JF's Notebook
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Notebook

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!

Lightness

185 Comments October 01, 2010

It’s the first day of my favorite month of the year. A day I’ve been thinking about for a long time — not just because October signals the true onset of Fall, but because on this day, this year, I get to share with you a very special labor of love that I’ve been nursing behind the scenes since last October.

A little over a year ago, I decided to take a risk. To give myself a challenge and a goal and pursue something that I had been thinking and dreaming of for a very long time. It’s no surprise to anyone that I’m a Wool Lover through-and-through, and today I get to introduce to you a very special new wool — one that has been meticulously and lovingly developed behind the scenes here just for Knitters.

I would like you to meet SHELTER — a new line of artisanal American wool yarn for handknitting.

As the summer ended last year, I began researching answers to very specific questions I had been asking myself for some time: With such a rich textile history and an abundance of wool and other resources, why does it sometimes seem so difficult to obtain American yarns in our booming US knitting community? Would it be possible to develop a 100% American sourced, spun, and designed yarn that could be presented in a compelling way to knitters? What would a yarn look like that was developed from Stage One by a single person with no one to answer to but his own personal wool obsession?

The desire to answer these questions sparked the beginning of a year-long journey – one that begins a new chapter today, as SHELTER takes its first steps into the real world.

Over the next few days I’ll be blogging about what has been a gloriously rewarding experience for me designing this special yarn: sourcing American-grown wools, supporting an historic US mill, developing a palette of rich heathered tweeds, and designing a collection with a yarn that I absolutely love knitting with. I hope you’ll stick around for the story — but in the meantime, I’ll let you in on the highlights below.

SHELTER is a woolen-spun 2-ply yarn made from American Targhee-Columbia fleece, grown in Wyoming. The yarn is spun in historic Harrisville, New Hampshire in the heart of New England, in a mill town that has been producing woolen yarns and fabrics since 1794. I have developed a palette of 17 shades including both rich, autumnal colors as well as natural sheep-colors (you didn’t think I’d forget the greys, did you?) The yarn is a very lightly-spun lofty material that, as a result of it’s woolen-spun process, knits at a variety of gauges comfortably without losing fabric integrity.

Starting today, SHELTER is available for purchase online through (the new and improved) Brooklyn Tweed, as well as in 9 very special Flagship Locations around the country. These exclusive stores carry all 17 colors of SHELTER as well as pattern support from the new Fall collection. They are shops whose efforts I’ve admired for a long time as having vision for the possibilities of knitting’s exciting future. I am honored to have SHELTER on their shelves!

Globally speaking, I think that knitters should be able to procure wools of high-quality that support designers, farmers and mills in our own back yard. I think there is now becoming an opportunity for yarns to tell us a story, and offer us a connection to something deeper than just the experience we’re having on our needles.

Consider this my contribution to that cause. I very much hope that you enjoy it.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of you, for showing up here year after year. This effort simply would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the encouragement and continued support I receive from readers, customers and students. For this I am always grateful — thank you. (and stay tuned!)

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185 responses to “Lightness”

  1. So excited that I already placed an order. I look forward to the seeing the patterns, and probably designing my own with your yarn, too! Congrats, Jared!

  2. Congratulations Jared, these are absolutely stunning and your website is looking fab also. It’s refreshing to see a business inspired by knowledge and passion instead of financial gain- All the very best. xx

  3. And it’s wonderful yarn! I finally get to take it to knit night! Totally lives up to the label.

  4. Huge Congratulations, Jared 🙂
    I totally agree about supporting local mills, we can’t let our textiles industries die out, there’s too much history at stake.
    I wish you every success in this totally wonderful venture, and well done for doing something that you totally believe in.

    Many Hugs
    S xXx

  5. Wow, the colors are amazing! Congratulations on what can only have been a massive effort! I do hope your yarn will be well-received and a joy for knitters for many, many years!

    Now, I don’t need yarn, per se, but perhaps I should try just a little… ;))

  6. What fantastic news! I’m applauding your philosophy and approach, and wishing you the very best with your new venture — as well as looking forward to knitting with what I’m sure is a wonderful yarn!

