I recently attended the Bergere de France trunk show which was held at the La Casita Yarn Shop. I try to go to as many trunk shows as possible – usually you get try the garments on and it serves as inspiration for projects.
In the 1970s and 1980s European yarns were readily available in US yarn shops. Many were blends using acrylic or nylon with natural fibers. Nowadays the demand is for 100% natural fibers as well and hand-dyed yarn. The yarn representative, Margot, explained Bergere has been family run business since the 1940s; the grandson currently runs the company. Also they are the last industrial wool mill in France making yarn for hand knitting.
La Casita is stocking two Bergere yarns for the Spring: Estivale, a hemp blend with sequins and Cotton Nature, a DK weight organic cotton. Estivale is very pretty and would be great for small and large projects. Cotton Nature is not dyed, its natural color is perfect for warm weather projects.
Two of the most tried on garments at the trunk show were:
All attendees were given the 2013-2014 pattern book (a $20 value), which contains 161 knitting and crochet patterns for women, men, children, and the home.
1 – Usually the European patterns need to be translated from French or Italian – this book is in English.
2 – The first 17 pages are instructions for the knitting, crochet, and embroidery techniques that are used in the patterns.
3 – Each size is assigned a color. When you read the pattern the color helps you find the right numbers for the size you are making. The colored numbers are also on the schematics. LOVE!
4 – There are many garments I would make. And judging by the mad rush to try on garments I would say others agree with me.
I wish the book had an index or a table of contents. The patterns are pretty random – you see patterns for women, followed by patterns for men, follow by a scarf pattern, and then back to patterns for women. Definitely have some post-its handy if you are marking future projects.
Also during the trunk show, several knitters were looking up the patterns on Ravelry – we quickly discovered that the patterns are assigned a number and a simple name (ex, 695 Fair-Isle Sweater). Just something to keep in mind if you want to look at existing projects.