I really think a knitterly post needs to follow yesterday's rather melancholy one. I will say I've had a few signs from the universe at large to press on and just take it slow. Anyway, let's talk about Brooklyn Tweed and Jared Flood's yarns and designers. I hung back from trying these for quite a while. First of all, I have Imperial Stock Ranch very close to me and I feel a definite loyalty to Jeannie Carver and her Columbia sheep. I'd also heard that the BT yarns were spun fairly loosely and people were experiencing a lot of breakage. But...those patterns! Those designers! I just couldn't buy the patterns without using that yarn. The yarn is so unique and the garments really do look special with the yarn. Last year I was gifted the pattern Levenwick. I decided after seeing the yarns and finished garment at Madrona that I really wanted to use the yarn called for. I have to say I didn't enjoy the knitting experience. Not that I had any breakage issues, but the yarn felt rough as I knit. The finished sweater? I love it! I wore last Spring and again this fall. It is a perfect little jacket and I don't think it would hold up the same with a softer yarn. This fall I again fell in love with a BT pattern--Fuse. I ordered the yarn and I am knitting away. I didn't even think about it at first, but I am having a great time knitting with this yarn. Why? Larger needles. This is a softer, drapey cardigan meant to have 3-4" of ease. While the Levenwick is a structured garment here I am looking forward to a comfy, around the house (and on the road) sweater. But with this firm wool it probably won't stretch out and the open lace pattern will show very nicely.
I have two other sweaters in the queue using the Loft yarn as well. Both Anais and Boardwalk are a firmer knit fabric so I may find that it is not as enjoyable. Anais does use a size 4 so I may enjoy that one a bit more. And let's not forget Wellwood. I love that sweater! I'll be starting there and I do already have the yarn ready to go for whichever one of these catches me first. I had hoped to have three sweaters finished by my trip to Italy, but what are ya gonna do...only so many hours in a day and so many other people to knit for.
Let's talk about the BT stable of designers for a moment. I love what is coming from this very talented group of people! I find the garments both stylish and classic at the same time. I would love to know if they are inspired by the yarns (classic at it's core) or a set of design parameters. Whatever is the driving force I am thoroughly enjoying the knitting experience.
One last comment on the color pallet used by Jared Flood. I love the muted colors. When I want multi and deep saturated colors I will always go for my favorites at Blue Moon Fiber Arts (and she has all the many fiber choices I love!), but Flood uses a great mixing of dyed fibers to be spun up creating a muted tweedy affect that I find unique and lovely. I could go back and forth between these two companies to create my entire wardrobe without looking further for years!