Wool People 11 Favorites

© Brooklyn Tweed | Jared Flood

As the weather finally cools down here in Portland, we are starting to think about gearing up for fall – which of course means sweater season. While we have great things to share with you once the fall collections launch, we keep returning to Wool People 11, Brooklyn Tweed’s showcase for independent designers using Brooklyn Tweed yarns.


© Brooklyn Tweed | Jared Flood

Without a doubt our favorite pattern from this collection is the Boundary Pullover from Olga Buraya-Kefelian. Knit in Arbor, Olga takes advantage of the smoothness of the yarn to build a pullover with crisp, clean lines and excellent wearability. The rib details at the side seams and shoulders have a bold, graphic quality against the reverse stockinette fabric and ensure a flattering fit. While reverse stockinette might not be everyone’s first choice when it comes to knitting time, the sweater is worked flat so it’s not just hours of purling!

© Brooklyn Tweed | Jared Flood

We also loved Level, a striking shawl from designer Nancy Whitman. Featuring vivid color blocks formed by a combination of short rows and intarsia, Level is great project for an intermediate knitter looking to expand their skillset or to practice one or both of these useful techniques. Designed for Loft, this would also be beautiful in the Fibre Company’s Arranmore Light or Sunday Knits Nirvana, depending on your color preference. Be sure to check your gauge before starting, though!


© Brooklyn Tweed | Jared Flood

Another of our top picks is Harlowe, designed by Melissa Wehrle. Also knit in Arbor, Harlowe gives a more casual effect, with a high-low hem and understated overall stitch pattern. Knit in the round after completing the vented hem, slim sleeves and clean finishing on the deep V-neck keep this pullover looking sharp – making it a good layering piece for wearing around the house or for a weekend on the town.

© Brooklyn Tweed | Jared Flood

Last but not least, we also are also thinking about casting on Leadlight, a geometric lace stole designed by Amy van de Laar. Worked from the center out to ensure perfect symmetry, Leadlight echoes the effect of leading in stained glass windows, while also suggesting the organic branching of trees in winter. The clever construction ensures that Leadlight is manageable to knit, even for the casual lace knitter – though you should be comfortable knitting lace both flat and in the round, as well as reading charts before starting this pattern. Designed for Vale, we think Leadlight would be exquisite in Shibui Knits Pebble, which would give more of a Steve Rousseau effect.

What are your favorites from Wool People 11? Anything on your needles from this collection?



August 21, 2017 by Guest Blogger

Summer Knits

© Knit Purl

We’ve been experiencing the hottest week of the year so far here in Portland. The entire city is abuzz about it, but that certainly doesn’t mean we’re putting our needles down. We are knitting right on through the heat, and we’re doing it in style. I cannot deny my love of wool, but summer knitting is all about cotton, silk and linen—fibers that breathe, and feel cool to the touch.


© Carrie Bostick Hoge - Penny Tank

I couldn’t possibly discuss summer knits without mentioning my absolute favorite Shibui yarn. Anyone with access to my wardrobe will know that I’m a sucker for yarns of the Tweed variety. Shibui’s stylish Twig mimics the speckled appearance of a tweed without that warm, fuzzy, rustic feel of a traditional tweed. Made up of 46% Linen, 42% Silk, and just a tiny 12% touch of wool, it feels great both to knit and wear on a warm summer day. It’s classified as a sport weight, but I have definitely worked it into a fingering weight pattern or two. This summer I knit Carrie Bostick Hoge’s Penny Tank, in the Brick colorway on a US size 4 needle, for a dense, yet breathable fabric that softens brilliantly with each wear. If you prefer a more open gauge, Shibui’s Slope is an elegant summer basic that can be dressed up or down.


© Oliver James Brooks - Kiyomi Burgin's Heya Tank

There are two new yarns in the shop from DanDoh this summer. Their Silk + yarn is a shining star. Another tweedy yarn in a 76% silk, 24% cotton blend with a subtle silky shine that peeks out in the sunlight. I have been having a summer romance with Silk + since the moment it arrived in the shop. Like a schoolgirl crush, I couldn’t stop thinking about it until I had it on the needles. I customized Kiyomi Burgin’s new Heya tank by adding a one-inch hem to the bottom edge, and a garter stitch selvedge edge for simpler seaming. The simple stockinette is a great canvas for displaying the depth of color and texture in the yarn, and also makes for great mindless knitting.


© Cocoknits - Paulina

I haven’t knit with DanDoh’s Cotton Fine yet, but I’ve been dreaming about it knit in Julie Weisenberger’s Paulina crop top—a lovely piece to wear over a summer dress. You can also mix and match colors with the yarn held double in a piece like Olgajazzy’s Oshima pullover. My next venture with DanDoh just might be to knit Yumiko Alexander’s River Ripples poncho or Forest weave pullover—two elegant pieces inspired by nature.


