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Good morning, Irina! Thanks for joining me today to talk about your work—I’m such a fan.

Thanks Jared! I’m very pleased to be a part of these wonderful Wool People collections, thank you for the opportunity!

Rambler is your third hat for Wool People—you contributed Scrollwork for WP4 (with a matching cowl) and Gentian for WP6. We’re so glad to have you back again for WP8. I know Rambler is an idea you’ve been playing with for a very long time. Can you tell us about the process for your new design?

When I was working on Scrollwork  Wool People 4 in the “Wool Socks” colorway, I started thinking how wonderful this color would work for a design with an autumn leaf motif. I started drawing sketches at that time, but nothing solid came from it. Over the next few months, I returned to the sketches again and again, knowing there was something there that I hadn’t locked in on yet. After time, I was able to work up something that I felt ws interesting, which is the resulting Rambler – even though I’ve never worked on one design for so long!

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What kept you coming back to this idea? What made it finally click?

It was the sheer number of sketches I drew in my notebook—which I always keep by my side—that kept the idea percolating at the front of my mind. I find returning to my own sketches again and again for inspiration keeps ideas moving along over time.

I do the same—you never know when you’ve accidentally found the solution to an aging design conundrum.

Yes! I often spend a long time drawing a single sketch, which ends up unresolved in some way. More often then not, when I return to it later the moment of “enlightenment” comes, and what seemed so difficult receives a simple solution in the end. This was the case with Rambler.

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Your cable work is so distinctive; you clearly don’t just browse stitch dictionaries and amalgamate motifs. What makes a design come alive for you?

Most often I get inspiration in drawing curls and knotwork. Often I find ideas for woven motifs in objects around me. It can be anything from nature, architecture, interior design objects, etc. I draw a lot. Sometimes I come up with different variations of the same pattern, sometimes trying different ways to combine several patterns. Sometimes I start to draw one pattern, and in the end it turns out to be quite different from my original idea. Sometimes a beautiful idea comes right away, and other times it’s a much longer search. But in the end, tangling cables together is always the most exciting type of knitting for me.

Can you tell us about your background? How did you get started with knitting and design?

I learned to knit at age 12. When I was 15 I made my first sweater. Since then, knitting has been my favorite pastime. In the past I have always chosen to work from knitting patterns with interesting stitch patterns – ones that particularly piqued my interest in design. In the early 2000s, however, I felt I was having a harder time finding interesting patterns to work with. The publications that I had access to in Ukraine published mainly knitting patterns worked in stockinette stitch and fancier yarns. While I like wearing simpler patterns, I tend to get bored knitting them. So in 2003—the year I was on maternity leave and had more free time—I began to invent my own stitch patterns and design accessories with them. Ever since I’ve been sketching and knitting my own stitch patterns, and amassing a nice collection of them to draw from. I would love to someday produce a stitch dictionary with my original motifs.

You should! I’d be first in line for that…

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The more I grow as a creative, I realize that my passion is inventing and knitting unique or complex stitch patterns. I like to watch as a pattern emerges in the process of knitting, particularly with intricately woven cables. As I mentioned before, the result is almost always different from the initial sketch, so the element of intrigue remains until the end. My favorite accessory to incorporate my motifs is obviously hats. To me the brim, body and crown of a hat represent a single unit, and I love finding ways to make each flow into the other without breaking the motif, but instead enhancing its interest.

I think this all certainly shows in your work, and it’s really inspiring to hear you talk through your design process. Thank you so much for spending some time with me today, and I really look forward to watching your work evolve.

Thank you, Jared! It’s really a pleasure to work with you and your team.

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Curious to read more about this design or get your hands on the pattern? Visit Rambler’s pattern page for details.

This has been the Part 2 of a 6-part Designer Conversations series with selected creatives from our new Wool People 8 collection. Stay tuned here for more; two interviews will be posted each week!

The votes are in! Congratulations to the top three winners for our #Tweedback contest: @klmmm9, @dmwknits, and @pataunt!

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Tweedback Winners!

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We absolutely loved seeing all the humorous, inspiring and touching submissions shared here over the past few weeks. It’s been a great way to enjoy the last days of summer with a big smile.

Winners – we’ll be in touch with you tomorrow!

Tweedback Top 10

Our #tweedback Instagram Contest was a wonderful experience, and we were bowled over by more than 350 submissions! If you haven’t already, check out the hashtag #tweedback via Instagram for a nostalgic, wool-filled walk down memory lane!

