Knitting Tips

Brooklyn Tweed PSA

A Brooklyn Tweed PSA

Are you an intellectually curious knitter?  If not, stop reading.  If you are, then consider this a friendly PSA: subscribe to Brooklyn Tweed’s monthly newsletter called Outpost.  For the last several months, Brooklyn Tweed has been publishing this newsletter which usually includes a new pattern featuring BT yarn, a Foundation Series (on basic knitting skills) and perhaps another article on their blog with general knitting musings.  This month’s Foundations series is about “Anatomy a Brooklyn Tweed Pattern.”  The fact that we need directions on how to read a pattern is amusing but delightful.

© Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that before Wool & Grace, I was a rogue knitter.  When I learned to knit, I had no shop to anchor me and my budding hobby, and nowhere to turn when I was stumped or when I made mistakes.  If I needed to learn a new skill, I turned to online resources and books.

Since many of my first knitting projects were Brooklyn Tweed patterns, I used these as springboards from which to learn.  When a Brooklyn Tweed pattern suggested I use a sloped bind-off, a tubular cast-on, or a specific type of selvedge stitch, I did it.  Their patterns carefully explained all of these new techniques to me.  Each pattern contained a new lesson!  While I understand one thinking that their patterns can be mind-boggling, there is also a ton of great information in there.  BT patterns have given me so many learning opportunities, and I’ve taken them!

Brooklyn Tweed patterns are seemingly tedious and daunting.  They are packed with information – and to some, it seems like too much information.  So often, knitters in my classes start to read through the patterns and feel too intimidated to proceed.  That said, there are tons of thoughtful techniques that are often new or novel to learning knitters – techniques that will elevate your skills and your finished objects.

Before I point you in the direction of this article, let me remind you of a few things:

  1. Techniques written in patterns are suggestions.  For example, if a recommended cast-on seems too fiddly, feel free to substitute something more comfortable to you.  As Lori, one of our fabulous teachers tells us – a pattern is like a recipe, and it’s part of a creative process.  Just like in cooking, you may know a better way to season your meat or bake your cookies, making it more to your liking.  Same goes with knitting.  The finished product is yours, and you ultimately decide what goes into it (and comes out of it)!
  2. Before you start your project, read the pattern.  I can’t tell you how many times someone comes to me not understanding directions because they failed to read through the pattern (or even scan it).  Most patterns include a list of abbreviations and directions for special techniques.  Many also include construction notes and a schematic, giving you a more holistic view of the project ahead.  Often times, that confusion goes away when you realize those directions and resources are at your fingertips.  What’s more, you’ll learn more thoroughly if and when you read through it on your own first, rather than having someone regurgitate it for you.

Now, click here to check out Brooklyn Tweed’s newest post on how to read a Brooklyn Tweed Pattern, or click here for the other posts from their Foundations Series.  If you enjoy their articles, don’t forget to subscribe to their mailing list!


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