© Shibui Knits - Eames

Shibui Knit’s Rain is our go-to 100% cotton yarn. With bright sheen and sophisticated chainette ply, even the simplest of stockinette stitch yields an elegant, high-end fabric, as is evident in Shellie Anderson’s Eames, a modern short-sleeve cardigan from Shibui Knits’ Spring/Summer 2017 collection. A Long-sleeve version is included in the pattern too, if you’d like to wear it into Fall—which always seems to be just around the corner. Cotton wears well, whisks away moisture, and can even be machine washed. Start with a gentle cycle! I always recommend washing a large swatch first to figure out the perfect settings for your garments.


© Shibui Knits - Athens

If you still haven’t ventured to try Shibui Knits’ new Reed yet, it’s definitely worth it—a refined improvement on their discontinued Linen. Knit by itself, it yields a supremely elegant drape as seen in Shellie Anderson’s Athens Tank. Pair it with Shibui Knits’ new Lunar for extra depth, sheen, and super soft feel. No one at Knit Purl could resist Shellie’s Siena cardigan. We’re all knitting one!

Did you know you can search for yarns on our website by fiber? Just click “Yarns,” then “By Fiber,” and explore all of our cotton, linen and silk blends. Don’t let the heat keep your knitting down! There is still plenty of time to fit in a few more summer pieces.

What are your favorite yarns and patterns to knit in the summer?



Father's Day Gift Guide

© Churchmouse Yarns & Teas

Last month we gave love to mom, and now it’s time to shine a light on the dads in our life! We’ve got more great gift and project ideas for father’s day below.

© Churchmouse Yarns & Teas

Hats have always been my go-to gift idea, especially for men. They’re quick to knit, and I much prefer knitting in the round to knitting flat. We’ve got some simple, yet classic hats from Churchmouse in the shop—including their new Thinking Cap pattern, knit up in my all-time favorite Shibui Knits’ yarn, Pebble. (Cima would also be a great choice). Note: it is knit on a US size 0 needle. If that doesn’t appeal to you, consider the Ribbed Watch Cap and Beanie or Pressed Rib Cap and Muffler patterns knit up in fingering and worsted weights, respectively. Try Brooklyn Tweed’s Loft or Shelter for rustic, all-american texture, or lavish him in luxury with Woolfolk’s Tynd, Sno or Far. Consider knitting matching strands of Tynd and Sno together (both fingering weights) for a gorgeous speckle fabric at a light-worsted gauge.

© Churchmouse Yarns & Teas

Churchmouse also has easy-to-knit sock patterns such as Simple Toe-Up sock and Basic Sock. If you’re new to sock knitting, both of these patterns include clear visual diagrams to accompany already well-written instructions. We recently replenished our stock of Sunday Knits, so you can mix and match any color of Eden, Angelic, and Nirvana for the perfect pair of weekend socks for dad to cozy up in.


© Knit Purl

Did you know our wooden pom-pom tools aren’t just for knitting pom poms? Get the kids involved with Father’s day by helping them make mini weavings, friendship bracelets, tassles, key chains… there are infinite tiny gift possibilities with this fun gadget. Find some inspiration over at the Loome’s video tutorials or their meticulously curated Pinterest page. (When the kiddos are done, sneak it back into your stash for some well-deserved selfish knitting!) I love Shepherd’s Wool for kids’ crafts. Available in a wide range of colors, the reasonable price makes it easy to mix and match a variety of hues.

© Knit Purl

Our Okubo Wooly Rollers may be designed for knit supplies, but would also make a sophisticated pencil and tool case to pop into a laptop or messenger bag for work and creativity on the go. I’d grab one in charcoal/charcoal color combination for my dad.
Most of the father’s I know would agree that the icing on top of a well-thought Father’s Day gift is time spent together with family. Contrary to popular belief, the art of knitting is not restricted to women. We enjoy welcoming many male knitters to the shop all the time here at Knit Purl. If you’re local to Portland and your dad has an interest in knitting, consider joining us at one of our upcoming Fundamentals of Knitting: Absolute Beginner classes.
I wish a very happy Father’s day to you and your partner or father. What do you plan to knit for Father’s Day?