Our in-house Design Team had a tough time choosing only 10 finalists from the entire pool, but were able to agree on the following images this morning after much hemming and hawing. The top three prizes in the competition will be awarded based on popular vote, so please cast your ballot in our poll below – voting closes on Sunday August 31st at 11:59pm, and we’ll announce our winners at the beginning of next week.


A big thank you to everyone who participated to make our first-ever Instagram contest a success! And though the contest is over, we hope the hashtag stays active as knitters continue to uncover vintage photographs of themselves or their loved ones in knits.

Happy voting!

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We’ve had a blast watching garments from our BT Kids collection being created throughout the summer. All the nostalgia of wool-clad children got us thinking about our own sweater-filled pasts. We asked our own BT team members to search their home archives for old photographs of themselves in knits and had a wonderful time looking at everyone’s images. Our inner-office image exchange inspired us to put together an Instagram Contest that would allow our friends and fans to join in the fun!

To celebrate the last month of summer, we’re kicking off our BT Tweedback Thursday Instagram contest.

Here’s how to play:

  1. Find photos of yourself or your family members in their childhood, clad in hand knits of any kind (hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, sweaters… the woolier the better!)
  2. Upload your photos to your Instagram feed before midnight on August 25, 2014, being sure to include the hashtag #tweedback in your caption.
  3. After the deadline, our in-house Design Team will choose 10 lucky finalists who will be entered into a poll for one of three yarn prizes.
  4. The top 3 prize winners will be chosen by popular vote from our friends and followers on social media!

Yarn Prizes (!):

  • Grand Prize: 10 skeins of BT yarn in color and yarn line of knitter’s choice
  • 2nd Prize: 2 skeins each of Shelter and Loft in colors of knitter’s choice
  • 3rd Prize: 2 skeins of BT yarn in color and yarn line of knitter’s choice
  • Finalists: Each of the 10 finalists will receive a free PDF copy of any pattern in our archive

Throughout the contest we’ll be posting our own photos (much to our parents’ delight) on Brooklyn Tweed’s Instagram feed, too. You didn’t think we’d ask for embarrassing pictures from your past without doing the same, did you? (Any guesses whose cheesy grin is pictured above?)

.We hope you’ll play along – we can’t wait to see your images!

 

Contest Rules:

  • Pictures must be of children (ages 12 or younger) wearing a hand knit item
  • Eligible Images must be hashtagged #tweedback on Instagram only to be considered valid submissions. Submissions with or without hashtags on other social media outlets will not be considered.

 Don’t have an Instagram account, but want to play along?

They’re free and easy to set up! Just download the free app on your smartphone and follow a few on-screen instructions to set up your account.

 

 

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Today we’d like to give you a closer look at some of the cabled designs in BT Kids: Jared’s Spore, Julie’s Bairn, Michele’s Arlo, and Véronik’s Vika. Our design team loves playing with the endless possibilities for cabled shapes and we hope you’ll have a lot of fun knitting these projects.

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If you just like to motor away on a satisfying knit with predictable pattern repetitions, try Spore. Jared set out to design a charming, coordinated hat and scarf suitable for an idyllic hike on the moors. He wanted a traditional cable motif with chunky dimensionality for maximum coziness. He worked the scarf first, then planned a matching hat with a quirky shape to add a note of whimsy and personality to the set. The crown shaping is integrated into the cable pattern and the hat is offered in four graded sizes, toddler to adult. The shape is roomy enough that even the larger children’s sizes can easily fit most grownups, too – so choose your size based on a silhouette you like to wear.

The Spore scarf is written in a single size, but can be knit to any length. The 49” sample took 2.6 skeins of Shelter, so procuring four skeins would ensure enough yarn to knit a long adult scarf.

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Julie Hoover drew her inspiration for Bairn from her own family. Her three boys all loved their special blankets and would leave them lying all over the house, so she imagined a blanket handsome enough to fit into the décor of a stylish home—a kids’ item you wouldn’t need to sweep out of sight before company arrives. She knew cables and twisted stitches in the Bavarian tradition would provide that elegance. Julie saw Bairn as an exercise in balance and restraint, finding just the right measure of twisted and regular cabled stitches and resisting the urge to fill up all the space with cables. The ample reverse stockinette ground effectively draws the eye to the center motif and gives the blanket a modern and visually soothing quality. Julie heightened Bairn’s contemporary feel by eliminating the traditional border in favor of clean I-cord selvedges.

