JF's Notebook
Photo of Jared Flood

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!

The Next Chapter

123 Comments April 08, 2015

photo courtesy of Ryan Flood

The passing of time has a funny way of delivering insights. It’s hard for me to believe that four and a half years have passed since that fateful day in October 2010 when I introduced my yarn project to the handknitting community, and even harder to believe that 10 years have passed since I packed up my life in the Pacific Northwest and set out for New York City with little more than a longing for new adventures.

To say that I’m grateful for having taken both of those exhilarating and somewhat scary steps in my life would be a colossal understatement: coming to New York and developing Shelter have been two of the most defining moments of my personal journey. My “accidental” run-in with creative entrepreneurship has been an extraordinary roller coaster ride thus far. What I anticipated to be a short-term creative experiment that would buy me some time after finishing graduate school—developing a small batch of US-produced wool yarn—revealed an unanticipated opportunity to build a meaningful venture around my passion for knitting and design. When I think back on the last decade, it’s those bold, inspiring, take-a-chance decisions that come forward in my memory as the most meaningful and instructive experiences—those that I hold the most dear.

Shepherding Brooklyn Tweed through its infancy as a yarn and pattern house has been more educational than any formal schooling I’ve ever had, and it’s taught me more than I ever expected—about people, about business, about creativity, and most notably about myself. Operating a creative business and leading a team of talented people in working toward a shared vision has turned out to be something that gives me deep satisfaction and joy. It’s something I hope I am able to continue doing for years to come.

These realizations have hurled me deep into Soul Searching mode during the past year. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about who we are at Brooklyn Tweed, where we are going, and how to continue ensuring a healthy, engaging experience for every member of the company along the way. I’ve reflected on the choices and experiences that have worked well for us—and on those needing further exploration. Calling the NYC area home for BT’s first four years has brought unique joys and challenges. Living and working in the concrete jungle has been an inspiration on so many levels, and it’s taught us how to survive and thrive in a city where most would say nothing comes easy. As my vision for Brooklyn Tweed has come into crisper focus this year, I’ve continued to examine the question of whether our current East Coast home is still the best place for us to do what we do, in the best way we are able; and I’ve decided the time has come to embark on a new adventure once again.

I’m very excited to announce that this spring Brooklyn Tweed will be officially relocating to a place very near and dear to my heart—Portland, Oregon. This change in scenery is one that I know will let us continue our work in a way that feels authentic and inspiring (as well as allowing us to serve our friends, fans and customers even better). And though saying farewell to the Big Apple will be a bittersweet moment for me, I couldn’t be more excited about starting a new chapter in a wonderfully rich creative community like Portland.

As I stand at the beginning of a new phase of life, I want to thank everyone who is reading from the bottom of my heart: for believing in us and what we do, for the years of support and encouragement you’ve given me and my team, and for keeping us company along the way as we move forward. I can’t wait to continue sharing the journey with you.

All my very best,

Jared

__________

A Note for PDX Locals (or those looking to relocate): We’ll be touching down in Oregon on May 1st and have a few job openings available at our new headquarters in Northeast Portland. If you’re interested in exploring a career with us, check out our Jobs page to read more about these opportunities. See you on the West Coast!

[Photo above courtesy of my brother Ryan Flood.]

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123 responses to “The Next Chapter”

  1. Welcome back, Jared! I hope this move proves to be another positive stage in your journey. (As another former northwesterner I feel a tinge of envy!) I hope our paths cross more frequently…..

  2. Wow! Love this new venture! Hope the transition goes well and look forward to the coming collections – inspired I guess, by the northwest!

  3. Wow – awesome! Even more so that I live not 70 miles from Portland! It was my home for more than 30 years – a lovely place. Good luck!

  4. I have followed you for 6 years or more through your old blog and your outstanding creations. I would love to spend a day talking to you about how your mind works when you do create. I love knitting, and I am still in a learning mode. I love patterns that challenge me and many do. I have made a couple of your patterns, purchased several and I’m waiting for more time in order to start and finish them. I love your balance and structure, they are works of art that I can replicate.
    Congratulations on your move, what a wonderful reason now to head towards the Northwest.

  5. Welcome back! I grew up in PDX too, spent the last 10 years in NYC, loved every minute of it, and just moved back here last summer. I miss the city, but you’ll be loving the farmers market and the ability to get a table at a great restaurant at a time other than 5:45!

  6. For a second there, I thought that was a shot of Mt. Fuji… that would have been one hell of a move! All the best with your new undertaking- sounds like a wonderful thing!

  7. … YaY! Welcome back to the West Coast. I made the exodus last year and couldn’t be happier. Looking forward to see what great adventures happen for you and the team!

  8. How exciting for you and your team! I know the feeling of “coming home” — after three decades of wandering the world, including my own stint in New York, three years ago I decided to return to the Northwest. I haven’t regretted my decision once.

    Best of luck in Portland, personally and professionally. It’s a great city that I visit regularly and enjoy every time.

  9. As a West Coaster myself, I am thrilled to have your creative inspiration closer to my neck of the woods. I can’t wait to see what you do next.

  10. Welcome home! NE Portland is such a wonderful place to live, knit, and work. I hope you enjoy the wonderful spirit of community and creativity in our neck of the woods. What an exciting announcement!

  11. Wishing you the very best in this phase of your journey Jared. Your work is always inspiring to me. Looking forward to this next chapter.

  12. Best of luck, Jared! Portland is such an awesome city, as I know you are aware. I wish you could pack me in one of those boxes of yarn & take me along!

  13. Portlandia is an ideal locale to continue to grow your creative process. Wishing you all good things in your new home.

  14. I’m so happy you’re coming almost home. Portland is only a few hours away from Pierce County.

  15. What a beautiful, thoughtful letter to your customers and Jared “fans”, which i am one of ! If you didn’t already know, your entrepreneurial story and unique designs are such a powerful inspiration to knitters’ around the world, i can only imagine ! So don’t worry where your heart leads you…we will seek you out and find you in Nepal if we must ! LOVE your patterns and consise instructions…Best of Luck on the move and keep us posted 🙂

  16. Best of luck, Jared. Followed your work since the beginning of the blog. I’ve always enjoyed seeing the latest piece you created, then and now. Brooklyn will definitely miss you!

  17. Congrats to one of the most inspirational companies out there. I can truly say your work — everything from your patterns and yarn to your styling and photography — has been instrumental in me developing my own love of knitting. Excited for you and what’s to come!

  18. Took all of your classes on a Craft cruise to Alaska and loved every moment of classes and your designs!
    Good Luck on your relocation! Looking forward to more of your fabulous designs!

  19. Bravo! This is a sign of a healthy company with healthy foresight–welcome to the West Coast. Love your yarn, love your designs, love the company. Continued success in all endeavors.

  20. Jared,
    reading this took me to a long time in the past when I first came across to your blog and instantly felt in love with your point of view.
    What a journey!
    I wish you all the best for the new chapter. And for many adventures to come!

    The only thing… once you moving… you could come to Brazil! Come on, it is not so far…
    …kidding… 😉

  21. I am sure you’ll remember that moss between your toes is a good thing and rain is liquid sunshine! (Said knowingly from one Oregonian to another.)
    Cheers!

  22. Wow. From the valedictory tone, I was expecting you to announce that you were leaving BT to the designers and were going off to found, what? a skydiving academy? Something unrelated anyway. I’m happy you’re going home and I’m really happy you’ll continue to head up BT.

  23. You are truly a pioneer, Jared and an inspiration to all designers and knitters. Good luck in your new (old) home and carry on with your dream. Looking forward to seeing more of BT. JYoxo

  24. This new stage in your life sounds wonderful. This part of the country holds a whole new world of inspiration. Looking forward to the new creations coming from this next step in the life of BT. Good Luck and God Bless

  25. I am so happy to hear of your plans. I really enjoyed working with you. Good Luck and the best of luck to all of you!

