subs, but there's not a lot of linen yarn available here.
First the articles. There's an interesting piece on linen fibres and the differences between them. Same for silk. There's also an article on designing your own pictorial lace charts, and a nice interview with Kathy Zimmerman. I love Kathy as she almost always uses cables. Cables are the shizz.
Right, on to the patterns! This is what you came here for, right?
The first section is called Lace Goes Afield. The pictures in the magazine for this section are really annoying, there's a kind of watermark on the pages that they probably think looks cool, but it makes it hard to see the close up stitch pictures.
The first pattern is Coral Cardigan by Nancy Eiseman:
Size: 6 sizes, 33" - 51"
Yarn: Classic Elite Classic Silk 50% cotton, 50% silk, 20% nylon 135yds/50g 11 skeins
Cost to Knit: $87.45 or €61.12
Not the most auspicious of starts for this issue. It's ok, I suppose, the lace part is ok; but the garter stitch band looks all wrong. I think the way it gets really wide at the middle makes the model look chunky. Like the fabric is really stretched to fit. The sleeves are a bit puffy too. Those things could be easily enough remedied though. Subs could be Garnstudio Silke-Tweed for €40.25 or Debbie Bliss Amalfi for €66.50
The second offering is Greenhouse Tank by Deborah Newton:
Size: 5 sizes, 35" - 51"
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Serena 60% alpaca, 40% cotton 10yds/50g, 8 skeins
Weight: DK (although Ravelry members report it is a very light DK)
Cost to knit: $104 or €72.67
This isn't too bad. A nice simple yet effective lace pattern. Shame about the no sleeves, and the buttons up the side. I don't really get them. But, it's a nice detail from an otherwise plain-ish top I guess. I suppose my overall verdict isn't too exciting, but ok. You could sub with Louisa Harding Willow Tweed for €65.45 or Rowan Felted Tweed for €55.60.
Next is the Torch Lily Tee by Pam Powers:
Size: 5 sizes 32" - 51.75"
Yarn: Shibui Knits Heichi 100% silk 90yds/50g, 11 skeins
Cost to knit: $143 or €99.93
I quite like this top, I think it's a lovely design. Very expensive knit though! I love the angled lace panels at the front, and the unusual neckline. Sadly, I don't think it's something I could wear. Although, if it were knit with finer yarn it could be good under a suit jacket. But, that's too much maths for my currently addled brain. Subs could be Rowan Natural Silk Aran for €97.30 or Rowan Summer Tweed for a much more reasonable €58.05
Next we have the Adriatic Cardigan by Amy Christoffers:
Size: 5 sizes, 31.25" - 51.75"
Yarn: Berroco Linsey 64% cotton 36% linen, 114yds/50g, 11 skeins
Cost to knit: $88 or €61.49
Um. Not for me, I think. I don't like the stripes of solid knitting & lace. I could see some of those stripes getting stretched more than others, & the whole thing looking like a lumpy mess on me. I also think the choice of buttons is a bit unfortunate, it makes the garment look much more dowdy to me. If you're so inclined (and have the figure that won't cause bulges) you can sub with Garnstudio Bomull Lin for €58.80.
The next pattern is Cobblestone Vest by Talitha Kuomi:
Size: 6 sizes that I don't understand. It seems to be measured on back width? 13" - 21". Madness.
Yarn: Louet Euroflax Sport Weight 100% linen 270yds/100g, 9 skeins
Cost to knit: $215.55 or €150.62
Hahaha. €150 to knit. For a minute there I thought I was reviewing Vogue knitting again. Louet Euroflax is crazy expensive. I'm sure it's good quality linen, but I'll never find out, coz I won't be buying it. On to the top. From the front, I think the wrapover looks awful. I think it's the double layer on the models right side, but it reminds me of a housecoat. Y'know the wrapover aprons your mother used to wear? OK, maybe that's a bit cruel. The stitch pattern is nice, look at the back:
I think if the front were altered it would be much nicer. You could sub with Garnstudio Lin for €97.85 or use cotton instead with Patons 100% cotton for a much more reasonable €65.45.
On to a new section, Summer Twine. First up is Camp Smock by Mary Keenan:
Size: 5 sizes 26.75" - 44.5", designed to stretch to fit 50"
Yarn: Zitron Savanna 60% cotton 20% rayon 20% linen 109yds/50g, 18 skeins
Cost to knit: $161.10 or €112.50
Another laughable cost to knit. €112.50 for a tank top? Eh, no ta. I don't like the bust band, I think it would make busty people look squished into it. I do like the vent at the hip though, a nice detail. I can see this looking very pretty on someone thin. You could sub with Lousia Harding Merletto for an equally mad €109, or Garnstudio Cotton Viscose for a far more reasonable €47.60
The next pattern is Lace and Cable Scarflette by Kathy Zimmerman:
Size: 7" x 62"
Yarn: Brown Sheep Serendipity Tweed 60% cotton 40% wool, 210yds/100g, 3 skeins
Cost to knit: $27.25 or €19.39
What a bargain. I'd love to try this yarn if it were available here. Why is it called a scarflette? Isn't it a scarf? Looks long enough to me. Hmm. If I were to knit it, I'd leave off the tassels. I don't really get tassels, they just get caught in everything. Sub with Donegal Yarns AranTweed for €23.60 or Rowan Summer Tweed for €38.70.
