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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Review: Interweave Knits Winter 2015

If you read this blog at all regularly, you'd know that I haven't been happy with the new editor's pattern selection. At all. And I've been seriously debating whether or not to renew. While I don't think she's quite there yet, the Winter 2015 issue was the best yet and I will be renewing - but just for a year, not for my usual two.

It's the first issue that contained a pattern that I immediately cast on - the caterpillar cowl - and the yarn choices were more colorful than in past issues. I do still think that she needs to work on getting some variety into the pattern selection, and that too many of the patterns look similar to others in the issue, but there is some improvement.

The patterns in this issue were divided into two groupings, Outfitted and Mulberry Cottage. The first group, Outfitted, was heavy on the wraps, cowls and the three tie front cardigans. It was, to me, the least imaginative. Two of the tie front cardigans - the Moraine Jacket and the Quivira Coat - looked like almost the same pattern. In fact, when I flipped the page I thought it was another picture of the same pattern, until I realized that the Moraine Jacket has a different collar and the Quivira Coat has cables. On their own in a different collection the patterns might have stood out more, but grouped together and in too similar ivory/oatmeal colors they just look blah.

While the wraps are all pretty I can't think of a single occasion where I'd sling half a blanket around my shoulders and think I looked fashionable. The chevrons on the Muir wrap have potential but I'd want to see them in different colors.

I liked the reversible design on the Bear Lake Cowl, but again that boring oatmeal. Seriously, someone just remove the color from new editor's yarn palette, PLEASE. Flip the page and, oh look, more ivory/oatmeal. The color does help the chevron pattern on the Ozark Wrap stand out, but again I'd want to see it in another color before casting it on. I'm not even going to talk about the Zuni Cardigan, which looks like it crawled its way out of my 1985 closet, where it should have stayed put. I like the slouchy Bozeman Hat a lot, and I really like the double-knit brim detail. Those slouchy hats look so cool but are so impossible to keep on my head, and I think the double-knit brim will solve that problem. Here's the hat;

The trapper cowl at least manages to move up a decade from the Zuni Cardigan, to my 90's grunge flannels. So I guess there's that.

The second grouping, Mulberry Cottage, contains most of the patterns that I liked best in the issue. The Ice Rink pullover does, in fact, look like a sweater I wore to the rink in the 90's, complete with the bobbles.

The best pattern, by far, of the issue for me was the Siobhan blouse. The different neckline, the slight puff on the sleeve, and the cable work on the front all really stand out. And I love the color. I would omit the tassel because I have a toddler, and it's basically begging him to come pull on it constantly, and because I'm not a fan of home decor items on clothing. But that's just me.

Second favorite would be the caterpillar cowl, which is the pattern I knit immediately. It was a fun, quick knit that I've already received compliments on and worn twice. The Cocoa Cardigan has some gorgeous lacework on the shoulders that's just beautiful, though per usual I'd probably add two inches to the length.

I feel so bad for the model in the Quadrille Pullover - it was like they decided to put her in the one sweater that would make her look squat, block-shaped and wide. The pullover actually has a lot of potential, interesting cables and yoke, but the combination of its tightness and length make it very unflattering. Loosen it up a bit, make it longer, and it could really work.

Mitts! I love mitts. With crossing latticework to frame bobbles, they're super cute if not hugely practical. The bobbles on the palms would bug me when driving, if I knit them I'd leave them off the palms. Oh look, another sweater IN IVORY/OATMEAL. YAWN. The variegated yarn used in the Modest Pullover is, however, gorgeous. I love the idea of using a pattern on the sleeve cap.

Something new I've decided to add to my magazine reviews are the average cost for yarn to make the patterns. I know I consider it helpful, and I do look at it when deciding whether or not to knit a pattern. But because that could get long, I'm going to put it in a separate post. Let me know if you think it's helpful, and if so, I'll keep it up.


Pattern breakdown

- 5 pullover sweaters

- 4 cowls

- 4 wraps

- 2 button up cardigans

- 3 tie close front cardigans

- 1 hat

- 1 mitts pattern


  1. Those mulberry models look like they let 5th graders do their makeup. The rest of their clothes look like thrift store rejects.. Poor girls, so gaudy! I agree on the ivory oatmeal. I love natural colored wool, but out comes in many shades.

  2. I know - I don't know what's been up with the art direction lately, but it's been terrible. All of the covers have been too similar, the styling and make-up on the models awful...I don't know if they replaced the art director with the new editor, or if the editor has no taste and selection. Have you noticed how all the 'collections' just look like a bunch of mish-mashed patterns thrown together? There's no cohesion in color or style, they look like leftovers.

    Yeah, I love a good neutral yarn, too, and own several cream-colored sweaters, but over and over again on the pages of a magazine gets boring. I hope they improve, or bring back the old editor!
    - Dena