June 12, 2017 by Charli Barnes

Knitting from the North | Book Review

© Knit Purl

Knitting from the North by Hilary Grant is a beautiful collection of modern patterns that were inspired by traditional nordic and fair isle knitting, as well as the landscape these traditions (and the designer) originate from. Featuring 30 patterns that are bold, graphic and fun, this collection is a modern take on traditional stranded colorwork. The patterns are mostly chilly weather accessories, with a few sweaters. The accessories range from hats, headbands, scarves, cowls, mitts, mittens, cuffs, to mock turtlenecks. All of the patterns are knit in fingering weight yarn.

© Caro Weiss

I love the bold, geometric and graphic quality of the colorwork motifs combined with a palette that includes high contrast, ombres and bright pops of color. These knits are cozy and cheerful, sure to get you through the tail end of winter. This book would also be a great introduction to knitting with color.

© Hilary Grant/Kyle Books

The Arrow Circle Scarf is a wide, long cowl that is knit flat and grafted. I think it looks amazing in black in white. It would be lovely knit in Brooklyn Tweed Loft or Woolfolk Tynd. It would also be interesting to reimagine the pattern as a cowl that is half the length but knit as a tube in the round so the floats are hidden, adding an extra layer of warmth.


© Caro Weiss

The Beacon Pom hat is a simple slouchy, ribbed hat with a pom pom. Grant’s choice of color makes it a standout. It would be fun knit up in one of the brighter Ambrosia MCN colors, like Verdigris or Pink Flambe.

© Caro Weiss

I also think the Barley Twist headband is really cute and would look great in Isager Alpaca 2.

If you are interested in colorwork we highly recommend Knitting from the North. Grab your copy here.



March 20, 2017 by Kira Sassano

Shibui Knits Maai

© Knit Purl

My knitting journal is filling up with the prettiest swatches in all different colors. This week I added Shibui Knits Maai to my journal and I’m enamored. It was the first time I’ve knit with a chained link yarn and the result was not what I expected. I’ve seen chained link yarns before, but I always stayed clear of them thinking that I would be disappointed knitting with them. Silly me. Once again I’ve been happily proven wrong.

Maai was a delight to knit with. The blend of superbaby alpaca and fine Merino wool is lofty and soft in the skein. In fabric form, the yarn has an added spring that makes the fabric bouncy and light. The snapback, bounce that the fabric has, makes this yarn great for sweaters, cardigans, and accessories. What I really want to knit out of Maai is a robe and a pair of socks. Those probably aren’t the best uses for Maai, but it’s so soft that I can’t help but want to wrap myself in it from head to toe.

Here are a few practical knitting ideas for Maai:

© Shibui Knits

FW15 | Motif - A simple wrap with a bit of texture. My mom has been eyeing this pattern for a while now so I decided to make a kit for her. I paired it with Maai in Blueprint.

© Eric Mueller

Minne Mitts - I love fingerless gloves. I used to sew fingerless gloves with a friend of mine out of recycled cashmere sweaters. I finally knit my first pair this year which turned me into a fingerless glove knitting machine. Now whenever I see a pair of fingerless gloves that I love, I want to drop everything and start knitting. Minne Mitts are one of those pairs of gloves that have me dropping everything. They are small, cute, simple, and just waiting to be worn. Minne Mitts would look chic in Bordeaux.

© Julie Hoover

Cline Pullover - A dolman sweater with an oversize silhouette and three-quarter sleeves. This would be bouncy and airy knit in Maai. Have fun and knit Cline in a bright bold color like Poppy, or keep it classic and chic with Ivory.

© chickpeastudio

Erie Hat: A simple 1x1 ribbed, slouchy beanie. Perfect for a last minute gift and did I mention that the pattern is free?

December 23, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

Knitted Cable Sourcebook

© Abrams Books

Last week I hopped in the car with some friends and we made our way down to Bend for a wedding. I decided early on to call "not it" when it came to doing any of the driving. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel like driving, it was that I really wanted to get some light reading done. I purchased the Knitted Cable Sourcebook by Norah Gaughan last month and this three–hour drive was going to be the perfect time to dive right into it.

© Jared Flood / Norah Gaughan

I refer to Norah as the Queen of Cables. Every time I see one of her designs my brain explodes out of utter awe. How does she do it? Well, lucky for us she created a sourcebook to teach us her ways. Upon opening the Knitted Cable Sourcebook the beautiful, crisp photos caught my eyes. Not only was I excited about reading the book prior to opening it, but the pages were filled with beautiful photos that highlight the cables in all their glory. I spent most of the car ride flipping through the pages admiring all the photos. After spending most of my time staring at photos I went back to the introduction and started to read. One section, in particular, stood out to me.

"This book is meant to be both a resource for existing cable patterns and a jumping-off point for making new cable discoveries. Honestly, after 40-plus years of working with them, I feel as if I have barely begun to uncover their potential."

I’m going to share a little something with all of you that I’m a little embarrassed about. Until I read those lines from Norah, I had no idea that one could create their own cables. I thought that there was a set amount of cables and they had all been created already. That from these set cables that one could mix and match what to add to their pattern. To know that the world of cables still has doors to be unlocked makes me giddy inside. It also makes me admire Norah even more. This whole time I thought she was a genius who knew how to expertly mix and match existing cables. I didn’t realize that she was also creating her own cables. This just further solidifies calling her the Queen of Cables.

© Jared Flood / Norah Gaughan

The Knitted Cable Sourcebook has so much information. It’s definitely a must–have for someone looking to expand their knitting knowledge. The six chapters are a progression of cables, starting with the basics and ending with drawing — with textures and openwork. Each chapter has pictures of swatches and the directions on how to knit the cables. There are also enticing garment and accessory patterns scattered throughout the book with instructions on how to substitute the cables for others. I didn’t get very far in the book since I spent most of the time flipping through each page to see what I had to look forward to, but what I saw left me excited and ready to learn all that Norah has to share.  

I’m currently about to start on Chapter 2, which is where the swatches begin. My plan is to slowly and thoroughly enjoy this book, by reading every sentence and knitting every stitch.


My favorite pattern from the book:

© Jared Flood / Norah Gaughan

Sourcebook Chunky Cardigan - A chunky knit grandpa cardigan with a bulky vine–like cable pattern crawling up.

November 11, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

North Light Fibers Atlantic Yarn

© Knit Purl

North Light Fibers Atlantic is a 3-ply worsted-weight yarn made out of Falkland Islands Superfine Merino Wool. Atlantic comes in an variety of solid colors, with sea-inspired names like Bull Kelp, and Teal Inlet. The yarn surely has an interesting story to tell, journeying from island to island as it is transformed from fleece to yarn. 

North Light Fibers, who we featured on the blog last year, is located on picturesque Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island. The micro mill focuses on manufacturing minimally processed yarns. The wool for Atlantic originates from The Falkland Islands, a place quite famous for wool. 

Atlantic is soft, yet also feels quite sturdy. It doesn't feel as susceptible to pilling like a typical superfine Merino. Atlantic is a yarn that will wear well in both accessories and garments, for pieces that will hold up to the wear and tear of everyday life. It seems perfectly suited to creating fluid expanses of stockinette stitch, as well as for something with a little more texture. 

The colors are pretty. Atlantic is offered in neutrals along with some jewel tones to brighten up the palette. The colors probably mirror what is seen on a regular basis on Block Island. Teal Inlet is probably my favorite of the bunch. It's the perfect teal that strikes a nice balance between blue and green. I am also fond of Sea Lion. A gray with slightly brown undertones, a great neutral. 

Pattern suggestions:

Our Roku hat kit comes with one skein of the Atlantic in Teal Inlet. Knit in a 1x1 rib, the Roku Hat is a great match for the Atlantic yarn. The stitches are well-defined, and the yarn has a nice drape, making a good slouchy hat fabric.

Here are some other pattern ideas for the North Light Fibers Atlantic Yarn:

© Brooklyn Tweed

The Romney Kerchief by Brooklyn Tweed is a cute little kerchief pattern that would show off Atlantic's stitch definition and drape. 


© Carrie Bostick Hoge

The Shore Cardigan, designed by Carrie Bostick Hoge, would be a great garment for this yarn. It would result in a warm and soft cardigan that would be an excellent addition to any wardrobe. Scots Thistle, a pretty purple, would be a wonderful color for it. 


November 07, 2016 by Oleya Pearsall

First & Favorite Cardigan Patterns

© Laura Oriana Konstin

I hope all our Portland dwellers enjoyed the last few days of our extended summer. It’s the first time since I moved here, that I can finally say I’m ready for the rain and the cooler temperatures. It’s taken me quite a bit of time to acclimate to the Portland weather. I spent part of last year and most of my summer preparing my winter closet. I wish I had a good excuse on why it’s taken me so long to figure out how to not freeze my booty off when winter comes around. Sadly, I don’t.

Part of my preparation took place this summer. Instead of knitting garments to keep me cool, I decided to finish up some WIPs and work on my winter gear. Lucky for me, many of my WIPs happened to be fall/winter items. One project I worked on this summer that was not a WIP, was a test knit for the Gambier Jacket. The Gambier is a bulky knit cardigan with a cozy collar and colorwork in a diamond pattern. It is by far my favorite cardigan in my closet and fingers crossed it lasts a lifetime.

