Every so often a photoshoot location comes along that just blows me away – either for its history, its beauty, or in the best-case scenario its combination of both. We were lucky enough to find a truly stunning one for our BT Men shoot, and I wanted to take the opportunity to share a little bit of history about this place with you here.

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The space shown in these photos  is situated on the top floor of one of what was originally 16 industrial buildings dotting the waterfront along the East River in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn. Originally called the “Greenpoint Terminal Market”, this complex of 19th century buildings was once an industrial juggernaut, housing multiple maritime warehouse operations, including the American Manufacturing Company – then the largest manufacturer of maritime rope in the entire country.

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At its peak, the Market employeed over 2,500 workers and spanned 6 city blocks. Walking through some of the now-abandoned spaces really got my mind wandering. I love imagining the sights, sounds, and lives that occupied this space during that period.

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In 2006, the complex was engulfed in one of the worst fires in NYC’s recent history – the “five alarm” blaze required 350 firefighters and 70 individual units to extinguish. Much of the complex that stretches along sleepy West Street was destroyed in the fire and soon after demolished. Those few buildings that did survive, however, have been given new life through the help of artists and entrepeneuers who have repurposed many of the spaces as studios or business start-up locations.

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Shooting in this space was a true pleasure and gave my nerdy, NYC-historian side some serious research material to geek out over.

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If you’d like to read more about the history of the Greenpoint Terminal Market (or some of its more recent real estate scandals) – check out this wonderful article from Atlas Obscura.

 

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.

Our Design Team just wrapped up a couple of wonderfully creative days in the design studio, planning for future collections. This is what our collections look like at their earliest stage of development.

This is one of my favorite stages in the process – ideas are fluid, mix easily and often combine to create even better ones. The piles and piles of swatches aren’t bad either…

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!

 

Bolt comes to us from Finland, where designer Veera Välimäki loves playing with garter stitch, stripes and short rows. Having amassed quite the following for her creations, I was super excited to see what she would create for us!

I haven’t knit one myself (yet!), but can see this pattern being quite addictive. It has all the ingredients: an unusual item that is easy to wear and fun to style, use of two colors allowing for innumerable combinations, a fun rhythm while knitting, just enough shaping and variety to keep things interesting as you work while still qualifying as “mindless” knitting (perfect for almost any occasion), and a relatively quick timeline.

Choosing color is the hardest part for projects like this. Between Veera and I, it’s probably not a shocker that we chose a greyscale combination, but just think of all the different variations of color that are possible! I love the idea of Truffle Hunt + Hayloft,  Fossil + Sap,  Old World + Embers…. the possibilities are really endless.

The shawl is worked flat and includes no purling whatsoever (hooray!). The triangle on the right in the photo above is worked first, with a 6-ridge striping sequence. Upon completion, the short row section is picked up directly from Triangle 1 and worked in the opposing direction. The short rows create visible wedge shapes in the lighter color and add a slight curve to the overall shape. A short section of the 6-row striping sequence is worked again, then the piece is finished with a length of solid (darker) color.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of Bolt variations are already being created by our readers – have fun!

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Resources: Bolt is available as a PDF download at Brooklyn Tweed or Ravelry. The pattern is knit with two colors of Loft yarn, shown here in colors Soot and Sweatshirt.

Frida was designed by Tokyo-based knitter Hiroko Fukatsu, one of three Japanese designers that contributed to this installment of Wool People.

I admit I have a special place in my heart for Japanese knitting – it’s a big source of inspiration in my own work and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know a few great folks from Japan in the past year who share a deep passion for knitting.

Roko submitted this shawl design as a finished sample she had already made and I was so charmed by the unexpected use of loop stitch – a “striped” application I had never seen before on this type of project – that I asked if she’d be willing to see how the shawl worked up in Loft. The result has a fun, funky quality that I think would be fun to style in a variety of ways.

Frida has a wider, shallower proportion than your average lace triangle, due to the non-traditional shaping sequence Roko deployed in the design. Bands of lace, stockinette and loop-stitch texture create stripes over the body of the shawl, which is worked from the top down. The scalloped lace edge is worked as a part of the main shawl – no additional edging is needed. Score another one for non-fussy construction!

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

 

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.

The Tilt shawl comes from our very own Leila Raabe – an original member of our in-house design team at BT, Leila now runs operations at our Portland, Maine, location and is known for her thoughtful and detailed shawl designs (a few examples from our archive).

As you can see from the photo above Tilt is a a play on geometry, with radiating diagonals and directional mesh. It’s hard to see from the photos, but the center section contrasts diagonal stripes of stockinette and moss stitch between sets of eyelet “rays”.

The shawl rates high on our “knitability” scale. Knit circularly from the center out, the shawl is always worked from the RS (always a plus) and requires no additional knitted-on edging.

The outer motif incorporates a subtly integrated lace motif before working the bind off, though Leila has also provided a mesh-only alternative for that section of the pattern, for those wanting to keep their 45 degree angles as an absolute.

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

The beautiful Moon & Stars crescent shawl was also created up north – designer Shui Kuen Kozinski lives in the Boreal Forest of Canada and gave me the impression of being something of a sage as we walked through her design process together.

When Shui Kuen submitted her design proposal, she shared that she is often inspired by poems & stories. In this case, “The Moon, the Stars”  by poet Sully Prudhomme who won the first Nobel Prize in literature in 1901 ”in special recognition of his poetic composition, which gives evidence of lofty idealism, artistic perfection and a rare combination of the qualities of both heart and intellect”.

The shawl is worked from the top down using a gentle rate of increasing to create a wide, semi-circle shape. The welted section at top-center symbolizes the moon, while the two bands of gathered lace stitches that follow represent stars, large and small.

A very charming story of inspiration, don’t you think?

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Resources: Moon & Stars is available as a PDF download at Brooklyn Tweed or Ravelry. The pattern is knit with Loft yarn, shown here in color Old World.

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.