JF's Notebook
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Penned by Jared Flood

Hello and welcome! I'm a knitter, photographer, designer and the creative director at Brooklyn Tweed. I use this notebook as a space to record inspiration and write about my creative work both inside and outside of BT. Thanks for reading, and don't be a stranger—I love hearing from you!

A Burnaby Bender

17 Comments January 04, 2017


It’s been a few years since I’ve done the holiday gift knitting thing. At some point it started to feel more like a burden than a joy, so I made the decision to take deadline pressure out of the equation, which helped me to enjoy the holidays much more in recent years. This year though, I had a strong urge to spend the month of December doing some “vacation” knitting (i.e. not writing a pattern, taking measurements, planning shaping details, or any of the other technicalities that so often accompany my knitting time) with a low-commitment, pre-existing design. Hats are one of my favorite things to knit, so I picked a pattern and started stitching. I figured I’d  see how many I could complete within the month of December without setting any sort of “achievement metric” — if it turned out I was only able to finish a single hat in the month, I’d still consider it a win.



The irony about time-pressure is that when you release yourself from it, you often produce more than you may have if kept on a strict output schedule. (This is at least true for the way my brain works.) In the end, I got so into the swing of hat knitting that I finished seven of them in four weeks. Definitely a personal record!



I chose to work with my Burnaby hat pattern, which coincidentally gave me the opportunity to knit with several shades of Arbor that I hadn’t yet gotten to try out (at least on anything more substantial than a swatch).



Repeating a project over and over again has a meditative appeal for me. Along with the satisfaction of committing a pattern to memory (a fun party trick…depending on the party), I also enjoyed making subtle tweaks to each version: varying hat length and adjusting fit and fabric density through the use of different needle sizes (sometimes 3-4 different sizes in a single hat). Small details, to be sure, but seriously satisfying.



Another thing I forgot: how rewarding it is to watch friends and family open up a wrapped handknit gift.



I’ve listed the colors of Arbor that I used for each hat above. Though I picked colors based on my best prediction for each recipient’s tastes, the hats actually came together to make a nice little color story of their own! I’ve included links to the pattern and yarn below in case you get the Burnaby bug too.


Wishing you all a very happy new year — I’m looking forward to what 2017 has in store!


Leave a Comment

17 responses to “A Burnaby Bender”

  1. Can I use quince chickadee for this pattern? I have a few skeins I would love to use! If so, any suggestions?

  2. Happy New Year to you too! I enjoyed reading about what you did on your vacation and I love the results! Spending four weeks knitting the same pattern over and over is not something that I would have thought about doing, but the idea of riffing on the design is intriguing.

    It’s nice to see a post from you.

  3. Hello Janell, Thank you for your comment. Quince lists Chickadee as a sport/DK weight so you should be able to use it to knit the Burnaby hat. The pattern includes instructions for DK and Chunky weight yarn. All the best, Christina | BT Customer Service

  4. I’ve purchased the pattern today, and cast on the chunky version. Is there an errata?
    I’ve cast on 84sts and after the ribbing, I’ve tried to do the set up round 1, but I’m short 4 sts. Have I overlooked something. I’ve ribbed it all out, thinking I miscounted, but now I’m there a second time and I’m still short the sts.

  5. Hello Monika, For our best pattern support, please contact us at support@brooklyntweed.com. Our pattern support specialist will be able to provide you with detailed assistance. All the best, Christina | BT Customer Service

  6. Hey there! I’ve been following your web site for some time now
    and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from
    Huffman Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the
    great work!

  7. Something similar happened to me with your hat pattern from your book. The one called Farrow. I found a single skein of Shelter was all it took so I began using odd ones left from other projects. I had quite a few!

  8. Ah Jared, I understand what you mean by the party trick. The hats are beautiful. Thank you for sharing your fabulous eye for patterns and colors and helping other people create as well. All the best in 2017

  9. I did this at the end of Christmas, thought I needed to give back so knitted 4 hats for the chemo brigade, 3 hats for the VA (love our military) and donated a couple newborn hats to the hospital all by New Years. Decided a hat for each per week should be enough then I can enjoy my knitting for me.

  10. Love the Burnaby hats! I’ve been knitting baby hats for a hospital (no specific pattern, each hat is a different color, pattern, etc., with left over yarn… some have hearts, some have smiles, others just stripes or cables), and once I reach my self-imposed quota for the month, I think I’ll have to start knitting Burnabys for next Christmas. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Deadlines definitely suck all the joy out of knitting. A few years ago I gave up on them (not sure why it took decades for this to happen). Fortunately, I don’t have to earn a living from my designing, and I can afford to simply play. Today I’m off to visit the first shop to carry BT yarns in my region of Canada–Rosehaven Yarns in Picton, ON. Very exciting, even with our horrible exchange rate. I haven’t knitted with BT yarns since 2013, when Knitty published my Buttonbox Waistcoat in Shelter. Can’t wait to see all the colours live, not just as samples on cards.

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