Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Belated Reviews . . . Part 1

I know I have been kind of out of sync lately, but I am trying to spring back into things. So, first up is a review of the May/June '09 issue of Crochet Today.

Pepped-up Placemats - - Even though they are essentially granny squares, I do like the fact that different types of stitches are used throughout the rows. The use of color in the sample pieces are nice. I really like them and would definitely consider making them. Maybe not as placemats, simply because I don't have a table, but they would make lovely pillows or together as a blanket. No blog found for Lucille LaFlamme.

Blooming Headband - - It looks cute. I like the way the flower was attached to the band. Overall, not sure how practical it is, the way it sits on her head. Designers blog, Jennifer J. Cirka.

ABC 123 - - I think the numbers and letters are well done, but I don't see myself attaching them to fabric pillows. I think they would be good in other situations though, maybe on foam blocks or with velcro on the back for educational purposes. Designer's blog, Regina Rioux Gonzalez.

Sweet and Swingy Dress - - I think this is adorable! I just might make one of these for Vera. Good design thoughts went into this. The trimming is not overdone, but adds to the dress. A nice combination of stitch patterns used together. Designer's blog, Ellen Gormley.

Swirly Bibs - - I like the look of it in general, it would be easy to make it larger or smaller. I think it would look great as a rug or coaster too though. No blog that I could find, Maya Mackowiak Elson, she's the assistant editor of the magazine.

Frilly Feet - - Honestly, I think they are ugly. I think if they had been crocheted in a yarn color that seemed a little more suited, they would look nice. But I have to wonder, since they aren't actually shown on little feet, I have a feeling they probably looked funny on the baby. I only found blogs she ditched a long time ago, Christy McMahon.

Bunny Buddy - - I think this guy is adorable. Not sure about the yarn choice as a young child would be likely to chew on it and I don't know if you have ever chewed on acrylic, but it isn't pleasant. I would have to see the yarn, might switch to an all soft cotton instead. I would also take off the ribbon thing. Designer's blog, Vickie Howell.

Diamond Back Snake - - I think the snake is adorable. I think it would be a pain to crochet something of that size, but it'd be worth it in the end. Another employee,Brett Bara, Editor in Chief of the magazine, could not find blog.

Little Man Vest - - Uhm, no. I think the color work like this just looks sloppy. The gauge is too large to look smooth, so it looks tacky. Designer page, Candi Jensen, but doesn't seem to update.

Garden Pals - - Cute little guys. Look nicely done. Designer's blog, Tamie Snow.

Diagonal Baby Blanket - - Cute, Simply, Easy. Designer's page, Ellen Gormley again.

Summer Breeze Cardi - - I think this is a cute, nice top. I like the slight variation in stitches. Could not find a blog for Elena Malo.

Summertime Dress - - Kind of, maybe pretty. Not practical. I like the color, but not necessarily the fish scale looking skirt part. Could not find a blog for Mari Lynn Patrick.

Romantic Wrap - - Simple and beautiful. I really like the way this looks. Couldn't find a blog for designer Susan Lowman, she is one of the pattern editors of the magazine.

Houndstooth Purse - - Not much of a purse person, but I think the bag is cute. I like that it is small. Small enough to carry around a small project in. Designer's page, Mary Jane Hall.

Urban Wave Top - - I think this has potential, if the crocheted part and the fabric part even remotely matched. As is, I think it is ugly. Designer's page, Robyn Chachula (they misspelled her name in the magazine).

Crafty Earrings - - Not much for these. Not a big jewelry person though. Designer's blog, Linda Permann.

Lacy Jacket - - Stitches look pretty, but too boxy looking, would not look right if she was just standing normal, instead of posing. It also looks too big, like two times too big. It looks like someone folded a table runner and sewed it into a jacket. Could not find a blog for designer Kj Hay, but is one of the Pattern Editors of the magazine.

Colorful Cushion - - I like this, mostly because she didn't try to make it into a square. She used the flower shape as the pillow overall. Nice colors used. Designer's blog, Regina Rioux Gonzalez again.

Grannies on Point - - I like the colors used and like the way the squares wrap around, instead of just on the front. Very nice. Designer's blog, Marty Miller.

Green Dream Throw - - Nice, but too many small squares for me. I do like the colors used, though. Designer's blog, Marty Miller again.

Basketweave Blanket - - I have mixed feelings about this one, but I think it is mostly due to the color. That blue contrasts just a little too much, against the yellows and makes it look clunky. Otherwise, I like how the motifs fit together and think it would make a very nice blanket. Could not find a blog for designer Joyce Nordstrom.

Little Suns Throw - - Not sure for a throw or not, looks a little more soft and delicate to me, maybe if it was just more decoration. Maybe a nice tablecloth. Again, designer is Joyce Nordstrom.

Trio of Vases - - At first I thought these were quite nifty, they are stiffened with sugar water though. Interest out the door. Designer's blog, Linda Permann again.

Articles of Interest:
Seams Easy Enough - - this article was nice. I like it when they go over basics every now and again.

Overall feeling of this issue = worried. I find it disappointing that out of 24 patterns, 4 are from people who work at the magazine. I also find it disappointing that out of 24 patterns, 5 designers each have two designs in there. So, really there are only 19 designers represented in this issue and 4 of them work at the magazine, a smidge over a fourth of the designers work for the magazine!?!?! Not much room for variety. I wonder if this is because submissions are down, submissions are bad, or they are just insane. I'll have to keep an eye on this when it comes time to renew or not later this year.

So, eh . . . not overwhelmingly great, but not completely in the toilet either. I do not like the fact that Crochet today doesn't list blogs or websites of designers, and on the tab to see it on there website, they don't even give the designer's name at all. I don't know if I would even consider submitting to this magazine due to this lack of recognition.

Return tomorrow for the review on Interweave Crochet issue Spring 2009.

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