Monday, 30 May 2016

Bergère de France Magazine 182: A Review

I've allowed myself to get sadly behind on my Bergère de France Magazine reviews -- at present there are four issues on the waiting list. However, here is my review of the first of the four, and I'm going to try to do one a week until I'm caught up. Let's have a look at the patterns contained in issue 182, which is a winter issue for children aged 0-2.

Patterns #01 Girl's Cardigan, and #02 Boy's Cardigan. These are... undistinguished.

Patterns #03 Boy's Cardigan, and #04 Girl's Roll Edge Cardigan. Again, these are nothing special.

Patterns #05 Girl's Cardigan and Hat, and #06 Boy's Cardigan and Hat. Classic baby wear.

Pattern #07 Sleeveless Jacket. I'd have named this the Shapeless Jacket.

Pattern #08 Hooded Sleeveless Jacket. This one's basic but it's fine that way. Bouclé pieces really do need to be kept simple as the detail doesn't show effectively anyway.

Pattern #09 Sleeveless Fair Isle Jacket. This one's quite cute.

Pattern #10 Hooded Jacket. Another simple bouclé jacket.

Patterns #11 Boy's Hooded Jacket, #12 Girl's Hooded Jacket. Not bad, although they do look unnecessarily bulky. Surely the sleeves could have a little shaping?

Pattern #12 Dungarees. These are pretty cute. The appliquéd patches on the blue version are a nice touch.

Pattern #13 Fair Isle Dungarees. These aren't bad. I think I'd like the heart waist band better if it had another couple of stripes above and below.

Patterns #16 Dress, #17 Dress, and #18 Dress. Designating these three versions of the same dress as three different patterns is really pushing it, Bergère de France. Especially when the dress is so slapdash. It looks like a charity pupil uniform from a turn-of-the-last-century convent school.

Patterns #19 Dress, and #20 Openwork Dress. This must be the "dress uniform" that the aforementioned charity pupils from a turn-of-the-last-century convent school would have worn for class and cathedral services. The previous uniform must have been what they wore when on dish washing and floor scrubbing detail.

Patterns #21 through #28, assorted hats and slippers. These aren't terrible, but there really are so many cuter cat hat and slipper designs out there.

Patterns #29 through #35. Here's an assortment of boy's and girl's embroidered blankets, toy bees, sleeping bags, and a "product holder". I like the blankets, but the bees creep me out a little (why the glasses on the boy bee and the belt on the girl bee?), the sleeping bags look crude and slapped together, and the hanging stuff holder would stretch all to hell if it got any significant amount of use.

Nappy Holder. This is another item I wouldn't knit, because it would stretch out and doesn't look like anything special anyway. Some things really ought to be sewn.

Pattern #36, Hooded Jacket. This is a cute piece. I like the fastenings, which give a rather classic item a modern feel.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Knitscene Handmade 2016: A Review

The ever-prolific Interweave Press has just introduced yet another title to the roster of knitting magazines they publish, though this one is a special issue rather than a new quarterly publication. The first issue of Knitscene Handmade is out, and, according to the Knitting Daily website, it "pays homage to the creative life". It also contains 28 new knitting patterns, so let's have a look at those.

Grasslands Tee. Good shaping and some nice detailing.

Nederland Vest. Pretty basic.

Vail Cardigan. That ruffle is rather too over the top for me. It would make me feel as though I were wearing a pillow sham. One from a 1940s bordello, no less.

Breckenridge Sweater. Classic design, and I'm loving the stitchwork on the front of this one.

Spirit Lake Shawl. This is a rather pretty, fun piece.

Winter Park Shawl. Attractive and versatile little shawl.

Pearl Street Mitts. These are attractive and interesting, and yet plain enough that a man would be willing to wear them. I'm loving the subtle play of colour in these, but then linen stitch does tend to create such lovely effects with colour.

City Park Hat. Nice looking cap, though it does deserve a better colourway.

Timber Trail Hat. Nice hat. Love the diamond effect.

Manitou Springs Set. This is a rather interesting effect, reminding me of that "scratch board art" I remember doing as a child, in which an image was created by scratching through a black coating to reveal the layer of colour below it.

Durango Socks. Classic socks.

Rist Canyon Beanie. A simple, functional, ribbed cap. But then sometimes simple and functional is all one wants.

South Platte Cowl. Very pretty. The yarn choice works beautifully with the rippled texture.

Edora Cowl. The lacework and tabs on this one work quite well together, though I wouldn't have expected that they would, and they lend this simple cowl interest and even style.