The next pattern is very controversial. Hourglass Lace Socks by Silka Burgoyne:
Size: 7.5" circumference
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Quatro 75% merino, 25% nylon 437yds/100g, 1 skein
Cost to knit: $12 or €8.38
Great value sock yarn, there. BUT, is it just me or is this pattern a total rip off from Hourglass Socks on Knitty? The only difference I see is that the stitch pattern flows into the heel. Maybe that's enough of a difference to make it a unique pattern? Anyway, I won't be knitting them, as I already made Hourglass. If you want to, sub any sock yarn you like. Dublin Dye Co. Twinkle Toes will set you back €17.95 or Lang Jawoll (currently on sale) for a bargain €5.90.
Next we have Mission Cardigan by Erica Schlueter:
Size: 6 sizes 34" - 55.5"
Yarn: Fibra Natura Flax 100% linen 137yds/50g, 8 skeins.
Cost to knit: $63.92 or €44.66
Oh dear, it appears our string vest man has made another appearance:
(obviously, this photo isn't from the Interweave site)
I'm pleasantly surprised at the cost of this yarn, much more reasonable than the Louet. I won't be making this in a million years, I just don't see the point. If you are so inclined to make it, sub Garnstudio Lin for €46.35 or Rowan Wool Cotton for €62.55.
Moving on to Banstead Pullover by Lisa Shroyer:
Size: 7 sizes, 42" - 66"
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino 60% alpaca 40% merino 164yds/100g, 10 skeins
Cost to knit: $166 or €116
YAY!!!!! A plus size pattern!!!!!!!! I am overcome with exclamation marks. This is an excerpt from Lisa's book, Knitting Plus. I must drop some birthday present hints for this book. There's a great article with this pattern about how to alter it to best suit your shape. I am totally making this. I'm not quite sure what to substitute with yet, but first picks are Artesano Aran for €119.40 or Drops Nepal for €52. I do also have some yummy Cushendale DK in my stash... Yipee!
The next section is called Cast on. Knit. Wear. The first offering is the Dockside Cardigan by Amy Miller:
Size: 6 sizes, 30" - 50"
Yarn: Cascade Heritage 75% merino 25% Nylon 487yds/100g, 6 skeins
Cost to knit: $72 or €50.31
I love this. I think it would be a great cardi for work. I love the colour the sample is knit in, too. Definitely one for my queue. You could sub Schoppel Wolle Sock plain for €41.70 or Drops Fabel Plain for €31.20
Moving on to the Swirl Skirt by AnneLena Mattison:
Size: 6 sizes 32" - 52"
Yarn: Knit One Crochet Too Ty-Dy Dots 100% cotton 196yds/100g, 5 skeins
Knit One Crochet Too Ty-Dy Wool 100% wool 218yds/100g 3 skeins
Weight: Fingering & Worsted
Cost to knit: $123.20 or €86.09
I've seen the Dublin Knit Collective wearing a skirt very similar to this before, and it looks amazing on her. I can't remember what yarn she used to knit it, but I think you could substitute Noro Kureyon Sock and Noro Kureyon quite successfully for €88.50.
On we go to the Cumulus Tee by Allyson Dykhuizen:
Size: 5 sizes: 27.75" - 39"
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Cotton 100% cotton, 150yds/65g, 10 skeins
Cost to knit: $109 or €76.17
What a crappy range of sizes. 5 of them, and the biggest is 39"? Not the best picture of the sweater either. The skirt makes it look weird, and the model chunky, which she's obviously not. It's a nice pattern though, I really like the neckline and the cuffs. I might investigate it further to see if it can be up-sized. Sub Debbie Bliss Cotton DK for €59.50 or Patons 100% cotton for €41.65.
The next section is titled Mixed Media, and the first offering is Cats Eye Tam by Mary Jane Mucklestone:
Size: 19.5" circumference, relaxed. 22" stretched
Yarn: Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift 100% wool, 114yds/50g, 4 skeins
Cost to knit: €12.35 direct from Jamiesons of Shetland
A nice hat, but I'm not sure about the slouch at the back. I adore shetland yarn though, so I may well give it a go. I'm not offering subs for this one, as shetland wool is so fab and so cheap, why bother?