  7. I’m not sure I could admire you as a knitter any more than I already do, but maybe my admiration is about to move up another notch. You. Rule.

  8. Glorious is the first word I thought of – then there it was (gloriously) written in your message. This is a wonderful thing you’ve done – for yourself and for yarn lovers. A hearty congratulations and best of luck in this outstanding adventure.

  9. Congratulations, the colours are stunning. Will they be making their way across the pond sometime soon?

  10. Congratulations Jared! This is a happy day…not only for you but for all the knitters who get to fall in love with the wool like you have for the past year! We’re so happy to have Shelter at Knitch. I know you are a very proud papa today!

  11. This is such a great yet amazing risk that you took. This is wonderful and I wish you a big success (but of course you’ll have it!)

  12. I am thrilled beyong words!!!! Thank you so much for what you are contributing to the knitting community!!!!!

  13. Wow, beautiful!
    Congratulations and lots of success!!
    I’ll stick to ordering wool from my own back yard, although…

  14. they look lovely … I am lucky to live near a flagship store so I will be able to indulge on my next time I’m in!

  15. Congratulations! I’m thrilled to hear that its spun at Harrisville Designs. I can’t wait to see Shelter when I’m up there next weekend.

  16. What a fantastic idea! I’m sure it will be a smashing success. I wonder if Purl has it on their shelves already?… Must check after work 🙂

  17. Congratulations, Jared. What an exciting venture. I am looking forward to supporting you, as well as acquiring high quality resources to work with. Very exciting!

  18. Love the yarn and love, love, love the names. Some of the colors, textures, and names put me right back on my grandfather’s dairy farm, which he sold more than 40 years ago. We called it a hay mow, but you got the color just right. I can’t wait to get in to Knitch and buy some! Thanks.

  19. Congrats on your accomplishment! The yarn is very pretty, and I like the creative names for the colors too 🙂

  20. Wow I can’t decide what I like more, the neutrals or the colors! Congratulations! I’m definitely placing an order, but I hope when the time comes for you to consider other stockists that you’ll check out some shops in the midwest.

  21. Congratulations, Jared, and very exciting! The yarn looks beautiful, and I can’t wait to fondle it at Purl Soho very soon.
    P.S. Attended Julie Turjoman’s book signing at Knitty City last night – lovely photography there, too, of course.

  22. Congratulations Jared, this is exciting!! The colors are incredible and the texture of the yarn looks wonderful. What a wonderful philosophy behind its creation too!

  23. How exciting! The link to the retail locations doesn’t seem to be working, but I can’t wait to check it out. Out of curiosity, is one of those locations the Harrisville mill store, itself? I live half an hour drive from there, and am so happy you chose them as your mill. It would be really neat to be able to go there to see the colors in person, too.

  24. I am boiling over with excitement! Congratulations! Again, I find myself jealous (in a good way) of your focus and ambition. This is SO awesome. You should start selling vacation packages that include trips to the mill . . . can civilians go there?

  25. Beautiful, Jared. Love the names you chose. No flagship stores in North Texas, hmmm, guess I’ll have to take a trip to Austin *oh darn*. Looking forward to making something, now which colorway to choose first……….

  26. How exciting that Knit-Purl right here in Portland, OR, carries it! Can’t wait to go see and feel it!

  27. I so want one of each…I am always amazed at how your photographs make something look so beautiful. Can’t wait to get my hands on this!

  28. No retailers in the Midwest. You have skipped right over us. Too bad. I really prefer to see and feel the yarn before I buy it.

  29. Thanks for this. You’re right- there was a big hole in the yarn market, and you are the perfect person to fill it. I can’t wait to see it and feel it for myself! The colors are inspiring. They make me want to do colorwork- which I have never done before. With this yarn I can see taking my knitting skills to the next level. Can’t wait to see the patterns.

  30. Jared – what wonderful yarn and those colors are ‘intoxicating’. You are such a rare gift to the world of fiber!

    Have you considered suggesting patterns for this loveliness?

    Thank you for all you do.

  31. *LOVE* the color names – the way they really evoke a feeling or a memory of a color – can’t wait to see/feel the yarn in person!

