Review: Brooklyn Tweed Ganseys

Brooklyn Tweed recently put out a mini collection of 8 Gansey inspired patterns, for 3 hats and 5 pullovers. The gansey is rich in knitting history as a style of sweater made for seamen from the channel island of the same name. The textured stitches and cables are cornerstones of gansey design, as it increased the thickness of the knitted fabric,  were densely knitted to help repel water and keep the fishermen extra warm. This collection probably has something for everyone, as there are some sweaters that have the gansey details only on the upper body, and all three hats are beautifully done.

Let’s take a closer look at 4 of the design that I find most intriguing. And if you wanted to check them out on Ravelry (to add to your queue!), you can find them here.

Brooklyn Tweed Gansey Review |

Fairweather by Veronik Avery

The most feminine gansey of the collection features cables and a bit of lace, as well as a flattering A-line cut and a boatneck which is pretty much universally flattering. I know you have to look past the weird styling of the blue button up shirt underneath it (boatnecks don’t look good with collared shirts, but do with v necks and crew necks, so maybe the stylist only brought button ups?). It’s worsted weight, and  knit from the bottom up in the round. Design is moss stitch and charted lace and cables. Also, be sure to check out the other photos to see the beautiful design on the sleeves! They are also worked top-down.

You Should Totally Knit This If:  You love feminine knits, cables and lace combined, and a figure that lives for A-line everything.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: You don’t like to print out your patterns, because I think you’ll want to place the charts beside the directions for the front and back. For those of you thinking, “who doesn’t print out patterns?!” I’ll tell you- me. I very rarely print out patterns, I work straight from the screen 95% of the time.

Brooklyn Tweed Gansey Review |

Breslin by Julie Hoover

 This fingering weight pullover has lovely set in sleeves and waist shaping, for a more streamlined fit that is perfect for layering. Texture and great angles keep the focus on the upper half of the sweater, with a minimally finished neckline. It’s knit in the round, from the bottom up; textured stitches are fully charted.  If you were looking for a wardrobe classic that would work with anything and never go out of style, this is it.

You Should Totally Knit This If: You are looking for a wardrobe staple. Knit this in a great wardrobe neutral like black, grey, navy, or cream, and you will wear it until the end of time. Also, the charts are very easy to follow, so if you like easy charts, this is just right.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: You are looking for more of a traditional gansey that has the boxier fit, or if approximately a couple thousand yards of fingering might put you off.

Brooklyn Tweed Gansey Review |

Forge by Jared Flood

This is a warm hat, people! Knit in worsted weight from the top down, you can try it on as you go. The brim is worked separately and attached at the base, which is a bit more fiddly but yields stunning results. And if you are the type with sensitive ears, you will swear that double brim is the only kind of hat to knit.

You Should Totally Knit This If:  You like being warm.  And you live somewhere that gets snow.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: You live somewhere that is mostly warm or temperate, and are nervous about reading charts with cables, as this pattern has lots of charts.

Brooklyn Tweed Gansey Review |

Burnaby by Jared Flood 

Hooray for the quick knit! This is a bulky weight hat knit with a single skein of Brooklyn Tweed Quarry, and it doesn’t get much faster than that. Knit from the brim up, you switch needle sizes to achieve much of the shaping. Once you get it all set up, tucking a copy of the chart into your knitting bag is all you’ll need to keep tabs on this sleek little hat.

You Should Totally Knit This If: A gansey sweater is possibly a bit beyond what you are willing to tackle right now, but a gansey style hat is not. Also, if you have interchangeable needles, switching needle sizes will be a breeze for you.

You Should Definitely Not Knit This If: I’m struggling to think who might not like this pattern…. I suppose if you really and truly do not do charts or cables. But if you wanted to try, this would be a good project to learn on, as Brooklyn Tweed patterns are very detailed, and the charts on this are very straightforward.

So what do you think of the new BT collection-  Feeling the Gansey vibe, or no? Do you have a favourite pattern that you admire?

Knit in Progress: Arika Cowl

g Squeeze Bulky |

I recently got my hands on this amazingly soft Ancient Arts Fibre yarn in Big Squeeze, their 100% merino bulky weight.  I chose the Frolic colourway, which is an earthy mix of cool dark greens and reddish browns,  and reminds me of a lush redwood forest. Just look at this:

Ancient Arts Fiber Big Squeeze Bulky |

Isn’t that amazing? Don’t you just want to dive in and swim in all that cozy goodness?

Of course, when I laid out all that beautiful yarn, this immediately happened:

Gatsby Cat |

Cats. They have that deep instinct to immediate lay on anything that has your attention, don’t they? The yarn is so amazing I can hardly fault him for wanting to lay on it, since really, I wish I could nap on it, too.  Gatsby is sporting his long hair winter coat at the moment, so he’s extra fuzzy.