On we go to Bistro Lace Stole by Daniela Nii:
Size: 18.75" x 62.5"
Yarn: Lornas Laces Lion & Lamb 50% silk 50% wool, 205yds/100g, 3 skeins
Cost to knit: $102 or €71.28
I adore this wrap. It's like it's crocheted, only it's knit. The colours are fab too. But alas, Lion & Lamb is not available here, and it's too expensive. I've been mulling it over in my mind what I'd sub with, and I'm coming up short. I wonder how it would look made in laceweight yarn, I have some scrumptious Hedgehog Fibres Silk Lace in my stash. What do you think? Would it work in laceweight? It's an ingenious construction, each motif is joined as you go, so you don't have loads of finishing to do. I think it would look really striking. I must ponder this one some more, but so far I'm coming up with Noro Silk Garden for €57 or Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran for €41.65. Any other suggestions appreciated!
On to a pattern for the little people. Lion Oh! Sweater by Stacey Gerbman:
Size: 5 sizes 19" - 29"
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece 80% cotton 20% merino 215yds/100g, 5 skeins
Cost to knit: $46 or €32.14
I seriously doubt you'd need 5 skeins, I reckon scraps of the colours would do. Not my cup of tea, but I can see the appeal. I reckon the lions mane would last all of 5 mins before it was pulled off though. Substitute Spud & Chloe Sweater (love that yarn) for €80.50 (!) or Kerry Woollen Mills Aran for €39. Like I said, though, I reckon you could use scraps for the colours and just buy a couple of skeins for the sweater body, making it much more affordable.
We press on, to the Amelia Hoodie by Erica Jackofsky:
Size: 5 sizes 30" - 48.75"
Yarn: Malabrigo Organic Cotton 100% cotton 232yds/100g, 7 skeins
Cost to knit: $95.20 or €66.52
It's a hoodie. With no sleeves. Aren't hoodies meant to keep you warm? Surely you need sleeves to accomplish that. What do I know. I suppose it's ok, but I don't like the length of it. I hate things poking out from underneath. I don't think it sits right on the model either, but that could just be bad posing. Either way, I'm not a hoodie person, so it's not for me. If it is for you, try subbing Tivoli Cruise Aran for €49, or stay organic with Blue Sky Organic Cotton for a whopping €109.45. Yeah.
On to the final section now, Fine Lines. The first offering is the Al Fresco Camisole by Alice Tang:
Size: 6 sizes 28.5" - 48.5"
Yarn: Lion Brand LB Collection Cotton Bamboo 52% cotton 48% bamboo, 245yds/100g, 4 skeins.
Cost to knit: $28 or €19.56
Um. You'd want to be very sure of your knot tying skills to wear this one! I would advise only girl scouts with knot badges need apply. Definitely not one for me! You'd freeze to death in Ireland wearing this. I do like the use of a modified EZ phoney seam to make the large stitches that run up the camisole. Only one sub for this, the faboo King Cole Bamboo Cotton for €19.80. No need for others, it's perfect.
Our third last pattern is the Pebble & Reed Tunic by Daniela Nii:
Size: 6 sizes 32" - 52"
Yarn: Rowan Purelife Revive 36% silk 36% cotton 28% viscose 137yds/50g, 12 skeins
Cost to knit: $131.40 or €91.82
I love this. I love everything about it. From the u shaped neckline neckline with the garter stitch border to the stitch pattern, to the length. It reminds me of the Medallion Tunic from Vogue Knitting I made ages ago. It's perfect for me. I'm defo making this. What to sub? Hmm. How about Garnstudio Silke Tweed for €46 or Debbie Bliss Amalfi for €76. Love.
Our penultimate pattern is the Baby Elephant Vest by Melanie Rice:
Size: 4 sizes 21" - 28.5"
Yarn: Tahki Yarns Misty 64% rayon 30% linen 6% acrylic 120yds/50g, 5 skeins
Cost to knit: $39.75 or €27.77
Another little peoples sweater. It's cute, I guess, but I'm finding it hard to get past my Mammy instinct that wants to roar at the model to GET YOUR HANDS OUT OF YOUR POCKETS! Grr. I hate that. Sub with Garnstudio Bomull Lin for €29.40 or Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran for €41.65 if you can see past the pockets. I can't.
The last pattern! Yay! I hear you cry, coz you're dying to go to the loo, it's taken so long to get this far. Nantucket Vest by Shelley Gerber:
Size: 3 ranges of sizes, from 30" - 50"
Yarn: Tahki Ripple 100% cotton 142yds/50g, 10 skeins.
Cost to knit: $90 or €62.89
I like the way this lies across the models butt, but the armholes are a no go. Look at the size of them! I bet this sucker would keep falling off your shoulders all day. The yarn is really unusual too, it's like a thick/thin ribbon. I couldn't find anything comparable to sub with, so I've decided to go mad and pick something completely different. Try Cushendale Mohair for €41.70 and see what happens. It could be great, or...
So that's yer lot! A good issue for me, I think, with a plus size pattern (!), a gorgeous wrap and a lovely tunic top that will be going on my to do list. I hope you enjoyed the review, let me know what you think!
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