  32. Gorgeous yarn and a wonderful idea. Thank you so much for supporting American industry in such a unique and special way. I love your designs, and I’m sure your yarn will be just as fantastic–can’t wait to see (and feel) it in person!

  33. I was one of the lucky ones who got her hands on this a bit early to do some sample knitting (Guernsey Wrap) for Knit Purl, and I can’t say enough how much I absolutely love this yarn. Lofty is the perfect word to describe it, it’s very springy with wonderful stitch definition. I’m just about done with the sample, and cannot wait to block it. It’ll be hard to give up this piece, I anticipate it’ll be the perfect Christmas present for my family members in Portland and Puget Sound.

  34. I am SO thrilled that fibre space is one of the flagship locations selling your yarn; it looks glorious and I can’t wait to get my hands on some! The colors are absolutely wonderful, and I’m sure it feels as good as it looks.

  35. Your blog bought tears to my eyes. I was born and brought up in New England and witnessed the decline of the once numerous mills and the economic aftermath. Thank you so much for being a shining example of how we need to take back our manufacturing and pride in American products and producing such a beautiful, quality product.

  36. AMAZING. so excited for your new venture, Jared, and think it’s an amazing project. i’m in portland and am heading over to knit/purl this afternoon to touch this.

  37. I just held my breath while I waited for the ‘retail’ link to load, just hoping that Churchmouse would be one of the retailers…and ah HA! They are, they are, they are!!! Truly the best yarn shop in the greater Seattle area, bravo!

  38. For a few years now I have loved you for your beautiful designs. Clean and classic. How wonderful to discover that the ambition and personality (and integrity) behind these patterns is equally as beautiful. Looking forward to trying out these beautiful yarns!

  39. What a wonderful concept and beautiful yarns! I am very excited about your collection and the concept behind it. Thank you for doing this.

  40. They look so luscious Jared. I can’t wait to knit lace with them, so warm and squishy and sheepy. Thank you for taking this on, I can already tell you are bring new depth and quality to our yarn choices!.

  41. […] 1, 2010 in yarn | Tags: jared flood, tweed, yarn Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed announced his new yarn line today – Shelter, a worsted weight tweed (of course) in beautiful colours. Is there anything […]

  42. Oh that looks STUNNING.

    I agree with you about the local yarn thing. Because I live in the UK I absolutely revel in all of the amazing yarn available here, and like you I have a particular thing for Shetland.

  43. Just when I thought you couldn’t get any better you bring out the most gorgeous yarn! Even my husband couldn’t help but ogle the colours. Thank you so much, cant wait to try them!

  44. Congratulations, Jared!
    This is very inspiring as is the rest of your website.
    Wishing you continued success!

  45. I have been following your blog since I found it when I learned to knit and I am so excited about Shelter! Your colors are too die for! I have already ordered some!!! I only have a couple of people I know that knit and they are friends from afar, so I want to thank you for being an inspiration to a knitter stuck in a not so knitting section of the country! And I can’t wait to get my new yarn! It took me forever to choose between the colors, they are all so amazing!

  46. Gimme Shelter. !!! The colors are fabulous and I can’t wait to give it a try. Best of luck and thank you so uch for giving us what looks like a great new ALL-American Yarn…way to go…cg

    PS. i just finished an adult sized Baby Blanket…and it looks great,Another perfect pattern from Jared!

  47. Congratulations! And I feel so lucky that I can actually go look and touch and yes, smell it at Purl Soho. I’m also very curious about the collection you’ve designed. You were one of the first knitting blogs I found. I guess it was beginners luck that had me strike gold.

    Wishing you all the best in this new venture!

  48. Jared- you make me SO happy! These colors are so warm, inviting… I believe we share an appreciation for the natural tones. Just beautiful.. You are definitely on a roll now! Wow..

  49. Holy Cow! I can’t wait to get my hands on some of that squishy loveliness and knit myself a sweater!!

  50. Wow, thank you thank you thank you! I can’t wait to get down to knit/purl and look at these in person. I have been gravitating more and more to more natural/local yarns from farms- and I have been inspired to do so in part by reading your blog. It is wonderful knowing my purchase supports a small community or family and that the sheep are likely raised in a humane way. So again, thanks for all you’ve done for the knitting community, you’re truly an inspiration. 🙂

  51. I so admire the care and thinking that went into this ‘local’ yarn. I truly believe this is the future of our country (for those of us who care) and yarn is the perfect accessory to the ‘local’ food we are coming to expect. Can’t wait to try some –
    So much for stash busting!!! I made it through September anyway.
    Thank you so much. (Chicago is looking for some…. Maybe Loopy? Knitche? All I want to know is where I can touch it.)

  52. Jared, this is so exciting! I’m going to go right down to Purl when I get off of work today! Thank you for sharing your love of wool with the rest of us!

  53. Jared, I absolutely cannot wait to buy this yarn. But which color? They’re all so rich and inviting- from the rainbow colors to the neutrals. What a wonderful venture for you to pursue. You truly are the soul of knitting 2010!

  54. Way to go Jared!!! It really is about time to focus on yarn made on our home soil. Thanks for spreading the conscious word out. Can’t wait to buy myself some SHELTER.

  55. Congratulations, Jared,

    This is obviously a huge undertaking for you and I wish you every good thing in the future. It provides you with a platform for your own beautiful work and provides the US wool industry with another (albeit small) option to selling to China for processing.

    I wish that, internationally, there was more emphasis on wool and other natural, sustainable fibres, preferably locally-produced. I would love to see a first-rank Australian designer do likewise but unfortunately here our handknitting market cannot be as large as the US, simply a matter of population.

    I hope that we may see some of your yarns available here in Australia, or available to us by mail order.

    Very best wishes for success in your venture

    Dawn Lindsay (Sydney, Australia)

  56. Jared, congratulations and thank you for this labor of love. I have often wondered why it is so hard to find decent American-made knitting yarns and this looks absolutely amazing. I could fall in love with each and every shade pictured here…

  57. Beautiful yarn! I can’t wait to see the patterns. I love the color names, too – very American and unpretentious.

  58. I just downloaded the Guernsey Wrap pattern and ordered Shelter in Long Johns from Knit/Purl. I have been in a bit of a knitting funk lately, and this is the first pattern that made me sit up and say WOW. I decided the only way to do it justice was to go with the yarn it was designed for. I so love the idea of this yarn — American sourced from beginning to end — and I cannot wait to cast on for my Long Johns Guernsey Wrap. I fear all other projects will take a back seat to this one the minute the yarn arrives. Bravo and congratulations.

  59. Jared, I am so pleased that you have worked to bring an all-American product to knitters. I strive to make ecologically sound choices, and in my knitting it has been very hard to do that. If you only consider the shipping distance, the vast majority of the yarn I’ve ordered has a huge carbon footprint. The yarn looks so gorgeous on line that I had to order a couple of hanks. I’m planning to have some fun!

  60. The yarn is amazing, and I love those colours! I probably won’t be buying it, since that would be against the principle behind the whole thing (I’m in Austria, so…), but I’m sure many many people will enjoy it massively. Congratulations for achieving something beautiful like this. 🙂

  61. Jared:

    Congratulations on a dream come true!! I love the concept; I love the pallette; And (even though I am a crochet designer) I’m sure I will fall in love with the yarn! How could I not?!?

    Jerry

  62. Jared:

    Congratulations on a dream come true!! I love the concept; I love the pallette; And (even though I am a crochet designer) I’m sure I will fall in love with the yarn! How could I not?!?

    Jerry

    PS~ Fibre Space is my LYS and the men’s group meets there twice a month!
    J

  63. congratulations – what and amazing concept, I can’t wait to enjoy experiencing something that has been such a personal well loved project.

  64. I love the look of your yarn, all those beautiful colours. Will it be available in Canada? Have you thought of doing yarn in Merino for people who are allergic to other wools? Keep up the good work.

  65. I’m so happy for you! This yarn (and the colors) look fabulously DELICIOUS! I can’t wait to get my hands on some!!! Congratulations Jared!

  66. Absolutely beautiful. Partnering with Harrisville was brilliant, as their products are incomparable. I hope these are the first of many more colors and yarns to spring from your imagination.

