BT News

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

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We’re thrilled to unveil an all-new 100% American yarn today! It’s long been our goal to expand the range of Brooklyn Tweed offerings, but a great deal of planning, care, and time are required to build lasting partnerships, source everything domestically, and make sure our supply chain is robust enough to meet customer demand. Arbor has been in the works for more than a year — it’s entirely different from our woolen-spun core lines and its journey from sheep to skein is wholly new.

The fiber

Arbor comes from purebred Targhee sheep grazing the rangelands of Montana and South Dakota. The Targhee is an American breed, based on Rambouillet stock but augmented with Corriedale and Lincoln longwool for strength. Targhee yarn knits up as supple, long-wearing fabric that’s luxuriously soft but everyday durable.

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The Milling Process

We send our Targhee clip to the historic Jagger Brothers Spinning Mill in southern Maine for worsted processing. This yarn is not the rustic jumble of lightly twisted fibers you’ve come to expect from Brooklyn Tweed. Worsted spinning involves combing all the fibers into smooth alignment before spinning to produce a perfectly even roving. Arbor is a bouncy, round 3-ply yarn with a tight twist for superior stitch definition and strength.

The Palette

We wanted Arbor to be a celebration of color with a deep, nuanced range of hues. From the velvety depths of Nightfall and Dorado to the blaze of Firebrush and the tang of Tincture, our custom-dyed solids span the spectrum. The neutrals offer unexpected twists — the faded black denim of Porter, the subtle warm tones of Humpback, the lichen green of Gale, the barely-there blush of pink in Degas. A few of our favorites from the Plains palette — Morandi, Rainier, and Treehouse — now have a permanent home in the Arbor line. These colors are created with minimal impact on the environment by the master dyers at Saco River Dyehouse, the country’s only organically certified yarn dyeing operation.

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The Collection

To introduce this new yarn, Jared Flood has created a tasting menu of accessories that will let you sample Arbor in bite-size projects or wrap yourself in rich color at a larger scale. Some of the patterns are familiar favorites from the Brooklyn Tweed archives reworked for Arbor’s gauge and unique characteristics; others are fresh offerings. The Arbor Collection includes nine patterns for hats, scarves, shawls, and cowls that sing the yarn’s praises in cables, twisted stitches, and textural motifs. With gift knitting season upon us, we hope you’ll find inspiration in our new lookbook for treating your knitworthy loved ones.

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We’re so excited about our new partnerships in the U.S. textile industry that have allowed us to bring you Arbor, and we hope it will find a home in your workbasket. We can’t wait to hear what you think and to see what you’ll make.

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One of Jared’s intentions in creating his Woolens collection was to introduce a variety of knitting techniques in approachable projects. The book is meant to be accessible to new knitters, but also to coax veterans of the craft into expanding their skill sets. For today’s blog we’d like to highlight four projects that just might teach you something new.

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Seeds Hats

This basic stockinette cap was conceived as a gentle introduction to stranded colorwork. Only six rounds (eight, if you work the largest size) require both colors at once, and those rounds sport a pattern that alternates colors every stitch so you’ll never need to worry about tensioning longer floats. The pattern is written for tubular cast on, a beautiful technique that’s well worth learning, but a simpler method can be substituted if you’re just starting out or if you’re short on time. Seeds is also a great canvas for playing with color combinations — Jared has written blog posts about color theory that may help you pick the perfect trio, but there’s no better way to learn about hue and value than to pull some leftovers from your stash and audition them in a quick “swatch cap.”

 

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Byway

Ready to try cables? This wrap is worked end to end in easily memorized patterning; the simple six-stitch cables are mirrored, so you can practice crossing with stitches held to the front and to the back, and the blocks of garter stitch flanking the cables will help you keep track of your work and recognize when it’s time for another cabling row. You may even decide you’re ready to try cabling without a cable needle before the end — stitches in woolen-spun Shelter won’t easily run down and escape while they’re momentarily free. As a bonus, Byway will teach you a nifty flat-lying selvedge you’ll want to apply to other projects.

 

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Halo

Lace knitting can seem intimidating or too fussy for knitters who enjoy the meditative rhythm of just motoring through a basic stitch pattern. We encourage you to test the waters with Halo, a pi shawl with rings of eyelets that are easy to work and to memorize. There’s plain knitting aplenty in the sea of stockinette that flows out from the center cast-on, and a gentle step toward more difficulty in the edging chart. If charts make your knees knock, never fear: this one is small, clear, and simple — and the legend is printed right beneath it.

