I said I would review this, sight unseen. I so loved the debut issue of Filament, that it seemed a sure bet and something knitters would want to see. I don’t think that this issue hits the high bar set by Filament #1, I also recommend that you get this issue. Read on to find out why, as I tiptoe through Filament #2.
I couldn’t get a good bead on the concept behind this one. The editors did such a great job with having a theme and executing their concept in Filament #1 that this feels a bit like a sophomore slump. The model used in this issue was badly mismatched to the styles presented. She is absolutely gorgeous on page 5, modeling Floralia. The remaining photos do her a disservice, and in turn, the designs are each ill-served too.
Tiptoe Through Pink
I’m not pink averse, but I felt like there was too much pink. Since the editors were talking about tulips and spring, a variety of color could have leavened this issue. Thinking I was being unkind, I asked Mitch to look at it, and that was his first reaction too.
Pink is a big fashion color right now, so pink was not a bad call. There have been articles about how to embrace pink in the Wall Street Journal and most fashion publications. In Madrid, London, and Lisbon pink was all over–but more of a blush or nude color of pink, which was shown with grays, whites, black, navy. It was pink as a neutral. Color is really difficult. In design development classes I taught it was always an enervating session when working to and get the colors right.
Tiptoe Through Eyelets
Of the eight designs showcased here, five feature eyelets. I’ve written a couple of blog posts on eyelets recently, so I’m keen on eyelets and see ample opportunity to tiptoe through them here.
Constance is a stockinette cardigan with eyelet rows spaced over the yoke and cuffs, with ribbon through the eyelets. This is a brilliant piece, and if it had been a pullover I would have made it for my half-size dress form. I wish the eyelet rows on the sleeve had mimicked the spacing on the yoke, which is brilliant.
Floralia is a cowl and cuff set perfect for exploring eyelets. There seems to be only one size for each piece.
Fortuny is a rectangular shawl that presents a good opportunity to see how stacked and staggered eyelets create different effects. The picot cast on and bind off are a great way to make the two ends more similar. Kudos on that. The color is definitely Fortuny.
Gather Ye Rosebuds are lace socks that will make you want to make a pair. The eyelet stitch pattern is complex and creates a rich and textured design.
Naiad is beautiful lace in a half-Pi shawl. The lace patterns have knots that add nice weight to the open eyelet patterns. If I were to make this I think I would end it after the garter on the third repetition of the Mimosa border and avoided the stockinette at the neck. A welcome break from pink.
Tiptoe Through Other Ideas
A plain stockinette surplice (ballet) cardigan, a top-down color work pullover, and a stockinette and rib pullover with short sleeves and floral embellishments round out the eight designs in this collection.
Louche is a lovely idea, in lovely silk tape yarn. Breaking up the stockinette with some eyelets might have tied this into the collection and lightened the piece a bit.
Rosarium has pretty color work in an almost traditional top-down sweater. It does not feel like a spring sweater, and I have some real design application issues with the placement of the wide band of color work. The details are nice, and in another collection this could be a winner.
Whistler Pink has a fabulous neckline finish and a great embellishment idea. The neckline, which is achieved with decreases, is really lovely. Taking the picot cast on and bind off from the Naiad shawl could have kicked this up a notch. The rib feels misapplied. I love the idea of the flower embellishments and how they are attached with buttons. Eyelets in the flowers could have lightened the application, and tied this back to the other designs.
Tiptoe Through Criticism
It is really hard to be honest. There is a so much potential in the concept of Filament, but this feels disjointed in some ways and heavy-handed in others. Spring is a really broad theme and I think this issue would have been well-served by a little more clarification. It is easy to see why it is important to have a theme and then to focus on it in color selection, styling, photography, and design. I have made my share of styling mistakes in having my own work photographed, so I cast no stones.
Again, I think Filament has tons of potential. Unlike most magazines, there are just a pair of design contributors, so there is greater opportunity for them to express their theme cohesively and effectively. Please buy this issue. It is only through practice that we find our best voices.
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