Jared Flood & BT Fall 14

by Craig on September 11, 2014

Jared Flood Meet and chat with Jared Flood and see the sweaters and accessories from the BT Fall 14 Collection in person on Saturday, October 18 from 12 to 4pm.

You don’t need to sign up or make a reservation, just come on in!

Jared is a blogger, designer, photographer, and the founder of Brooklyn Tweed. He’s captured the hearts and imagination of knitters since he began blogging in 2005. He continues to inspire us with his American sourced and milled yarns, Shelter and Loft, and the knitwear designs created by him and his team.

Jared Flood Sweaters

Two new designs by Jared Flood: Howser (l) and Backbay (r).

The BT Fall 14 Collection consists of 16 sweaters and accessories inspired by fisherman sweaters. As Jared describes it:

From lush, gansey-patterned wraps to a show-stopping cabled sweater coat, we’ve tried to include a little something for everyone, with projects ranging in skill level from adventurous beginner to advanced.

Jared Flood Hats

Hats designed by Jared Flood: Skiff (l) and Hutchin (r).

The digital knitting patterns for this collection are available online for immediate purchase. We’ll have beautiful printed copies in the shop when Jared visits, which he’ll be happy to autograph for you.

I hope you’ll join us for a fun and inspiring afternoon!

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Casting On

by Craig on September 8, 2014

We had our first Technique Demonstration this weekend, the topic was casting on. We discussed two tips for the long tail cast on, the knitted cast on, the cable cast on, and the twisted German cast on. I’ve made videos of each of them and posted them below for your review and reference.

As with so many things in knitting, there are many ways to cast on. We teach the long tail cast on in our classes, which is a fantastic cast on for a clean, elastic edge. I use it 100% of the time, unless a pattern calls for another way. But if you find you prefer one of the other ways, there’s no reason you can’t use it instead. Give these a try and see what works best for you!

LONG TAIL CAST ON TRICKS

– For a large number of stitches, instead of guessing at the length of the tail, hold both ends of the yarn together and make a slip knot. Place slip knot on needle and cast on as usual. With each end leading to the center of the skein, you’ll have plenty of yarn for all of your stitches.

– For a thin contrast colored edge, hold the ends of two different colors of yarn together and make a slip knot. Cast on as usual with the contrast color on your thumb and the main color around your finger.

KNITTED CAST ON

– Make a slip knot and place it on your left hand needle. You don’t need to leave a long tail, just 6-8 inches.
– Knit the first stitch as usual, but instead of transferring it to the right hand needle, by inserting the left hand needle into the stitch from the far, or right, side.
– Repeat until you have the number of stitches you need.

CABLE CAST ON

– Make a slip knot and place it on your left hand needle. You don’t need to leave a long tail, just 6-8 inches.
– Knit the first stitch as usual, but instead of transferring it to the right hand needle, by inserting the left hand needle into the stitch from the far, or right, side.
– Insert the right hand needle in between the first two stitches and knit as usual; instead of transferring the new stitch to the right hand needle, transfer to the left hand needle like you did before.
– Repeat until you have the number of stitches for your pattern.

TWISTED GERMAN CAST ON

– Start the same way you would for the Long Tail cast on.
– Put the tip of your needle under both strands of yarn on your thumb, from the outside, in toward your palm.
– Bring the needle down through the loop on your thumb and back towards you.
– Catch the yarn coming from your index finger from the top.
– Bring the needle down through the smaller loop formed by the twisting strands from first step.
– Drop the yarn off your thumb and tighten the stitch.

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5 Classic Books for Your Knitting Library

by Craig on September 3, 2014

One of my favorite things about going back to school was getting new books. French, Algebra, Social Studies, Chemistry – big text books full of new facts, figures, and ideas. I’d take them home, sit at our kitchen table, and make book covers from paper shopping bags for each one with the subject name carefully written on the spine.

Well, just because we’re not in school, doesn’t mean we can’t get a new book or two. Here are 5 classic knitting books, which, if you don’t already, are worth having in your personal library.

The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt

The Principles of Knitting

Originally published in 1989, The Principles of Knitting is an encyclopedic treasure trove with everything you need to know about knitting. It was out-of-print for many years, but so in demand that it was revised and re-released in 2012.

Knitting in Plain English: The Only Book Any Knitter Will Ever Need by Maggie Righetti

Knitting in Plain English

Maggie Righetti’s easy, conversational style and practical approach makes new concepts easy to understand. Released in 1986, it was revised and re-issued in 2007.

Knitting Without Tears: Basic Techniques and Easy-to-Follow Directions for Garments to Fit All Sizes by Elizabeth Zimmerman

Knitting without Tears

Elizabeth Zimmerman is the Julia Childs of the knitting world. Through her newsletters, books, and public television show, she encouraged people to explore the world of knitting. Less of a textbook than the others, Zimmerman’s writing is wonderfully entertaining.

A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker

A Treasury of Knitting Patterns

One of the wonders of knitting is how much can be accomplished with just two stitches. This is the first of four volumes Barbara Walker published from her considerable exploration of stitches. You can spend hours just looking at the different stitch patterns, let alone swatching the ones you like best.

Knitting from the Top by Barbara Walker

Knitting from the Top

While Elizabeth Zimmerman liked to knit her seamless sweaters from the bottom up, Barbara Walker preferred to work from the top down. Clearly written and extremely thorough, just do what she tells you and you’ll have drawers full of beautiful sweaters.

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Building Blocks Afghan Class

by Laura on September 2, 2014

building-blocks_large

Now that you’ve been knitting awhile, you probably have a few things down pat: the knit stitch, the purl stitch, casting on and casting off. You may even be comfortable with increasing and decreasing- good for you! You have the skills and you’re ready for anything- what to do? Try the Building Blocks Afghan. It’s a great way to build your skills by learn to knit 12 different blocks each with a new stitch pattern. At the end, you’ll have a cozy afghan for snuggling up!

