Archives for category: Scarves

One of the new knitting books to hit the shelves this month is Brave New Knits by Julie Turjoman.  In her book Julie profiles 26 knitting bloggers, each of whom have submitted a design of their own to create a collection of patterns that has a lot of wonderful variety.  I was honored to not only be asked to be a participating blogger for this project, but also to be hired as the book’s photographer.  It was so much fun seeing so many pieces designed by many of my friends and colleagues and putting it all together into one cohesive collection of images.

We shot the project on a steamy September day last year in one of my favorite natural-light studios here in New York.  I’ve put together a quick sampling of some of my favorite images from the shoot, as well as sharing my own personal pattern contribution at the bottom of the post.  I hope you enjoy!

Knitted flowers by Kat Coyle

Shrug by Melissa Wehrle

Cardigan by Mari Muinonen

Mitts by Clara Parkes

Pullover by Stefanie Japel

Hat by Woolly Wormhead

Cardigan by Hilary Smith Callis

Pullover by Connie Chang Chinchio

Cloche by Norah Gaughan

There’s many more patterns and interviews contained in the book than shown above, so please feel free to check it out if these images have sparked your interest!

In putting together the book, Julie also worked to include smaller yarn companies that sell online and have their own ‘following’ in the way bloggers do.  When Julie asked me to design an accessory pattern for the book, of course I asked her if I could call dibs on Beaverslide Dry Goods — one of my favorite small American wool suppliers.  Armed with fingering weight American Merino, the Woodsmoke Scarf was born.

The scarf is a very simple concept — central garter stitch rectangle is knit length-wise (using a provisional cast-on) knit in one color and not bound off. The second color is used to work a knitted-on lace edging, also in garter stitch to frame the whole piece.  I chose a long, skinny proportion for a lighter, spring scarf that could be wrapped a generous number of times around the neck, but the pattern can be very simply adapted to make proportions you might find more suitable for your wardrobe (wider, shorter, etc.)

I had a lot of fun working with Julie on this project, and I think it’s a unique addition to the Knitting Section at the bookstore/library and helps promote the lives that go on behind the curtain in knitwear design.  Happy reading!

Is it almost August already?  I’d wonder where the summer has gone, but I’m too busy counting down days until Fall.  It’s been weeks since my last update — a summer-long silence that has been brought on by a very, very busy couple of months.  Rest assured, I’ve been toiling away on a large creative project that I’m not yet at a point to share.  But I’m getting closer.

There’s been a lot of knitting going on here throughout these hot, humid weeks, though — with sights set to Fall (this always seems to be the case, at least in my life).  As we cross the halfway point of summer, many of the larger yarn companies have started releasing their pattern previews for new Fall collections.  Last winter I designed a scarf for Classic Elite using the luxurious, heathery Ariosa in my favorite shade of icy grey.  I figure I already have a sweater made out of this yarn that feels like a big cashmere hug, so why not a scarf as well?

It’s a big, wavy, sculptural thing that feels great spiraling around your neck.  I love a good piece of texture to throw into just about any Fall or Winter wardrobe combo — Cinder can be just that.  Ariosa is a very lightly spun singles yarn composed of 90% merino & 10% cashmere, which means that despite its bulk, it remains light.  Not to mention cashmere-soft.

The reversibility of fabric in scarves is a common issue, because  after all who has the time and energy to make sure their scarf is always facing RS out? (Well, some of us try, but realistically that doesn’t always pan out)  Reversible stitch patterns are great for scarves and look good almost any way you toss them on, hence the brawny entourage of ribbed cables.  A reversible cable is generally not much different than a regular cable: the principle is the same, with one set of stitches crossing over the other, just imposed over a ground of ribbing instead of stockinette stitch.  Each side then features visible columns of knit stitches, effectively “popping” the cable.

That being said, this scarf is much, much simpler to knit than it might first appear — which is always nice when trying to impress your non-knitting friends, isn’t it? Although you will need a larger cable needle than usual, it is more or less regular 2×2 ribbing with a small percentage of rows employing a cable cross (or two). I think ribbed cables of this nature look quite good in almost any gauge — and although I made mine up in a heavier weight of yarn, a simple waltz with your calculator can easily allow you to adapt this to just about any yarn you want to wrap around your neck.

Cinder is available in Alley — one of Classic Elite’s yarn-themed pattern booklets for Fall 2010. (Find it on Ravelry here)

I’m preparing for some international travel in August — two weeks on the road overseas generally means about two weeks of planning for proper projects so as to harness the full power of away-from-home knitting time.  Then again, since I will be spending time in Shetland (knitter’s Mecca!), I’m sure I’ll find something to keep my hands busy if the need should arise…

I’m home after a wonderful week of adventures — simple knitting projects, simple foods, and many a click on the old odometer (people drive fast in Italy) — oh what fun! I took the opportunity of being in the middle of such a visually rich country (texture, texture everywhere) to shoot some new accessory patterns that I’ve been working on this Winter. I’m happy to introduce Dryad — which has become an instant wardrobe luxury around BT headquarters, even despite the slow thaw that brings Spring.

Dryad

In the Fall I found myself frequently experiencing the urge for a serious cabled scarf — one that pulls out all the stops and doesn’t apologize for being dramatic. I wanted something wide and long, with big, plump cables that still retained a non-oppressive weight and elegant drape. As is usually the case, finding the right yarn for the job was the key to solidifying design, and made all of the above listed requirements possible.

Dryad

The scarf is knit with Blackstone Tweed, new from Berocco last Fall, a yarn that is special and unique and in my opinion stands out among the commercially available tweeds. Blackstone Tweed has a rustic look, but a surprising drape and hand, due in part to its interesting fiber composition (Wool, Superkid Mohair, Angora). Don’t be fooled though, this is not your average mohair/angora sneezy fuzzfest. The yarn is prepared with minimal halo and a lightly spun, crisp hand. The touch of angora (just 10%) adds amazing softness and really makes this a luxurious material. The drape that can be achieved, even in heavily cabled fabric is something definitely worth taking a second look at!

Dryad

All that said, it makes a perfect fit for a scarf that may otherwise be overly heavy or rigid. Even with 6-stitch cables, which begin to be voluptuously plump, the fabric still drapes and moves beautifully, and is quite visually appealing as well. A great color palette doesn’t hurt either.

Dryad

Back to my ever-present desire to be swathed in cables: this one definitely fits the bill. In general, I usually wait to absorb a new piece of knitting into regular wardrobe rotation until the pattern is written and the photo shoot complete… not only as a way to keep the work fresh for its close-up, but also to trick myself into getting the work done faster. This scarf has been burning a hole in my pile of finished knitting and I’ll be honest that I’ve been wrapped up in it ever since we wrapped the shoot. Even indoors. Which makes me think I may have a problem.

Dryad

The pattern has been provided for three differing lengths: 60, 75, and 90 inches. All sizes have a width of approximately 8.5 inches. The sample shown is the long version and can be wrapped and wrapped if you require a nest of cabled fabric around your face. If you’re less about the drama, a shorter version can be worked without problem.

Dryad

The pattern is now available in my Ravelry Store here as well as directly through Brooklyn Tweed. Pattern instructions for this piece are charted.

Dryad

Thanks also to my dear friend Sara for modeling — a Contemporary Italian Literature Scholar and truly fashionable Tuscan — she wears knitting quite well, wouldn’t you say? We shot these photos on location in a tower-filled, Medieval hilltown outside of Siena.

I hope you enjoy!


One of the things I love about knitting is that each project has a story — a history — that sometimes only we as the Makers know, but regardless always serves as a secret source of pleasure each time we wear a handknit garment, or better, see a loved one wearing one. Mostly I’m reminded of the places I was at the time I was knitting, or the things that I was thinking about and exploring during that period. It’s funny the things you remember based on the texture and fiber you had in your hands at the time.

