Friday, 30 October 2015

Bergère de France 180: A Review, part deux

Let's have a look at the second half of the patterns in Bergère de France 180, the first part of the review having been posted this past Wednesday.

Pattern #21, Striped Beanie. Basic hat. The yarn choice works pretty well with it.

Pattern #22, Snood. Another very simple pattern.

Pattern #23, Fair Isle Beanie. Fairly effective stitchwork on this.

Pattern #24, Cape. 'Tis the season not to dress your child in a Christmas tree skirt. Actually, why don't we keep the spirit of that season all year round and avoid the whole night visits from the three ghosts of hideous capes fiasco, especially when the Ghost of Hideous Capes Past is going to be wearing something from the 1970s that reeks of mildew and pot?

Pattern #25, Roll Edge Sweater. Another basic pattern, but this is something that most young boys would find quite unobjectionable.

Pattern #26, Fingerless Gloves. Er, people will pay money for a "design" that required this little effort? It makes you think.

Pattern #27, Fair Isle Bobble Beanie. I rather like this one. The colour scheme really pops.

Pattern #28, Beanie. There are way cuter and better designed hats out there than this low level effort.

Pattern #29, Three Tone Bobble Beanie. Fairly simple piece but the right colour scheme (which this one is not) could make it look rather cute.

Pattern #30, Snood and Bracelet. If you're not going to put more effort into making your child's accessories than this, just take her to Claire's.

Pattern #31, Fingerless Gloves. These do have some slight appeal, though they still look rather slapped together and crude.

Pattern #32, Legwarmers. For the parents who feel their daughter isn't getting enough of that character-building bullying. I'm glad this child model's face doesn't show in any of the legwarmer shots. Even her feet look embarrassed.

Pattern #33, Large Snood. This is rather appealing. The stripes and the colour scheme are effective. I think I'd leave the tassels off if it were intended for a boy, though.

Pattern #34, Slippers. These don't look too bad overall but that is one ridiculous way of constructing the anklet. Those flaps on the front look like envelopes and remind me of Mark Twain's epigram, "Why do you sit there like a letter with no address?"

Pattern #35, Cable Cover. Er, no. I'm not even sure encasing electrical cords in yarn is safe.

Pattern #36, Fancy Rib Cushion Cover. Not a bad-looking simple stitch, but you probably don't need a pattern for it.

Pattern #37, Garter Stitch Cushion Cover, and Pattern #38, Seed Stitch Cushion Cover. And you definitely do not need a pattern for these.

Pattern #39, Panda Sweater. You've got to give Bergère de France some credit for trying to give a panda sweater some edge.

Pattern #40, Stag's Head Sweater. I would have named this pattern the Mutant Alien Head Sweater.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Bergère de France 180: A Review, part un

Bergère de France has released issue number 180, which is a collection of fall and winter designs for children aged 2 to 12. Let's have a look at the first twenty patterns in it, shall we? Part deux of the review will be posted this Friday.

Pattern #1, Bodywarmer. Just to remind everyone, bathmats belong on the bathroom floor, not on your child.

Pattern #2, Sweater with Yoke. This is nice on the whole, though that yoke does look more than a little like a braided rag rug.

Pattern #3, Button-Neck Sweater. Decent basic design.

Pattern #4, Long Sweater. Nice texture on this one, and it would look cute over a pair of leggings.

Pattern #5, High Neck Sweater. This is a very decent piece of graphic design, and the idea of pulling out an accent colour with matching buttons is a nice idea.

Pattern #6, Fair Isle Hoodie. Not a bad look, though the fair isle pattern looks like a hieroglyphics version of the Rorschach ink blot test. I see palm trees and pyramids. What do you see in that pattern?

Pattern #7, Shawl Collar Jacket. Nice classic jacket.

Pattern #8, Sleeveless Bodywarmer. Rather a cute little jacket. I'd refine the shape of it somewhat, though. I don't like fitted clothes on children, but I also don't see the appeal of dressing kids in trapezoids.

Pattern #9, Sweater with Fair Isle Collar. Really like the added touch of a fair isle collar and pocket on this otherwise plain sweater. It's really quite an original look.

Pattern #10, Loose Fit Hoodie. I think most kids would find this so large and heavy as to be cumbersome.

Pattern #11, Furry Look Jacket. Again, people, friends don't let friends dress their children in bathmats.

Pattern #12, High Neck Collar. There are better designed cowls than this one.

Pattern #13, Short Sleeved Tunic. I can't say I've ever liked the short-sleeved sweater over a long-sleeved top look, and yet one wouldn't dress a child in a sweater this warm and leave her arms bare. I'd make this one with long sleeves.

Pattern #14, Hooded Jacket. Not a bad jacket, though those pockets look a little off. I think the problem is that they need to be a few inches bigger to make them proportional to the rest of the item.

