I have been Googled for reviews on simple style and am happy to say I have found a couple. Knitting Scholar has one, and I am happy to mention that Kazumi was one of the 4 listed specifically that they liked, although they did say that there wasn’t much not to like in the book. I would have to agree, it is a fantastic book.
Here are the designs mentioned that they especially thought were successful: ” Those are the exceptions, though. I really loved the Sixteen Button Cardigan with it’s basic shaping at the neck (and the fact that it can be worn with the buttons in front or in back). The Kazumi Pullover is classy with its simple ribbing with just a touch of lace at the bottom edge. I liked the Twisted-V Pullover a lot, and the Guernsey Skirt is one of the few skirt patterns I would seriously consider knitting. The Best-Fit Jumper is charming and fun”.
About.com has a review as well. Here is the short list from them on their favorites: “There are so many patterns I love in this book. I could easily see myself knitting and enjoying probably 12 of the 19 patterns, if I had that kind of time and devotion to a single knitting book.
The ones at the top of the list, though, would be the Four Quarters pullover (pictured on the cover), a cool design in which half of the arm and a quarter of the body is worked in each piece and seamed with the selvedge exposed; the Kazumi Pullover, a ribbed number with eyelets along the bottom hem and cuffs; Kaleidoscope Yoke, a pullover using a self-striping yarn for the yoke and cuffs and a solid for the main body; and the Gurnsey Skirt, which has several textured stitch patterns on the top half of the skirt and plain Stockinette on the bottom.”
I was happy to have Kazumi included in the list, and the book is delightful. The Daily Knitter has a review as well, from the Knitting Scholar. So, two reviews in three places thus far.
This particuarl design was a little different for me. It is the first one with side shaping and the fist one with a full fledged set in sleeve. I have not done that much shaping in a garment before. I have tended to stick with more traditional shapes and styles, but when your emphasis is simple, you incorporate other design elements to make your statement. Sure, this sweater could have had no shaping. But it would have lost something in the translation. That delicate eyelet lace would have been lost in the translation on the bottom of a more boxy sweater. A lot of the beauty in this garment is how the eyelets fit into the ribbing, and the patterning of the ribbing as the shaping moves into and out of the waist. It needed those extra design details in the shape of the garment. Those are things that as the book talks about you might not notice at first, but they come together to give you a successful and elegant design when using few stitch pattern elements. In Fashion we see this, and designers such as Coco Channel were famous for deceptively simple and elegant designs. Designs that relied on meticulous attention to shaping detail and construction as design element, as well as other more obvious elements such as stitch pattern or other decoration.
If you were, for example, knitting a plain stockinette sweater there are all kinds of subtle details and shaping that become very, very important. How the decreases or increases are worked on the sleeves, can that be turned into a design element and can that also be mirrored in the armhole for example. What kind of cast on you use. The texture of the yarn you use. How much ease does the garment have and do you have a straight shoulder, or did you work the shoulder in steps so that the shoulder is sloped and fits the body better? It hangs better on the body, and generally one inch is sufficient. BO the stitches in even groups at the beginning of the shoulder rows (for one shoulder it will be on RS rows, for the other it will be on WS rows because each shoulder will not have the beginning of the row at the edge with the shoulder at the beginning of the edge on the RS rows), or you can put them in hold by short rowing and work a three needle bind off or seam the shoulders together when you are done. Attention to finishing becomes very important as well.
Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace