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Rowan 42 and Vogue Knitting

Yesterday I received my copy of Rowan 42 in the mail, and I eagerly looked through it to see if (as others have said) it is nicer in person.  The verdict?  It is nicer in person… but overall I’m still a little underwhelmed.

One of my biggest problems with this magazine is how dark it is.  I know it’s the fall/winter issue and all, but there are some sweaters I cannot see at all:

The sweater on the right appears in the section where the staff wears the clothes, which is the only reason I like it.  You can’t even see the first sweater (there is another photo, taken from far away from the side,) and the middle is the same.  It also shows another peeve – displaying your models artfully draped over the landscape.  If you’re going to do that, please take another photo where the model is standing, without her hands on her hips, so that I can see what the sweater actually looks like. I will not make a sweater if I cannot tell how it fits.

I mentioned the staff section, and it is definitely the highlight of the issue.  There are several sweaters I would not have considered that I added to my list after viewing this section.  In fact, I would like it very much if the entire magazine were more like this section – well lit, focusing on clothes in colors other than cream, tan, and gray.

I love the first sweater, and the sweater on the right is the one from above that I mentioned.  I like a few more designs as well:


I really like the sweater on the right (called Earn) – look at the lovely detail!

I think I’m actually feeling inspired to make it in the original colors.   Anyway… I do like Rowan 42, I just wish that they would have more patterns that are actually pretty.  I haven’t mentioned the loads of bulky cabled sweaters in this issue, because I am not interested in them.  Out of the three stories I really only like one, plus the Earn sweater.  There are lots of designs in Cocoon, which is a heavy yarn that only comes in “natural” colors.

Ok, on to Vogue Knitting.  I bought it knowing that I hadn’t liked any of the preview patterns, and I was not disappointed – there is nothing I’m adding to my queue from this issue, other than the Silver Belle pattern by Debbie Bliss that I have already mentioned.  There are a lot of oversized sweaters, including a feature on reworking 10 patterns of the past.  Unfortunately, I didn’t like any of those patterns.  I didn’t realize that Vogue now is different from the Vogue Knitting of the 60s, so I’m disappointed they could rework any of the sweaters from that time period… but I guess if the 80s/90s is all you have to work from you get things like this:

The only design I really liked this time around was by Shirley Paden:

Unfortunately, since this is all we see of it, there is no chance of me making it (and really, the collar is a bit much.)

But ah well… I’ve never actually made a vogue pattern anyway, although I do have plans to make the eyelet blouse from last winter’s issue.  This issue has a very nice article on choosing flattering shapes, and it also includes two interesting interviews with knitting’s “old guard” vs “new guard.”  I also quite like Veronique Avery’s design from the Reynolds’ cover.  I’m glad to own it, because I’m totally a sucker for buying anything about knitting, but I don’t think I will be using it very often.