New Favorites: from Brooklyn Tweed Men

New favorites from Brooklyn Tweed BT Men collection

Kay Gardiner may have said it best in her tweet yesterday: “Brooklyn Tweed Men has it all: facial hair, glasses, sincerity, abandoned warehouse AND FAB KNITWEAR.” In his intro to the lookbook, Jared Flood remembers being a new knitter, once upon a time, wishing for more good patterns. Of course, that’s not a problem exclusive to men (or people wanting to knit for men). Women clearly have far more patterns to choose from, but perhaps that just means more chaff to thresh through in search of the wheat.

Regardless, this collection is good news for all of us, being chock full of designs I would describe as more classic/androgynous than exclusively dudewear. The hats and scarves are all perfectly unisex. The striped turtleneck, Chesterfield, includes a girlfriend version. The exquisite shawl collar cardigan, Timberline, already has a counterpart in Michele Wang’s Exeter. And I suspect many women will be modifying some of the others for themselves, which is a nice change of pace from mod’ing women’s patterns to work for men, right?

My two very favorites are Jared Flood’s Fort (top left) and Julie Hoover’s Redford (middle left). But then, they resonate with me because they look so much like sketches in my own sketchbook! (Particularly those side panels on Redford.) Which is both freakish and not at all surprising, military wear and sweatshirts being mainstays of my wardrobe. Maybe everything I’ve said about the androgyny of the collection should be taken with a grain of salt, come to think of it. As I type this, I’m wearing camo pants and a heather-grey men’s cardigan (albeit with black ballet flats and a ponytail), so my notions of gendered clothing might not be the norm.

Anyway!, my favorites:

TOP LEFT: Fort by Jared Flood, beautiful texture plus elbow patches!
TOP RIGHT: Quay by Jared Flood, my new favorite scarf I don’t own yet
MIDDLE LEFT: Redford by Julie Hoover, with classic sweatshirt detailing
MIDDLE RIGHT: Brig by Veronik Avery, love that mitered ribbing
BOTTOM LEFT: Hayes by Julie Hoover, irresistible striped ribbing
BOTTOM RIGHT: Timberline by Jared Flood, would slide right into any Billy Reid collection


New Favorites: Frida, Frida, Frida

Frida lace shawl designed by Hiroku Fukatsu

Am I turning into a lace shawl person or something? I’ve long had profound respect for the design work that goes into a truly phenomenal shawl pattern, and equal respect for people who can knit them. (By which I mean people who have both the technical ability and the attention span!) But a lace shawl just isn’t something you’re likely to find me wearing.* Or at least, hasn’t been. But I am increasingly obsessed with this Frida shawl from the latest Brooklyn Tweed collection. It caught my eye while they were teasing the collection. I gazed at it forever when the lookbook came out. And I just keep going back to it! Every time I look at it, I love it more. Designed by Hiroko Fukatsu,** it’s a little bit Japanese, a little bit Mexican; it’s quite a bit of stockinette combined with a little bit of geometric lace; and that use of loop stitch is just utterly ingenious. I’ve gone beyond admiring it, and have had multiple conversations with myself about what color I want it in. Do you understand: I am picturing myself in this shawl! But that still leaves the little problem of its being a fingering-weight lace shawl. Who do I think is going to knit it for me?


*Not that there’s anything wrong with wearing a lace shawl, mind you — it’s just not characteristic of irredeemable minimalists like myself.

**Aka “Roko,” whose blog I’ve been subscribed to for ages, even though I can’t read a word of it. But her knitting is amazing, and anyone who names their blog after a Doris Day movie is good people in my book.

New Favorites: amazing colorwork from Brooklyn Tweed

brooklyn tweed winter 13 adara altair and kimmswick shot by jared

The latest BT collection, Winter 2013, came out this morning and it’s Brooklyn Tweed at its very best. There are eighteen designs presented in the most lavish BT lookbook yet — filled, of course, with Jared Flood’s beautiful photos. (The interlude of Hudson NY scenes is just gorgeous.) Eighteen is a lot of patterns and, while some of them are more to my personal taste than others, there’s not a clunker in the bunch. I’ll be mining this collection for weeks, but what tugged at me most on the first viewing is the colorwork at the front of the book, which isn’t ordinarily even my thing. But this is when I love Brooklyn Tweed the most — when they take classic styles and techniques and make them a little bit sharper, a little bit smarter, but without damaging the timelessness. Pieces worth the precious investment of your knitting time.

— The Adara Turtleneck by Michele Wang puts the colorwork around the waist.

— A little intarsia goes a long way on the Altair Cap by Jared Flood.

— Julie Hoover’s Kimmswick Scarf is miles beyond my skill set, but I would wear it in a heartbeat.

— And I adore both versions of Jared’s take on the lopapeysa, the Grettir Turtleneck and Crew (contained in one pattern).

grettir turtleneck and crew pattern and photos by jared flood

Knit the Look: Hanneli Mustaparta’s sweater, Kate Bogucharskaia’s wrap, and more

The web is riddled with street-style blogs at this point, but my favorite is Vanessa Jackman’s. Not only does she have a great eye, but she makes it a cross between useful and aspirational with her “recreate the look” posts. So I’m thrilled that she’s consented to let me use her photos for a new feature here on FA which I’m calling Knit the Look — putting a DIY spin on things. I’m kicking it off with pattern and yarn recommendations for a trio of looks, but expect one rec at a time in the future! I hope you love it —


knit the look kate bogucharskaia's black silk wrap

For a knitted version of Kate Bogucharskaia’s silky black shawl, you could knit Grace Anna Farrow’s Ferrous Wrap or Whitney Van Nes’ Whisper Wrap, using Anzula’s Mermaid silk-blend yarn in Black, (held double for the Ferrous Wrap). Or, for a heftier version of either, use Blue Sky Alpacas’ Alpaca Silk yarn in Night. See Vanessa’s recs for the rest of the ensemble.



knit the look hanneli mustaparta's wine sweater vanessa jackman

I think there’s actually some very subtle colorwork going on in Hanneli Mustaparta’s [2019: link no longer available] fuzzy wine-colored pullover. But you could get a similar depth of tone by knitting Julie Hoover’s Garance using Shibui Heichi silk tweed yarn in Graffiti held double with Shibui Silk Cloud mohair-silk yarn in Bordeaux. I might have to do this one. See Vanessa’s recs for the rest of the outfit.



knit the look giant ribbed scarf vanessa jackman

Child’s play: Using Malabrigo Chunky in Burgundy and 6.5mm (US10.5) needles, cast on 38 stitches.

Row 1: [knit 2, purl 2] across 36 stitches, knit 2
Row 2: [purl 2, knit 2] across 36 stitches, purl 2

Repeat these two rows until scarf measures 72 inches (or your desired length). Bind off in pattern and weave in ends.

Of course, you might need 5 or 6 skeins of yarn to make it that big! See Vanessa’s recs for other elements of both looks.


Street style photos © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission