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Keep up with our current projects, collections, ideas and announcements here

One of the perks of working here in the Brooklyn Tweed office is getting to see and try on samples for upcoming collections well in advance of their releases — though, for our queues, this can be as much a curse as it is a blessing! We know a pattern is special when we all flock to the same design. While we have a special spot in our hearts for every item in our upcoming Winter 19 collection, we were especially drawn to Gudrun Johnston’s Pascal Cardigan. Garter stitch, colorwork, and plush Quarry — surely few can beat it in feats of coziness! Plus, its woodsy three-color motif struck us as being enjoyable for stranded colorwork knitters of all levels, and just the right thing to get us out of the winter doldrums.

With all this in mind, we figured — two summers ago was our Summer of Lace; why not make this winter our Winter of Colorwork? Won’t you knitalong with us?

For our Winter of Colorwork KAL, we’ll be knitting the Pascal Cardigan and sharing our tips and techniques for working each part of the cardigan — choosing colors, swatching for stranded colorwork, sweater construction, and (yes!) steeking, to name a few. However, you’re also welcome to join us by knitting any colorwork pattern in our archive or any colorwork pattern using Brooklyn Tweed yarn.

The pattern for the Pascal Cardigan will be available on January 16 with the release of our Winter 19 collection, but if you’d like to start planning your project, you can download and print our Pascal Coloring Sheet to get started with choosing your colors. Many of our Retail Stockists will be joining in on the Pascal fun as well, so don’t forget to get connected with a BT stockist near you!

For those of you interested in purchasing yarn to knit Pascal ahead of the pattern launch, this is the yarn, yardage and sizing information:

34¾ (39½, 44, 48½, 53¼, 57¾)” [88 (100.5, 112, 123, 135, 147) cm] circumference at chest (buttoned)
The finished chest measurements are the same for both the Women’s and Men’s version.

Quarry Yarn:  (WOMEN’S) [MEN’S] (6, 6, 7, 7*, 8, 9) [6, 6, 7, 8, 9, 9] skeins of Main Color (MC); (1) [1] skein of Color 1 (C1); (1)[1] skein of Color 2 (C2)
*Note: Women’s fourth size uses almost all of seven skeins. You may wish to consider purchasing an extra skein

Chunky weight wool yarn: (1025, 1135, 1275, 1400, 1550, 1675) [1060, 1195, 1335, 1470, 1615, 1740] yards MC; (90, 100, 110, 115, 125, 130) [90, 100, 110, 115, 125, 130] yards C1; (105, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160) [105, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160] yards C2

How to Join the Winter of Colorwork KAL

First, choose your favorite yarn and knitting project that features stranded colorwork (yoke motif or allover motif — as long as it’s stranded, anything is fair game!). The project should be knit using BT yarn, worked from a BT pattern, or both. If you already have a WIP, feel free to join the KAL to finish your project or ask us questions if you’re stuck.

If you choose a stranded colorwork pattern that specifically involves steeking, you can also participate in the Fringe and Friends Steekalong, run by Karen Templer of Fringe Association. (Knit one, KAL two!)

Then, head over to the Winter of Colorwork KAL Chatter thread on Ravelry to introduce yourself and share your plan for what you’re going to knit. Feel free to include any questions or topics you’d like the KAL to address.

Blog Schedule

January 9 — Selecting Colors for Stranded Colorwork Knitting
January 16 — Pattern Selection, Fit and Swatching with Your Colors
January 23 — Cast-On and Knitting Pascal: Beginning the Sleeves
January 30 — Knitting Pascal: Beginning the Body
February 6 — Knitting Pascal: Joining the Sleeves to the Body
February 13 — Knitting Pascal: Steeking
February 20 — Knitting Pascal: Finishing
February 27 — Winter of Colorwork KAL Wrap-Up*

* We’ll be posting each week to the blog, but do know that you can continue working on your project after the last blog post. We’ll continue to respond to questions in the BT Fan Club Forum on Ravelry, as well as admire your shared projects and participate in group discussions!

In addition to joining us on Ravelry, please use the KAL hashtags listed below on any and all social media posts you make that share your project and progress. We’ll be re-posting images from participating knitters throughout the KAL.

The official cast on date for the KAL is January 23. We look forward to knitting, and learning, alongside you!

#BTWinterofColorwork

#BTWinterofColorworkKAL

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Before the release of our first yarn, Shelter, we challenged ourselves to answer a few humble curiosities. With such a rich textile history and an exciting variety of wool resources amidst a booming U.S. community of knitters and makers, why was it challenging to source and develop traceable American yarns? Would it be possible to develop from scratch a 100% American-sourced, designed, and spun yarn in a way that reflects the values of an intentional maker? These questions, and our continued seeking for their answers, have come to shape the heart of our mission here at Brooklyn Tweed. We are proud to have grown our core yarn offerings over the years — five versatile, breed-specific yarns developed with an eye to traceability, reproducibility, supporting domestic mills, reinvesting in the textile industry, and more importantly, providing a meaningful experience to the handknitter.

Now, we are going a step further with our Ranch Project. In our desire to continue to explore the possibilities for domestic yarn production, for this series we are partnering with single ranches to source limited, single clips, quantities too limited to use in a core yarn line but for which we are able to highlight their unique and special qualities. Our aim is to also highlight the exceptional stories of these ranches and the noteworthy work they are doing in reimagining ranching practices in the U.S.

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For Ranch 01, our first offering in this ranch-specific, single-batch series, we sourced Climate Beneficial American Rambouillet wool from Bare Ranch in Surprise Valley, California. We are inspired by the work that Bare Ranch is doing, in partnership with Fibershed, to implement carbon farm planning to support hearty sheep, quality wool, and, ultimately, a healthier planet. To take the project a step further, we also worked with the Green Matters Natural Dye Company in Pennsylvania to achieve a naturally-dyed color palette that will further remind you of how close this yarn is to the earth.

Over the next few weeks leading up to launch day on April 20, we will dive deeper into the stories of the people whose dedicated work supported this very special yarn. We hope you will join us on the journey of Ranch 01’s story.

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September in the Pacific Northwest is for picking apples, walking the riverbanks under yellow alders, and gathering with friends to watch flocks of migrating swifts bed down for the night in the old school chimneys. Inspired by Oregon country living, our Fall 17 collection offers respite from the city grind. Whether you prefer to curl up in a handsome library with a view of the forest fringe or walk the pastures amongst horses and llamas, the lookbook we’ll release on Wednesday the 13th promises solace and spark for your autumn knitting plans.

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“There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

Knitting, like painting or sculpture, is a source of self-expression. What’s more, the fruits of knitting provide us beautiful and practical means to warm ourselves and those we love. It’s completely portable, ready to travel with us to our favorite solitary places in nature, and is just at home in social situations, being shared with those who understand the joy of it.

Knitting also supplies an antidote to the vexing velocity of our time. A few rows of friendly garter stitch can erase a day’s decision fatigue, calming our system and gently transitioning us into quiet time at home. The scent of wool, the bounce of each stitch as its woolen crimp responds to our touch, the sense of mastery as we make sense of new techniques and store them forever in our mental toolbox, are visceral satisfactions. Perhaps we are responding to something deep in our human wiring, a common memory for a different rhythm of life.

If thinking about all this makes your heart flutter a little, we’re right there with you. Our Outpost letter — traditionally an introduction to each of our collection lookbooks — is expanding into a monthly newsletter that allows us to share more stories and thoughts on knitting. Our journey in developing yarns from scratch has introduced us to unexpected and thought-provoking people, places and ideas — we want to share more of them with you.

We’ve also reimagined Outpost to serve as a resource for techniques we’ve learned along the way — details that elevate hand knit garments to timeless items you can fold into a classic, well-considered wardrobe. For this inaugural Outpost, we offer helpful advice on selecting a sweater size and calculating ease.

We support slow fashion and want to explore this inspiring movement with you in coming issues. We look forward to having an ongoing conversation about ideas of quality over quantity, of reclaiming calm from the sometimes frantic pace of daily life.

Select Outposts will include a new pattern that is designed for meditative, beginner-friendly knitting. The joy of knitting need not be complicated, and these patterns will allow for a reprieve from busy days and bigger projects throughout the month. (October’s Outpost will feature a new pattern from Emily Greene.)

We are excited to be kicking off our Outpost series — with every successive newsletter arriving the first Wednesday of each month (click here to sign-up if you’re not yet a subscriber) — and hope you’ll warm your favorite mug and sit with us a bit. We’re glad you’re here.

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Today we’re excited to announce a new addition to Brooklyn Tweed’s permanent stable of yarns: an airy Rambouillet laceweight from the softest fleece we’ve ever offered. Vale has been in development since last year and it’s been hard to keep it under our hats! Like all its BT cousins, this breed-specific yarn is 100% American made, from sheep to dyepot. Vale will be available for purchase on May 17. Ready for a sneak peek?

The Fiber

Rambouillet sheep are also known as French Merinos; two hundred years of careful breeding developed a fleece with even more crimp and bounce than the merino that’s widely available today. In the United States, Rambouillets are a favorite finewool breed on the western plains. The growers we work with in Wyoming achieve wool with a micron count of 21.5, the softest fiber we’ve used to date.

The Process

The same partners who help us produce Arbor bring our Rambouillet bales from raw fleece to finished skein. Chargeurs, based in South Carolina, scours it clean and combs it into the smooth and consistent top that’s required for worsted spinning. The fiber is shipped on to Maine for worsted spinning at the Jagger Brothers mill, and then travels a short distance to the Saco River Dyehouse for eco-friendly skein dyeing.

The Colors

Vale’s 14 custom shades augment some touchstone colors from the Arbor line with sophisticated softer tones. Dusty rose shades, glacial blues, and lichen yellows form a focused palette that offers both neutrals and brights.

The Knitting

We’ve handpicked a selection of favorite lace pieces designed by Jared Flood from the BT archives to re-knit in Vale. (Any guesses which they are?) We love the polished, even spin of this yarn, which shows off stitch motifs to maximum effect.

Mull over the palette and the pattern options and get ready to join us for a summer of lace! We’ll be hosting our first-ever knitalong starting in early July and posting our favorite tips and tricks for lace success. If you’re lace-curious but haven’t tried this beautiful form of knitting yet, it will be the perfect opportunity to get your feet wet.

Join us this week while we discuss Vale and all of its project possibilities on the BT Ravelry forum.

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