Archives for category: Sweaters

Like Timberline, Fort was another sweater design that I’d been thinking about for some time before I actually began working on the garment in any tangible way. I wanted to create a piece that was inspired by military clothing, but could be easily styled into an every day wardrobe. While I chose a pretty basic set-in pullover shape, the fit became a big focus for me, as well as finding a special detail or two to set this design apart. Combining a rich green and charcoal grey was also a nod to the military inspiration.

The sweater itself is worked in Shelter, a worsted weight wool, while the constrasting elbow patches are worked in a finer yarn (Loft). I  find that knitted elbow patches can often be too bulky in worsted weight and create a thick, awkward area on the sleeve, especially after the garment endures regular use. I liked the idea of using a lighter fabric, but knitting it at a dense gauge (get out your size 1 needles!) in garter stitch.

The garment is knit circularly with no seams from hem to underarm (on both body and sleeves), then split and worked flat for the remainder of the yoke. Finishing involves setting in the sleeves and sewing the shoulder seams. I like this construction method because it allows for both the ease and convenience of circular knitting as well as the structure of seams in areas where they are very much needed (shoulder tops and armholes; both regular stress points for the fabric).

Though not easily seen in the photo above, there is a ribbed side detail that flows directly from the hems/cuffs along the side “seams” of the body and sleeve. This adds a little elasticity to the overall fit and creates a sort of visual frame for the wide expanses of checkerboard stitch.

Finally, the wide crew neck is trimmed with a doubled 1×1 rib collar: stitches are picked up from the finished neckline and knit circularly to twice the height of the finished neckband, while being subtly shaped with changes in needle size. Live stitches are tacked down on the inside of the garment for a neckband that has a little extra thickness and character to it, but still remains elastic.

While obviously “a classic”, I can see this sweater equally at home in conservative or funky closets alike. I look forward to wearing mine this Fall!

 

Slade is for the guy who appreciates the coziness and charm of a deep shawl collar. The set-in sleeve cardigan is worked in pieces with a stockinette body and deep 2×2 ribbing at the hem and cuffs. The wide shawl collar, which creates a double-breasted front when buttoned, means that the stockinette fronts of the garment are rather skinny and can be knit quickly.

After assembling the finished sweater pieces, the ribbed collar/fronts are picked up onto one long circular needle – beginning at the lower edge of right front, up one side of the cardigan opening, around the back neck and back down the other side.

The deep ribbed band is worked in one piece to completion. Three buttonholes are worked at the halfway point and correspond to sewn-on buttons on the other side. For a more casual, relaxed look, buttons/buttonholes can be omitted altogether if the wearer prefer the cardigan open.

A good wet-blocking upon finishing will allow the front band to be blocked flat to reduce some of the natural elasticity of the ribbing. 100% wool yarns work beautifully in this process and create the well-behaved ribbed front shown above.

 

Redford draws its inspiration from well-loved vintage tee shirts – the kind that get better with each wash and wear. Though the sweater doesn’t announce them loudly, it features some subtle details that elevate it above the average everyday pullover.

Side panels are worked in reverse stockinette stitch and assembled with exposed seam lines to highlight their slightly angled shape. The change in fabric offers a subtle yet graphic detail along the sides of the garment (see a detail photo here).

The stockinette portion of the sleeves are worked from the bottom up, beginning just above the cuff line. After completion, cuff stitches are picked up from the wrong side – creating another exposed seam detail – and worked down in a 1×1 rib, finishing with a clean tubular bind off.

Finally, an inverted triangle is worked in reverse stockinette and nestled just below the ribbed collar at center front, adding a finishing touch to that “favorite tee” vibe.

Worked in Loft, the sweater’s fabric is lightweight and easy to layer (it looks great whether worn with a denim jacket or a sport coat) and is particularly useful for hot-blooded men who overheat in heavier sweaters. The garment is worked flat in pieces and seamed together for added structure and strength.

The hardest decision of all: which color to choose?

One of the best parts about putting this collection together was being allowed to indulge my selfish side in creating a garment that I’ve been daydreaming about for quite some time. I’ve had visions of Timberline dancing in my head for years (really), and it seemed like the right time to finally make this garment a reality.

My favorite type of sweaters are the ones you just want to live in, whether dressed up or dressed down. This is the kind of sweater that I like to crawl into and hibernate; I guess I consider it my own grown-up version of a security blanket.

The cables on this cardigan are sculptural – the fabric feels substantial and protective. In the beginning, the main “Timberline” cable motif began as something completely different – a smaller cable that went through 4 or 5 total iterations before arriving at its final state. I became quite fond of it in the end. It references traditional staghorn cables, but with a more organic flow. It also paired nicely with the traditional 9-stitch braid that flanks it on either side.

I wanted to knit this design in Shelter so the lightness of the yarn would keep the garment from being overly heavy. The result is just what I was after (you have to savor those moments when they happen!): it feels substantial, but there is no worry that the fabric will stretch vertically under its own weight.

Full disclosure: this pattern is not for the faint of heart. All told it spans 24 pages and spares no detail. But if you want a special knit that you can pour your soul into, this is the one! The garment features tubular cast ons, completely integrated ribbing-to-cable transitions, corded selvedges, a shawl collar with integrated rib shaping, and partially seamless construction (body and sleeves worked seamlessly from hem to underarm; upper body and sleeve caps worked flat). The ribbed button bands are worked on a much smaller needle to create a strong, structured fabric, then seamed onto their respective garment fronts for a beautiful, polished finish.

I hope you enjoy this one! In the meantime, I’ll be counting down the days until the weather once again allows for the wearing of such woolly clothing.

 

Julie’s seamless Chesterfield pullover strikes that great balance between being easy to knit and fashionable to wear. The body and sleeves are worked circularly from the hem/cuff to the underarm. At that point, all pieces are joined together and worked circularly to shape the raglan yoke (also worked circularly, with no seams). The squishable ribbed turtleneck is worked last – and for those guys who feel a little stifled with all that wool up around their necks, substituting a simple stockinette rolled edge, or a shallow 1×1 ribbed neckband is a snap.

If you look closely at the fabric, you’ll notice that the colors have a marled appearance – this is achieved by working with two different colors of Loft (our fingering weight wool yarn) held together and treated as a single strand. The resulting fabric is the same as a worsted weight yarn, but with a beautiful, mottled look.

Between the combination of the colorblocking at the base of the garment and the marled yarn, five separate colors are used in total to create the look shown above. Again, if the colorblocking isn’t your (or your guy’s) cup of tea, the entire garment can easily be knit in a single color for a more traditional look.

The basic shape and construction of this garment allows for all kinds of individual modifications to suit your own tastes – I love seeing how knitters experiment and modify our designs. Isn’t that one of the best reasons for making your own clothes, after all? As an added bonus, Julie included a “girlfriend” version of the sweater that incorporates waist shaping to decrease bulk in the body, while maintaining an overall cozy, oversized feel. See photos of the modeled girlfriend version on Chesterfield’s pattern page.

The Hugo pullover is a modern take on the traditional fisherman’s gansey – with its low-relief allover cable motifs paired with handsome moss stitch. The traditional layout of cables contrasts more modern elements like the slashed ribbed turtleneck and updated silhouette.

Hugo‘s proportions sit closer to the body than a traditional pullover for a slimming effect; the long sleeves cover the full wrist while the body falls just below the belt line. This stylish silhouette creates an eye-catching update to the historic ganseys we all know and love.

Véronik chose to work up her design in Shelter‘s “Stormcloud” colorway – a rich, warm grey that features undertones of both brown and blue. A surprisingly versatile color, it pairs with both warm tones (as photographed), or cooler blue and grey shades (any shade of denim).

The slashed ribbed turtleneck has a garter stitch placket with snap closures, though it can be easily modified to feature traditional buttons/buttonholes, or knit circularly as a more traditional stand-up collar.

Today feels like a very “full-circle” experience for me as we release our very first collection of knitting patterns exclusively for men.

It doesn’t feel like so long ago that I was a new knitter, searching for male sweater patterns that suited my own tastes, needs, and abilities. Though the absence of such patterns was perhaps the single most influential factor in my path towards knitwear design, I’ve always remembered the frustration I felt as a result of my limited options.

Knitting has taken me on quite an unexpected and wonderful journey since then, and all along the way I’ve daydreamed about creating patterns for men that might help those knitters who find themselves in the same place that I was then – be you a male knitter yourself, or any knitter with a husband, brother, son, partner or friend who has at one time or another made that sacred request for a handknit sweater or accessory.

Last year, when I pitched the idea of a men’s collection to the design team, an immediate excitement engulfed. That fervor stayed strong all throughout the process – we’ve had a great time putting all the puzzle pieces of this collection together. In designing, we set out to create knits that were understated and easy to wear, but maintained details that made them special (and enjoyable to make by hand).

Selfishly, I loved having the excuse to design and create some of the pieces that I’ve been been wishing were in my own closet for quite some time!

