Monday, 20 May 2013

Bergère de France Magazine #167: A Review, Part 2

Today's post is the second half of the review for Bergère de France Magazine #167, Part 2, the first half being posted yesterday.

Pattern #22, a child's jacket, looks cute at first glance and then you start noticing how the front is puckered and that the lapels are badly shaped. This is a good concept that didn't get the execution it deserved.

Pattern #23 is a baby's cardigan and bootees. This design is workmanlike enough, I suppose, but just sort of meh. And the zipper really should have been ivory rather than white, to match the trim on the sweater.

Pattern #24 is a very basic v-neck pullover, given a little interest with a textured yarn. Most young boys would probably be perfectly happy to wear this sweater in their favourite colour.

Pattern #25 is a classic cardigan that the designer somehow managed to screw up. The front edges, pocket and cuffs all look askew and random and distracting instead of working together harmoniously as they should have.

Pattern #26 is a textured vest. The pattern is so unfinished looking it screams "beginner project" and "homemade".

Pattern #27 is another amateurish pattern that would make a young boy look and feel like his mother dresses him funny. Do the editors of Bergère de France not know what boys actually like and wear?

Now that's better. Pattern #28 is a baby's cardigan that's actually fairly successful. The lacy pattern is pretty and the neck fastening is interesting, though I would take care to use buttons that matched the yarn or use some cute novelty buttons rather than just using utilitarian white ones. Pattern #29 is a pair of crocheted sandals, and I can't say I care for them. They look cute at first glance, and then you start noticing that the ankle straps are too loose and the sole is buckling away from the foot. I wouldn't want a baby to be trying to learn to walk in these — they will not stay in place.

Pattern #30 is a simple little top with a dragonfly pattern in the front and sleeves that echo the design. Very pretty, easy design.

Pattern #31 is the child's version of Pattern #28. I don't like the child's version as much as I did the baby version (the top fastening looks awkward) but it's still pleasing enough.

Pattern #32 is the child's version of the dragonfly baby top we saw in Pattern 30. It's a nice top in both versions. Bergère de France certainly does make sure to get maximum mileage out of any good ideas they get.

Pattern #33 is a chevron-pattern "comboshorts" or playsuit. I can't say I'm taken with it. The pattern and colour combination are too heavy and dreary-looking for an outfit that could only be worn on a warm sunny day.

Pattern #34 is a chevron-pattern sphagetti strap top. I rather like this one. The pattern is striking and the colours are pretty. The pattern would be too much for a full pullover, but used in a small dose like it is here, it works.

Pattern #35 is a jacket with chevron-pattern sleeves, and I don't think it works. The sleeves look too tacked-on. It's a shame, because the designer went to the trouble of colour coordinating the buttons and giving the hemline and neckline a chevron shape. I'd knit this sweater all in one colour and just have a subtle chevron pattern in the stitchwork.

Pattern #36 is a tasseled scarf. It's not a bad look and cute be a cute accessory for an adolescent girl, but the construction does look really rough.

Pattern #37 is a necklace I can't say I admire. I suppose it wouldn't be so bad if you just left the tassels off, but honestly... beads strung together on wire would be much more attractive and take less time. Or you could just go to Claire's.

Pattern #38 is another simple little number that you'll want to choose an interesting textured or beautiful hand-dyed yarn for to give it some interest.

Pattern #39 is the same short sleeved top as we saw in Pattern #40 in a child's size. The same comment applies.

Pattern #40 is a mesh lace pullover. It's nothing too special but is attractive enough. The tassels on the necklace make the sweater look like it's coughing up a yarn ball.

Pattern #41 is a pullover with an "African-style" design on the front. I don't know how authentically "African" that image is, and without knowing that I wouldn't knit this sweater. Cultural appropriation has to be done with care.

Pattern #42 is a cute striped baby hoodie.

So that's my first Bergère de France review over with, and I'm underwhelmed. There are some cute ideas in it, but those are reworked too many times, and too many of the patterns are truly amateurish or even bad and only look cute because they're on an adorable child. All the patterns in it are really easy. There's nothing to interest an experienced knitter, who could easily replicate any pattern in it with the aid of the patterns he or she already has. I know Bergère de France's patterns are produced as a marketing tool for their yarn and such pattern magazines tend to be less innovative than knitting magazines whose manadate is to provide interesting designs, but Rowan is also a yarn company magazine and you don't see them putting out a lacklustre effort like this. I'll review the next couple of Bergère de France issues, but if this is par for the course from them I may be dropping them from my list of magazines to be reviewed.

1 comment:

  1. Have you been to France? Have a look at their children's shops and you will see a huge amount of dreary, understated colours. They think it is chic. Matter of taste, I guess. I agree, most of the projects are amateurish and probably not worth the effort. In the years I lived in France I was never tempted to knit anything from B-d-F!
    Btw - just discovered your blog and am loving it :-)