  26. Choice: Portland, OR or New York?

    That is like choosing to live in GOD’S COUNTRY or a Concrete Jungle!

    Good move and I am jealous …

  27. What a great move ! Best of luck! Rest assured I will continue to support you and follow you.

  28. So happy to hear that you’re moving back to the NW. It is a special and beautiful part of our country. Welcome back!

  29. I certainly hope you retain the name Brooklyn Tweed. As a displaced Brooklynite myself I’ve always taken great comfort in the name of your company! Using the yarn makes me feel like I’m being loyal to my roots!

  30. Hi Jared, We met briefly in Rochester, NY when you came to present to the Rochester Knitting Guild, and then taught classes the following day. I have been a fan and supporter for years. The news of locating to Portland feels right! The pacific northwest is so spectacular. I can picture you and your crew feeling at home there. I can picture your designs enjoying being photographed there as well! All my best for a smooth transition and happy times breathing the clean, crisp air of Oregon!

  31. I bet you could almost hear me yell yippee way back there. I love your yarn and your company and although we have never met I have been a fan for a long time! I love your designs and retired from teaching so I could knit! Oregon will greet you most happily and we welcome you back with all our hearts!

  32. Wishing you well in your new location. Maybe you’ll become Portland Tweed and leave Brooklyn to the natives.

  33. Jared~ I know there are at least 1,000 knitters in the greater Portland area that are jumping up and down and screaming they are so excited you are relocating here! We can’t wait! Welcome home!

  34. How very exciting! The metro area welcomes you with open arms! Wishing you the very best! 🙂

  35. Wrong Portland, Jared!
    (As someone who returned to her East Coast Portland after years in NYC, I can say that you CAN go home again best!)

  36. Oh, how we wanted you to come back up to Hudson. Sad that that won’t happen. We will continue to watch for your Look Books, and I will always have Michele’s Hudson Cowl. Success in your next chapter.

  37. As a resident of the PNW I want to welcome you home and wish you all the best in the transition.

  38. I’m just glad you’ll still be designing and doing your thing. Question though, from one who loves a real winter – partly from a knitting perspective – does Portland get cold enough? I guess I’ll find out by checking in on you!

  39. All the bestest luck for your re-settlement, back home. I wish you fresh inspiration, new beautiful (as usual…) designs and yarns and time to breathe fresh air and admire views daily 🙂 The new chapter sounds great! wish I lived somewhere near to apply for one of the jobs :))

    Good luck Jared!

  40. Best wishes on the next step in your adventure! I’m an admirer of your work who lives, knits and crochets in Alaska. Hopefully being in the PNW will mean that you’ll be able to join our fiber arts community for an event at some point! 🙂

  41. Congratulations and how wonderful, Portland is such a wonderful city, best wishes for much success!

  42. Welcome back! It’s so exciting that you’re coming back to the Pacific Northwest and I hope it leads to seeing you and BT yarns more often at fiber festivals, yarn stores, etc. Have a safe, enjoyable move!

  43. Congratulations and best of everything as you and the team take this next step! I’m already anxious to see what inspiration comes!

  44. Wow! So happy to hear this wonderful news!!! Wishing you and your team all the best! Welcome back to the PNW!

  45. Best wishes to you and our team, Jared, for continued success! I just know that great things are coming.

  46. Change is good and your going to a wonderful place! Hard to believe it has been 5 years since Brooklyn Tweed was introduced. I don’t know how I managed without it before. Fond wishes for all things good for you new adventure.

  47. lucky Portland! Your designs and aesthetic not to mention your amazing photography will continue to inspire us from wherever you put down your roots. We will continue to follow you. What a great city too!