 

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Crosshatch

Brioche stitch is all the rage for good reasons: it’s addictively rhythmic to knit, delightfully squishy, and full of airy warmth. Working in two colors reveals its architecture and prints the fabric with a graphic herringbone pattern — and the two yarns are worked alternately, so it’s less difficult than it looks. Crosshatch exaggerates the brioche texture by combining yarns of different weights as well as different colors. And the pattern lets you dial in a comfortable level of challenge by choosing between a simple garter selvedge and a more complex edging that perfectly matches the fabric.

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We hope you’ll enjoy adding to your knitter’s toolkit with these projects and others from Woolens! Please share your projects with #BTWoolens so we can savor your interpretations of these accessories. And let us know in the comments what you’ve enjoyed learning lately or what skills you’re hoping to acquire next!

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Announcing Woolens, Jared’s first printed book and single-designer collection since Made In Brooklyn seven years ago! Most knitters cut their teeth on simple accessories like scarves and hats. And for most of us there’s comfort and satisfaction in returning to such projects even after we’ve expanded our skills to become garment knitters. Maybe we need something finite to whip up for a friend’s birthday, or maybe we just want an uncomplicated palate cleanser after a strenuous cabled coat or a colorwork sweater. In homage to soothing, approachable knits, Jared decided to design a whole collection of accessories in his thoughtful, timeless style.

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The eleven cowls, scarves, wraps and hats in Woolens introduce a variety of techniques and invite exploration of various design options, prompting choices that personalize the garments. Created with masculine and feminine wardrobes in mind, these pieces meld classic good looks and engaging knitting. Many are simple enough for the adventurous beginner; if you’re ready to expand your skill set, try a hat designed as the gentlest possible introduction to stranded colorwork. When you’re ready for another level of challenge, knit a striking bi-color shawl that’s worked in the round and opened with a steek. With a clear and thorough reference section that’s a valuable resource in itself, Woolens will teach you all the new techniques you need to knit these beautiful accessories.

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Throughout this 138-page book, Jared’s gorgeous photographs reveal every detail of the designs as well as glimpses of his creative process and inspiration from the natural beauty of Japan. We hope you’ll soak up of plenty of inspiration for your next project — accessories make great gifts, after all — and enjoy the tactile experience of a BT collection on paper!

Woolens is available as a printed book or as a print + e-book combo and can be purchased right here on our website or from Brooklyn Tweed stockists around the world. As a special treat, the first 250 copies of the book sold online will be signed by the author. We hope you enjoy this inspiring new publication!

 


Quick Links:

Purchase a Print Book   |   Purchase a Print+E-Book Combo  |  View Individual Pattern Information

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When we think about summer knitting, lace shawls are always high on our list. We like to knit wool all year, but switching to laceweight during the hottest months keeps our core temperature within reason as well as satisfying our fingers. So we’re delighted to have six new patterns written for Plains amongst our options since the release of Wool People 10. This limited-edition laceweight Rambouillet is really a house favorite at BT, and we thought we’d spotlight those new lace designs on the blog today. We’ve sorted them by challenge level to help you pick a project that suits your summer knitting ambitions.

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Feeling Mellow

Are you new to lace knitting? Or maybe just in the mood for a relaxing project you can knit in a friend’s backyard with a summery drink in hand? Try Scalene or Loess. These patterns are the knitting equivalent of grabbing an inner tube to float the river with a bunch of friends on a hot day.

Scalene
Nadia Crétin-Léchenne

An asymmetrical garter triangle enlivened by just a hint of lace patterning. As you’re knitting the body of the shawl, there’s only a single panel of the motif to think about. The chart is predictable and easy to memorize. By the time you get to the long edge, your fingers will know what to do and you’ll be ready for the little bump in difficulty that a repeating motif represents. If you can work a k2tog and an ssk, you can knit this shawl. If you’re uncertain about working from charts, this is a good practice piece.

Loess
Christine de Castelbajac

Sssh…don’t tell, but Indian Cross Stitch isn’t actually lace knitting at all: it’s a cable variation! The openwork effect comes from wrapping the needle with the yarn before you work the next stitch, dropping the wraps, and then passing the resulting elongated stitches over their neighbors to knit them out of order. The intricate woven texture of this stitch looks far more complicated than it really is. And in Loess, the bands of Indian Cross Stitch appear with organic spacing to punctuate swathes of soothing stockinette, so there’s no pressure to watch your pattern like a hawk. No one will ever know if you accidentally work a few extra rows in one pattern or the other. In short, this is perfect social knitting.

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Feeling Energized

If you’ve developed an appetite for a little more lace action but still want to ease in gradually, we suggest Haro.

Haro
Sarah Pope

This small crescent begins with good old garter stitch. It’s shaped with short rows so you can get comfortable with the wrap and turn technique, but there’s no need for a follow-up maneuver to hide the wraps—the garter bumps do that for you. The shawl breaks into Fir Cone Lace, one of the simplest lace motifs ever devised, and there’s no shaping to distract you while you’re building your confidence. The spicy part is the edging, where you’ll work yarnovers and decreases on the right and wrong sides to form little trees.

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Feeling Confident

Comfortable with lace knitting and ready for a substantial project? Saiph and Amarilli are both intermediate-level knits, dressy enough to wear to weddings or to sweeten any summer look.

Amarilli
Amy van de Laar

This ornate triangle can be worked from charted or written instructions—knitter’s choice. There’s a lot going on as the floral bouquets take shape, but once you’ve worked a few repetitions they’ll begin to seem intuitive. Wrong-side rows require switching between knit and purl to maintain transitions between stockinette and reverse stockinette during the body of the shawl. Since the knitting begins at the center top with a garter tab cast-on, you can cement your understanding of the pattern over a small number of stitches.

Saiph
Irina Dmitrieva

Geometric motifs flow in both directions down the wings of this stole. The techniques aren’t difficult, but you’ll need to track your progress over multiple large charts and master the provisional cast-on to begin at the center. There are “resting” rows on the wrong side throughout, except for the resolution of double yarn overs. Saiph is the kind of knitting you’ll want to do at peaceful moments, though you may find that you can easily read the lace once you get into the rhythm of the motifs.

 

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Feeling Unstoppable

Sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than tackling a challenge. If you’re in the mood for an engrossing knit, look no further than Lily Go’s crescent of ethereal lace butterflies.

Lunette
Lily Go

This shawl is worked from the trailing edge upward, so the first hurdle is the large cast-on. (We recommend placing stitch markers at regular intervals so you can count easily!) With four different sizes included in the pattern, you can choose just how dramatic you’d like to go. The butterflies take shape through a four-step process clearly explained in the directions. Lunette requires you to work from charts, and you’ll need to watch three charts at once when you reach the upper portion.

As ever, we’re all looking forward to seeing your projects take shape! Please do tag them with #BTinthewild or #WoolPeople if you’re sharing online so we’ll be sure to spot them.

Happy knitting!

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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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What a year it’s been for Brooklyn Tweed! A cross-country move, new team members, a new yarn, new print books… As we settle in with plenty of wool and tea to weather a week of chilly rain, it seems like the perfect time to look back on some of our favorite things from 2015. We asked the BT staff to vote on their favorite accessories from BT Winter 15, Wool People 9, BT Men 2, BT Fall 15, and of course Olga’s new Capsule Collection, and we’ve been counting down our staff picks on social media all week. From cabled hats to delicate lace pi shawls, our designers produced a lot to love!

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Jared’s densely cabled hat from BT Men 2 won our hearts with its timeless, unisex style. All those cables make it fun to knit and warm to wear, and Crag has such broad appeal that it’s a perfect gift knit for either men or women. Some knitters have been going down a needle size to achieve a snug beanie style with a shorter crown; if your recipient prefers this look you may want to try this modification.

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Olga made such fine use of the interlocking Swiss crosses motif in this cowl for her CAPSULE Collection—the effect is bold, graphic, and modern. We love imagining color combinations (have you played with our new color comparison feature yet?) and think Jujika would also be an excellent way to use up our Loft leftovers, shifting through multiple contrast colors. Wear this doubled and you’ve got a whopping eight layers of Loft wrapped around your neck, which sounds just about right for enjoying the outdoors this winter.

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Easy to knit and versatile to wear, Harper’s unusual fabric of twisted rib worked over gauge makes us want to knit more than one. The single-row stripes create an interplay of colors that’s intriguing in closely related shades or eye-catching in high contrast. Either way, we love this design from BT Winter 15 as the perfect light beanie or easy-going slouch to throw on for a bit of extra warmth or fashion.

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We love the classic elegance of Andrea’s pi shawl from Wool People 9, which would also make a beautiful accent as a throw in the living room or a special gift for a new baby. The concentric shifts in pattern keep the knitting interesting, and the finished piece is a true heirloom. The lace motifs are deceptively simple with easily repeatable stitch patterns, and the finished results look masterful. We also love the idea of sinking into a meditative project like Arbre as an antidote to the frenzy of the holidays.

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Our top vote-getter was Jared’s clever cap from BT Fall 15. Lolo is quick enough to knit up for last-minute gifting, but doesn’t skimp on engaging details. We love the aviator-inspired shape and the pure fun of knitting short-row garter segments sideways to form a cap. And there are so many options for personalizing this design: our own Jen knit one in stripes of Embers and Wool Socks, while Sarah is dreaming of a marled version in two colors of Loft… We love seeing all the Lolos cropping up on Instagram and Ravelry!

Please do play along — it wasn’t easy for any of us to pick just five, and we’d love to see your own favorites from the past year tagged #BTfaves15!

Next week we feature the second half of our “Top 10” for the year: Garments! Stay tuned on Instagram throughout the week and here on the blog for another wrap up next weekend.

 

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Today we’re proud to raise the curtain on our very first printed knitting book — the first installment in a project we call CAPSULE. This new series gives a single designer the stage to present a whole fashion story told in Brooklyn Tweed wool. Our house team polishes the patterns and Jared photographs the garments, but the most exciting part of all is that each CAPSULE collection is offered as a high-quality bound book. (Each of the patterns is also available for individual download as usual, too!)

We couldn’t be more thrilled that Olga Buraya-Kefelian agreed to be our very first CAPSULE designer. Her garments and accessories are distinctive and architectural, avant-garde yet always wearable.

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Olga’s capsule collection for Brooklyn Tweed is inspired by the years she spent in Japan and reflects her interest in texture and geometry. From dense cables to airy open lace, she explores the full range of possible fabrics that our woolen-spun Shelter and Loft yarns can create. The eight designs she has created for her CAPSULE are inventive modern garments that will bring a jolt of energy to your wardrobe.

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We’ve spent time and care in bringing our first printed publication into the world and we are so excited to share it with you. The 128-page book includes 8 original knitwear patterns from Olga as well as a glossary of special techniques used in each design and lush photographic spreads of the collection. Printed in the USA at a press powered by 100% renewable energy, CAPSULE is an FSC-certified publication which ensures that all the paper fibers used in production are sourced from well-managed and responsibly harvested forests that meet strict environmental standards.

We’ve also created a digital lookbook as a way to introduce you to the designs in the collection. We hope you enjoy our first adventure in print, and can’t wait to hear your feedback. Happy knitting!

 

 


Quick Links:

 Shop the Printed Book   |   View the Individual Patterns   |   View the Digital Lookbook

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What’s your favorite detail about your WP9 design contribution?
I like the construction and the shape of Anisos, which was something new for me as a designer. I love the dramatic look when you wear it and how easy it is to wear.

Any interesting techniques in the design you’d like to tell knitters about?
The border patterning happens on both right-side and wrong-side rows. There’s no resting!

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What’s the most beloved (and well-worn) hand knit in your closet?
It’s my Fox and Grapes shawl. The foxes keep me warm and the grapes quench my thirst 🙂

Three things that are inspiring you right now?
The books I read, my two girls, and the yarns my husband dyed for me.

 


 

This interview is part of our Take 5 series—a collection of bite-sized interviews with designers about the inspirations behind our newest collection—Wool People 9 .

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What’s your favorite detail about your WP9 design contribution? 
Historically, the delicate Estonian motifs I’ve used for Rakke have been worked in white lace-weight yarns, but the thicker, rustic Brooklyn Tweed yarns in brilliant colors give this traditional lace a modern sensibility, which I love.

Any interesting techniques in the design you’d like to tell knitters about? 
Both Rakke designs, the shawl and the scarf, are shaped with garter stitch short rows. The texture of garter stitch allows the knitter to skip the step of concealing the short row wraps, which hide themselves amid the garter bumps.

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What’s the most beloved (and well-worn) hand knit in your closet?
I have a confession to make: I have never made even a single sock! My local knitting friends know this about me and over the years they’ve made me some beautiful pairs. I don’t walk around in these special socks; I wear them only when I sit and knit at home. And since I’m always knitting at home, these are the most well-worn knits in my closet.

Three things that are inspiring you right now? 
Changing nature is a great source of inspiration to me; as seasons shift there are always new details, colors, and textures to inspire ideas.

 


 

This interview is part of our Take 5 series—a collection of bite-sized interviews with designers about the inspirations behind our newest collection—Wool People 9 .

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What’s your favorite detail about your WP9 design contribution?
I like how the knotted openwork stitch separates the two sections of the ivy leaf motif. The two patterns look so different, but have the smocking element in common to give the design a sense of wholeness.

Any interesting techniques in the design you’d like to tell knitters about?
I thought that knitting a shawl from the bottom up would be more difficult, especially given the large number of stitches to cast on. But in the end it was not true. Watching the leaves form was fun and the work progresses faster and faster as the rows get shorter. I knitted Loden three times and all my doubts were erased!

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What’s the most beloved (and well-worn) hand knit in your closet?
Hats, of course, a lot of hats!

Three things that are inspiring you right now?
Modern architecture. For example, the Turning Torso skyscraper in Sweden has intrigued me for a long time.

Embroidery on Ukrainian national clothes. I try to simulate it with geometric lace patterns.

And yarn, of course. I pick up a skein and let its color and structure suggest what to knit.

 


 

This interview is part of our Take 5 series—a collection of bite-sized interviews with designers about the inspirations behind our newest collection—Wool People 9 .

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