Friday, 9 January 2015

Bergère de France Magazine 177: A Review

Bergère de France has released Magazine 177. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Pattern #01, Cable Tank Top. Classic cabled vest.

Pattern #02, Jacquard Cable Sweater. I give Bergère de France points for trying to be original, especially in menswear, where original knitwear design usually means an arguably new arrangement of classic cables done in a daring shade of gray, but I don't think these asymmetrical sleeve designs are working. Love the sweater otherwise, but I'd pick one of the sleeve designs and use it on both sleeves.

Pattern #03, Shawl Neck Cable Cardi. Classic sweater. The minimal shawl collar does give a it a bit of an updated feel.

Pattern #04, Fur Collar Jacket. Can't say I care for this one. It isn't shaped with any style and has a dumpy look.

Pattern #05, Cable Jacket. Like this one on the whole, though I do have some reservations about the dropped shoulders and the horizontal cables on the arm, which aren't flattering. The leather fastenings are a nice touch. I think I might be tempted to go with another zippered jacket pattern and borrow the leather clasp idea for it.

Pattern #06, Double-breasted Jacket. Don't care for this one. The collar is poorly shaped and the design looks rough and amateurish on the whole.

Pattern #07, Long V-Neck. Very sister wife. (This is not a good thing.)

Pattern #08, Cable Tank Top. Solid classic piece.

Pattern #09, Button Neck Sweater. Classic henley that would look well on just about any man. As you can see, it isn't exactly detracting from this model's looks.

Pattern #10, Roll-Neck Sweater. Lovely classic turtleneck.

Pattern #11, Top Down Jacket. This isn't just sister wife, it's "depressed and alienated sister wife whom all the other sister wives pick on".

Pattern #12, Rolled Edge Beanie. Shapeless and too large hat.

Pattern #13, Hooded Cable Jacket. Very decent cabled jacket. Though I am getting the feeling this is this woman's very first day as a sister wife and she's anxious to make the best fried chicken dinner ever to make sure she gets off on the right foot.

Pattern #14, Hooded Sweater. Not bad. I like the concept of the side buttons echoing the buttons at the placket.

Pattern #15, Shawl Collar Cardi. Not liking the asymmetrical design here. I'd put that cable motif on both sides. And style it over things that actually go together.

Pattern #16, Short Cable Sweater. Not bad. It's not looking too flattering here, but I think that's the styling. I'd put a bulky item like this with a fitted bottom rather than a pleated skirt.

Pattern #17, Flared Tunic. I'd reshape the bottom of this. A sweater that flares unecessarily through the waist and hips will do no woman any favours.

Pattern #18, Jacquard and Cable Sweater. Not a bad incarnation of the circular yoke sweater.

Pattern #19, Asymmetric Zipped Sweater. I don't like "design on the one side" concept here either. If I were to make this one, I would knit both sides and the sleeves for the sweater in the cable pattern (which is quite nice), fix the dropped shoulders, and keep in mind that this item won't look good worn open.

Pattern #20, Tunic. This lovely yarn (created by knitting two different yarns together) deserved better than to be made up into a sloppy poncho.

Pattern #21, High Neck Cable Sweater. Nice piece. It looks like it has good shaping, which is crucial in a bulky knit like this.

Pattern #22, Jacquard-Look Sweater. The dropped shoulder is used here as a way to create visual interest, and it's not working any better than it does when it's simply part of the shaping.

Pattern #23, Large Snood. Dead simple yet wearable piece. I rather like the idea of making a cowl to match a sweater with a simple neckline. It gives one a way to freshen up the sweater and would be a good way to use up a leftover skein of yarn.

Pattern #24, Tunic Sweater. Quite like this one. The gradient effect was created by knitting two strands of different yarns together, which is a brilliant idea to keep in mind for some future project. It's a way to create colours that blend well if you're unable to buy them as is.

Pattern #25, Top Down Cardi. I would definitely neaten up the fit of this and run the buttons from the top of the neckline to the hem. It's not a bad design on the whole, but it looks unfinished and frumpy as is.

Pattern #26, Round Neck Cable Sweater. Nice classic piece. And that is some good styling, because it's made a standard piece look chic and eye-catching. The right accessories and colour scheme do make such a difference.

Pattern #27, Openwork Cable Sweater. Quite like this one. It's well-shaped and the texture is so good.

Pattern #28, Chunky V-Neck Cardi. Another sister wife fashion. And by the looks of it, this sister wife has been secretly growing some mary jane in the kitchen garden and smoking it out behind the bunkie with some of the oldest of her "nephews".

Pattern #29, Short-Sleeved Cable Sweater. Bergère de France has clearly tried to give the cable sweater a fresh look here, but using the kind of shaping that is consistently unflattering is not the way to do that.

Pattern #30, Cable Cardi. And we end with another solid classic piece.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Knitting in Avant-Garde Style and Other Knitting Fables

When Sheila's friends suggested that if she was so fed up with dating, she might give it a rest for awhile and just concentrate on the things she enjoyed doing, Sheila turned to the real love of her life, crochet, for fulfillment. Alarmed, her friends gifted her with dating site subscriptions and confiscated her crochet hooks.

Dylan decided to save money on ski wear by making the same outfit do for both skiing and après-ski activities with her boyfriend. To that end, she'd added strategic holes intended to facilitate both ventilation and easy access.

