The Heather Hoodie Vest, by Debbie O'Neill is the main reason I bought this magazine. I love everything about it, from the cables, to the cap sleeves and hood, to the yarn used (Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky) and color (It's a nice dark green.) I might have to sneak a few skeins of this into my house so I can start on it once the Christmas rush is over.
The magazine features an amazing and in depth article about reading lace charts. This will help knitters who want to start knitting patterns that feature charts, but find them confusing and daunting. (Like me.) It gives a sample chart, and explains the instructions block by block in plain English. The second section of the article talks about the no-stitch block (which has been troubling me for a while), and gives advice for the stitch count in certain rows, and how the chart moves along with the pattern to give a visual.
Another one of my favorite pieces, is the sweater shown on the cover, the Indigo Banded Cardigan by Cecily Glowik MacDonald. It looks warm and cozy, and I love the chunky collar. The waist motif is just enough that it doesn't overpower the sweater, it just adds a touch of detail. I could see knitting one for myself in crazier colors (a glittery black, with pink motifs), and one for my mom in more subtle colors (maybe brown, with a green tweed yarn for the motifs.) I love patterns that can speak to different generations.
The Maximum Stripe Pullover, by Katie Hummelberg is another one of my favorites. I love the subtle striping, and the button placket. The fisherman's rib gives it just enough detail; if it was just stockinette, it wouldn't have grabbed me.
And finally, my last "must knit!" from this magazine, the Cabled Kanga Tunic by Deborah Newton. If you put "long knit sweater aka tunic" and "chunky cables," into the same sentence, I'm all there. I'm not so sure about the pockets, though. I would think something heavy like my phone would streatch the stitches, and it's in the middle, near the groin area, so I'd also stay away from putting keys in there so I don't look like an overly excited male.
The Swoop Cape Cardigan by Marie Connolly would work better if the sleeves were longer, and the variegated yarn and double seed stitch add too much and make it overly busy. I would go for highlighting the yarn with a more simple stitch, or using a solid yarn to emphasize the seed stitch. The sleeves are supposed to look like wings, but to me it just looks as if she ran out of yarn.
The Offset Lace Tunic, by Kristen Omdahl. What? One shoulder pieces are cute for gowns, prom dresses, and clubbing shirts, but not with a knitted tunic. And what's with the scarf extension? There's too much happening on one side of the sweater, and not enough...well, nothing on the other.
The Chevron Trinity Cardigan, by Katya Wilsher. I actually like this, except for the arbitrary stripe on the upper chest. I don't think it adds dimension at all, it makes me focus on the model's chest, and that's not what I want in a sweater. I do like the multicolored edgings and collar. If I were to knit this, that crazy stripe would be left out.
And finally, the Rugby Pocket Scarf, by Helene Rush. Scarves with pockets are just beyond me. I don't understand the purpose at all.
Overall, I'd give this magazine a 4.5 out of 5 stars (or skeins), because when I look through it I see more projects I feel I have the ability to knit, and something that I would actually wear. I could have easily listed the majority of the magazine in "The Good" category. Great job Knitscene!
Knitscene, published by Interweave Press, is $7.99 USD and will be on newsstands until October 19, 2009, or go to the Knitscene website to purchase yours today.