I’ve been eager to discuss Brooklyn Tweed’s Wool People 13 since we received preview images a month ago. Wool People is Brooklyn Tweed’s opportunity to share the designs of independent knitwear designers working with their yarn, through their channels. Over the last year or so, the Brooklyn Tweed collections seem to have had a specific theme and aesthetic. This collection of patterns from Wool People 13, however, brings an aesthetic that is rustic, modern and rooted in the traditions of knitting and textiles. I feel like these are qualities always associated with Brooklyn Tweed, and it’s delightful to see such a well-rounded collection of patterns with these qualities. Since I like so many of these so much (and I don’t want to bore you), I’m going to do a quick paragraph on most of the projects.
Kame is the popover I almost started first. Knit up in Loft, this short-sleeve top with a permanently-popped collar is easy to wear on its own or layered over long sleeves of any type. Wear it over a dress or a skirt, trousers or jeans. It’s incredibly versatile and a layer that can be worn almost any time of year. Why am I not casting this one on immediately? I realized I have two very similar silhouettes in my Orimé popover (which currently lives at Wool & Grace as a sample) and my Lohman popover. I’m not permanently shelving Kame. I think it’s lines are awesomely chic and clean, and it’s just different enough to justify adding it to my wardrobe.
Cornus is a striking cabled hat knit up in Arbor. It reminds me of my recent hangover project, my much beloved Skiff hat that I knit in Arbor. Since that project was pure knitting joy, I think this one looks like similar fun. Cornus can be made as a beanie or a watch cap (with a folded brim and optional pompom). I love it when patterns are written with that flexibility, giving you a very clear-cut way to modify the pattern. I’m kind of liking the beanie version, worn with a pointy top on the model. I think if I put that on I’d look like an adolescent gnome, which could be a good look for fall.
Amy van de Laar designed a Ensata trio, as a hat, scarf and cowl. The scarf and cowl come as one pattern, with modifications to be knit up in Peerie or Vale. The hat comes as a separate pattern, written for Peerie. Van de Laar’s patterns typically feature clean and modern lace patterns inspired by things in nature. Ensata is no exception with a leaf-like pattern set against clean, vertical lines. The worsted-spun nature of Peerie and Vale accentuate these beautiful lines with their incredible stitch definition. Modern and feminine, this hat is something I’ll knit up when I have a raging craving for Peerie. Meanwhile, I think van de Laar is a knitting-world talent that deserves a little more attention.
Laceleaf is another piece worked up in Peerie that features a leaf-like lace motif. This circular yoke sweater is feminine and modern and makes a great sweater for seasonal transitions. As a seamless piece, it’ll be incredibly comfortable to wear. I made a sweater by this designer in January and found her pattern to be thoughtfully designed. I’m delighted to see more of her work out in the world, and look forward to everything else she brings to the table.
There are three striking cardigans in this collection, all three look like the type of sweater you want to live in. They are all open cardigans, made in proportions that make them effortless to wear with any number of silhouettes.
Newel is one of those cardigans. Knit up in Quarry, it can be knit as a vest or a cardigan. There are a number of techniques and characteristics that make this piece so enticing, and it also makes this a project for adventurous and competent knitters. Construction is clever, with bias-stockinette panels for the fronts, adorned by a panel of cables. Pockets are effortlessly integrated into the design. An uneven hemline makes for a flattering silhouette. While there are a number of interesting techniques involved, knitting up in Quarry makes for a quick(er) knit – and therefore makes it less daunting.
Osier is the more user-friendly cardigan in the collection. It’s knit up in Shelter and an appropriate project for an adventurous beginner knitter. It has an engaging stitch pattern that is easy to master. It’s written for two different lengths and also has handy pockets. This project promises to be a wardrobe workhorse.
Runnel is a scarf or cowl project, made up of intersecting chunks of bias stripes, all in garter stitch. This means that it’s clever and fun, but not too tricky. Pick a combination of three colors and have some fun with it. Runnel is written for Peerie or Loft, so you’ll have a few choices to make as you embark on this project. I also love Runnel because I think it’d be a beautiful project for a man or woman to wear, as a cowl and a scarf.
Seamark is like a clean, modern take on a fisherman sweater. This cabled beauty is knit up in Arbor. If you’re familiar with this blog, you might anticipate that this sounds like pure knitting fun to me. A split hemline is slightly longer in the back. The ribbed hemline transitions seamlessly into its cable panel that runs across the right and left fronts of this pullover. I also like that the model’s hair is brunette and it looks like she hasn’t run a brush through it. Since that’s my go-to hairstyle, I have an easy time seeing myself in this sweater.
The piece I’m almost ready to cast on is Bract. This boxy pullover has a round yoke and slender sleeves, creating a striking silhouette. Its architectural color-work pattern is straightforward and beautiful. I hemmed and hawed over color combinations for this sweater. When I was in Wyoming last weekend, swatches of the Absaroka mountains were a striking rust color, with grey and brown triangles cutting through it naturally due to erosion. Since I’m obsessed with my brief visit to Wyoming, I came home and easily settled on knitting my Bract using Loft’s Wool Sock as the dominant color. I chose Snowbound as a grey neutral to mimic the mountains’ colors, and Hayloft for a more striking color pop. I like to have a place, memory or thought in mind to attach to certain knitting projects. I keep it with me throughout the knitting and those good vibes return when I wear that finished item (or I pass them on to the item’s recipient).
There is a little more to see from this collection, if you can believe it. The additional pieces are beautiful and special in their own way. All in all, I love that this collection looks forward while keeping an eye on knitting traditions. I hope you take a look at this collection for yourself. There’s a little something for everyone, and for all levels of knitters.