Monday, September 11, 2006

Pretty Is the New Pretty

I could also say "pretty is the new Knitty."

If Knitty were a Project Runway contestant, and forgive me for the extended analogy, it would be Santino or maybe Jeffrey. Interesting designs, not boring, but not always the most wearable. Or, as Michael Kors so aptly described Jeffrey's designs, they're ugly beautiful. On the other hand, if I could pick a Project Runway designer to make all my clothes, I would choose Michael, or Laura, or maybe Emmett from last season. I like classic, feminine, flattering, pretty. So I'm not generally dashing off to the LYS to pick up yarn for the latest Knitty sweater pattern. But, heaven help me, this issue is full of temptation. It is practically 100% WTF?-free!

Granted, some of the patterns are a little basic, like Viveka. But Ivy! And Serrano! So lovely. The sock patterns are really nice and that girl's backpack is too cute. Sherwood is exactly the pattern I have been wanting for my boys ... a non-fussy pullover that is also not boring to knit.

Now, I know that I may be in a distinct minority here, but I think that Intolerable Cruelty is absolutely beyond hot. I want that skirt. I want it very, very badly. I want to wear it with my plum suede peep-toe pumps and be glam glam glam. Fabulous Laura, the one who really only lives in my head, cannot exist for one more moment without this skirt. I could totally see making it both with and without the corset laces. Or, without the ruffle, as a straightforward pencil skirt in black or charcoal, though it's the ruffle that gives it such a sexy 1940s-dangerous- woman-in-a-noir-film vibe. Simply. Must. Have. It!

Coming up ... a book meme, Sophie bags, socks that linger on the needles, and the Simple Knitted Bodice is begun.


Blogger Emma said...

Ahh, interesting Project Runway comparisions. I have to say though that I'm not that crazy about any of the new patterns. Yet. Maybe upon further viewing.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Mary-Heather said...

That photo of for the skirt pattern is lovely... I got burned by a knit skirt I made once (well, it wasn't the skirt that burned me so much as the way my rear looked in the skirt) but I think the pattern is SO pretty.

Looking forward to checking out the articles, too!

6:03 PM  
Blogger jillian said...

I've been so interested in seeing the reposne to Knitty. Just looked it up a bit ago.

I liked the skirt too. Not so much to do, but more as an "let's think outside of the box and see what we can do with knitting that's actually attractive and unique." Whew.

I wondered what your thoughts were on what I intepreted as Suss Cousins' gratuitous back-patting in Viveca. I plan to blog about it later. But basically, her description is much more about the yarn than the pattern. It just seemed at odds with the "Knitty is for new and indie designers and we are not corporate sell-outs".

6:12 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

The Knitty pattern I'm loving is Lucie. I like Viveka a lot too. In general, I totally agree with your PR/Knitty comparison. If I had to choose one designer to design all of my clothes, it would be Uli.

6:13 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

jillian -- i had a similar thought, that knitty appeared to be deviating a bit from their stated purpose of promoting indie designers, in reaction to the suss cousins' design and the iris schreier design (she works for artyarns). however, the majority of the designs seem to be from designers whose work you will *not* find at barnes & noble, at least not yet -- fathom harvill (loved her sweater in magknits too), laura of cosmicpluto knits, cookie a., etc. i wonder about the thinking behind their decision to publish the work of these designers/yarnsellers, though. it would be interesting to hear what amy singer has to say about it. perhaps if enough bloggers and knitcasters talk about it, she'll address it.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Well - Intolerable Cruelty would have an entirely new meaning strapped across my butt!! It would look like two hams trying to escape from bondage. (Ok maybe not that bad...) But I loved the skirt anyway!

My favorite was Lizard Ridge. I printed it out immediately. I'm on a blanket kick these days.

I think Uli is the contestant who I love the most. I would actually wear any of her designs. My other favorite is Laura. So go figure - they are about as different as two designers could get. And of course my Rock Star persona would wear Jeffery's designs (after beating the crap out of him for being such and a-hole!) ;)

7:05 PM  
Blogger Philippa said...

I really want to knit that skirt too, and wear it. I've been thinking quite a bit about knitted skirts recently; there was one in an IK I saw recently ('saw' as in 'flipped through the internet preview': I have never actually touched an IK) that I really liked.

I'd love it in charcoal, or any other colour between black and light grey, with or without (maybe with and without) the ruffle. I think I'd leave out the lacing, though, whatever its incarnation.

7:19 PM  
Blogger jillian said...

Hi again...I guess I wasn't as offended by the Iris Schreier and Suavetelle designs (who also use self-designed or promoted yarns) because they still seemed to be about the pattern, and it just happened to be their own yarn. To me that's the same as Norah Gaughan using alot of Berroco in Knitting Nature, as she works for Berroco. But the book was clearly about the patterns and it isn't that hard to substitute at any rate. Who doesn't sub all the time?

What really got my goat about the Suss design was her self-congratualotory tone and lack of complete sentences and good grammer in the description. It hurt to read. Also that the pictures are so "I love my daughter - look what a beautiful daughter I have - look at her flowing hair that is completely in the way of the sweater but I don't care because look how beautiful." I don't personally like the has drop shoulders for cryin' out loud and no shaping. I mean was she even trying? I really think she just wanted to sell her yarn.

