This is the May 2009 issue, and offers the following:
- 30 patterns
- 2 pages of product/book review
- Article on designing with lace
I have back issues of this magazine to 2006, so I assume I have been a subscriber for at least 3 years. My overall impression is that it is not cutting edge design, but packed with rather safe, middle of the road projects that are suitable for a wide range of people. I have made things from various issues, and have been pleased with the directions and the finished objects. Notes on each pattern follow.
- There are five patterns I like enough to save, though none I would start on immediately.
- The patterns are well written and edited, and when they carryover to a new page, they show a little photo of the project. I like this. I also like the Index print at the end, so I can see at a glance what the issue contains.
The just OK:
- The lace article is not groundbreaking, but it is well written, and has a pattern to go with it.
- The product reviews sound suspiciously like press releases, but they usually do, so I won't hold this against them.
- The majority of patterns fall into this category. At least 15, or half the offerings are just basic. Bland, safe, boring.
- There are at least 4 projects benefitting greatly from photography. The poses, and I suspect some artful photostyling is at work here, to add shaping to garments that have none.
The just plain bad:
- At least 4 patterns fall into this category. I turned past them as quickly as possible, but notes below if you want to know.
- There are at least 2 non-patterns, that pretty much look like filler. (hint, the belt and the afghan). Remove these, and you could fit at least one more real project.
Keep or Toss:
I am putting this in the keep pile for now. It is not a bad magazine, but not a great one either--it takes very few risks with the patterns presented. This makes for few "what the hell were they thinking?" moments, but also few" I have got to knit that RIGHT NOW" moments as well.
Pattern Notes: (listed in order, with page #s)
Day Lily Jacket (p14): This is the cover project. It is a long-ish vest/jacket hybrid, done in a basic feather & fan stitch. While this looks OK on the model, it will probably not be very flattering on most real folks. If you take a looks at the photos (they are slightly different), there appears to be some shaping going on here that is not reflected in the pattern. I am guessing there are some honking big binder clips on the back of this, pulling the waist in a bit for the photo. In addition, the model is holding her arm close to her body, so providing a little more shaping here.
I am also not a big fan of side vents, I bet these flare out right at butt level, even in the drapy yarn chosen for this project. Note that the Lace Kimono project (p42) is identical, but with more ease (so read: baggy), and longer sleeves.
Hot! Hot! Hot! (p18): Not! Not! Not! As in , not loving this. I hate the fringe at the neck (why add fringe? why at the neck?). I further hate the use of Caron Simply Soft in a summer garment. Final question: why is there a side seam when the directions are for knitting in the round? I am suspicious of this one!
Lacy Leaves Tunic (p20): Not for me. They did a nice job integrating the lace pattern into the sleeves, and the length is OK. I think the belt is in the wrong place in this photo (it would lok better at the actual waistline), but the belt is threaded through the eyelets of the pattern, so you could put it anywhere, or leave it off entirely. Leave it off entirely is my pick. Again with the 100% acrylic in a summer garment. Isn't this published in TEXAS? Isn't it hot in Texas in the summer?
Little Lace Cardi (p22). This I like, and would probably make. Mercerized cotton in a light weight is good for summer (this would be nice over a sundress or in an air conditioned office). Raglan shaping and it is form fitting, not boxy. Not loving the bobbles, and there may be some fit issues with the arms (the last few inches of the arm looks a like it is pulled pretty tight). Paton's Grace would probably be a good sub if you can't find the yarn called for in the pattern.