So today I look at a small project that carries a random collection of memories from the last few years. Not such a long time in the grand scheme of things, but my life has changed so much during this period, that I feel particularly nostalgic and grateful looking back on it.

Honeycomb Scarf

I’ll often remember where I was when I cast-on for a new project. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the whole genesis moment of something you hope will be a lifetime heirloom, or maybe it’s just that heightened feeling of excitement when your hands, in anticipatory delight, finally get to test-drive a special new yarn. This memory usually serves as a channel marker for how long a project has been in-process. See, my knitting memory is very random — it doesn’t serve well for dates, durations or time periods but rather sensory and emotional outposts. In this case I know that this scarf has been hanging around for about three years, because I distinctly remember casting on in my old Brooklyn apartment on a Fall afternoon. Funny I thought then that I’d be done with it in time for winter, but projects tend to have their own plan.

Honeycomb Scarf

The pattern for this scarf is another story too — which brings back other funny memories. It was a free pattern I found in a random knitter’s flickr photostream during one of my many unhappy days at my (former) 9-5 office job with eyes glazed in front of a computer screen. I spent many of those long days wishing I was home knitting and escaping by finding beautiful and inspiring knitting online to dream about.

Well, as it turns out, the pattern was posted on flickr illegally and taken down shortly thereafter by the request of the original author who, despite lots of sleuthing, I have been unable to locate again. [ETA -- the pattern has been found! See the notes at the end of the post for details] At that point, however, I had the pattern in hand (your partially-knitted fabric is the best pattern you can get!) and did little to worry about the fact that it had up and disappeared.

Honeycomb Scarf

Fast forward to late summer 2009 when I stumbled across this half-knit gem at the bottom of one of my drawers, just in time for giddy Fall knitting — an almost finished Yak scarf with cables in my favorite shade of grey? Perfection. And back into the light of day it came until its finish just weeks ago.

The yarn is a special one, too: a 50/50 Yak Merino blend with a smooth, 6-ply construction (perfect for popping cables) which I purchased at one of my favorite Manhattan locations, School Products. Because SP carries so many one-of-a-kind yarn imports from Italy, you never know what beautiful things you’ll discover behind their doors, often finding yarns you’ll never have the opportunity for again (which makes yardage planning more important than usual!)

Honeycomb Scarf

A good old fashioned cabled scarf is never out of fashion in my mind — This one is great, super simple – but very elegant and, in the right yarn, a new scarf staple for the steadfast lover of Classics.

ETA: The pattern has been found! Thanks to those of you so speedily joined the hunt! The scarf was designed by Beth Walker O’Brien and is entitled the “Aran Cashmere Scarf” [Ravelry Link] The pattern can be found in the book Simple 1-2-3 Knitting

Honeycomb Scarf

It’s my most favorite time of year for hunkering down at home surrounded by wool yarns and half-knit projects to quietly work and enjoy the start of Winter telling you to stay inside, enjoy what you have, and make beautiful things you feel proud of. Whether gift knitting or diligently keeping pace on long-term heirloom projects, I find the simple act of making stitches even more rewarding than usual this time of year. I hope you’re enjoying yours as well.

I’m proud to say that today welcomes a woefully overdue makeover to Brooklyn Tweed Proper. I’ve been slowly but surely redesigning my website with hopes of finishing it up by the first of the month. I may have missed my mark by a day or two, but I’m happy to show you my new duds at the new fangled www.brooklyntweed.net!

Re-Design

Click the image above for a peek.

Most notably, my travel schedule is now available all in one place for easy viewing, and easy locating! I have all my scheduled workshops through the end of the year listed presently and will be listing 2010 dates shortly. Additionally, the design section of the site has all my patterns in one place for ease in looking up pattern specifics or for purchasing where applicable.

I’ve gone for a clean, light look with hopes that things are easy to find and the space is nice on your eyes. I hope you like it! As for the blog — my blogger site is linked directly from the main site at the moment. I intend on a more seamless (har, har) integration in the future, but I think we shouldn’t change too much too fast, for fear of overstimulation or disorientation!

As for the knitting. Well. It’s cable season.

A Cabler's Life For Me

I’ve been spending a good portion of my days on airplanes or in hotels and therefore have filled my life with small (portable) cable projects in some of my favorite yarns. Projects that don’t require carrying anything other than a good sturdy circular needle and the knitting that’s hanging off of it. Leave the cable needles and papers at home. That’s my kind of travel!

I even squeezed in a little time for some… wait for it… handspinning. I know. I can hear you gasping from across The Expanse. It’s been awhile! It felt wonderful hearing that comforting whirrrr of the wheel and letting the fiber flow.

Alpaca Merino

This is a skein of 70% alpaca, 30% blue faced leicester wool spun rather lazily into a bulky, textural single. I’m new to alpaca spinning so this was a fun experiment. I intentionally fulled the yarn a bit during washing and love the finished texture. Who knows what this skein will become one day… for now I’m happy petting it on my way out the door.

AND. I finished something. (Audible Gasp #2) It’s nice to know that when life is spiraling, we can at least finish a little luxuries for ourselves here and there, isn’t it? This scarf has been 3 years in the making and will get a post of its own… but here’s a sneak preview:

A Fall Present To Myself

I’m off to Texas tomorrow and then jetting on to the West Coast (home!) to get a little reminder of how great Fall in the Pacific NW is. That and, oh did I mention, I’m an uncle now?! Prepare yourself for the Wool Onslaught, little one! (You have no idea what you’ve been born into….)

Continuing on with the projects – today we look at The Laces! These are some of my favorites. There are two lace patterns included in the collection – one requiring a modest commitment, the other one requiring the Long Haul labor-of-love.

Meet the Laces!

Meet Bridgewater.

Bridgewater Shawl

A large lace square worked in a laceweight alpaca silk 2-ply - this was the first project I started last Fall and one of the final finishes in the Spring. Don’t get me wrong though – we had many, many happy hours together.

Bridgewater Shawl

Although I generally favor working lace projects with slightly heavier yarns that have a bit of body to them (mostly cause I like watching the architecture of the stitches play out as I work), there’s really nothing like a fine laceweight shawl after it’s blocked. Fine knitted lace has a way of taking your breath away when it’s whisping around!

Bridgewater Shawl

The piece is a perfect square, with the center garter stitch portion (okay, so I guess I got a little more garter in than I may have originally let on) worked first, back and forth with lots of satisfying, mindless knitting. Just when you’re ready to ditch the simple stuff you’ll work the second section of horseshoe lace, picked up from the square’s perimeter and worked in the round, working increases at each of four corners. The delicate edging is worked last and knitted-on in place of a bind off.

And, Willoughby.

Willoughby

Here we have our DK-weight lace contender. This piece is a true bit of luxury knitting. Marly, an incredibly light (even for cashmere) 100% cashmere will stop you in your tracks the first time you touch it. When blocked for lace, it feels even lighter – I couldn’t believe it!

The pattern provides two sizes – an average length (about 60″) and a long length (72″) depending on how much yarn you’d like to use. The final piece is wide enough to be considered a stole but can be scrunched down to be worn as a scarf just as easily. I love lace pieces that can be dressed down for street styling or classed up with evening wear. Versatility is always a plus!

Willoughby Stole

The stole is worked in two halves – starting in the center with a provisional cast-on and worked out towards the edges. The lace edging is worked concurrently and changes direction at finish to be worked as a knitted-on-edging in place of a bind off. The second half is worked directly off of the provisionally cast-on sts at center and worked outward in the exact same manner as the first.

Willoughby

As a side note – I want to take this opportunity to extol the virtues of blocking wires. I’ve been using them exclusively for a few years and have to say that they reign as one of my very favorite (and necessary) knitting tools. I’m a big believer in the magic of blocking – not only for lace, but everything – it can really be the key to putting that extra professional touch to your work. That said, I like square edges, sharp corners and even tension – which can be achieved with pins, but you may drive yourself nuts trying if you err on the side of perfectionism (neurosis) *cough*.

Blocking wires do all the hard work and leave your lace projects coming out perfectly crisp and symmetrical. The joy!

Extolling the Virtues of Blocking Wires

I’ll leave you with this photo – taken in early Spring as I was communing with camera, blocking wires and at-long-last-finished-shawl.

Lace knitters – I hope you enjoy!

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RAVELRY LINKS:

Bridgewater on Ravelry

Willoughby on Ravelry

*All patterns are now available as individual PDF downloads through Ravelry or through my pattern page here.*

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be writing this post — it’s been a loooong time coming, and I feel like I’ve spent a year holding out on you about the knitting that was actually going on here behind the scenes. It felt so wrong to be knitting my fingers to the bone on this end, with a quiet lack of output on the blog. Well, it’s finally time to come clean and show you what I’ve been referring to over the last nine months as my Second Thesis.

Made in Brooklyn Cover

I’m happy to introduce Made in Brooklyn – a collection of original handknit designs in natural fibers, published with Classic Elite yarns and available beginning next week.

As you well know, the last year was a trying one here as I was finishing up my MFA and thesis, teaching and photographing regularly. So when the opportunity to take on a project like this presented itself, I was convinced I was absolutely crazy to take on an additional commitment of this magnitude and almost surely doomed to drive myself into the ground and bring all my projects crashing down along with me in the process. And yes, the last 11 months have not been without their low points, but now that the dust has settled and all is said and done, I’m so glad that the wonderful folks at CE trusted me enough to give me this period to work up this book.

The process started very organically and blossomed out of multiple friendly discussions that I was having last September with my dear friend Pam Allen, the artistic director of Classic Elite and designer extroidinaire, but most of all an absolute golden sweetheart. I had been expressing my desire to continue exploring new directions in print publishing for the yarn shop community while still being able to keep my online distribution and the independent publishing mojo that I love so much about the internet, Ravelry, etc.

We ultimately came up with a new model in which Classic Elite would give an independent designer like me the opportunity to create a publication of designs in which I was given complete creative control over designing, pattern writing and photography, while retaining the rights to my work and the ability to distribute them as online PDF downloads as well as having them available in print at your local yarn shop. Needles to say I was thrilled!

And I couldn’t have been luckier to be working with a company whose range of yarns is absolutely epic. As a designer, having such a solid range of high quality, natural fibers in a wide range of weights, constructions and colors seemed like such a dream-opportunity. And it really has been a wonderful, wonderful process.

Made in Brooklyn Preview

The booklet features 13 original designs that run the gamut from simple, versatile accessories to major sweater projects for both men and women to long-term lace projects. My ever-present bug for colorwork was seriously indulged so if you’re a lover of stranded knitting be sure to give the patterns a look! You’ll also see a range of fibers used — wool (of course, and lots of it!), cashmere, alpaca, silk and angora — oh my, what fun! I had a WONDERFUL time putting these pieces together. And as I said before, I can’t tell you how happy I am to finally be able to share them with all of you.

The designs in the book are all named after streets in Brooklyn and I shot all the photography on location in the streets here – which I thought was only fitting, as they are such a constant source of inspiration for me in my knitting and designing.

Now for the technical details: The book will be arriving in shops later in the week, so be sure to check your local LYS for details and yarn selection. Online sales will begin through Classic Elite’s website mid-week, and pre-orders have already begun so if you prefer to go that route, please visit their site here.

PDF Downloadable Patterns

As I mentioned before, the patterns will also be available for download as individual PDFs. The three patterns above will be available for purchase online immediately upon release of the book next week – both on Ravelry and here at Brooklyn Tweed. The remaining designs will become available as PDF downloads in the Spring.

Over the next week or so I’ll be doing more in-depth coverage with plenty of photos here on the blog to introduce you to the new collection and these wonderful yarns, and catch up on showing you FO’s from the past year! Stay tuned for more images and info on the patterns.

Before I end, I want to thank everyone for sticking around here on the blog through sparse times and for your continued support with my designs and photography. I very much hope you enjoy knitting this collection of designs — I thought long and hard about enjoyable and intuitive ways to put these pieces together in hopes that you’ll get as much enjoyment out of their making as I did. Thank you all so much.

ETA: All patterns from Made in Brooklyn are now available as individual PDF downloads on the pattern page here.

Phew – it’s busy busy busy around here! I feel terrible for such spotty posts recently, like all I’ve been doing is dropping in to tell you where new patterns are at! My apologies, and I’ll do my best to navigate this crazy year and keep you all abreast of the knitting that’s going on (it definitely is!)

I did a little project for the Classic Elite Web-Letter last week. It’s a one-skeiner and was conceived as a solution for maximizing that little bit of luxury fiber you may have hiding somewhere but have been too afraid to touch. I had a skein of Classic Elite’s Stormy (cashmere tweed… ’nuff said) and whipped this up – I think it’s going to get a lot of neckplay this year!

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The pattern is available HERE [Ravel it] and is written for two different sizes/styles – both shown here. Each piece is knit at a slightly different gauge – the Rust version is knit on US 8′s at 14 sts to 4 inches in Brioche Stitch for a firmer fabric that acts more as a faux stand-up collar and looks great under a jacket or sports coat (You may just fake someone into thinking you’re wearing an entire cashmere sweater…) The purple version is knit on needles two sizes larger for a fabric with a bit more drape with added length for a more slouchy, voluminous style. Wearer’s choice!

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Have you ever worked Brioche Stitch before? It’s a really wonderful stand-by and I love to go back to it every now and again. It’s squishy and feels thick while actually being a very lightweight, lofty fabric. Great for cashmere! In fact, how many stitch patterns are cool enough to warrant their own personal web site? [If you run into confusion or want to read more about what this stitch is all about - be sure to read more behind the link.]

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A word of warning about Brioche – the stitch pattern takes a little knitting to become visible. Blindly knit forward for that first inch or so, though, and you’ll see the tell-tale ribbing start to appear.

Here’s an idea I love – for the really cold-weather days that will be here before we know it, I like wearing these under wool scarves. You get the best of both worlds – rugged, woolie neckwear with a cashmere secret for next-to-skin delight. Also, cashmere has that whole 8-times-warmer-than-wool thing going for it, too.

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The pattern employs some Cast-On and Bind-Off tricks that I like which help compensate for Brioche Stitch’s wiiiide gauge – a double stranded Long Tail Cast-On (exactly what it sounds like – Long Tailing with two strands of yarn) makes for added flexibility and a nice edge… and the Sewn Bind-Off (I recommend EZ’s) is essential for anything being pulled over our heads (also known as the Sweater Collar Savior).

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Aren’t you loving that we can finally indulge in some beautiful Fall weather? It’s really my favorite time of year – you can’t beat that beautiful light, and several of my handknits have already gotten some serious street time. Not to mention prime sweater-watching in the city – very inspiring!

** I’ll be teaching this weekend outside of Pittsburgh in Sewickley, PA – if you’re taking a class, I’ll see you there! **

This one has been a long time coming, but I think it was worth it.

Shifting Sands (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)
 

Pattern: Shifting Sands Scarf by Grumperina [*via Ravelry]
Materials: Malabrigo Pure Worsted Merino in “Frank Ochre”
Amount: 2 hanks; 430 yds/200g
Needles: US 9/5.5 mm straight Clovers
Finished Dimensions: 65″ long, 6″ wide

Start Date: November 2006
Finish Date: November 2007 (shameful I know)

 

Shifting Sands (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

This is one of those projects that sat in my basket and got a lot of short-term play, off and on over the course of a year: bus trips, flights, waiting rooms, etc. It inched along slow and steady but I finally knit up all the yarn sometime last Fall. As for why it took so long to get blog play, I can’t be sure, although it might have something to do with all the wearing that was happening in the colder months. Malabrigo users know how neck-friendly this stuff is!