But then again, maybe I'm biased because she's one of my least favorite people in knitland. I've been in her shop once and it was MUY snobby. Her books are full of errors (don't own any), and she talks on her site, in mags, and in her books like anyone who has learned to knit in the last 20 years was inspired by her Cosby sweaters and that she is single-handedly responsible for the new populatory of knitting.

Puhleeeeze. She is everything about pretentious ego-maniac LA I abhorr.

And this rant is all really beside the point that Amy Singer selected it and put it front and center. And with multiple designs from people like Suss Cousins and Iris Schreier, where does that leave truly indie folk who have not been published?


7:24 PM  
Blogger msubulldog said...

Oh, geez! I am toooo far behind my Bloglines. That and the first day of preschool totally distracted me from the fact that there's a new Knitty out! Am off to give it a look see.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Olga said...

Goodness gracious! That skirt just about gave me a heart attack (but in a good way). Be prepared to cause traffic accidents if you wear it out in public. Not sure how my own behind would look in that skirt, though...I have pudgy thighs that would seriously distort the lovely streamlined design.

But I do agree that this issue is a winner! Speaking of whether or not Amy Singer is listening to us bloggers, it seems to me that maybe there's been so much grousing about all the fugly designs lately that she went and found the most non-offensive objectively pretty patterns possible. And lots and lots of socks.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

Isn't that skirt so great? I saw it and thought the same thing, and I usually hate knitted skirts.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Love your project runway comparisons - and I agree! This issue is much better than the fugly ones of the past - and comes complete with 4! sock patterns! Lovely!

8:33 PM  
Anonymous JessaLu said...

How did I not know the new Knitty is up?!?! Gotta go...

8:39 PM  
Blogger Ramona said...

So this is my question. How do you think that skirt is going to look when you "God forbid" have to bend over?

9:43 PM  
Blogger Ava said...

I must have Intolerable Cruelty too. May even lose 20 pounds to wear it. Best incentive I've had for a while.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Relating Project Runway to the new Knitty... Genius! I heart Project Runway.

11:31 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I was really happy with the Knitty issue this month. I am seriously thinking about Serrano (I agree, so lovely). You know, I DO like Intolerable Cruelty . . . it's just that my butt is far too big to ever wear a knit skirt. Sounds like you can pull it off though, and even have the perfect shoes to wear with it. Go for it!!! You are Fabulous!

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Ellen said...

Just say yes to Intolerable Cruelty! It must be made with the corset lace-up ribbon in the back and, I think, the ruffle.

It's a wonderful design; I love that 1940s movie-star look. And Laura, if you already have the right shoes, well then. That's a sign.

I'm looking forward to seeing it materialize!

9:10 AM  
Blogger Kate A. said...

Responding to Jillian about Suss: I was in her store, once, too, with a friend, and while Suss wasn't there, the very blond chick who was *did* sort of look at us like, "God, what has the cat dragged in now?" but she was superficially polite. We didn't buy anything because I don't see anything particularly great about her yarn and it's expensive. The sample items from her patterns were cute, but things I could knit without a pattern over a weekend real easily.

What really offended me about the LA knitting scene was the staff at La Knitterie Parisienne. It was as though anyone in the store under 35 was assumed to be (a) stupid (b) a novice knitter and (c) ready and willing to buy almost anything on the slightest suggestion that it could be needed for the next novelty scarf. When I checked out, this middle-aged guy tried *very* hard to sell me teeny tiny point protectors for the size US19 plastic needles I was buying, with a very officious attitude that tried to convince me that I and my size-19 project would be a disaster if I didn't buy them. Instead of point out that he was an idiot for even suggesting that these things would fit these needles, I merely said that I don't use point protectors (haven't, in many many years of knitting, with no ill effects!), and then he tried to convince me that I needed a whole big set of them!

Maybe it's just something about L.A.

As for Intolerable Cruelty - alas, if it weren't for my a--! But you go for it, Laura - the shoes sound fabulous, too.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Sourire11 said...

ooooh you're knitting the simple knitted bodice? I'm stalking that pattern... i want it...but I can't afford it... and I can't decide what yarn to substitute for it.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Leslie said...

Let's face it. Unless our rear-ends are the XS size as shown, it would be totall intolerrable to look at our butts in that skirt. A size 3X in a style like that?? Gag!!

2:27 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

I crave knitted skirts every time I see one, but I'm fearful that if I ever sit down in one the butt will stretch to gigantic proportions!

8:36 AM  
Blogger Kate A. said...

Amy Singer has written what I see as a totally satisfying reason for why Suss has the cover design in the new issue. The explanation is on her blog, in the comments to her post that announces the new issue:

5:22 PM  
Blogger Glaistig said...

I love that skirt too. It looks ripe for a knitalong!

9:47 AM  
Blogger velmalikevelvet said...

hi, hot on the heels of glastaig's comment, there IS a knitalong! i started it yesterday, and there are already 4 of us. i hope you (and anyone else interested) will consider joining us. info is available at
cheers, velma

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

As you can see, you're totally not in the minority. That skirt is F-in' awesome. Go for it!

8:49 PM  
Blogger Nikki said...

I've never seen an episode of Project Runway, so I don't know what your comparisons are about, but I totally agree about Intolerable Cruelty. I think we *are* in the minority for thinking this skirt is hot. I hear a lot of people with the "why would I want a giant ribbon on my butt?" comment. I can only think, "why not?" I'm of the opinion that butts are hot, and a giant ribbon that says "look at my hot booty" is fab. But as I say, we are in the minority.

5:17 PM  

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