Given the higher standard, I think the shawl section of this issue is the weakest, although props for featuring shawls in the first place. Most of the designs are uninspiring. There have been so many incredible shawl patterns all over lately, and I think IK actually tends to do them the best. Of the shawls, I would say that Nicky Epstein's spiral(#1) is the worst in that it's kind of clunky in a too chunky yarn. I like pinwheel shawl best (#4). It is similarily constructed to #1 out of individual motifs. It buttons, and is pleasantly atypical.
The partially closed round yoke cardigan by Shiri Mor (#13) is not bad, but I myself am tired of round yoke cabled designs. They are all over. Two designs by Vladimir Teriokhin (#s 15 and 16, especially the latter) are sure fire winners, as are most of what comes from this new Norah Gaughan. The hooded outerwear tunic (#14 pictured below) is receiving some attention on the Ravely Vogue Knitters group.
Shirley Paden's two jacket designs (#s 17 and 18) are just my style - short, fitted, classic, but similar tailored cardis (#s 21 and 22) could appeal more to younger knitters. What is it with puffed sleeves though? There are two puffy sleeved designs in this issue (22 and 28). Is is because I wore this trend when it was around before that I can't get my head around it now? The two cover coats are very cute, although I could loose the color blocking on # 26. Finally, on the good side, I think I would actually make and wear the colorful and odd dress designed by Brandon Mably (#30), although I might lengthen the sleeve to 3/4.
It is very hard for me to nominate a best for this issue because I think so many of the designs are good. I am tempted to name the Brandon Mably dress above, but that would be an eccentric choice. The thing is that colorwork like this and like the Eunny Jang design in the Winter IK is starting to look fresh to me after years of variegated and novelty yarns. For a more popular choice of best design, I would probably choose #14, the photo above the Mably dress.
Worst designs? That's easy. See the two photos below. I think the chrocheted color-blocked coat is worse than the Twinkle tunic. The Twinkle design might look good on someone, but it's a little silly. I have never been partial to Twinkle.
I guess I knew going in that I liked VK the best of the big three knitting magazines, but this closer look clinches it. It seems so obvious that VK is of a higher quality than the others. Is this a valid conclusion? Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know. Meanwhile, here is my scorecard:
- Best website - Interweave Knits
- Best articles - Vogue Knitting
- Best photography - Knitter's
- Best Designs - Vogue Knitting
- Most Patterns - Vogue Knitting (by a lot)