spring 2006 Cast On review

Just got my copy of the spring 2006 Cast On (that’s the Knitting Guild of America’s magazine). This is only the second copy I’ve seen since I joined TKGA, but yuck! I only get this because it’s free – who would pay for it?

I’m not opposed to innovating knitting patterns and styles, but come on! Are the editors TRYING to find the patterns least likely to flatter women’s bodies and yarns most unsuitable for patterns? (Come to think of it, why are there only women’s patterns in the magazine?)

One of the BEST pattern in this issue is by Berroco, which is telling. (If you haven’t seen some of the atrocities known as Berroco knitting patterns, look here.) When a Berroco pattern is the highlight, how bad must the rest be? Allow me to rant about some of the patterns:

  • ‘Blush’ (knit/crochet top): A see-through doily made into a shirt. With added mini-doilies hanging from the hemline. Ugh.
  • ‘Scalloped Tee’: shapeless top with seashell design, knitted up in various horrifying fun furs. My eyes, my eyes!!!!
  • Berroco pattern (‘Ribbed Shell’): has a cute keyhole cutout in the neckline. It would be flirty if not for the huge collar on it. Huh? Why is a bulky collar like that on this sweater? I think it’d be better without the split hem at the bottom, too. It just frames the stomach and makes it look bigger (something many of us don’t need!).
  • ‘Luxe Robe’: a long sweater cardigan/bathrobe. OK, I’ll admit that this one is nice. More like this would be good.
  • ‘Tie Tank’: a tank top that’s apparently supposed to be a novelty because you tie the straps yourself. Oooh! Really, it’s not such a bad pattern, but the yarn choice is atrocious. The slubby yarn just makes for bad texture in stockinette stitch.
  • ‘Elegant Shell’ and ‘Woven Shell’: These two aren’t half bad. Pretty cabled texture in a yarn that suits the pattern. My only gripe is the shapelessness. Yet more boxy sweater patterns.
  • ‘Anastasia’s Special Touch’: Big Bird meets shapeless ribbon-yarn top. ‘nuf said.
  • ‘Embellish Ribbon Tie Sweater and Handbag’: Huh? I don’t get it. Sleeves are half cabled, half beaded vine design. Body a mish-mash of lace, bobbles, and beaded vine. All topped off with a huge ribbon on the front. Too many textures and patterns for one sweater.
  • ‘Bicycle Seat Cover’: This might be OK if it weren’t for the various doilies tacked on top. Why are they even there? The seat cover itself is just plain stockinette and looks fine, even if it’s probably impractical for a bike seat. But doilies?

Finally, I’m curious about something. If the TKGA prizes quality knitting – after all, they have a master’s certification program in knitting! – why are most of the patterns knitted up so poorly in the magazine? Horribly uneven gauge is the worst offender. How is that setting an example of good knitting?

2 thoughts on “spring 2006 Cast On review

  1. But, but, but, it’s supposed to look all arty…

    I’m with you … I have real issues with ‘designers’ who have no concept of either design or craftmanship. I think they’ve written with the presumption that all knitters are 187 years old and half blind.

  2. Whew! Glad I’m not the only one. I don’t particularly enjoy being snarky, but they make it so easy. I’m just so tired of mediocre or just plain awful patterns.

    I need to start designing my own to see if I can do any better. Probably very presumptuous of me. :)

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