Bingham Hill Cowl. Great stitchwork and a very attractive play of colour.

Happy Jack Cowl. Some attractive and interesting stitchwork in this one.

Eastern Plains Cowl. Oooh, love the texture in this one, and it looks like the warmest, most comfortable thing to wear.

Loveland Cowl. This one has great design and an offbeat yet masterful colourway.

Reservoir Ridge Cowls. Some nice texture in this one, and that is a great use of a gradient colour effect.

Spruce Creek Scarf. Love the stitchwork in this one, which has a "classic with a modern twist" feel to it.

Dillon Scarf. This issue's patterns are definitely strong on stitchwork.

Cheyenne Mountain Monkey Sleep Sack & Hat. I don't think I'd care to make, or dress up a baby in, what looks more than a little too much like a potato sack, but the hat is undeniably cute.

Red Feather Sweater. This is maybe a little too basic and squarish to be appealing.

Silverthorne Baby Blanket. Quite a nice piece of minimalist contemporary design. The texture of the gray section and the careful finishing keep it from looking too simple.

Front Range Raglan. You can't go wrong with a classic cabled cardigan at any age.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Noro Magazine Issue 8: A Review

Noro Magazine has released its eighth issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Pattern #1, Long Line Poncho. This isn't bad. It's a little Golden Girls, but then that isn't such a bad thing. The lines are good, the stitchwork is attractive, and the yarn is beautiful.

Pattern #2, Blanket Poncho. This is much more blanket than it is poncho.

Pattern #3, Openwork Poncho. I can't even dignify this one by claiming it would look better as a throw. This is a piece so aggressively unattractive that I'd be afraid that, even in an afghan incarnation, it would make my couch break out in hives.

Pattern #4, Mosaic Shawl. Lovely. The mosaic stitch showcases the yarn beautifully.

Pattern #5, L-Shaped Shawl. This is very "home ec project made the night before the due date".

Pattern #6, Lace-Edged Shawl. Beautiful. Both shaping and lacework are lovely.

Pattern #7, Crescent Shawl. Very pretty. Love the seashell colours.

Pattern #8, Ruffle Shawl. Not bad. The texture is interesting, and it's a nicely finished piece.

Pattern #9, Bandanna Cowl. This is quite attractive, and it sits well. Those long fringes would drive me crazy, but it would be easy to make them shorter, or to put some other sort of edging on this piece.

Pattern #10, Hybrid Triangular Shawl. Classic shawl.

Pattern #11, Openwork Cardigan. This is too full and floppy to be flattering on most women.

Pattern #12, Waterfall Cardigan. This needs more shaping, though the yarn used here is beyond gorgeous.

Pattern #13, Convertible Cardigan. I want to be able to approve of this one, because it does have an interesting construction, but it isn't flattering.

Pattern #14, Batwing-Sleeved Top. This one needs more body and less sleeve, or perhaps to rethink its life goals entirely and become a scarf.

Pattern #15, Cropped Shell. This is rather nice, but I'd be making it a standard length. The cropped length is a challenge to wear.

Pattern #16, Openwork Top. Not bad, but I would neaten up the shape a little.

Pattern #17, Leaf-Lace Shrug. Very pretty and useful little piece for summer dresses.

Pattern #18, Cropped Cardigan. Another nice little number for summer.

Pattern #19, Felted Entrelac Bag. This one's a little too crude and boho for my liking.

Pattern #20, Faeroese-Style Shawl. I like the combination of a traditional style with the contemporary, bright, eye-catching stripes.

Pattern #21, Infinity Scarf. Simple stitchwork with a beautiful play of colour.

Pattern #22, Mitered Throw. Fabulous. The mitered stitchwork and the yarn work together beautifully.

Pattern #23, Shell-and-Mesh Squares Cardigan. This is an impressive work in its own way, but also more than a little doily-esque for my liking.

Pattern #24, Shawl-Collared Cardigan. This is definitely too far into doily territory.

Pattern #25, Openwork Pullover. This is so far into doily land, it's in "Granny's centrepiece" territory. I want to put a basket of plastic fruit on it.

Pattern #26, V-Neck Shell. This could do with some better shaping.

Pattern #27, Goldfish; Pattern #28, Seahorse; and Pattern #29, Sea Star. These are very pretty and well-designed. What I'm wondering is what, if anything, they'll be used for, as I'm not one to make things that just sit around and collect dust. I suppose that, if they're large enough, they could be used as loofahs.