Pattern #15, Cardigan. This one's rather too blah and featureless. Making it in a brighter, more attractive colour would help a lot.

Pattern #16, Hooded Coat. I like this coat, but I don't like the tassels on it. A more interesting button choice would be a better way to step up the look a little.

Pattern #17, Shawl Collar Herringbone Sweater. Nice piece.

Pattern #18, Jacket with Removable Hood. Not a bad look. It has something of the classic pea coat's appeal.

Pattern #19, Fair Isle Bobble Beanie. Nice simple little hat.

Pattern #20, Fair Isle Sweater. Interesting varied pattern on this, though it does deserve a more interesting colourway.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Vogue Knitting Holiday 2015: A Review

Vogue Knitting has released its Holiday 2015 issue. Let's have a look at the patterns therein.

Pattern #1, Mock-Neck Shift. Can't say this one is doing it for me. It's so coarse-looking and the collar and cut aren't flattering.

Pattern #2, Beaded Shawl. An exquisite piece of work.

Pattern #3, Fair Isle Yoke Pullover. I appreciate the effort to think out of the box, but I don't know if all these studs and beads are really adding anything to this design.

Pattern #4, Beaded Gloves. Love these gloves. They're something unique and special, and yet quiet enough to be worn every day.

Pattern #5, Beaded Wristers. I don't care for these, but it's probably because they're wristers. I'd add hand coverage to this design, because then the result would be a rather rocker chic pair of gloves that would go well with black leather anything.

Pattern #6, Fan Lace Scarf. Another lovely lacy design.

Pattern #7, Convertible Buttoned Scarf. A very handsome and even striking piece.

Pattern #8, Fringed Scarf. This one could easily have been too afghan-like, but the variegated yarn chosen here makes it. Those thin and varying lines of colour elevate the scarf from couch wear to near Missoni levels.

Pattern #9, Lace Leaf Wrap. It's hard to go wrong with a classic lace wrap.

Pattern #10, Oversized Shawl. This is so big and awkward-looking and those slipped stitches look like runs.

Pattern #11, Fair Isle Blanket Shawl. I very much like the design of this one, but that shape is going to be hard to wear. It looks awkward even on the model.

An Evening on the Beach. This pattern and the next two were designed by the winners of the Mohair South Africa/Vogue Knitting "Warmth of Mohair" blanket design contest. This one won the contest. It wouldn't have been my choice. I'm not such a Philistine that I can't see its merits, as it has a certain visual interest in its interplay of texture and colour and it would be the right finishing touch in some coolly and sleekly understated loft apartment, but this kind of post modern abstract design is really not my thing.

Exotic Grace. This was the People's Choice award winner. It's a lovely and striking piece.

Kitali. This crocheted afghan was the first runner up. It's a fairly traditional afghan style but the off-beat colour scheme has made it something unique.

Pattern #12, Batwing Pullover. The overall design isn't bad, but if I were to wear those batwing sleeves, they would make me feel like I was wearing a tent, and worse, leave no knickknack standing and no plate of food unsmeared.

Pattern #13, Oversized Pullover. Unflattering and drab.

Pattern #14, Boxy Jacket. I rather like this one. The texture and the cut give it a smart look. This would be a nice way to top off a simple, fitted outfit.

Pattern #15, Cabled Sweater Dress. This is too bulky to be flattering. I think I'd correct for bulkiness by neatening up the fit and making the sleeves and bodice in stockinette.

Pattern #16, Hooded Dress. Tent-like and unfinished-looking.

Pattern #17, Open-Front Cardigan. I like the overall design, but I'd make this standard fit. Swamping women in a metre of excess fabric is really no way to make them look or feel their best.

Pattern #18, Drop-Shoulder Pullover. All I can say about this one is that it looks like the perfect depression wear. Assuming, that is, that you want to stay depressed.

Pattern #19, Boxy Pullover. This kind of cropped, boxy silhouette flatters almost no one and the sweater looks rather slapped together.

Pattern #20, Cropped Raglan Pullover. Looks to me like the designer of this one was knitting while drunk, accidentally added an extra neckline to the bottom of it, and decided to just go with it because, well, vodka.

Pattern #21, Loose Tunic. This is rather pretty, but it is so big. I'd neaten up the fit somewhat to a relaxed fit.

Pattern #22, Seed-Stitch Cardi. This isn't so bad. It fits and hangs well, it would look good worn over either dresses, skirts, or trousers, and it has a certain understated style to it. If knitted in a neutral colour it could be a nice useful piece to throw on over a number of other outfits on chilly days.

Pattern #23, Cropped Poncho. Not a bad little basic capelet.

Pattern #24, Fair Isle Stocking. This is well designed, if a little country for my tastes.