Archives for category: Gifts

It’s time to announce another fun project that we’ve been cooking up behind the scenes – this one has been a lot of fun, and I’m so thrilled with the end result!

Today we unveil a set of limited edition Brooklyn Tweed Sweater Cards – the result of a collaboration between the BT Design Team and Vancouver-based watercolor artist Mark Hall-Patch. Each pack contains 15 blank gift cards (with envelopes) and features 5 different commissions artworks featuring garments from our collection archive. Read on for the full story!

One afternoon last winter, when I was surfing the internet on one of my regular inspiration binges, I stumbled across some beautiful, minimalist watercolors by Mark and was struck by their delicate, poetic style. I immediately purchased a small water color for my own studio – a well-loved and slightly tattered Cowichan sweater – and when it arrived in the mail I was delighted to see that the in-person experience of viewing the painting was even more enchanting than my virtual one (as all good art should be!).

For several months I’d been kicking around the idea of finding an artist – be it a painter, illustrator or photographer – to collaborate with on some kind of special project for BT. When Mark’s painting arrived on my doorstep, the idea for these cards hit me like a ton of bricks. I promptly contacted the artist to see if he’d be interested in exploring some ideas.

I was further delighted to learn that Mark – a sensitive & sweet guy, as it turns out – loves collaborating on projects of this nature. Before we even finished our first conversation, we were setting to work on the details. I began by photographing several garments and accessories from the BT Pattern Archive. We then assembled the finished photos and started discussing which designs seemed to group themselves together naturally. Before long, we had landed on five projects, all in varying shades of grey and cream. (Shocking!)

A few months later – after Mark had carefully created each piece – five beautiful watercolors arrived at BT Headquarters, looking even better than I had hoped for.

The paintings are small – worked with tiny brushes and a very delicate hand. My personal challenge was to get as much of the original detail into the reproductions as possible. I also wanted the art to be reproduced in its actual size on the finished cards, so your experience would be as close to holding an original as possible.

So enough story telling – onto the art work! I’ve photographed each of the five paintings below, placing them aside the photos of their inspiration garments (we threw a pair of mittens in  for fun, too).

.

.

.

.

I always find it refreshing to shake things up a bit and play around with new ways of experiencing our yarns and pattern designs. This was such an enjoyable process, we’re already on the hunt for some new creative folks to team up with!

Sweater Cards are available today on our web site here (or click any of the images above); each pack contains 15 cards (3 copies each of 5 paintings) with envelopes. Card dimensions are 4½” wide by 6¼” tall (A6).

If you are interested in seeing more of Mark’s painting and illustration work, you can visit his web site here. If you’re interested in any of the patterns pictured, those can all be found on our web site or Ravelry.

At BT Headquarters we’ve been busy preparing some special woolly treats for the holiday season. When we started thinking about good gift ideas for knitters, handknitting kits seemed like a great option since they are so versatile! They of course make great gifts for knitters, but are equally useful as a way of treating yourself to something special, or even gifting the finished project on its own (two birds with one stone).

We’ve put together a selection of four handknitting kits from the BT pattern archive and assembled them in brown paper packages (tied up with string… we couldn’t resist) so they’re directly gift-able, with no additional wrapping or assembly required.

Each kit ships in our BT monogrammed brown bag tied with baker’s twine. Inside, you’ll find tissue-wrapped skeins of yarn nestled together with a beautifully printed pattern folio – everything your knitter needs for a lovely hand-making experience. Each of the four kits is shown below – just click the text links or kit images to be taken to the product pages for each individual kit.

 

The Habitat Kit is a perfect, low-commitment project for cable lovers – and is available in 6 different colors of Shelter. This design has become a BT classic, and is one of my own go-to designs when I’m in need of a quick gift for a friend or family member that still feels unique and special. It’s also a great design for knitters wanting to sharpen their skills at cabling-without-a-cable-needle (in my book, it’s one of the most essential tricks for cable knitters) or just cabling in general. This design has plenty of simple cable crosses, but doesn’t require the same daunting commitment as an allover cabled garment, tempting as they are.

 

The Rosebud Kit offers knitters a choice between a beanie or slouchy silhouette – either style can be made with this kit. The hat features an oversized braided cable (a real beauty) on a garter stitch background – a cozy thing that looks great on just about everyone. With each kit we tried to choose a good mix of colors from both our neutral palette as well as our brighter, more colorful lineup – click through to the kit pages to see which colors are offered for each.

 

If you’re on the hunt for some knitting you can really sink your teeth into, the Sempervivum Shawl Kit might be just the ticket, especially if lace is your passion. We had such fun choosing colors for this one – I  think the shawl would look amazing in any of the 7 shades available, choosing just one may be the biggest challenge of all. A triangular shawl wrapped up loosely around the neck is such a great way to get a little color pop into even the greyest of wardrobes… though we were sure to include a grey and brown option as well, naturally.

