Brooklyn Tweed Fall 17 Favorites

© Brooklyn Tweed

As soon as we saw the Brooklyn Tweed Fall 17 collection we knew right away which ones were our favorites, Wallace, Sommers, and Equus, all designed by one of our favorites Julie Hoover. Her designs are so polished and interesting to knit that you’ll want to make these in every colorway.

© Brooklyn Tweed

1. Wallace

Wallace is the perfect chunky wrap for this season. I can’t wait to knit this up and wear it early autumn mornings while drinking my coffee on my patio or late at night while making smores next to the campfire. I love the bold patterns of seed stitch and stockinette printed with slanting seeded blocks. Since it is knit up in 6 skeins of Quarry it will fly off the needles quickly. Now time to pick a color I am thinking Hematite or Sandstone.

© Brooklyn Tweed

2. Sommers

This hat is gorgeous! I love that there are so many color options for this hat. This is perfect for anyone that is looking to practice their colorwork and a great stash busting project. I am thinking of using Sunday Knits in Angelic Black, Nirvana Charcoal, Eden Dove, Angelic Bone, and Nirvana Apple. I can’t wait to knit this up and wear it apple picking this fall!

© Brooklyn Tweed

3. Equus

This sweater has gorgeous embellished central panels with fine cables to keep your interest while knitting. It a relaxed A-line fit that you can easily wear with a pair of dark-washed jeans and ankle boots. I am thinking of knitting Equus in Brooklyn Tweed’s Arbor in one of the following colorways: Porter, Black Fig, or Klimt. I will probably wait to make this until after I am done with Wallace and Sommers (yes I am one of those people that can only have one project going on at a time).



What are your favorites from Brooklyn Tweed’s Fall 17?

 

 

October 02, 2017 by Lacey Link

Our Favorites from Woolfolk FW17 Collection

© Woolfolk

Earlier this month Woolfolk rang in (arguably) the greatest season for knitting with a warm new color palette, introducing three new colors: numbers 18, 19 and 20. There is something absolutely savory about these figgy fall colors. The new pigments bring a sophisticated warmth to the Woolfolk FW17 collection that stands out among Woolfolk’s usual understated gray-white palette of collections past. The cashmere-soft 100% merino wools that make up fingering-weight Tynd and worsted weight Far lend themselves lovingly to the architectural brioche stitch that is so prominently featured throughout the collection.

© Woolfolk 

Knit Purl helped kick off the FW17 Woolfolk launch with its accompanying trunk show in our shop throughout September. After trying out each piece the Vejkryds Cardigan (designed by the Woolfolk team) was absolutely the most wearable, staple sweater of the collection and my number one pick out of the sweater category. Vejkryds translates from the Danish word intersect, and this cardigan stands confidently at the intersection of modern style and cozy comfort. You can snuggle up with coffee and a journal in the morning, then hunker down in the office to get work done wearing the same versatile piece. My favorite design element is the subtle shawl collar that sits comfortably at the neck and chest and won’t splay open excessively at the bust.

 

© Woolfolk

The collection has no shortage of unique accessories. Melanie Berg, known for her asymmetrical triangular shawls, surprised us with Gard, a modern rectangular shawl in a gorgeous dark plum color (#20). It is knit length-wise with a twisted rib and garter ridge pattern for a simple yet subtle geometric design. Drape it around the shoulders over a contrasting dress or blouse like the pollen-colored dress for a refined date night look or gather it around the neck for an extra warm winter scarf. Knit with five skeins of fingering weight Tynd it will yield a luscious, light-weight fabric with excellent drapey feel, keeping you warm without any excessive bulk!

 

© Woolfolk

The piece that caught my eye most as I pop in and out of the shop each day was the Omvej cowl by Olga Buraya-Kefelian. Its inviting brioche curves can draw my eye from across a room. If you’re feeling intimidated by brioche, Omvej is a great project to elevate your skills. Practice the basics on your swatch, then graduate to increases and decreases in the pattern and your stitches will be flowing in no time. Did you know that each printed Woolfolk pattern now includes a small woven clothing tag that you can delicately sew into your finished piece? With that sophisticated touch, your friends will want to know where you bought it. Be prepared—when they hear it’s hand-knit, they’ll beg you to make them one! That’s precisely why we’re thinking Omvej will make a luxurious holiday gift for someone special — and under $75 at that!

 

© Woolfolk

 

 

Give yourself a moment to take in the full Woolfolk FW 17 collection and share with us which pieces you can’t wait to knit.

 

 

September 25, 2017 by Charli Barnes

Luft Collection Love

© Woolfolk

The latest pattern collection from Woolfolk all circles around their brand new yarn, Luft, and I must confess, I’ve never been more inspired to knit a bulky weight sweater in my knitting life. And what’s more fun than picking favorites and dreaming up new projects?!  These are my top picks from the new Woolfolk Luft Collection.

 

1.  MARMOR - by Regina Moessmer

© Woolfolk

This cardigan, to me, is the best combination of comfy and chic.  The structured shape and slip stitch details allow it to easily fit into a more professional wardrobe, but the ever-humble garter stitch lends this sweater to be perfectly paired with jeans and flats as well.

 

2.  SØLV - by Cecelia Campochiaro

© Woolfolk

From the brilliant mind that brought us the texture-game changing book Sequence Knitting, Cecelia Campochairo wins again with SOLV.  Knit on the bias, this wonderfully oversized wrap pattern is easy to memorize and completely reversible.  I’m dreaming of one in the black colorway for extra sassiness. Fair warning though, this is definitely a piece that runs a high risk of being “accidentally gifted”. *  Thank goodness this is one wrap you won’t mind knitting twice.

 

*An accidental gift happens when a friend or loved one asks to borrow a handknit “just for the evening!” and then they love it so much and look so happy wearing it that you end up letting them keep it.  You definitely didn’t knit it for them, but it’s theirs now, you gracious soul.

 

3.  KOBOLT - by Sarah Solomon

© Woolfolk

This is the sweater that whenever I see it, I wish I were already wearing it.  I love the oversized fit and mock-turtleneck!  Having played around with Luft, and experienced its softness in person, I daydream about how cozy it is to wear!  And I realize that I may be in the minority here, but I LOVE that it’s seamed.  It’s nice to have a “I want to live in this” sweater with a bit more structure so that you CAN actually LIVE in it and still look like you’re as fresh as a daisy.

 

What are your favorites from the new collection, and more importantly which color are you going to choose?

 

 

June 19, 2017 by Em Hanna

mYak Story

@mYak

The changing seasons always have me thinking of exploration to distant lands, ideally with exotic fibers. One can’t always get out of town at the drop of a hat, though, and sometimes have to be content with a bit of armchair traveling – and few places on earth draw the imagination powerfully as the Tibetan highlands. Since Alexandra David-Néel’s journey to Lhasa in the 1920s, the first western female to visit the city, Tibet has been a magnet for adventurous females, and the story of mYak yarns epitomizes this sort of intrepidity.

 

@mYak

Co-founded by Paola Vanzo and Andrea Dominici, mYak demonstrates the best of a hybrid heritage – spinning together the natural fibers sourced from the nomadic herders of the Tibetan highlands with the founders’ native Italian attention to artistry. These two have spent years traveling in Tibet and working directly with herders, much in the same way the June Cashmere team does, with a deliberate focus on training and sustainability. This personal involvement in fiber sourcing and processing ensures that mYak yarns are ethically produced, eco-conscious, and fully traceable from the grasslands of Tibet to your project bag.

 

@mYak

mYak yarns, available in both worsted and lace weight, are made of 100% baby yak down. Due to the extreme cold temperatures of the Tibetan plateau, this down is exceptionally fine and warm – and exquisitely soft. The down is combed from the bellies of yak calves in the spring, before it is naturally shed for the summer, which means that the animals are not harmed in the process of collecting the fiber. This does mean that the supply of the yak down is limited, both because the number of suitable yaks in a herd is small, and because the process for collecting it labor-intensive. The down is sorted from the guard hairs in Tibet, then shipped to the town of Biella in northern Italy for processing and spinning.

 

@mYak

To enhance the sustainability and strength of their yarns, mYak chooses not to bleach the natural color from the fiber. Yaks are generally darker in color, and the down ranges from pale grey to nearly black. Dyeing the fiber unbleached gives depth to the colors of the yarn, as well as a rich heathered quality.

 

Where will your fiber travels take you this summer?

 

 

--Meaghan

 

 

May 29, 2017 by Guest Blogger

Shibui Knits Lunar | Yarn Review

© Knit Purl

Lunar - adj; of or relating to the moon.

It's no coincidence in my mind that Shibui chose to name the newest line in their collection "Lunar".  Just as one can easily spot the moon in the night sky, this lace weight gem also commands the eye's attention.  

© Knit Purl

My fingers have been itching to play with the latest from Shibui Knits since I first heard a whisper about it a few months ago.  So when the opportunity arose to cast on, my mind immediately went to the pullover pattern, Milan.  And so, without hesitation, (except for which of the 12 colors to choose!) I grabbed my needles and began to swatch.

Instantly I knew Lunar would become a favorite.  I'm absolutely enamored with the way this glides on the needles, and OH the fabric, made with 60% of the softest Merino wool and 40% silk, it drapes so gracefully with what I consider to be the perfect amount of sheen.  Let it be known that I am a BIG fan of yarns that you can dress up or dress down. 

© Knit Purl

Working with yarn that is versatile is a must for me, so imagine my delight when about half way through my Milan, which I would consider to be a more delicate piece, I remembered that Shibui yarns are designed to not only be beautiful on their own, but to be beautiful held together also! 

BEHOLD! The Siena cardigan.  

© Shibui Knits

Siena drew me right in, and looking at the specs, I quickly realized why... it's made of Reed, a 100% chain plied linen, held together with my new love, Lunar!  The fabric that these two yarns creates is absolutely swoon-worthy.  Knit on a size 10 needle, the cardigan enrobes you in a fabric that feels like a cool drink of water on a hot day.

© Shibui Knits

With a nod to the genius of designer Shellie Anderson, I had to cast on immediately.  This is the cardigan that my summer dreams are made of.  I love that Lunar adds a sheen to the sturdier Reed, making it perfect for throwing on before heading out to have all sorts of summer adventures.

As I discover more and more of the magical properties of Lunar, I am excited to finish my two sweaters, but also to try a few other projects as well!  I had a sneaking suspicion that it would also be well suited for open lacework and my suspicions were confirmed when last Wednesday at our Knit Night, one of the gals pulled out her Lunar Starlight Wrap that she was knitting in the Imperial colorway, and needless to say, jaws hit the floor, it is working up stunningly!

The possibilities of Lunar seem endless!  Have you given it a try yet? What are you making?

May 08, 2017 by Em Hanna

Woolfolk Luft | Yarn Review

© Knit Purl

You always wonder about these high-quality yarns – how durable are they? How long are they actually going to last? The first sight of a sample skein of Luft from Woolfolk immediately piqued our interest. Luft is Woolfolk’s signature Ovis XXI Ultimate Merino Wool, unspun and blown into an organic cotton “cage” – and the result is a lofty bulky weight yarn begging to be knit into three-season sweaters. The cotton cage gives the yarn a subtle glow, especially when paired with one of the darker colors. If you’re going to make sweaters to wear nine months out the year, though, you have to pay attention to the durability of the yarn – it has to be able to stand up to wear. As a service to our readers (and out of curiosity!) we put Luft through its paces with a simple stress test.


While nothing takes the place of years of everyday wear, we gave Luft some pretty harsh treatment. The cotton cage was up to the pressure, the threads remaining intact and unwarped. The merino stayed inside the cotton cage, and did not shed, even going through the dryer – though, as discussed below, the wool does felt.


© Knit Purl

 

For our stress test we took our sample skein and knit five swatches on size 10 needles, right in the middle of the suggested needle range. Swatch number one is unblocked at 16 sts and 24 rows per 4 inches; as you can see, it has a bit of personality before being washed. When you touch the swatch, the cotton cage adds a bit unexpected crispness to the wool halo, and the edges roll slightly despite a small garter selvedge.


Swatch number two is hand washed using wool shampoo, soaking for fifteen minutes. We set it flat to dry, unpinned. Even during a damp Portland winter, it dried overnight, the stitches becoming more cohesive, and the edges lying flat. Gauge changed slightly, as one would expect, condensing vertically to 14 sts and 27 rows per 4 inches. The cotton cage takes more of a backseat in the blocked swatch, the resulting fabric having more of the familiar Woolfolk softness.


© Knit Purl

Swatch number three was machine washed on the gentle cycle with other woollens (to add a bit of friction) using wool shampoo, then dried flat unpinned. Smaller than both the unblocked and hand-washed swatches, swatch three shrank slightly to 17 sts and 26 rows per 4 inches, but otherwise does not feel significantly different from the hand-washed swatch.


Things get interesting with swatches four and five – both were machine washed along with an ordinary load of laundry (for friction) on the perm press setting using standard laundry detergent. Swatch four was dried flat and swatch five was thrown into the dryer with the rest of the laundry. Putting these swatches in with a regular load of laundry did result in some felting – swatch four felted slightly and also biased a bit, while its gauge shrank to 17 sts and 30 rows per 4 inches. The result is not unpleasant, but it does lose most of the initial feel of the yarn. In swatch five, the merino felted completely, while remaining encased in the cotton cage. The gauge shrank to 18 sts and 30 rows per 4 inches – and the resulting fabric is dense and smooth – and might actually make an interesting sweater on its own account.


What factors are important to you when trying out or testing a new yarn?

 

-Meaghan

April 24, 2017 by Guest Blogger

The Story of June Cashmere

© Jared Heveron

June Cashmere yarn appeals to the heart and head as well as the hands. The yarn, available in both a DK and a heavy laceweight, comes to Knit Purl from the mountains of the Kyrgyz republic in Central Asia via Belgium (for scouring), Scotland (for spinning), and Maine (for dyeing). If a transparent supply chain were all that made these yarns special, though, we wouldn't bother telling you the story – it's the human element (paired with the extraordinary quality of the yarn!) we want to highlight.

 

© Jared Heveron

Cashmere is a fiber born from adversity: the extraordinarily soft fiber we know and love comes from the insulating down of cashmere goats, allowing them to withstand the brutally cold winters in Mongolia and the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia in China which are the sources for most of the finest cashmere in the world. Exceptionally harsh and/or snowy winters in 1999–2002, 2010, and 2016 – known in Mongolian as dzud – have decimated the herds in Mongolia, though, and limited the cashmere supply. Suppliers have been forced to look to other countries to meet the demand for the fiber, including Kyrgyzstan, nestled among other former Soviet ’Stans on the western border of China. Most buyers, sent from Chinese mills, buy cashmere by the kilogram at a low price, putting no emphasis on the quality of the fiber they are buying, with the result that many Kyrgyz herders sheared their goats to increase the yield, thus mixing the cashmere down with the tougher guard hairs: this is where June Cashmere makes a difference.

 

© Jared Heveron

Starting in 2013, Sy Belohlavek – the founder of June Cashmere – became interested in bringing Kyrgyz cashmere to western knitters. Rather than trying to purchase cashmere at the lowest price per kilo, he and his buyers told the nomadic herders he would pay higher prices – for higher quality, pre-sorted fibers. At first, they focused on the proportion of down to guard hairs, but after three years of training, Sy and his team are able to focus on the quality of the cashmere down itself during their annual spring buying trip, paying the herders higher prices for softer fiber. This provides the shepherds with a much needed source of income in a country suffering from chronic underemployment, allowing them to pay debts and invest for their future.

 

© Jared Heveron

June Cashmere also engages in development work to support the welfare of the herders who produce the cashmere, installing heating in schools so children can pursue their education during the winter, as well as repairing water pipes so communities can have access to clean water. This is an essential business goal for the company, as Kanat Anarbaev, the Kyrgyz general manager, discusses in an interview on the June Cashmere blog. In addition to these infrastructure projects, the company also invests in community training, spending time and money to teach the herders not only how to sort fibers themselves, but how to train other shepherds to do so as well. The company is not interested in keeping these small, independent producers dependent on June Cashmere for income, but wants to see them – and Kyrgyz cashmere – become a real player in the global fiber community.

 

© Jared Heveron

What you really want to hear about, though, is the yarn. Both the DK and the laceweight yarns are plied, with five and three plies, respectively. Although both yarns bloom when washed, they do not have the tender halo of most cashmere yarns on the market, such as Cardiff Cashmere, making June Cashmere well-suited to gender-neutral patterns. Both yarns are a pleasure to knit with, having a dry, almost cottony hand, without much bounce, but with very good stitch definition; they are probably best knit at a tighter gauge, which will give the finished product greater resilience and elasticity. In working with the yarn, our tester had occasion to rip out and reknit, and the yarn softened up beautifully, but did not pill or become ragged. Be careful, though when combining colors: the samples we blocked did bleed, so at this stage in the development of these yarns you might want to focus on single-color projects. With this caveat in mind, though, we feel confident in saying that these yarns will only get better with time – and they are already pretty extraordinary!

 

© Jared Heveron

It’s important to think about where your yarn is coming from, as well as how it is produced. June Cashmere yarns are an interesting example of how it is possible for globalization to make a positive impact on the those living in emerging economies, while also bringing a very special pair of yarns to your needles. What's the story behind your favorite yarn?

 

-Meaghan

April 03, 2017 by Guest Blogger

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

Amirisu: Iceland Winter 2017 | Magazine Review

© Amirisu

I have long been fascinated with Iceland, from the music, to the terrain, to the culture, and gorgeous lopi sweaters. There is an article on pages 11-12 about the role of lineage and the history of knitting in Icelandic culture that I really enjoyed reading. I am glad to see that the editors of Amirisu feel inspired by Iceland too.

 

© Amirisu

My favorite pattern in this issue is Gullfoss by Rie. Gullfoss is a lovely cabled pullover that has an interesting construction. The combination of cables and lace creates a beautiful yoke that is first knit sideways, then folded in half, with stitches picked up to join in the round. Gullfoss is named after a waterfall in Iceland and the cables and lace are meant to emulate the flow of water. This pattern would be lovely knit up in Brooklyn Tweed’s Arbor or Luxe B DK.

 

© Amirisu

Another pattern that I like is Vidro by Melynda Barnardi. The pattern is a hat and cowl set knit in stranded colorwork. I love colorwork for accessories because the wrong side floats make a thicker and warmer fabric. The hat comes in two sizes and the cowl is long so you can wrap it around your neck twice. This pattern would be great in Woolfolk Tynd or Isager Alpaca 2.

 

 

March 06, 2017 by Kira Sassano
Tags: Review