Let’s get to the knitting! I knew right away that I wanted to knit  a cozy cowl, and the Arika Cowl has been on my to-knit list fever since the pattern was first released. It’s a really satisfying knit as it’s really easy to memorize,  knits up really quickly, and takes just a couple of skeins. This sort of knit is perfect for me at the moment. Babies and little kid wrangling means lots of picking up the knitting and putting it down 30 seconds later, so I appreciate knits like this.

Arika Cowl |

Guy recently got me this beautiful Rifle Paper Co edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with the most stunning illustrations sprinkled throughout the book. It’s part of my slow-but-steady goal of replacing the beloved (but beat-up) classics I got secondhand in university with beautiful editions that are as beautiful as the wonderful words they contain.  Now if only a publishing house would put out beautiful editions of  Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, and Shakespeare’s plays, I’d be all set!

Arika Cowl |

Modification Monday: Painted Canvas

Modification Monday: Painted Canvas |

Original Pattern:  Blank Canvas

Knitter Extraordinaire: Melody (Ravelry ID)

Mods:  Changed gauge from DK to worsted weight, added a split neckline, stripes, and a kangaroo pocket. Details can be found on Melody’s project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: First, I want to high five Melody on her great stripes. I’m in awe of people who can do stripes of different thickness and have it all repeat and work out and look balanced, not random. I love the pouch pocket, and how the ribbing on the edges echo the vertical lines of the ribbing on the split neckline. And that teal blue feels like it absolutely was the perfect choice in this colour scheme for all he ribbing. I can’t say enough good things about this sweater, it’s a slam dunk!

Modification Monday: Painted Canvas |

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

It’s daylight savings time change this weekend. I hate that we still do daylight savings time, but here are 13 tips on helping to adjust without feeling so darn tired.

7 inspirational videos from JK Rowling, Neil Gaiman, David Foster Wallace, Amanda Palmer. Bert Jacobs, Danielle Laporte, and Gala Darling.

I found this photo essay of Nigeria’s female romance novelists to be pretty fascinating.

I found this article to be quite interesting- Why do we teach girls that it’s cute to be scared? It has me thinking about if I’ll end up treating Lila and James differently when they have accidents. I hope I’ll remember this article and caution them both equally.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Mexican Sushi|

I saw this and it blew my mind- you mean you can combine sushi and Mexican food?! It makes total sense as both meals are rice-based, but putting it all together seems so clever. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Monet Oreos|

In other food posts that blew my mind this week, I had no idea you could dip Oreos in melted candy coating and then paint them with food colouring. I love it! You could do this with any colour candy chips, not just blue. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Crochet Market Tote|

Simple, sturdy, a perfect take-anywhere market tote bag that looks pretty easy to crochet, and looks best in a simple, rustic yarn. One day when I learn to crochet properly, it’s on my to-make list.  Pinterest link is here, and the full pattern instructions are here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Watercolor Floral Eggs|

I love this beautiful tutorial for making floral east eggs- watercolours and sharpies are all you need! Well, and eggs. But I hope that goes without saying. Pinterest link is here, and the DIY post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Mini Flower Bouquets|

These mini bouquets are such perfect little gifts, and so easy to put together. A friend once gave me a small bouquet like this for no reason, and it totally made my day. Who doesn’t like getting flowers just because? Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Other than adjusting to daylight savings time (ugh), it’s a pretty low key weekend around these parts!  Anyone have any fun weekend plans?

Vote: Help Me Choose a New Project Bag!

As someone who ALWAYS has multiple projects on the go, I’m perpetually in need of project bags. Rather than work more aggressively on finishing them up already (yeah, yeah, I know- some have been languishing in WIP status for over a year!), I think it’s so much more fun to just get a new project bag.

First of all, I had this idea  to have you all help me pick a bag a few weeks ago, and several of the ones that I would have chosen for this have already been snapped up. So my advice is that if you see a project bag that you like somewhere, get it quickly before someone else does! So many great project bags are sewn by small indie businesses  (like Alecia at Madbird) so there really isn’t huge stock of the same kind in a warehouse somewhere. Usually, only a few of each print are made. Knowing this, I’m about to ask your advice on which project bag I should get next, knowing full well that there is a chance that someone is going to snap up the last one before I get a chance. There are lots of other styles and sizes, if you are thinking of it!

I definitely want a drawstring bag, and I like that these ones from Madbird are totally reversible- I can use it one way for a while, then turn it inside out and feel like I have a brand new project bag. Very cool. Of course, this means that both sides of the fabric are really important to consider!

Here’s the three I’m considering. Left is Giant Octopi Blush, middle is Wasabi, and the Right is Harajuku Garden.

Madbird Project Bags |

So what do you think- would you vote for one of the above, or do you think I should do something totally custom, with totally different fabric? Vote!

Which bag should I choose?

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