The look book features the entire collection – 8 garments and 5 accessories – that cover a range of skill (and commitment) levels, from beginner to advanced.

 

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We hope you enjoy our first small contribution to the genre of men’s knits!

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Resources: The BT Men look book can be viewed on our website here, or download the free PDF for viewing on your tablet or device.

Each pattern is available for instant download here, or on Ravelry.com. Brooklyn Tweed yarns used in the collection are available for purchase online, or at one of our 16 flagship retail locations.

 

Hitch was designed by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark in Alabama and has a great casual elegance about it. The dolman shape means that the garment is made with two pieces (front and back, with sleeves integrated). If you look closely at the direction of the garter stitch on the cuffs, you’ll see that the sleeves are worked sideways as a result.

While swatching at the beginning of the design process, Mercedes fell hard for this cable – which she said reminded her of thick links of chain (our inspiration for naming the design) – and built the rest of the sweater as a suitable “frame” for it.

I think the proportions are great – the deep garter hem, the front-only panel of chain cables, three-quarter sleeves and a wide boat neck. The fabric is lightweight – worked in Loft at a relaxed gauge – which means it has that “easy to throw on” thing going for it, too.

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Resources: Hitch is available as a PDF download at Brooklyn Tweed or Ravelry. The pattern is knit with Loft yarn, shown here in color Tent.

This week I’ll be spotlighting some of the patterns from the Wool People 5 release to better acquaint you with some of the details about the patterns that may not always be apparent from photos alone. Today – the Reverb Cardigan by Tanis Lavallée:

Tanis hails from beautiful Montreal, Canada, and has a knack for garments that are stylish, smart, and fun to knit. Canadians really have a way with sweaters.

Reverb is worked seamlessly as a top down raglan – which is a great way to make a sweater, especially for knitters who don’t enjoy finishing. The obvious benefit of knitting garments this way is the ability to try on as you work – a great advantage when customizing the sleeve and body lengths of your individual garment.

Though the cardigan has no waist shaping, the slimmer fit is achieved with a relatively low amount of ease (+1-3″, shown on the model with +1″ of  positive ease).

The zigzag cables reflect (“reverberate”) across the cardigan opening; on the back they combine to create a mirrored panel of diamonds. The cables are simple to work, but have a great effect in their overall combination.

This is a great project for both fledgeling and seasoned sweater knitters alike!

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Resources: Reverb is available as a PDF download at Brooklyn Tweed or Ravelry. The pattern is knit with Shelter yarn, shown here in color Hayloft.

Is it May already? This time of year always seems to fly right by – before you know it winter has slipped through the cracks and summer is right around the corner. The past few weeks have been positively delightful weather-wise; a late spring, but one that was definitely worth the wait!

Today I’m happy to announce our newest collaborative effort – the fifth (!) installment in our ongoing Wool People series is all polished up and ready for spring and summer knitting!

Back in August when I began mapping out the concepts and art direction for this collection, I thought it would be fun to do a sort of “shawl challenge” – since spring always seems to be the time when my own lace bug reawakens, hungry for a new project. Lace is perfect for outdoor knitting and travel, two things that many of us will do often in the coming months. I love how something as lightweight and portable as an in-progress shawl packs so much value in terms of both knitting time and mental satisfaction.

Standing on this end of the collection timeline, it’s rewarding to see finished design work from the 7 “lace whisperers” featured in this spread. A nice variety of both lace & textured stitch patterns, simple to more involved techniques, and essential shapes to knit and wear – all worked in soft and airy Loft.

Of course at the core, we are sweater people – no matter what the season – and this collection has more than just lace to offer. I received some beautiful garment and accessory design submissions in this group: great looks for layering during the evenings in chillier summer climates (you lucky people) or in anticipation of next fall. Both the Reverb cardigan and the Bolt scarf (shown below) just scream for autumn, and there’s plenty of knitting time to get them done!

The look book introduces the collection in its entirety with full page photography spreads showcasing the new designs along with blueprints that are intended to introduce the architectural/technical elements of each pattern. When considering a new knitting project, I always like knowing what I’m getting into with a schematic “road map” and some notes on construction, shape and assembly.

Between the aesthetic and technical components of the look book, I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know this new collection of work. Happy spring to each of you!

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Resources: The Wool People 5 look book can be viewed on our website here, or download the free PDF for viewing on your tablet or device. Each pattern is available for instant download here, or on Ravelry.com. Brooklyn Tweed yarns used in the collection are available for purchase online, or at one of our flagship retail locations.