  67. Thank you, Jared, for being one of the people who shares a talent that most of us could only dream about having. For being one of the dreamers who turn out to be doers…without people like you, the world would be a much dimmer place to be…thank you for this gift!
    Cheers, and all the best in your newest endeavour…I can hardly wait to get my paws on some of this stuff!

  68. Bravo! So nice to see someone saying “We could do that right here!” and then going out and proving it can be done. The yarns are gorgeous, and I will be knitting with them.

  69. As soon as I read this, I had to run downstairs and squeal at my mother, who also knits and spins. You’re one of my favorite designers, and part of that is I adore you color/texture/tweed-sense! Woot woot!!!!!! Congratulations and thank you!

  70. So special this post. I have only just found you, but I couldn’t be happier for you. It’s easy to see how much this means to you.

    I am excited for me since my favorite lys is Loop and Leaf in Santa Barbara (i live minutes away) and i see your new american wool is going to be there.

    congratulations!

  71. I am thrilled to see a new yarn that is plied. Makes knitting so much easier. The colors are beautiful and the photography is as always perfect. You have such vision. I hope this is just the beginning. Would love to see some sweater yarns and some fingerlings and lace weight.
    Congratulations.

  72. Wow, Jared. I was hoping for a new book, but this is so cool I am not disappointed, but very, very impressed — both with the product and the process by which it’s made. Off to shop …

  73. Thank You!!! Like you I have been saddened by the decline of textile production in the US. Thank you again for taking the first step to bring it back for all of us. Congratulations and much success.

  74. I am so impressed! The fiber, the colors ,the patterns and the presentation.
    Fabulous!
    Please find a shop to represent you in the Bay Area,I will be there!

  75. Just made a trip to Hill Country Weaver’s in Austin, Texas. What great yarn. Love the colors. Bought a skein of Faded Quilt and a skein of Long Johns (names are delightful!) Going to knit a colorwork hat. Thanks for bringing it to Austin!!

  76. I bought some at Fibre Space yesterday, and it’s simply gorgeous! I’ve already started knitting with it, and I love it. Congratulations on bringing something so beautiful and warm into the world!

  77. What gorgeous yarn. I am saving my change and thinking of an Elizabeth Zimmerman baby blanket or a Girasole. Great job!!

    Joal

  78. Hooray!

    I was sharing with some knitters/crocheters yesterday about your announcement. We can’t wait to get our hands on this lovely fiber. And what a blessing to be so close to Knit Purl where we can do just that!

    Thank you!

  79. Congratulations! The colors look beautiful and the patterns, too. Hope it is a great success. You deserve it!

  80. THANK YOU! I hope that this trend will continue throughout the next years. My husband and I are starting an alpaca farm where we will be raising Suri alpacas and we are so very much interested in having yarn processed and sold here in the states by and for American knitters. I can’t wait to try your yarn! Congratulations!

  81. I’m deeply happy that you are working with American-based farmers and mills, as I’m for socially responsible entrepreneurship. If the wools are organic and the animals treated well, so much the better. Thanks for your vision. Now please bring your yarns to the San Francisco Bay Area!

  82. Congratulations on the new endeavor, Jared! I’m pleased to see the neutrals; I’ve been waiting for a good excuse to buy some new yarn and here it is!

  83. Beautiful yarn and colorways! Congratulations. I want to buy some but can’t decide which colors to go with first. :O)

  84. Congratulations Jared. You never cease to amaze me. I can’t wait to put in my first order. Shelter looks amazing and the colours divine. You deserve all your success. Lets hope one day we will be able to purchase this beautiful yarn “Down Under” Continued success. Jill Fuller. South Australia

  85. Wonderful! Thank you so much for your very worthy effort, Jared. I ordered online immediately and just cast on for the Terra shawl in Homemade Jam. The colors are beautiful, the names are great, and the yarn is just terrific. It just feels “right” somehow, up to and including the little bits of vegetable matter. Love it!

  86. Just knitted my first project with Shelter…the Terra shawl. It was absolutely divine knitting with this yarn and I LOVE the finished product. I’m looking forward to knitting more with it…all of the colors are beautiful!!! Thank you for all your hard work, Jared!!

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