Inspired by Dylan's frugality, her friend Rosalind made some fetching ski wear out a bathmat.

Both Dyland and Rosalind decided to rethink their money-saving strategies and, in fact, the entire ski trip, after Dylan's boyfriend Marvin got into the act and made himself an afghan onesie.

Proud as she was of her knitwear ensemble design, Jerusha could not shake the feeling she'd mismeasured or forgotten something.

"Eat up, Connie! You'll need the calories for the roller rink, the mall, and the drive-in movie theatre! You know we can't put on sassy hot pants like these and not live up to them."

Fashion editor Anya had set up a special corner of her office where she could relax and knit for a few minutes in avant-garde style whenever things got a little too hectic.

Misty had found the perfect solution for combining long hair with a hoodie.

After weeks of exchanging catty remarks at their local knitting group, Nita and Pearl finally went full-on sparring match.

Winona was not going to let her responsibilities as a mother keep her from being in the forefront of fashion. If nothing else, she could fashion sea horse hair accessories out of her child's outgrown sweaters and sew chic outfits out of crib sheets.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Bergère de France Magazine 176: A Review

Bergère de France has released magazine 176. Ayons un regard sur il, allons-nous?

#01 Jacquard Sweater and #02 Beanie. Very cute sweater and hat, though I would want to rework the cat design to make it more detailed and finished-looking. It's a little half-assed as it is.

#03 Hooded Jacket. Nice little jacket, and that texture both looks good and would feel very cuddly and comforting for a baby to wear.

#04 Bootee Slipper Socks. These are more than a little too clunky-looking for my tastes.

#05 Jacket and #06 Leggings. Nice little jacket and leggings. The textured yarn really makes the jacket. The leggings would be a great scrap yarn project.

#07 Crochet Beanie and #08 Garter Stitch Knitted Beanie. Does anyone really need patterns for these? And if one did, wouldn't one just find a free one on Ravelry?

#09 Hooded All-in-One. Useful item for early fall days.

#10 Bobble Beanie. The side pom pom is such a cute look for little girls.

#11 Mittens. I don't think this yarn is really suitable for mittens, as it's so bulky. Also... these pictures make these mittens look less like mittens than they do like a pair of rude gestures.

#12 Blanket. Dead simple design, but it is finished-looking and effective.

#13 Knitted Cubes. Would a baby even play with these?

#14 Cardigan. This is so simple and yet has a certain style.

#15 Cardigan. Not a bad piece, and the buttons are really cute, but that neckline does look a little unfinished.

#16 Sleeveless Dress. This one's just a little weird, as though the designer decided to pick up a pair of knitting needles and open a cheap bottle of wine and see what happened.

#17 Double Breasted Jacket. This wasn't a bad concept, but the execution is far too crude to make the end product work.

#16 Beanie and Bootees. You can get much better patterns than this for free on Ravelry.

#19 Baby Wedge. Here's a time-saving tip: if your baby isn't ready to sit up alone, use whatever pillows you have around your home to prop him or her up instead of making something like this. When the baby becomes able to sit unassisted, you can return the pillows to their usual places and not have some white elephant of a pillow sitting around. And with all that time you saved, you get to knit something interesting. Now that's win-win.

#20 Cable Stitch Crossover Cardigan. The cabled pattern looks weirdly off-centre and the button band doesn't sit well.

#21 Sleeping Bag. I don't know how pratical this is. It seems to me that a sleeping bag ought to cover the arms as well to reliably keep a child warm, but then maybe babies would rather have their arms free...? As it is, this looks to me like a tank top from one of those frustration-type dreams, in this case one in which you're trying to get dressed but find all your clothes are sealed up at the bottom.

#22 Sailor Style Top. This design looks less than half-finished.

#23 High Waisted Trousers. All I can say about these pants is that they'll be perfect for your baby to wear if he gets cast in Les Misérables.

#24 Bootees and Beanie. Another rather crude, unfinished looking design. Bergère de France would be better off putting fewer and better patterns in their magazine issues. "Designs" like this are a little too much like filler.

#25 Back Buttoned Top. Look, I'm all for the idea of quality sex education for children, but depicting a sperm on the front of your baby's sweater is maybe a tad overzealous.

#26 Cable Sweater. The cable design on this looks a little muddled.

#27 Hat and Sweater. These do have some appeal, but they're another unfinished and amateurish-looking design.

#28 Hat and Cardigan. These two items are much like the previous two just above, and the same comment applies.

#29 Blanket. The first few baby blankets I made were nearly exactly like this one. I've moved on to better, more complex baby blanket designs now, but this isn't a bad project for a beginner. But... you really don't need to buy this pattern.

#30 Hooded Jacket. Not bad. It would look better with larger buttons.

#31 Trousers. Another sub-minimal design. I suppose it's wearable enough though.

#Bootees. It's difficult to tell from this picture exactly what's happening with the tops of these bootees, but they look fine if very simple.

#33 Coat. Very simple but adequate design.

#34 Back Buttoned Top. Another very simple design, but the accent colours give it the visual interest it needs.

#35 Bootees. Very pretty little bootees.

#36 Beanie, and #37 Snood. Simple, presentable designs.

#38 Cable Stitch Coat. This is pretty nice on the whole, though I do have my concerns about the collar. It looks okay, if a little odd "done up" as it is here, but will look bad when worn open.