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Michele wanted Arlo to be a truly unisex cardigan; the pattern gives instructions for gendered button placement if that matters to you, but the style suits boys and girls alike. She charted cables in X’s and O’s for a sweet touch, but by varying the number of stitches in the cables she achieved an organic and more sophisticated look. Arlo has stockinette panels along the sides to allow the knitter to adjust the width of the sweater as needed. This is also a great knit for fast-growing youngsters because the ribbed cuffs can easily be folded up for the first year and then down for the second.

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Vika lets a traditional Aran-style cable take center stage against a ground of textured stitches. On small garments, a single bold cable fills a lot of space—Vika looks intricate, but the knitting is simpler than it appears. And while many knitters prefer to work in the round to avoid seaming, there’s an advantage to flat pieces for cable work: you’re far less likely to cross your stitches a row too early or a row too late!

Check out some of the beautiful Vikas already finished on Ravelry:

And don’t miss kioto888’s handsome orange Arlo:

We can’t wait to see more of your interpretations of these garments!

I’m very excited to announce a new job opportunity at Brooklyn Tweed for which we are now accepting applications.

We always look forward to adding new members to the BT family and are excited about this new position!

Comprehensive information about the position is available below – including the downloadable application form. We look forward to getting to know the applicants!

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Now Hiring: Studio & Administrative Assistant; Part-time

We are looking for a qualified Studio & Administrative Assistant in the NYC/NJ metro area. The Assistant’s primary duties
include daily customer relations tasks (e-mail & phone relations), social media maintenance, and comprehensive secretarial/administrative support in our office. This person will work closely with the company owner and operations manager to assist on a wide range of day-to-day tasks in both administrative and creative areas.

The position is currently part-time (approx. 20 hours per week; 9AM to 1PM weekdays) in our Jersey City, NJ office/studio – a short subway ride from downtown Manhattan and easily accessible from all boroughs as well as the NJ metro area. We are a growing business and it is likely that this will progress into a full-time position over the next 12 months. This is an ideal position for people just out of school who are looking for an entry-level position in the fashion, design, and/or handknitting industries.

If you are a self-motivated person interested in knitting, yarn manufacturing and design, and like working in a focused, creative and collaborative atmosphere, this job will be a good fit for you. 

Application Due Date: July 9, 2013

Click below to download the full job description and the application form now.

 

Download the application here

Please submit all necessary materials via e-mail to jobs@brooklyntweed.net by the listed deadline in order to be considered for the position. Thank you!

Brooklyn Tweed has gotten a face lift!  Welcome and thanks for trekking over.  The blog will now be updating from this address — please update your bookmarks and feed readers!

Lots of exciting things will be happening here in the next few months… I hope you’ll keep coming by!

Joann is having a 50% off sale on all online purchases today only! Coupon code is JANH650. Just got a yarn swift (finally) for half price (and saved $30!!)

i’m so sorry about the long hiatus! over the last two weeks i’ve had major technical problems with blogger. they wiped clean my entire blog and left me stranded. after trying futilly to fix the problem myself and having no luck contacting them, i was forced into starting up again at a new site. one post into my new life i get an email from them saying they’ve recovered my information! despite being annoyed, i was releived!

for most recent update check out
Winter Femme 1

(a taste of what you will find at the link above!)

so in conclusion… i’m back. for all of you who i contacted with my new information (in a panic)… i apologize. disregard those messages!

i’m an idiot. i took all these great pictures for a post today and left the camera at k’s in Philly. so of course i have nothing visual to offer. and i was so excited to put up more hat pictures. we’ll have to wait a little while. my apologies.

well, thanks for all the comments on my hats! my site has had the highest traffic in its history because of some name dropping over at more hi-profile blogs like diana and caitlyn! thanks for the publicity!

my lace weight silk wool came from blackberry ridge on friday so i’m all set to start ene’s scarf. it calls for a 36″ circ US 6 and i only have a 29″. i’m going to try improvising with what i have… but this may prove insanely frustrating. any ene veterans have advice? i already love this project: it only calls for two skeins, both of which are under $10 and have 650 yards each!! now THATS what i call value. my poor ass offers its appreciation.

again sorry for no pictures! we have model shots of a few of the hats on the way. and of course more after christmas when i will harrass my family members for photos of them wearing their new head adornments. may your bleeding fingers be minimal as you finish up all your holiday knits!