  48. Congrats! PDX is such a fabulous, creative community. I hope to move out there someday as well! Until then, looking forward to see how BT grows and develops in its new home.

  49. Welcome back to the Pacific NW! The Portland Yarn Community is an active and supportive one – and we look forward to having your excellent company relocate here. If there’s anything we can do to assist you as you get going here in PDX, please let us know. We’d be honored to help in any way. Wishing you an easy move – Cheers, Jackie & The Gang at Northwest Wools “Portland’s Oldest Yarn Shop”

  50. I am always sorry to see a business leave the City, but I wish you luck and happiness in your new home!

  51. I live in The Dalles, Oregon ………..just up the gorge from Portland, looking forward to having your blog be written from “God’s Country!” 🙂 So excited to see what this does for your wonderful look books…………I may see some familiar sites! 🙂

  52. I am just giddy with excitement and happy anticipation of having Brooklyn Tweed here in Oregon. Welcome back! I can’t wait to visit your new Portland digs.

  53. Eek! This is wonderful news! Welcome home to Stumptown! The only downside I can see is that last winter was so mild (especially compared to the east coast) you won’t be needing so many woolens! I hope you’ll have a retail outlet of some sort. : )

  54. Beautifully written, Jared. Love NYC and love Portland. Change is good. Invigorating and conducive to creativity. Best wishes to you and your fellow coworkers.

  55. Sounds like the right move for you. I have a feeling that the designs will be bold, rich and inspired by the move. New York served it purpose, now onward to a new and exciting chapter. Good luck and can hardly wait to see what this move will bring.

  56. Portland and myself will welcome you with open arms! We have a wonderful knitting community in Portland and the surrounds!

  57. I hope you will have a retail store in Portland. Your designs are smashing–so rich and luxurious.

  58. How lovely. We are are lucky to get you back on the west coast! Perhaps your studio could be in the Brooklyn Neighborhood in Portland for a seamless, no questions approach to keeping your name!
    Although…would be great to see you near Alberta:)

    The best to you on your new adventure!
    Sally and all your fans at Close Knit

  59. I wish you the best of luck in your move as well as your new (old) home. I hope the west coast brings you as many inspirations as the east has!

  60. Congratulations, Jared, on not loosing your sense of adventure. I’ve told many people, including my husband who is an entrepreneur but has no interest in knitting (can you imagine!), about how wonderful and informative it has been to watch the steps you have undertaken to grow your company. You may not think that your journey has been that transparent, but it’s like reading a textbook of how to do it. I live in Syracuse, NY, and have liked knowing your are essentially a neighbor with your yarn easily accessible by mail. I imagine you’ll make sure that accessibility won’t change (mail is mail, after all), but the East coast will miss you. I’ve visited Portland and know what a vibrant community you are joining (re-joining). Have a blast!

  61. Best of luck, Jared. I have followed you since your beginning in NYC — I’m in the Chicago area — so I’m still in the middle. Regards, Gill

  62. Good luck, Jared. We love you and Brooklyn Tweed on any coast. I will continue to keep in touch and anticipate the unique designs, which are always so beautifully photographed and presented to us knitters. What an exciting time for you and your team. All the best.

  63. Well, this is a very interesting development!

    I’m typing this from NYC, but had my own Brooklyn stay back in the early 1970s. What a style center Brooklyn has become in the past decade, and what you and Brookly Tweed have contributed to that status is marvelous. Bravo.

    I’ve bought your yarns from Purl on Broome Street, and downloaded several of your marvelous designers’ knitting patterns on my laptop. I do hope that this collection of designers will continue to be part of Brooklyn Tweed as your own return to the west coast takes place.

    Will you retain the Brooklyn Tweed name? It’s rather iconic now, and i’d suggest that you do so.

    Wishing you well, and looking forward to seeing where this next leg of your journey takes you.

    Cheers!

  64. Yay! I love Portland. Wish I could go and apply, but my new adventure brought me to Nome Alaska where the Musk Ox roam. My best to you!

  65. Hello Jared,

    Hope you are enjoying the West coast and you new location. are you not including your previous Lookbooks on this website? Or are the to be included at a later date?

    Best,
    Nina Laurie

  66. Exciting news, on many levels!

    Best wishes for the days ahead and a smooth, seamless move to P-Town. Maybe we’ll see you at Black Sheep Gathering in June, or Oregon Flock & Fiber.

  67. Love everything about BT and will follow you wherever you go – even if only virtually. =) Best of luck in Portland, Oregon to you and the team. All the best in life to you, Jared, for being a terrific human as well as a very talented knitter, photographer, designer, & creative force. I was lucky to meet you at a workshop in Boston and hope to be lucky enough again someday. Cheers to you all!

  68. Oh here it is. i have been awaiting the official notification of the move and where it will be to. i follow bristol’s knitting and she had mentioned there were big changes in the works. best of luck in Portland! (which is where i leave, well…portland, indiana) i look forward to the new designs that will emerge with the lovely change of venue/inspiration!

  69. Hey Jared, just heard about your move. Congrats and looking forward to having you in the mix– so many great crafters here. I have a small boutique and yarn store in the Brooklyn neighborhood– inner SE Portland: Fiber Rhythm Craft & Design. I’ve always liked the classic, yet interesting designs you produce. I know you’ll be somewhere in NE Portland, but if you ever need extra space, the Brooklyn Business Center is great and has a great landlord too.

  70. As a West Coast resident (Bay Area) this is VERY EXCITING news! Checking out your jobs page to see if you need a lawyer.

  71. What a beautifully written and thoughtful letter; it is clear that this is the best decision you can make for yourself and your company at this time, and I wish you all the best.

  72. I did a big move. It was hard, stressful, and a massive mountain to climb. It was so WORTH it!! I wish you well. Take care, look after yourself and enjoy. I wish you the very best of luck.

  73. Jared, how exciting!

    It takes much personal insight to make such a big leap. I applaud your bravery. Welcome to the PNW. I reside in Port Townsend, WA, a beautiful little hamlet on the Olympic Peninsula. You’ll have your hands full with the move and work. When you need an escape, I recommend a visit to these parts, the West coast of the peninsula, the Hoh rainforest, Olympic National Parks mountains for a recharge. It’s refueled my creative buzz.

    Well wishes!
    Heather

  74. Welcome home, Jared. We have a wonderful knitting community here and many many Brooklyn Tweed followers. Hope to see you around town.

    And don’t be afraid. I came back to my home town, Portland, from the Washington, DC that I loved. It has been a perfect choice.

  75. Congratulations Jared, I will truly miss having you in the NYC area but I love Portland and it gives me another excuse to visit family in Portland and Seattle besides Powell’s books — and of course all the other fabulous yarn stores!

  76. Dear Jared,
    I was very pleased to hear you are returning to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Of course we love it here which is why so many of your loyal fans live here. Your new look book wool people nine is fantastic. I want the whole thing. When will it be available? I am thinking of several of those patterns would be beautiful in my sequined Handspun. While I love your yarn, mine has sparkle which is so much fun to knit and wear. Can you see that pi shawl in sparkle? I can. Anyway ou are the talk of Facebook today but I just had to comment personally. I do really want the whole book. Let me know when. Thanks, Laurie

  77. Fantastic news…welcome (back) to God’s Country…I’m in St. Helens, 30 miles nw of Ptown…and working on a shawl of yours…for my sister in law, whose son committed the dreaded suicide 1-30-15! This is to wrap her in love…she subsequently lost her daughter in law in June…very hard year! The pattern I am making her is Stonecrop…a genuine beauty! Thanks

  78. Sincere best wistful wishes for Brooklyn Tweed in this new adventure! We will be anxiously awaiting Althea Oregon-inspired beauties to come!

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