My friend Meghan, is beautiful, fearless, smart, fun, and a darn good knitter!! About this time last year, she set out on the task of knitting her husband a sweater. The challenge….Brooklyn Tweeds Svenson using Brooklyn Tweeds Arbor in colorway Dorado, purchased at Churchmouse Yarns & Teas. Meghan had never done cables before, and a mans sweater is a lot of knitting anyway. She did a beautiful job, and the fit is perfect, and so is this picture. Aren’t they all a lovely family? Yes, she’s Wonder Woman, for real…Meghan even made the girls dresses using fabric from Liberty of London! You are so inspirational Meghan (((hugs))).
Some time back, I purchased Shannon Cooks Bradway pattern, and proceeded to purchase the yarn for the project at Churchmouse Yarns & Teas. Jane Richmond and Shannon Cook traveled from Victoria, BC Canada down to Bainbridge Island, in Washington state, USA! They were signing books and patterns and hanging out at the store. I went to the event mainly to get a booked signed for Carmel, as she just loves Jane Richmond. Well, both gals were delightful. I went with a couple of friends, and we were having a great time — we were at the yarn shop, looking at yarn, talking, laughing, checking everything out. Up comes Shannon Cook and she introduces herself to us. She was so friendly, it was as if we already knew her. Well, I bought her pattern (Bradway) too.
I really am not a shawl person. But, I bought a book, the pattern, and some other stuff, and we had a great time. Shortly thereafter, the Bradway just exploded. Everyone was making it, and there was a knit-along at the Churchmouse. Well, I thought about it and looked at all the colors in Shelter by Brooklyn Tweed, and came up with three colors that I liked.
It was a really fun knit. I love the way Shannon Cook writes patterns. She tells you exactly what she wants you to do, right down to the way she wants you to bind it off. She is not a lazy designer. It wasn’t difficult or hard, it wasn’t tiny yarn that took forever, it was worsted (but not heavy). It clipped right along, growing all the time. It was ever changing and not boring. She even told you how to block it out.
So many things are left to the knitter with some patterns. Some of the projects look great, some don’t. If you follow Shannon’s directions, there is no reason why your shawl shouldn’t look great too!
So, my favorite things:
- Worsted – so it clips along, but Shelter….so it’s not heavy or bulky
- Three colors and varied stitches, so it’s not boring
- How to cast on, how to knit all the stitches, how to bind off, and how to block
- Photos so you can see just how to wear it, many different ways
- A friendly responsive designer that feels like your new best friend
- A great new shawl to add to the wardrobe (or a damn impressive gift)
I follow Churchmouse Yarns & Teas and Shannon Cook on Instagram!
Last week Arbor was released by Brooklyn Tweed! It was everywhere on social media, and I was curious. Worsted spun construction, what does this mean…I’d never heard of it before. I had seen the color selection, and in the photos, the yarn looked soft. Is that possible for something to look soft. Well anyway, fortunately for me a local yarn shop, Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, carries the full Brooklyn Tweed collection — so I decided to take my camera, and drive to Bainbridge Island and check out this yarn for myself.
I love that Jared’s yarn is made in the United States. It really means a lot to me. I’ve enjoyed the Shelter, Loft & Quarry. I have never knit with Plains (yet). So, dk weight, I wondered if it would have the same construction as the others, but no. There are 30 colors from which to choose, and it breaks down like this: 50 grams | 145 yards | DK weight
- 100% Montana & South Dakota-grown Targhee wool
- Dyed in Saco, Maine. Spun in Springvale, Maine
Here is where the story shifts a bit… while I was there at Churchmouse, there was a large gathering at the table. These women where very busy. There was a real cohesiveness about this group; it wasn’t like a class. They were a happy collective, working together in a focused fashion to an end goal. There, I’ve described what I saw. This was the Charity Knitting Group. Churchmouse has a charity knitting group that meets every third Thursday of every month! In chatting with Carrie Trapp, Churchmouse employee and group leader, she told me that the group started in 2002, and has become very philanthropic. They disburse items to probably three different groups at any given time; from men’s and women’s shelters in Seattle, to the street people. They were busy knitting hats and felted bags, but I believe they knit different things at different times. They do the knitting, and there are others that help with the disbursement. In the little felted bags, they even include toiletries.
I was amazed and humbled. The fruit of their generosity is abundant. During this time of harvest and thanksgiving, these women are to be applauded! Thank you to the Churchmouse for sowing the seed of charity.
In closing, I didn’t purchase any Arbor yet — as you all know, it’s the year of the baby for me, and I have a grandson to knit for! You can click on any of the photos to see a larger version~