The Gambier is the first cardigan I’ve knit and I was a little worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as knitting a sweater in the round, but I was so wrong. The part I feared the most, was picking up all the stitches for the collar, and it ended up being my favorite part. After knitting my first cardigan I now have a list of patterns that are on my must knit list.

Here are some of my favorites:

© Amirisu

Flaum: Flaum was going to be my first cardigan, but the Gambier sneakily snuck in. Flaum is a cropped cardigan in a ribbing pattern. It has two roomy pockets, but what I find the most intriguing is the shape. It is slightly lower in the back than the front. It also has an interesting drape that reminds me of a flower at the beginning stages of blooming.


© Sachiko Burgin

Fredericton: Fredericton is a unisex cardigan knit with two strands of sport weight yarn held together to create a marled effect. This cardigan is polished and rustic all in one. There is also the option to knit this in aran weight if you don’t want to work with two strands of yarn at the same time. I might get a little crazy and add elbow patches to this cardigan.


© Joji Locatelli

Madewell: I had a sweater once that was the perfect shade of navy and it had suede cognac color elbow patches. The sweater somehow made its way into the washer and was ruined. I then came across the Madewell cardigan and couldn’t believe my eyes. It is exactly like the sweater I used to have. Madewell is a simple cardigan with optional elbow patches. My option will be to make them. If I can figure out how to sew suede elbow patches on, even better!

September 30, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

Choosing a Project: Yarn Vs. Pattern

© Knit Purl


One of the many things I love about knitting is the fact that there are so many ways to go about it. I can find an irresistible yarn, and then start dreaming about all the things I can possibly make. Or maybe I’ll fall in love with a sweater on Ravelry, and then spend weeks finding the perfect yarn to match. How I start a project really depends on my mood. How I chose the two projects I am working on now is a perfect example of my process (or lack thereof!).

© Tin Can Knits

One of the projects I am working on right now is a baby sweater called Playdate. For this project, the yarn called to me first. I kept eyeing the Scarlet color of Madelinetosh Tosh Sock every time I passed by it in the store. Even though I usually work with non-superwash yarn these days, the bright red color really attracted me. After a while, I couldn’t deny it any longer. I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but I would figure it out. 

I purchased the yarn, and spent some time considering what I could make with it. I decided that wanted a baby sweater, and the sweater had to use up just that one skein. I sifted through my Ravelry favorites, and looked at all the projects that would be a good match. I found Playdate, and it just so happened that we had a copy of the Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe book in the store. The gauge worked out well, and it was a perfect match!



© Shibui Knits

The other project I am working on is the Multigrain Scarf from Shibui Knits. With this project, the pattern called to me first. I loved the fact that it was a simple stitch pattern made engaging with gently shifting types of yarn. It helped that we have a lovely sample of it in the store. When I worked on the sales floor, I wore the sample so often that I thought it might be a good idea to make one. Then I got to work picking out the yarn. I used Silk Cloud, Cima, and Pebble as directed, but I chose different colors of yarn (Fjord, Graphite, and Abyss) for more of a gradient effect. I'm really pleased with how it's turning out so far!

So for me, there's no right or wrong way to pick out a project. It really does depend on the situation at hand! Both methods have resulted in some really satisfying projects. How do you choose a project?



August 29, 2016 by Oleya Pearsall

Shibui Knits: Staccato

© Knit Purl

Shibui Knits never ceases to amaze me. They produce some of my favorite yarns that always keep me coming back for more. Staccato happens to be next in line for me to try out. I’ve been hoarding about 20 skeins of it in my yarn stash and finally plan to do a few swatches with it. Staccato is an alluring blend of merino and silk fibers, that is smooth and soft to the touch. It has an elegant sheen that causes the vibrant colors to truly pop.

© Knitbot

I have a couple of ideas about what I would like to make with the Staccato I currently have stored away. I have an in-your-face, firey orange/red that I really want to squeeze a dress out of. I need to do a swatch and see what my options are. I also have a rusty copper that I was going to make a loose tee out of, but now I have new plans for a cropped cardigan. I purchased Home & Away recently, and I have been eyeing the Hancock cardigan ever since. The Hancock (shown above) does happen to take up much more yarn than I have, so I will need to do a little math to see if I can make it work.

Here are a few end of summer knitting projects on my list:

© Juju Vail

Michelada: A little summer pullover full of texture, that will transition effortlessly into fall.


© Knitscene / Harper Point Photography

Hanshi Wrap Kit: A simple wrap in ivory with short rows that mimic beautiful brush strokes in black.

© Knit Purl

 Tembetari Cowl Kit: Someone please teach me how to crochet so I can make pretty cowls like the Tembetari. I want to wrap myself in a pretty honeycomb pattern.

August 26, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin