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We’re celebrating independence and collaboration with the release of Wool People 11 today! We always enjoy the chance our Wool People project offers to work alongside independent designers, both new and established — there’s a sense of fresh energy and perspective in combing through the hundreds of submissions we receive for these collections and in bringing the selected designs to life.

This issue feels extra special because it incorporates our two newest yarns, Arbor and Vale. Next week we’ll do a feature on the Vale accessories and share the designers’ thoughts about working with our new laceweight. But before we delve into the wonderful world of lace and kick off our Summer of Lace KAL, we want to talk about the Wool People 11 garments. There are eight gorgeous sweaters in three different yarns, and what really stands out to us is the diversity of fabrics the designers have achieved in these wearable, flattering pieces.

For cozy bundling in the light but warm stockinette that Shelter creates, Ann Klimpert and Andrea Mowry present Rivet and Ronan. Both of these long-length cardigans rely on Shelter’s airy, woolen-spun nature to stay versatile and hold their shape despite their large swathes of fabric. Rivet has a vintage feel, while Ronan’s is a totally modern silhouette with a collar in fluffy brioche.

For those who like a trim and classic pullover, Mossbank and Bell give a twist to timeless layering pieces by using mostly reverse stockinette fabric. The pebbly texture of the purl side is a great way to set off softly rounded cables in a woolen-spun yarn, as Ann McCauley chose to do with Bell. Kerry Robb was inspired by the back side of her swatch in our Newsprint marl, realizing that the bumps blend the contrasting colors into an inviting heathery haze.

Loft in garter stitch is total comfort fabric, and triangular shawls like Nancy Whitman’s Level are comfort wear. For cool summer evenings when you want to linger outdoors, this graphic layer is the remedy. Level’s inventive construction and a dab of intarsia make the knitting sprightlier than usual for a garter triangle. If you’ve got a summer road trip planned, we think light and packable Loft shawls make good travel companions as knitting projects and as finished pieces.

One reason we’ve been so excited to add Arbor to our core yarn line is that it’s entirely different from our woolen-spun yarns. Besides being stronger, denser, and smoother, Arbor is rounder. Its third ply makes the yarn cylindrical rather than helical, and its tighter twist keeps those three plies completely engaged in a happy ménage. Arbor’s stitches don’t blend in amongst their neighbors; they stand proud and individual. And that means we can knit fabrics with more dimension and more vivid texture.

Four of our Wool People designers put Arbor through its paces with very different approaches. Melissa Wehrle uses a simple all-over texture of knits and purls to create a waffly fabric for Harlowe, and a relaxed gauge allows the sweater to drape beautifully. Yoko Hatta’s sculptural Akiko cardigan shows the yarn’s affinity for cables and contrasts moss stitch fronts with a clean plane of fluid stockinette on the back. Olga Buraya-Kefelian opts for a modern, high-impact ribbing treatment to elevate her Boundary mock turtleneck. And Emily Greene pulls out all the stops with panels of directional half-twisted rib in her Divide pullover.

Are you ready to swatch some new fabrics to add to your closet? We hope you find inspiration in the talent and vision of the Wool People designers. Take some time with the new lookbook and let us know what’s calling your name!

 

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Greetings from wintry Portland! As we get ready to leaf over to 2017, we’ve enjoyed looking back on our work from the past year and remembering our favorite BT knitwear. All of our office staff have weighed in with their picks of 2016, and a Top Ten have emerged.

 

The striking poncho shape of the women’s version captured our hearts in particular — not to mention those luscious cables.

Originally knit in Quarry as part of our Ganseys collection, this hat got a whole new look when we released our worsted-spun DK Arbor last fall. Those cables really pop in a yarn built for stitch definition.

Melissa Wehrle knocked it out of the park with her modern interpretation of the Aran pullover in Wool People 10. We love the traditional cables updated with the vented hem and slim sleeves.

We all agree: classic cabled shawl-collar cardigans forever. Especially when they’re warm but light in quick-knitting Quarry.

Oh, those elegant lines! This beautiful cardigan is flattering on everyone.

This quick and satisfying knit uses Arbor to render the Tree of Life — one of our favorite traditional motifs — in stunning high definition. If you can part with it, this cowl makes a great gift.

We love the tailored fit and the bold, simple patterning against a background of reverse stockinette.

This layering piece is perfect for three-season wear, and the shawl collar really sets it apart.

The intriguing fabric of this scarf is such a delightful opportunity to play with color and yarn weight combinations.

 

Maximum coziness, beautiful cables. We love the oversized fit cleverly adapted to eliminate bulk under the arms.

What were your favorite Brooklyn Tweed patterns this year? Let us know in the comments!

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The tailoring trade is a bottomless well of inspiration. Attention to detail, canny consideration of each fabric’s properties, pursuit of a perfect fit — at Brooklyn Tweed we hew to the same principles in our design work. Knowing we’d shoot this collection on the premises of Wildwood & Company, a bespoke tailoring studio in downtown Portland, we took our inspiration from fine examples of classic menswear.

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Our mission for Fall 2016 was to create pairs of designs — one for him and one for her — that spring from a single concept. In some instances, small adjustments to the fit distinguish the two versions; in other cases a shift in scale or a major alteration to the garment’s shape achieves distinct but related looks.

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Three of the collection’s patterns — SpearheadsPavo, and Vika — bundle both versions as they are variations on the same pattern model. Since each version of the remainder of the collection was written independently in order to account for the nuances of tailoring to fit bodies of differing proportions, each version of these patterns is sold separately. Whether you’re in the mood to knit an understated pullover or a chunky statement piece, we’ve put together a collection that suits a wide range of fit and styling preferences. Cables, texture, a splash of colorwork — it’s all here.

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All Fall 16 patterns are now available for download on our website and on Ravelry. You’ll notice we’ve updated our pattern layout, too — we hope you’ll find the new format clear and supportive as you knit your next BT garment.

 

We invite you to leaf through our new lookbook and stay awhile in the cool and tranquil atmosphere of Wildwood & Company. Welcome, all, and welcome, fall!

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Wool People 10 Cover

 

Welcome, Wool People! We’re thrilled to introduce a tenth collection of garments and accessories conceived by independent designers and curated by Brooklyn Tweed. This edition was the first opportunity for Wool People to make full use of our current stable of yarns, and we were particularly excited to see what the creative minds of the knitting world would imagine in Plains, our limited-edition laceweight Rambouillet.

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With half the collection being floaty lace accessories, it only seemed right to balance things out with the pleasing structure and heft of cables, so you’ll find chunky coats and mid-weight sweaters aplenty in this well-rounded collection. As the seasons are turning all around the globe, we love the thought of a knitter in New Zealand casting on a cozy cardi like Marylebone while another here in Portland is starting a lace crescent like Haro or Lunette to wear over tees and sundresses (or getting a jumpstart on a new cableknit wardrobe staple for next fall!).

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Our contributors are a wonderful mix of new and familiar faces from around the planet. One of our favorite aspects of Wool People is the open submission call that puts budding design talent on the same stage with established luminaries. Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting brief interviews with the designers whose work is appearing in Wool People for the first time, and we hope you’ll enjoy getting to know them.

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We also look forward to sharing some scenes from Saco River Dyehouse, one of our partners in producing Plains, to show you more about this yarn’s journey to your needles.

Enjoy the collection!

 


Quick Links:

View all the patterns   |   View the Lookbook  |  View Collection on Ravelry

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We’ve been looking forward to the clean slate of January, which brings with it a fresh year and a sense of calm after the hectic holidays. Our gift knitting is done and dusted and we can’t wait to cast on ambitious new projects for ourselves. So in the spirit of new beginnings, it’s with great excitement that we announce our Winter 16 collection.

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Whether you’re in the mood for a lace shawl or a long coat, a quick hat or a chunky pullover, you just might find your next project among these eleven garments and five accessories. Inspired by modern minimalism and everyday wearability, this collection celebrates the stark beauty of the season with clean lines and simple shapes.

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Winter 16 features all three of our core yarns — Shelter, Loft, and Quarry — and we’re also unveiling a very special surprise: a brand new, single-batch laceweight wool we call Plains. It’s our first foray into collaboration with new partners to offer intensely local, limited edition batches. We worked with the team at Mountain Meadow Wool Mill in Buffalo, Wyoming to develop this lively two-ply laceweight that celebrates the unique qualities of the American Rambouillet fleece. Worsted-spun for strength and stitch definition, this downy soft wool is perfect for next-to-skin wear and takes blocking beautifully despite its elasticity. (Read the full story on this exciting new project in the lookbook.)

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Plains is available for purchase on our website, along with all the new patterns. This small-batch yarn won’t be carried in stores and once it’s gone there won’t be anymore. Since the put-up is a generous 440 yards, you can knit a project in just one or two skeins. If you’d like to try this bouncy, slightly rustic yarn, it’s available online for as long as our supply lasts!

We hope the New Year brings you good knitting. We can’t wait to see what you’ll make of our new collection and with our newest yarn!

 

 


Quick Links:

View all the patterns   |   View the Lookbook  |  View Collection on Ravelry

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This week we’re looking back on some of BT’s greatest garments of the year, polling our staff on their most-loved designs. Narrowing down our favorite sweaters to a Top 5 was incredibly difficult. From instant classics like Michele Wang’s Cordova (Winter ’15) to the big drama of Jared Flood’s Carpeaux (Winter ’15) to sharp modern shapes like Melissa Wehrle’s Truss (Wool People 9), there were so many more great designs we wanted to include. But the votes were finally tallied and five intriguingly different garments emerged.

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Few knitters can resist a classic gansey, and Jared’s feminine version was just what many of us had been looking for. Alvy’s set-in sleeves and waist shaping keep the silhouette trim, while the graphic coin cables on a ground of double moss stitch and welt details at the hems, cuffs, and shoulders add nautical flair.

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A bomber jacket worked in soft, doughy brioche stitch? Yes, please! We fell hard for Shield’s handsome distinctive charm. The swirling faux cables and pockets are perfect details for menswear, subtle but intriguing. Brioche fabrics get their cozy double thickness from some knitting maneuvers that may be unfamiliar, but we find the rhythm quickly becomes natural.

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Marshal was one of Norah’s first designs for BT, and we adored her stylish, edgy take on the military cardigan. This piece is all about shifts in texture: the brioche accents are worked in Shelter for extra heft against a light, tailored body in Loft. The effect is tough, smart, and totally wearable.

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We’re so glad we pushed Julie to design a stranded colorwork sweater! Filtering Fair Isle through her minimalist aesthetic produced a refined pullover with graphic peerie bands. The simple palette of Fossil, Hayloft, and Truffle Hunt is unexpected and so effective, bringing out the heathered depth of the colors. We love Ashland as an introduction to steeks, which allow us to knit both the body and the set-in sleeves in the round.

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It’s not hard to see why Rift garnered the most votes in our poll. We can’t tear our eyes from those gorgeous ribbed epaulets, which give the appearance of raglan shaping to sleeves that are actually set in. This staple sweater gets everything right, and the big charts for the shoulders give us something to chew on during the knitting as well as creating a fetching masculine detail.

We want to thank all of you for your adventurousness in embracing such a wide variety of designs, allowing us to flex our creative muscles and to push ourselves to work outside our own comfort zones! Don’t forget to chime in with your own 2015 favorites in the comments or on social media by using #BTfaves15. We love hearing your opinions and spreading the love to all the hardworking designers who contributed to Brooklyn Tweed this year!

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We are so gratified by your warm response to Olga Buraya-Kefelian’s Capsule Collection for Brooklyn Tweed. Last week Jared shared the story of developing the Capsule idea and inviting Olga to participate; now it’s Olga’s turn to tell you about her journey into knitting design and her work on this special project.

 

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Your body of work speaks for itself, but can you tell us a bit about your background? How did you come to knitting design?

Growing up in Belarus, I learned a set of crafting skills — knitting among them — from my mother and grandmother. Those skills were necessities of our daily life during that period. During my teens my grandmother taught me how to crochet, and it seemed much easier than knitting at the time. My mother taught me some fundamentals about knitwear design, but mostly how to calculate knitwear based on gauge, as we didn’t have access to many knitting patterns. She is a professional seamstress, so you could say an interest in fashion was passed with the milk. I remember earning my pocket money by tracing patterns for her in different sizes, and that also helped develop my knowledge and understanding of basic clothing construction. But it wasn’t until my early twenties that I turned to knitting as a hobby and a distraction to cope with the hardships of military life. Living overseas and not having an opportunity to work can be quite challenging; knitting has really been therapeutic. As my nomadic lifestyle provided me with inspirations, knitwear design became a way to channel those artistic urges. During the past decade, my passion outgrew hobby status and became a full-time job, my profession.

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We’d love to know more about your time in Japan. How did the environment and culture influence your development as a designer?

We had a choice for my husband’s last tour overseas prior to returning to civilian life, and Japan was in the cards. We decided upon it with excitement — at that time I was working on a self-published title with my friend and co-author Vanessa Yap-Einbund featuring all Japanese yarns. I’d been dreaming of having a chance to live there and experience the unique culture. Japan seemed so different to my European/Westernized mind and mentality, but I credit those differences with helping me absorb and appreciate even more. Being naturally very curious and observant, I found myself elated that every mundane thing there was full of thought and detail. I filled my notebooks with ideas and numerous designs, which I love perusing now when I am working on something new. Inspiration is everywhere and to me Japan provided a lot of it; it also taught me to notice even the tiniest details now that I am back in the States. Our four-year post allowed me to concentrate on establishing my pattern brand olgajazzy, sold via my website and Ravelry. And now I have moved on to wholesaling my printed patterns directly to yarn stores worldwide.

You’re known for your ability to create fabric with sculptural qualities and to make unexpected shapes wearable. When you design a piece like the Tatara armwarmers, what’s your thought process? 

My design process may sound a bit backwards to many people, since I prefer to begin with designing or customizing a stitch pattern rather than setting out to create a new hat or a new sweater. Oftentimes, it’s a matter of desiring a certain movement of stitches and fabric and then testing the idea in a swatch. The natural next step is picking the right yarn to highlight the features of the stitch pattern, and that does take much longer than one might think. Swatching and blocking numerous choices allows me to anticipate the effect in a finished garment. Once I’m satisfied with this stage, I try to imagine the best possible way to display the stitch pattern — as a collar on a sweater or a hat or an all-over fabric on a cardigan. It’s a very long and tedious vetting process, but I’ve found this is what works best for me. The Tatara armwarmers were a marriage of technique and a goal for a finished look — I wanted a scrunched-up style that wouldn’t produce an awkward volume of fabric. And I personally love the geometric shape the Tataras acquired as a result. When laid out flat, they almost become objets d’art.

 

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Do you have a favorite garment from the Capsule collection? 

That is such a hard question; I love all of them! I have devoted a significant amount of time to develop each one with a lot of precision and attention to detail. But if I have to name one that I am most proud of, it would be Tetrapods — my first original lace stitch pattern. And the Nobu pullover has quite an elaborate construction that I admire; it’s just full of architectural texture.

 

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What’s inspiring you nowadays?

I’m always looking back through my notebooks. Throughout the years I have disciplined myself to record ideas and stitch patterns and even color pairings. And I tend to go back to my earlier work as well, trying to catch a train of thought that moved me toward a certain design and looking for other ideas I can attach to make something new.

Thanks so much for sitting down with us today Olga! We feel so grateful to have gotten the chance to collaborate with you on this project, and wish you all the best in your next design adventure(s). 

Thank you!

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Fall and winter in the Pacific Northwest are mild compared to the snow and ice of the Northeast. We do have our rainy skies, but they’re more likely to drizzle than to pour. In short, it’s often a perfect climate for an outerlayer of hearty wool. If you’re interested in adding a handknit coat to your closet this season, here’s a round-up of some possibilities from our pattern library. (Click on any of the images in the post to read full specs about each pattern.)

 

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Take a closer look if you… love volume and all-over texture that’s easy to work.

Norah Gaughan’s swing coat from BT Fall ‘15 features a circular yoke and a deeply textured original stitch motif. Worked with our new chunky wool, Quarry, this coat will knit up quickly despite the large amount of fabric. The lateral bands don’t require any tricky maneuvers; they’re formed by purling two stitches together and then purling the first of the pair again.

Things to know before you cast on: We chose to model Bannock with 9” of ease, but this design has classic proportions and doesn’t adhere to the current trend for width in the body and narrow sleeves. If you want to wear it oversized, don’t expect a snug fit through the armhole.

Skill level: 4 out of 5 (adventurous intermediate)

 

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Take a closer look if you… like tailored shapes with striking details.

Véronik’s raglan cardigan/jacket is shaped for ease of movement, with an A-line back, while slim sleeves and fitted shoulders balance the silhouette. The back offers plenty of challenge, while the straight fronts and sleeves allow you to relax a bit. Love handsome, functional pockets with decorative decreases? Trailhead’s got them, as well as a warm collar to turn up if it’s windy at the top of the mountain.

Things to know before you cast on: Trailhead is worked with two strands of Loft held together to create a dense fabric suitable for outerwear. Substituting Shelter will create a softer, suppler, slightly less weatherproof garment. This design requires close attention to keep track of short-row shaping and decreases while working from the large chart for the back.

Skill level: 5 out of 5 (advanced)

 

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Take a closer look if you… love intricate cables and comfortable but refined style.

Michele’s tour de force from BT Fall ’14 has been a favorite with knitters for its odyssey of traffic-stopping cables—the word “masterpiece” comes up a lot in the project notes on Ravelry—and the many techniques the pattern teaches. If open-front cardigans aren’t your style, perusing Ravelry will show you many clever modifications to the fronts and collar to allow for fastening, too.

Things to know before you cast on: Rowe is worked entirely from charts. Although the pattern directs you to start with the back, some knitters recommend beginning with the fronts and sleeves to familiarize yourself with the smaller cable motifs. This will allow you to concentrate on the complicated central motif when you knit the back.

Skill level: 4 out of 5 (adventurous intermediate)

 

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Take a closer look if you… want to wrap up in a snuggly long cardigan with rich texture.

Véronik’s Landfall (BT Winter ’14) is pure oversized coziness. Lots of ease through the body means you can overlap the fronts and belt them closed if you wish, or allow them to hang open for casual style. Perfectly placed pockets warm your hands and hold your keys while you stroll on the beach.

Things to know before you cast on: Landfall features traveling twisted stitches. Most knitters find these slow to work, but worth the effort for the beautifully defined motifs they produce.

Skill level: 5 out of 5 (advanced)

 

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Take a closer look if you’ve… caught the Cowichan bug!

This early pattern of Jared’s is begging to be knit in Quarry, and it’s right in line with the current craze for chunky Cowichan-inspired outerwear. Although it’s billed as a men’s pattern, plenty of women have knit it for themselves. The suggested ease is 6-7” and the smallest chest size is 39 ¼”, so even those with small frames should be able to knit Rockaway without adapting the pattern. Browse the many project pages on Ravelry to see clever substitutions like a shawl collar or a simple garter band in place of the hood.

Things to know before you cast on: Rockaway is worked in the round and opened with a steek. If you’ve never tried this technique before, make this the season you go for it! We recommend reinforcing the cut edge with a sewing machine so as not to add more bulk to the facings when you’re working with a chunky yarn.

Skill level: 4 out of 5 (adventurous intermediate)

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We’re tremendously excited to launch both a new design collection and a new yarn today! Quarry is a chunky brother to Shelter and Loft, made from the same Wyoming-grown Targhee-Columbia wool. Each plump 100-gram skein is 200 warm and lofty yards, and although it looks like a single ply, it’s actually three unspun strands nestled together and gently twisted. Our goal was to create a chunky-weight wool that marries the airy softness of a roving-style yarn with enough tensile strength and roundness to produce well-defined cables and textured knitwear.

