Pattern Review: Brooklyn Tweed Winter 2016

The Brooklyn Tweed Winter 2016 Collection just launched 16 wonderful new patterns, and in January they feel much needed. This is a pullover-heavy collection with seven pullovers, three cardigans, three shawls/scarves, one hat and one dress. There is a lot more stockinette in these knits than usual, but each one balanced with classic Brooklyn Tweed details and cool little tricks that make their knits unlike any others.  If you haven’t knit a BT pattern yet, maybe this is the collection that convinces you to take the plunge!

Out of the 16 patterns, this pattern review will focus on my favourite five. If there is a different one you’d like more info on, let me know in the comments and I can respond to your questions there. And if you’d like to look at the patterns on Ravelry, the link is here.

Review: Brooklyn Tweed Winter 2016 Collection | knittedbliss.com

Halus, by Jared Flood

I don’t often think of BT Patterns as being a quick knit, but this chunky-weight hat would be perfect. Using a single skein of Quarry, this great hat has you dropping stitches and then using a crochet hook to chain up the dramatic ribs of texture.

You Should Totally Knit This If:  You love close-fitting hats, lace that doesn’t look like lace, and super fast one-skein projects.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: The hat style doesn’t suit you (or anyone you know), and if the idea of dropping stitches and then laddering them back up with a crochet hook doesn’t appeal.

Review: Brooklyn Tweed Winter 2016 Collection | knittedbliss.com

Riptide, by Norah Gaughan

This is the weekend sweater that you will want to wear all the time. Knit in chunky weight, this positive-ease sweater is knit from the bottom up in the round, with hints of cable and a brioche rib on the round yoke and funnel neck.

You Should Totally Knit This If:  You love cozy, chunky sweaters and can already picture going for brunch and hanging out in this knit.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: Brioche and funnel necks aren’t for you- although I bet this would look great with the funnel neck left off, too.

Review: Brooklyn Tweed Winter 2016 Collection | knittedbliss.com

Snowqualmie, by Michele Wang

Shawl collar. Cables for days. This chunky-weight unisex cardigan is so good looking, you shouldn’t trust it unattended around friends, male or female.  The pattern has fully charted cables, and the chart is way simpler than the finished sweater would have you believe. If you want to knit a cardigan that you will be wearing forever, this is it.

You Should Totally Knit This If:  Whether wearing them or knitting them, you secretly think cabled sweaters are your one true love. And you understand that a sweater like this needs seams for structure and stability (it’s knitted flat and seamed).

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: You have a wandering eye when it comes to project monogamy- this is a big project and a yarn eater, you need commitment to pull this off.

Review: Brooklyn Tweed Winter 2016 Collection | knittedbliss.com

Intersect, by Norah Gaughan

This sweater is so interestingly constructed, it has 3 pages of schematic details that include some colour so that you know which bits get seamed to which. I don’t say that to scare you off, because I’m actually very impressed that the schematic is so easy to understand, given the creative and unusual construction. The sweater is fingering weight, and the cabled sections are fully charted.

You Should Totally Knit This If:  You love sweaters that can be dressy or casual, and interesting shapes when it comes to cardigans.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: A fingering weight sweater of this size makes you cringe, or if you hate picking up stitches along edges- there’s a lot of that.

Review: Brooklyn Tweed Winter 2016 Collection | knittedbliss.com

Lucca, by Jared Flood

A BT collection has to have a stunning circular shawl by Jared Flood, am I right? This is an utterly beautiful, angelic looking laceweight shawl with a Pi construction, and if you have knit lace before, then you will be familiar with all the stitches used in the charts.  My only complaint is that it’s hard to see how beautiful it is in the photos, considering the model is wearing a white top.

You Should Totally Knit This If:  You secretly have a shrine to Elizabeth Zimmermann, and were sold at the words ‘lace’ and ‘pi shawl’.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: Lace is not your thing. And if if you think lace is not your thing because you are thinking of this only as a shawl, consider what an awesome throw this would be in a heavier weight yarn.

Those are my top picks! Do you have a favourite? I’m still trying to avoid casting on for Halus this very second….

Knit in Progress: Choose Your Own Adventure Mittens

Knit in Progress: Biscotte Yarns | knittedbliss.com

Pattern: Choose Your Own Adventure Mittens by Alison Griffith 

Yarn: Biscotte Yarns in ‘Butterfly Wings’ colourway

Ravelry Project page is here.

This is one of the patterns in the Knit Picks Charmed: Whimsical Knits Collection. I really enjoy Knit Picks collections, although I personally feel that they put out too many in too quick a succession, so it’s really easy to miss a pattern collection and even harder to spend any time thinking about it before the next Knit Picks collection is coming out. I think a new collection comes out every 2-3 weeks; it’s hard to keep track.

The pattern has directions for making your own stripes (so it would be a great stash buster) but I’m loving knitting it with this beautiful self striping yarn from Biscotte Yarns. I don’t know why I don’t knit with self striping yarn more often- I love it, but a quick look at my Ravelry project page tells me that I only do it about once a year. Why am I depriving myself of this magical striping goodness? I need more stripes in my knitting life.

Knit in Progress: Biscotte Yarns | knittedbliss.com

There are also directions for if you want fingerless mitts or full mittens, and when I started the second mitt I wasn’t sure which way I wanted to go with it, so I put the first mitt’s stitches on waste yarn and started the second while I had a think about it. I stopped knitting the first mitt when I got to a point where I could start the second mitt and have the stripes be the same, so I’m loving that they are coming out identical so far.

Now I’ve decided- I want full mittens! I’ve got lots of fingerless mitts, which I love, but my full mitten wardrobe is getting lean- some have been lost, some have just fallen apart due to years of hard labour, and I only have two pairs (these and these) still in use.  I’m loving the stripes on these so much — and they will look awesome with my black coat.

Oh, and that awesome project bag is from Zig Zag Stitches, which was part of a custom project kit from Tanis Fiber Arts a couple of years ago. I still love the bright, graphic fabric.

Knit in Progress: Biscotte Yarns | knittedbliss.com

Modification Monday: Night Sea Laneway

Modification Monday: Night Sea Laneway

Original Pattern: Laneway

Knitter Extraordinaire: Marta (Ravelry ID)

Mods: deepened the solid collar by adding more short rows, changed the waist shaping and made the skirt rounder than the original tunic version. Great details on all her mods can be found on the project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: I’m so impressed with Marta’s dress, which was knit entirely on needles 3mm or smaller! Marta very wisely kept great details on her mods, as a project of this size (remember those tiny needles?) was inevitably going to take a while to knit, so you want to keep track of the changes so that you can mirror them where appropriate- working the second sleeve, or increasing after waist decreases. There are so many great tweaks on this pattern that has worked so well – Marta truly knit a beautiful dress just the way she wanted.

Modification Monday: Night Sea Laneway

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

This fascinating article on the ‘Christmas book flood’ in Iceland every year was a wonderful glimpse on a culture of readers, and how the perfect gift to give has always been a book.

Stop saying ‘sorry’ and start saying ‘thank you’ instead.

Love the new Pantone Colours for 2016, Rose Quartz and Serenity? Agnes has a great post on yarns that are spot on for this 2016 colour trend.

I found this essay quite interesting- if you’re trying to save print, you’re missing the point.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Easy Rosemary and Sea Salt Flatbread | knittedbliss.com

This looks like it might be complicated, but it’s one of those ‘cheater’ recipes that involves using pre-made pizza dough as a basis for this recipe, and redone to have it’s own fresh flavour. Anyone would think you made it from scratch! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Funfetti Slice and Bake Cookies | knittedbliss.com

Any baked goods that have candy coloured sprinkles are always going to induce a bit of happy, and when you have easy slice and bake cookies like this, you can have happy cookies whenever you want! They are dipped in white chocolate in this recipe, but considering my lack of free time lately, I’m going with the the straight up slice and bake. Plus, the batter freezes well- you could slice as many cookies as you need, whenever you want! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Copper Pipe Side Table DIY | knittedbliss.com

I’m not usually a furniture DIY person, but this side table is so beautiful, and I think would be an amazing weekend project- especially if you already own a pipe cutter (or could borrow one!). Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: How to Knit Intarsia | knittedbliss.com

 I hear so many knitters express nervousness or dislike for intarsia knitting techniques, but it’s super easy- and here is great photo tutorial on how to do it on both right side and wrong side rows. Pinterest link is here, and tutorial is here. 

Projects shot in the studio

I adore licorice allsorts candy, so this crochet version really tickles me. It would be pretty whimsical and fun to have a small bowlful of these! Pinterest link is here, and the free pattern can be found here.

Considering most of my days are very small in scope lately- trying to feed the baby, clean the baby, get the baby to nap- my plans for the weekend involve running errands and laundry! I’d love to live vicariously through you guys- are you up to anything fun?

2015 Review and 2016 Goals

Knits Completed in 2015:
2015 Collage | knittedbliss.com

Project listed in their columns, from top to bottom.

Column 1: Sleep Sack for Baby James, Lisette the Lion, Lavender Firefly, Hyperballad (single skein version). Column 2: Xanadu Snowflake Cowl, Fergus Mitts, Rainy Day Turtle. Column 3: Grey Leaves, First Baby Booties, Chromatic Rainbow Cowl, Zippy Zebra. Column 4:  Trailblazer scarf, Seaward Hat, Hyperballad XL  (2 Skeins). Column 5: Grey Mist, Pacific  Sweater, Josie Mitts, Berkshires Headband.

2015’s knitting projects! I actually knit a couple of other things that I haven’t taken photos of yet… which is a tad embarrassing. I just grabbed a quick snap of the Berkshires Headband yesterday so that I could include it in the round up. I also knit another toddler honey cowl for Lila in a different yarn that has long since lost the ball band, but am woefully behind on getting a photo of it. The other is a holiday gift that has yet to be gifted, so there are no photos yet.

2015 was a pretty good year, and saw us expand froma family of 3 to a family of 4 with the arrival of baby James! Blogwise, there were a lot of firsts- first time doing a reader survey, first time doing an instagram challenge, first time doing pattern collection reviews, first time trying Periscope, and my first time writing a longer essay on a book review/ thoughts on crafting lifestyle.

Goals for 2016

Some of 2016 is already structured for me, in that I’ll be on maternity leave giving little James full time care most of the year, and I’ll be putting the finishing edits on my second book of poetry, and we will be travelling to the UK at some point to introduce baby James to Guy’s family. But I do have a few goals I’d like to achieve around those important things!

Book Challenge: I haven’t talked much of my love of books  here on the blog, but will be looking to do that a bit more in 2016. I’m also participating in the Mrs. Darcy 2016 Book Challenge, and will actually be tracking the books I read this year, something I never normally do.

Newsletter: Some people have asked me if I have a newsletter, and currently I do not. As soon as I figure out how to get it started, I’ll get that out there. I’m thinking it will give some sneak peeks, discounts, bonus entries for giveaways, requests for recommendations/advice, and general bloggy goodness on an occasional basis.

Knitted Sock Advent calendar: I have loved these mini christmas stockings for so long, and recently got a great mini sock yarn skeins from Tanis Fiber Arts that is going to be perfect for them. I want to knit 24, as an advent calendar for Lila and James. I imagine putting in little chocolates or lego or something, and I’m excited to start a new tradition for my little family. My plan is to knit two of these mini stockings each month- then I’ll have all 24 by Christmas this year.

 What about you guys? Any plans (large or small) that you would like to work on this year?