Update: as far as I can see, Phildar no longer make their patterns available in English. Sorry! The rest of this post is as I wrote it in 2009.
If you are like me, your French is pretty much limited to a short conversion about the wellbeing of your aunt’s hat, with the possibility of ending the conversation with various forms of goodbye. Not terribly useful stuff for reading knitting patterns.
Maria left a comment yesterday on a Phildar pattern I’d knitted that she didn’t know how to read French.
Fortunately Phildar’s site is in English as well as in French and some of the catalogues are translated into English. You can find the English ones available here.
I think I am correct in saying that Phildar’s shipping charges are based on value of order rather than weight, so actually catalogues are a good buy from them compared with yarn – buy a few at a time ideally.
The website is well organised, you can see excellent pictures of all the patterns in each book as well as the necessary yarn/colours etc if you are going to use Phildar yarn. I think that for some of the patterns their yarn would be indispensable as it is patterned yarn without which you would lose the effect of the final product.
On the other hand, there are lots of plain knitted items too and these can readily be knitted in any yarn.
When you purchase the English catalogue versions, what you actually receive is a copy of the French catalogue with a separate booklet of the patterns in English. I guess this is cheaper for them than reproducing the pictures again. I don’t mind this. It means if you are concerned about the possibility of a mistake in translation, even if you can’t read French, you can check out the numbers and basic terms will become intelligible in the comparison.
I think that some knitters scorn Phildar’s yarns as they are often acrylic. I’ve never seen any of their yarn but some of the patterns knitted in their novelty yarns are so cute that I’d definitely give them a try if wasn’t the case that I have to pay a fortune for shipping.
Take something like this:
Isn’t the point of it the yarn – if you don’t mind acrylic it is cheap and you will be sure of getting the right effect.
Maybe this is yarn dependent too…:
Oh dear, another gorgeous hoodie! But here are a couple from this Spring….for you lucky sods across the seas heading out of winter. I think you could knit these in anything, couldn’t you?