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Quarry comes in ten fresh heathered hues. As we were developing the new yarn using wool that had been blended into the Shelter and Loft colors, we noticed that adding twist to the unspun plies creates tiny streaks of the contrast colors rather than tweedy flecks. The effect reminded Jared of the beautifully striated colors in the Grand Canyon, and a new color palette inspired by minerals and gemstones was born.

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Knitting with Quarry is a singular experience. It’s lively on the needles, and since the three plies are entirely unspun, there’s nothing to counter the energy of the twist that binds them. The yarn may twizzle slightly between the ball and the needles, but the finished fabric will be well balanced with no biasing. Ends of Quarry left to dangle tend to untwist and become vulnerable to breakage, so we recommend splicing each new ball and weaving in cast-on ends sooner rather than later. And if you’re sewing seams, just twirl the working yarn between your fingers in the direction of the twist to add a little more strength. We’re shipping a card with every order of Quarry to remind you of these tips while you get to know this new yarn. We hope you’ll enjoy the character Quarry will bring to your workbasket as well as the satisfyingly speedy knitting!

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To show you what Quarry can do, our designers put this yarn through its paces for our Fall 15 collection. Leaf through our new lookbook to see how Quarry performs with cables, textured stitches, open gauge fabric, and even mosaic knitting.

And it’s not only Quarry on display; there are plenty of garments and accessories in Shelter and Loft if your climate doesn’t merit chunky wool.

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For our first Oregon collection, it seemed only natural to turn to the beauty of the rocky shores, evergreen forests, and mountain peaks for inspiration. From Cowichan sweaters to woodsmen’s thermal shirts, we’re offering up Northwest classics with Brooklyn Tweed flavor. These designs are sure to keep you and your knitworthy loved ones cozy as the leaves turn and the mercury drops.

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Look for a series of blog posts in the coming weeks that will help you assess this new collection in terms of the techniques involved and the special challenges and pleasures of knitting each design. We’ll compare pieces that might serve a similar role in your wardrobe to help you decide which is for you.

As always, we welcome your questions and comments and we can’t wait to see what you’ll cast on!

 


Quick Links:

View all the patterns   |   View the Lookbook   |   View collection on Ravelry

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Dear Knitters,

Summer arrived early in Oregon this year. We’ve been working hard to fix up our new headquarters and bring some wonderful new team members aboard. But we’re also taking full advantage of the unbelievable weather, taking weekends to explore the beautiful mountains and fertile valleys that surround our new city. We’ve been scouting locations for future collection shoots, making connections with possible partners for exciting long-term projects, and occasionally just kicking up our heels and picking incredible fresh fruit on local farms (Mt. Hood strawberries are my favorite find so far). And of course there’s always plenty of knitting. (I was grateful to have wool and needles in my bag when I logged my first experience of waiting in traffic for one of Portland’s drawbridges to come back down last week!)

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I know most of you share my opinion that knitting is a year-round pursuit, no matter how high the temperature or humidity. And so today we’re delighted to encourage your summer knitting with a new Wool People collection. Independent designers from Argentina, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, Ukraine, Canada, and the United States have contributed seven lace shawls and seven modern garments to keep your needles happy.

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For the lace collection, I asked designers for ideas rooted in the geometry of natural or architectural forms. The shawls, wraps, and scarves that grew from this inspiration offer fresh interpretations of traditional motifs and opportunities to learn new techniques. They’re also stunningly beautiful and full of clever details that will make them as enjoyable to knit as they are to wear.

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The sweaters in the collection are modern standouts that will add clean, architectural style to your wardrobe. They’re all worked in an urban palette of cool neutrals that lets their structure take center stage. Whether your style is sporty or artsy, chic or casual, we hope you’ll fall in love with the unique details and wearable shapes of these garments that explore texture, line and form.

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Keep an eye on the blog in the coming weeks; we’re launching a new series of bite-size designer features called Take 5 that will give you a peek at the creative lives of this incredibly talented and global bunch.

I hope you’ll enjoy our ninth installment of Wool People whether you’re looking for summer knitting projects, or getting a jump start on new fall wardrobe staples.

Stay cool and happy knitting!

All my best,

Jared

 


Quick Links:

View all the patterns   |   View the Lookbook   |   View collection on Ravelry

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