Archives for category: Sweaters

At Brooklyn Tweed HQ we always laugh to ourselves a bit about summer knitting. When all the seasonal publications are touting cotton and linen yarns and beach-appropriate knitwear designs, we find ourselves still knitting away with our wool, year in and year out. Since we know we aren’t alone in this religious use of wool, we figured why let fall and winter have all the fun? Why not do something for the devout wool-lovers of summer?

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It’s hard to believe that our third issue of Wool People is already here. Ever since launching our first issue last August we have had such a great time working with knitwear designers from around the globe for this series. While design work from our in-house design team is constantly under way, it’s fun and refreshing to get a chance to exchange input and ideas from a broader range of creative folks. The finished collections always feel like a secret that slowly reveals itself over the months from concept to production. You never know exactly how everything will come together until the end, which keeps the anticipation and excitement strong even from this side of the curtain.

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For this collection, we envisioned something clean and airy that focused on lightweight layering pieces and a summery palette of neutral heathers. We asked designers to think about soft, clean and wearable garments that would utilize Loft’s airy fabrics and tonal color range. The designers rose to the occasion and brought together a collection that is both diverse and cohesive. We really love what everyone came up with!

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As has become customary for the launch of a new collection, we’ve indulged ourselves a bit with a lusciously photographed Look Book – it’s the best way to get a feel for the range of the collection which features a total of 17 designs. You can view the Look ook in fullscreen mode by clicking “Expand” below. Remember that when viewing full screen, you can click anywhere on a page to zoom in further to read text or have a closer look at design details. If you’d like to download a free copy of the Look Book PDF for viewing on your tablet or smart phone, just click here.

While the collection focuses primarily on garments – there are a handful of smaller-dose projects as well: hats, shawls, wraps and scarves. We like variety in our own knitting basket, so bring that same mentality to the table when putting together a collection roster.

Thanks to everyone for supporting our last two issues of Wool People and making #3 a possibility. We feel fortunate to continue exploring and refining our designer-friendly model of publishing, which hasn’t changed since our first round – Wool People designers receive a portion of every sale for the lifetime of their pattern, no matter what. We think this is important and allows designers to be compensated fairly for this highly specialized type of work. Don’t forget to check out our “Meet the Designers” section at the back of the Look Book to read about our talented contributors!

Happy summer knitting to all and enjoy the patterns!

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Resources: All 17 patterns in the collection are available now as digital downloads on our web site here. Our Wyoming-grown wool yarns are available for purchase here. Download a free PDF version of the Look Book here.

I’ve gotten several questions about the Inversion Cardigan from our Spring Thaw collection and thought it would be a great topic to chat about today – both the specifics of the garment’s shape as well as the design process.

Inversion is a 2-way garment, meaning it can be worn right side up or upside down, depending on the fit preference of the wearer or the specific wardrobe context. The photos below show the cardigan on the dress form in both styles. The actual shape of the garment pieces couldn’t be simpler, as you’ll see below. I find the garment appealing both conceptually and stylistically, which is oftentimes a rare combination!

I’m always inspired by Japanese garment design and Origami – the Japanese art of paper folding – both of which were obvious influences as I composed this pattern.


When I’m working with a new-to-me shape, or wanting to experiment with a garment idea before committing to the full-size version of the design, I sometimes knit a half-scale model. Think of it as a dress rehearsal for a performance, or the trial meal you make the night before a dinner party to test out a new recipe (am I the only person who does this?). In the photos below you’ll see the original half-scale version on my half-scale dress form.

I knit the miniature with Shelter in Nest. (Generally it’s a better idea to work a half-scale garment in a yarn approximately half the weight as your target working yarn, but I started this little baby on the road and only had Shelter on hand.)

I’ve included a schematic diagram below to illustrate how the cardigan comes together as 2-dimensional shapes – you might be surprised to note that it’s merely two rectangles of differing lengths attached along their sides. The black circles and curved dotted lines indicate the parts of each piece that are joined to form the armholes. The small hash marks indicate areas that are mattress stitched during finishing.

 

 

You’ll notice that, though the garment is constructed as two rectangles, my pattern is written for three pieces (A, B and C). I wanted Pieces A and B to be perfect mirror images of each other so that the ribbed band that runs up either side (and the ribbed trims at the base) were perfectly symmetrical as the garment is worn. After completion of each piece, A and B are joined along the Graft Line, then Piece A/B and Piece C are blocked separately, to confirm their exact dimensions, before seaming all pieces together. To finish, ribbed bands are worked around each armhole.

The main portion of the garment fabric is simple stockinette, but the rib-like trim pattern is a motif that I’m presently enamored with. It’s a 2×2 garter rib where all knit columns are slipped every other row. The resulting motif is both firm and squishy and makes a great frame for the cardigan. It also lies completely flat, unlike true ribbing, so as not to distort the shape of the garment in any way while worn. (The half-scale version was trimmed with regular rib, which causes some subtle curves to the shapes as a result.)

Due to the slipped stitches within the garter rib pattern, the row gauge of the fabric is substantially different than the row gauge of the Stockinette areas. To reconcile these differences, the wide front bands of Pieces A and B are knit separately from the Stockinette sections (more rows must be worked to get fabric of the same length). These portions of A and B are seamed with Mattress Stitch during finishing (also shown with hash marks in the schematic above.)

It’s a fun design that very much pleases my grid-loving brain and may offer a nice change of pace from more traditional garment knitting, if that’s what your knitter’s heart is craving. The garment’s versatility gives it a throw-it-on-and-go nature that I value whenever buying or making clothing. For those of you who knit this one, I hope you enjoy it!  –Jared

Some classic black & white eye candy from Spring Thaw for you on this Thursday morning…

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Pardon our silence… we’ve been busy this Winter! Our design studio has been a flurry of activity in recent months and we are happy to finally bring you some proof of that this morning!

Spring Thaw from the BT Design Team

Today we’re happy to introduce Spring Thaw: a collection of 17 designs for knitting from Winter to Spring.

When the three of us first started knocking around ideas for this group of patterns, colorwork was a unanimous source of inspiration for all. This was also our first chance to create a collection while having access to the full BT yarn palette from day one. Our initial run of Loft was in production in Harrisville as we completed most of the work for The Loft Collection (November ’11), so our color choices were limited, particularly for any multiple-color designing.

This time, though, we were free to explore and combine colors at will. And so we did.

Colorwork knitters, you’ll find plenty of projects here – both small and large – to keep your stranding fingers busy. That being said, we’d be remiss if we didn’t include a decent dose of cables, lace and stockinette too…

It was quite a mild Winter, especially here in the city. I think most of us are giving up hope for any 11th hour snowfall, especially now that the Spring blooms are beginning to peak through the soil. We thought a collection for this transitional time of year would be a fun idea, and while that was certainly a factor in our design process, we think many of these designs are great for year-round knitting!

We’ve created another of our digital Look Books to indulge you with extended photography of the designs – we hope you’ll steal a couple of minutes today to give it a look! Click “Expand” below to view full-screen in your browser, or click here to view on our web site. (Or maybe a PDF file to take along with you? That’s here.)

Though it’s warming outdoors a bit, we’re definitely still enjoying our evening knitting. A very happy Spring to everyone, with all our best!

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Resources: All 17 patterns in the collection are available now as digital downloads on our web site here. Our Wyoming-grown wool yarns are available for purchase here. Download a free PDF version of the Look Book here.

The patterns in this collection were created by the members of our in-house Design Team: Jared Flood, Leila Raabe & Michele Wang. 

We’re starting the new year off with a very special announcement: the second installment in our Wool People series is all polished up and ready to take flight from the BT Nest!

We were humbled by the response to our first issue’s release in August, and have had a blast putting together a sequel to that collection. The new issue features work from 14 diverse talents from our industry – all of whom have been an honor to collaborate with.

As with our first volume, we shot for a balance of project types and skill levels in hopes of curating a group of patterns that is accessible to a wide range of knitters. We’re also thrilled that our roster of designers spans such an inspiring range: from long-time industry celebs to exciting break-out talent.Winnowing by Bristol Ivy

It was our first really cold photoshoot of the year, but it’s always worth braving the chill in the name of the pearlescent light that only Winter can deliver. Having woolen knitwear as your subject matter is certainly helpful, and our models were glad for it!

We invite you to sit down with a mug of something warm and flip through the pages of the Look Book to get to know the new collection. You can view it from right within your browser by clicking “Expand” below, or download the PDF version for on-the-go viewing later.

The patterns are all available as digital downloads through our website – with a portion of every pattern sale going directly to the designer for the lifetime of each design. 

We thought this was a great way to kick off the beginning of a new year, and hope you find something to keep your fingers contented as we head deeper into Winter.

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RESOURCES: Patterns from Wool People Volume 2 are available here. Yarns for each project are available here. View the Look Book on our website, or download the PDF version to your computer, tablet or mobile device.

November 1st has been marked with a giant red circle on our calendar at BT HQ for what seems like an eternity – we’ve just been dying for this day to finally come! Why? Because today we get to introduce you to our little darling: LOFT.

She is the newest member of our US-grown yarn family, and we simply love her.

From the very first time I laid my hands on Shelter, in early 2009 – months before its public debut – I couldn’t stop thinking about how perfect it would be to create a companion yarn in fingering weight. A light woolen-spun 2-ply is such a dreamy medium for lace and colorwork, especially for Wool Hounds like us (and likely, you too).

We weren’t surprised, either, to hear a steady stream of similar requests after Shelter’s official launch for that exact thing. We knew this yarn had potential to be a real stunner, so we took things slow, proceeding with caution and care (the way we like to do things around here). This one had to be just right.

Fast forward to today – 11 months since we began our first serious planning meeting with the mill in Harrisville – and it’s finally here. And what a journey it has been!

So what is Loft all about? From the outset we sought to design an ideal lightweight wool yarn for handknitters that looked and felt special. A yarn whose gently-spun nature mimicked the lightness and loft of handspun, and created stunning lace or stranded fabrics. We also dreamed of a substantial palette of stunning heathers worthy of serious Colorwork.

Our new color lineup boasts 32 carefully crafted dyed-in-the-wool shades – the original 17 from the Shelter palette, plus 15 newbies. The added colors were selected with our existing palette in mind; because each blend draws from the same 11 dyed solids, there is a cross-range coherence that makes the old colors pulse with new life.

Loft requires a slightly gentler touch than other yarns, but we think the results are so worth it. The lace fabrics it makes are so fluffy and light, they just beg to be cuddled, and the airy nature of the construction allows for a notable range of possible gauges. Loft can fluidly shift from dense fingering weight gauges like 9 spi in colorwork, on up to traditional sport weight gauges of 6 spi without losing fabric integrity – one of the hallmarks of true woolen-spun yarns, and as a design team, one of our favorite features (fabric variety!).

Each 50g hank packs a generous 275 yards, too – an added bonus for those of us who hate weaving in ends.

In celebration of Loft’s public release, our design team has put together an original collection to help introduce our shiny new treasures. We really indulged ourselves in lace (once you see the yarn, you’ll know why), but also threw in some colorwork and textured accessories, and even a pullover for good measure.

The best way to experience the collection and the new yarn is by viewing the Look Book – our biggest yet – which is bursting with  lush, Autumn-flavored photos, and plenty of info about the new undertaking. Just click on the cover below to view it in your browser. The patterns themselves are all available now for download.

I’d like to also take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support – it is the single reason that we are able to continue developing yarns and projects that truly inspire us, and bring us such joy in sharing.

Happy Lofting!

Very sincerely,
Jared and the BT Team

Resources: Loft yarn can be purchased online here. See The Loft Collection Look Book here. View all the designs from the collection on our website –including all pattern-specific information – here. See a list of our Flagship Retail Locations, each of which has the full palette of Loft in stock today.

Yesterday I walked out the front door of my apartment building and got about five steps before I stopped suddenly and realized…. I needed a scarf! For the first time since early Spring, I had an urge to don knits out of necessity. What a wonderful day it was! The second time I walked out the front door I savored the chill and ended up spending much more time out in the city than I have in quite some time.

The arrival of Fall this week (not on the calendar, but in feel) seemed like the perfect timing too, since we’ve been working hard behind the curtain to bring you a collection of designs inspired by this time of year. I’m happy to share with you BT FALL 11, a collection of 16 handknitting patterns.

This season I’m joined by designers Leila Raabe and Michele Wang (you’ve seen work from both of them in our first issue of Wool People). About 6 months ago, I approached each of these women to see if they’d be interested in coming together with me to form an official In-House Design Team at BT. To my great delight, they each accepted and the three of us have been happily collaborating on knitwear ever since!

Though we’ve been at it for a while now, we’re thrilled to be releasing our first group of designs as a team, just in time for the changing of the leaves. As with Wool People, we’ve put together a Look Book for the collection in hopes of giving you a pleasurable aesthetic introduction to the work. You can view it in the space below (click “expand” to view the full-screen version) or on our web site. If you’d like to download a free PDF copy to take along with you on your laptop, tablet, or device, you can get that here.

We were wooed by all sorts of surface texture as we were designing these patterns. We also wanted to make use of Shelter’s rich palette of Autumn, and create projects of all sizes and time-commitments. We hope there’s something in it for everyone to enjoy – happy Fall!

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RESOURCES: All the patterns in BT FALL 11 are available now for digital download here. Shelter US wool yarn is available here.

You may have noticed a cloak of silence shrouding BT in the last month. Summer is funny like that. For knitters it’s a hard time that we ride out with hope for chillier temperatures, but behind the scenes it always becomes the most chaotic time of the year as we busy ourselves with big Fall surprises. This year we’ve got a lot of things up our sleeve; a few large-scale projects that have swirled us into their summer vortex.Thankfully, today we  are finally ready to release the first of our Fall concepts.

It’s been almost a year since the launch of SHELTER. I remember well all the planning, waiting, nerves, & excitement that accompanied the months leading up to that release – but probably most of all, how I couldn’t wait to get to designing with a yarn that really spoke to me. And as I began (and continue) my own creative work with the yarn, I found myself beginning to wonder what this wool might inspire in the hands of other Creatives whose work I have admired from afar.

This simple curiousity became the basis for WOOL PEOPLE: a semi-annual design series curated by Brooklyn Tweed, the first installment of which we are happy to release just in time for high knitting season.

For this first collection of patterns, I sought out designers both near and far whose work – which comprises its own wonderful variety – I have long watched and admired. My plan: arm them with a healthy dose of wool and see what happens.

The process was so rewarding. We were able to work directly with each designer, discussing their ideas and sketches to construct a collection that we think will appeal to the sensibilities of our readers, and will welcome Fall in the best way knitters know how. The creative dialogue that is at the heart of this series has been invigorating – a welcome contrast to the virtual solitude I was in just a year ago!

Our first group of Wool People has been a joy to work with. Some of their names you may recognize, others you may not, but in all cases I hope there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

We’ve put together a beautiful Look Book for this collection, highlighting all the designs with full color photographs, as well as providing readers with information about our Guest Designer Team. To get the best feel of the whole collection, we encourage you to take a look!

Each design in the collection is available now as a PDF download at Brooklyn Tweed or on Ravelry.

As the publishing world continues to change rapidly, designers are working differently. Having designed independently for some time now, I see the problems that designers face in this industry every day. We’ve worked hard to put together a model that compensates designers fairly (and gratefully!) for their work. Starting today, a portion of all proceeds from digital pattern sales will always go directly to the individual designer for the life of the pattern. In the spirit of collaboration, each designer also retains the rights to their own work. We plan to continue developing this model in future WP collections to best serve those people who have made this project possible.

It’s been a hot summer and we here at Brooklyn Tweed HQ are certainly daydreaming of Fall’s arrival. I hope some of the designs and photographs featured today inspire you to do the same (if you weren’t already!).

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Resources // The Wool People Volume 1 Look Book is viewable here. Pattern collection is available on BT here and also available on Ravelry here. All designs in this collection are knit with Brooklyn Tweed SHELTER, available here

I’m thrilled to introduce a new mens sweater pattern today. The Brownstone Pullover has been a long time coming – I finished it in late Fall but have only recently been able to clear my head enough to put it through the pattern-creation gauntlet. The benefit of its long shelf-life, I guess, is that the garment has gotten a lot of field-testing. I could barely stop wearing it this winter. It works wonderfully with a collared shirt and wool jacket or overcoat.

The sweater is a classic style with a ribbed shawl collar worked from a deep rectangular neck opening. Raglan shaping makes for a nice fit in the shoulders while still remaining comfortable and casual. It’s a great garment for layering into various wardrobe combinations and more importantly, it’s fun to knit.

The sweater is worked seamlessly, in the round, from the bottom up. The collar is picked up directly from the completed body and shaped using short-rows, making the entire garment a one-piece construction.

The wooden toggles and twisted cord button loop details add a special touch and look wonderful with Shelter. The sample shown here was knit in our Woodsmoke heather.

The pattern is written for sizes S-XXL and recommends 3-5 inches of positive ease. I almost always have a stockinette-based garment project somewhere in my knitting baskets, for those days when autopilot knitting is required. I think this is a great project for that spot, while maintaining just enough detailing to keep it from monotony.

I hope you enjoy it!

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Resources: Pattern is available through Brooklyn Tweed and Ravelry. Shelter yarn is available here.

Back in September when I sent my first ever shop-bound shipment of Shelter, it was headed for Austin, TX. When I heard back from Suzanne, the owner of Hill Country Weavers, a few weeks later that she wanted to commission an Austin-inspired knitwear collection with the wool I was surprised and delighted, and more than thrilled to give them the green light.

I had the pleasure of making my first trip to Austin two years ago and was immediately charmed by the city and found an incredible amount of style inspiration there myself. I was excited to see what some Austin handknitters (and weavers!) would do when given the task of using their city as a muse.

On Christmas night, HCW debuted their collection to the world and I’m thrilled to be able to share some of the images with you here, all of which were shot on-site in Austin this winter by Meg Rice.

This hand woven blanket is a stunner!

This hat is knit in one piece, seamlessly — I love it.

You’ll find full details on the collection in its entirety on HCW’s web site — some of the designs are also available on Ravelry.

A big thank you to HCW and their design team for putting this all together!