This season we’re offering a monthly class to knit the Building Blocks Afghan together. You’ll learn a new block each month and at the end you’ll learn how to seam them together to complete the afghan. This is a great opportunity to learn something new in manageable increments and knit with others!

Class starts October 4 and will be held the first Saturday OR first Wednesday of every month and run through the following year.

Here’s all the details:

BUILDING BLOCKS BLANKET
$288 for twelve 2-hour classes
prerequisites: cast on, knit, purl, increase, decrease

Wednesdays, October 1, November 5, December 3, January 7, 2015, February 4, March 4, April 1, May 6, June 3, July 1, August 5, September 2, 6-8pm

Saturday, October 4, November 1, December 6, January 3, 2015, February 7, March 7, April 4, May 2, June 6, July 11, August 1, September 5, 11am-1pm

supplies: Building Blocks by Michelle Hunter, 10-12 skeins of Hikoo Simpliworsted (10 if you use one color for every block, 12 if you use a different color for each block), US10 needles or size to get gauge, stitch markers, darning needle, row counter.

You can pay for this class in 4 quarterly payments of $72, with your commitment to participate for the year. Purchase all of your yarn at the start of the class, you’ll receive a 10% discount on the cost of the yarn. Pay for the full class and the yarn when you register and receive 20% off both!

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CustomFit – A New Way to Knit a Sweater

by Laura on August 28, 2014

Laura wearing her CustomFit cardigan.

Me in my CustomFit cardigan knit in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in cast iron.

CustomFit is a new sweater knitting program that allows us to create a sweater pattern just for you – using your measurements and your knitting gauge. Erika, Kathy, and I have already knit CustomFit sweaters for ourselves and we’re thrilled with the results. And we’re excited for you to have the same fantastic sweater knitting experience!

Kathy in her CustomFit pullover.

Kathy in her CustomFit pullover knit with Spud & Chloe Sweater yarn in toast.

How many times have you accepted clothing not fitting properly because “your arms are too long”, “your shoulders are narrow”, or you’re just “too small” or “too big” in some way. CustomFit’s approach is that it’s not your body or your knitting that’s wrong – it’s garments that are based on the “average” woman, not me and not you.

Erika in her CustomFit cardigan.

Erika in her CustomFit Cardigan knit with Berroco Ultra Alpaca.

Here’s how CustomFit works. You choose your yarn and knit your swatch. We calculate your gauge, we take your measurements, you choose the type of sweater you want to knit, and we create your pattern.

I know that having your measurements taken may not be your favorite part of the process, but it’s the most important step in getting a good fit. Kathy, Erika, and I are here to make it as easy as possible. We all have our insecurities, and I promise there are no judgments here!

If you’d like to take your measurements yourself, that’s ok too! We’ll give you a list of the information we need and some tips for doing it.

There are 3 ways you can knit your own CustomFit sweater this season.

CUSTOMFIT SWEATER CLASS
$72 for three 2-hour sessions, includes pattern

Preparation is key for a successful sweater. In this class, we’ll take your measurements, discuss yarn selection and swatching, help you measure your gauge, and choose your sweater design elements. Once your pattern is complete, we’ll review the patterns and answer any questions before you cast on.

You can use any weight yarn with CustomFit. If this is your first sweater, we recommend worsted weight yarn.

Supplies: You’ll select your yarn during the first class and begin swatching. Please bring several sizes of needles that will work with the yarn weight you think you’ll choose.

CUSTOMFIT SWEATER CONSULTATION
$35, for one 1-hour session, includes pattern

Come to your sweater consultation with a completed swatch. We’ll calculate your gauge, take your measurements, and help you choose your sweater design elements.

CUSTOMFIT PATTERN
$10

Come in to get the directions for your swatch and your yarn. We’ll take your measurements or we’ll give you a list of what we need for you to take home. Bring back your completed swatch and measurements, if you took them yourself. We’ll help you choose your sweater design and prepare your custom pattern.

ALWAYS GET THE HELP YOU NEED
Whether you take the Sweater Class, Consultation, or purchase a CustomFit Pattern, we’ll help you through your project. Stop in when you have questions about the pattern and the finishing.

We also offering finishing. You knit the pieces and let us assemble your sweater for you!

However you go about it, we encourage you to try CustomFit this season!

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Little Wave & Cordwood Cowl Knitalong

by Craig on August 21, 2014

Little Wave Cardigan

The votes are in and Little Wave came out on top! Gudrun Johnston designed this saddle shoulder cabled cardigan for her son – what a lucky and stylish kid – and later sized it for a range of women’s and men’s sizes.

Little Wave was designed with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, which is a wonderful yarn for sweaters, especially ones with cables. Shelter is lightly spun wool so garments are warm but light weight and comfortable.

Leila Raabe's Cordwood Cowl

The runner-up was Leila Raabe’s Cordwood Cowl. It’s a beautiful piece, also designed with Shelter, that can be worn in one long circle or doubled for a closer fit.

Because some people said they didn’t think they could fit a sweater into their fall knitting plans, we’re going to include both patterns in our knitalong.

The knitalong officially begins September 1, but if you’re ready, you can start at any time. Post a picture of your finished project by October 31, 2014 and you:

– could be the winner of a $20 Loop gift card (winner will be randomly selected)

– will receive a gift card for 10% of the cost of the yarn (if you purchased your yarn from Loop and told us you were using it for the knitalong.)

To join the knitalong, visit the forum thread, and tell us which pattern you’ll be knitting and which yarn you’re using. I hope you’ll join us!

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