Shifting Sands (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

Modifications: The pattern is written for a sport weight yarn but is easily modified for any weight you’d like. The pattern repeat is 5 sts wide, so any multiple of 5+2 (two selvage sts) will work. I cast on 42 stitches, rather than the 52 suggested by the pattern, and knit until I ran out of yarn. The other mod I tested out was a hem on either end of the scarf to combat the natural curling of the fabric. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out – you can see the hem in the previous photo.

Here’s what I did: I cast on 15% less stitches with a provisional cast on, knit one row, knit one row increasing evenly across the work to 42, worked a turning row using *k1, sl1* across, work one row stockinette, work first pattern row and continue scarf as written to end. I tacked down the loose stitches after all was said and done, but you could easily knit the hem together with the 3rd row of pattern for a super-clean join.

As for the hem on the other side, it’s basically the reverse order of the previous instructions: work last cable row, knit one row, knit turning row (k1, sl1 across), decrease 15% of sts evenly across next row (I decreased 5 or 6 sts), knit 2 rows and tack down loose stitches invisibly to back of fabric. Press the edges with a steam iron to get good-hem-behavior and a nice finished look.

Shifting Sands (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

I have a finished sweater and a finished blanket to share with you in the next couple posts. The summer heat might be here, but my wool addiction is stronger than any weather condition. Bring on the summer sweater knitting!

The vacation euphoria is wearing thin and things are getting back to normal – the AM routine has resumed in it’s habitual glory and I’m back to my most exciting decision of the morning being which scarf I’ll wear as I leave the house . My life is so exciting.

This morning I realized that one of the most popular scarves in my arsenal has yet to get any blog play, and she’s been going strong out there in the streets of New York for a couple months already. Allow me to introduce you.

Espresso Scarf (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)
 

Pattern: Generic Garter Stitch Scarf
Materials: My Handspun (see below for details)
Needles: US6/4.0mm bamboo
Dimensions: 6″ width, 71″ length

Started: November 2007
Finished: January 2008

 

Espresso Scarf (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

One of the greatest things about handspun, aside from the fact that it’s so incredibly rewarding to work with, is that the yarn carries everything. There’s really no need for fancy stitchwork or impressive knitting acrobatics. In fact, I would venture to say that handspun is at its most impressive while standing alone in garter. This may be one of the reasons I have multiple of these scarves started – the same pattern can have multiple personalities with various handspun yarns. And they’re really fun to knit (something so beautiful shouldn’t be so easy. It’s dangerous).

Espresso 2-Ply (first 3 oz) (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

I knit this scarf with two skeins of dk-weight 2-ply merino, just over 6 oz of wool. The fiber is Hello Yarn (I don’t have a problem.. really I don’t) and entitled “Espresso”. The pre-spun fiber looked like this.

[Sidenote: I’ve received a lot of comments/e-mails from people who love seeing handspun yarn alongside their pre-spun fiber predecessors for comparisons sake. Would you all be interested in a very informal post about the anatomy of a handspun, with pictures from start to finish?]

And while I had my camera at the ready, I thought I’d take some pictures of an oldie that I knit back in 2005. Up for it’s 2 year review – the So-Called Scarf:

So-Called (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

This was knit with Manos Del Uruguay. Pattern is here. A quick review – this scarf doesn’t get much wear unfortunately, despite the fact that I like to look at it. I knit this in the days before Malabrigo, and now that I have scarves in both Manos and Malabrigo, the scratchier of the two (Manos) definitely gets neglected. They both pill, so that’s not really an issue either. And Malabrigo is butter… so what am I to do?

So-Called (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

I realize scarf weather is slowly disappearing – spring is coming and everyone is excited, so I’m getting as much wool-wearing in as possible. I love spring as much as the next guy, but the thing is, I think I love winter waaaay more than the next guy, so I’m always slightly sad to see it disappear. I guess I’ll just have to enjoy all this extra sunlight…