 

Finally – we kitted up one of our customer favorites from the pattern shop – the Guernsey Wrap. Though the shape couldn’t be simpler, it’s so easy to get lost in those hypnotic fisherman sweater textures, striping along as you go. This project is a great reminder that simple projects requiring only knits and purls don’t have to be boring. I remember knitting the very first sample during the summer of 2010 – it was such a comforting project to end up with at the end of the workday. The Guernsey Wrap Kit is stuffed with 5 skeins of Shelter for hours of wool love in every bag.

 

For those of you with knitters in your life, we hope these offer some good gift ideas (or something to add to your own wish list)! The kits are currently available in limited supply, but we’ll be doing our best to keep them stocked through the holidays, so enjoy and happy knitting/kitting!

When we launched Spring Thaw last month, we also launched our inaugural BT knitting kit – the Seasons Hat. We waited to mention this on the blog, since we weren’t sure what to expect in terms of demand right out of the gate. Though we sold through our first limited run of these kits pretty quickly, we’ve been busy working on Batch Two so that we could make a formal announcement here. For those of you who wanted a kit but weren’t able to snag one when we launched, all four colorways are back in stock as of today! (Though how long they last is yet to be seen…)

The kits include five hand-wound mini-skeins of Loft in colors and amounts corresponding to your chosen colorway. We’ve also included a physical copy of the Seasons pattern – an 8-page folio printed on saddle-stitched card stock. Kits ship in our signature BT packaging.

I remember falling in love with this banded colorwork motif when I visited Shetland in the Summer of 2010 and saw it on a pair of hand knit gloves that I purchased from one of the regional knitters there. I’ve since swatched it several times for different design ideas, and it finally found its home with this one.

I used this motif in much of my early experimenting with multi-colored stranded knitting from the Loft palette. When it was time to decide which colorway to use for the final sample – I just couldn’t pick one. It was there that the idea of the “Seasons” were born. The four final versions were inspired by color families from each season.

We hope to expand our kit offerings later this year with more colors and more projects – it’s a fun variation on yarn ordering, not to mention a great gift idea for those die-hard knitters in our lives. (We’ve even had some of our own staff members clamoring for them…)

We hope you like them – happy kitting!

__________________

Resources: Seasons Hat kits are available for purchase on our web site here. Hat design by Jared Flood. Packaging and printed pattern are printed/produced in the US. 

Ooh, this is going to be a bit all-over-the-place, but there are so many little projects needing updating here that I figured I’d just cram them all in. Between baby knitting and de-stress knitting, The Piles (you know what I’m talking about) have been growing growing growing.

First, I finished my Shetland mittens and due to all this schizophrenic weather we’ve been having, they’ve gotten a lot of play in the last couple of weeks. I think they may now be officially retired for the warmer months, but hey, we could wake up (again) to hail tomorrow and biting winds. You never know these days.

Shetland Mittens

I have yet to give them a proper photoshoot or a more appropriate blog-post of their own, but they were so quietly sitting in the sunlight this morning that I figured they warranted a little show-and-tell time.

And speaking of finished projects yet-to-be-photographed-or-written-about, I’ve finished a few more little baby knits. (As an update for those who have been asking, I’m going to be an official uncle (not a father) and I’m VERY excited about it!) Below is a charming little vintage-style baby bonnet – a free pattern from Larissa at Stitch Marker – that is sweet sweet sweet. I knit this with a linen/wool blend (stashbustin’) and loved the crispness of the wavy ridges and soft-yet-sturdy quality of the fabric. The eyelets around the neck are for ribbon but I worked up a nice sturdy I-Cord instead.

More for baby

I blocked this using pins and a blocking wire (pictured) to open up the fabric. I could go on and on about how much I love blocking wires. I find I use them for all sorts of things and they just give finished garments that extra OCD punch.

The stashbusting continues in the baby knitting arena: I had one skein of super-silky SWTC Bamboo – this stuff has great yardage (the skein feels a bit like a hockey puck – so weighty and satisfying) and I thought I’d challenge the skein to a duel. Is a one skein baby sweater possible? I believe so! I’m done with the yoke and body and just have the sleeves left – according to the weight of the remaining yarn (40g!), we should be golden for a newborn-sized EZ classic.

Bamboozled

The pattern is the ever-popular and always-charming February Baby Sweater from EZ’s Knitter’s Almanac (I made one a couple years back in green).

Lastly: Remember my ‘Reward Cone’ of School Products Cashmere Merino? Well I couldn’t wait until proper reward-time came around and felt a mindless stockinette pullover was in desperate need of conjuring. So I started. And it’s making for some gooooood tactile gratification.

I Couldn't Resist

More details on many of these soon – apologies again for the random project purge session!