b r o o k l y n t w e e d
  Alberta (The Striped Vest Returns!)
I knit this vest last spring - it was a bona fide Frankenstein of harvested tweed from recycled thriftstore sweater wool and a gaggle of handspun Shetland that I had no idea what to do with. It's gotten a lot of wear this year and the folks at Wild Fibers Magazine asked me if I'd write up the pattern for their 5th Anniversary Issue - which I was happy to do!

Alberta Vest

I took the vest along on my trip to Portland over the holidays for a proper photo shoot and formal pattern-writing session. Alberta is named after the PDX neighborhood of the same name - the place I call home whenever in Portland.

Alberta Vest

The pattern [Ravelry Link] is written for worsted weight wool - 4.5 stitches to the inch - with no suggested retail yarn, due to the whole Frankenstein thing I mentioned above. I'd love to see what other juicy wools others knit this up in!

Alberta Vest

The vest is steeked (see the gorey details here & here) for both armholes and neck opening, which means no purling! And also fast knitting - this one just flew off the needles back in May.

As a heads up, a few typos squeaked their way past both me and the tech editor - I've listed the changes at the bottom of the post as well as on the pattern page on Ravelry. My apologies for this!

Alberta Vest

I'm off to Tampa for 5 days (my first time to Florida. Ever.) - and looking forward to a little sunshine! The most important item on my immediate agenda is the same one we all face the night before a flight: what knitting to bring and how much! As a rule I tend to bring more than I need - carrying an extra project is so worth the alternative - running out of knitting while away from home! Now that's a tragedy!

[Alberta Pattern Errata]

** third row below Begin Working Stripes should read: “Repeat last four rounds, establishing 2-row stripe motif…”

**Last line of Shape Armholes Section should read: Repeat last round until yoke measures 4” (4”, 4”, 4”, 4.5”)
  Did Midas Dye Fiber?
Oh, wow - spinning has snapped me up again! I never see it coming. I had been fiddling around with my Jamieson's Shetland sampler and my mind began to wander. At some point I thought, "I wonder what else I have lying around here waiting to be spun?" It was probably a good thing I had my fiber hidden so well, cause it took me this long to rediscover some major gems.

I came across this colorful fluff, which I had scooped up from Adrian late last Spring. It was like a blast of sunlight on a particularly grey day. I was weak. I caved.


I hunkered down and did the first skein all in one sitting. Maybe I just blacked out and this is what happened? I've never thought about what yarn dipped in honey would look like... but that's the first thing this skein made me think of. This is 4 ounces and I've got a good 8 more to spin. I'm a happy camper.

Hive 2-Ply

Aptly titled Hive - this is Falkland Wool from a past installment of the Hello Yarn Fiber Club. I spun it up using a semi-worsted method. It's a 2-ply heavy worsted weight.

We had some nice quiet time together yesterday morning - and as I quietly sculpted the skein by the window for its photoshoot, I had one of those Yes-You-Look-Like-A-Crazy-Person moments. The colors! The textures! The Seduction!

Hive 2-Ply

As for knitting - I was struck by a sudden desire to make a good, sturdy pair of mittens this week. My internal colorwork clock must have flatlined. I raided my Jamieson's Shetland stash (I always keep at least a little Shetland close at hand. I sort of think that Jared-is-to-Shetland as bee-sting-allergies-are-to-the-EpiPen.) Do you ever feel that way about yarn? No? Just me?

Need Shetland Mittens

I'm sort of... eh, winging a pattern. I wanted something simple, geometric and sturdy. And a sheepy, heathered version of the traditional Red-on-White Fair Isle combo. Between these mittens and my wheel, I'm having a very reclusive week. Better beef up my take-out menus.
Remember the old cartoon trick of the dangling carrot, strung up from a fishing pole? Well, I've gotten myself some carrots. It's maybe the simplest way of tricking yourself to power through the tough times.... but really, whatever works. I guess this is the first time I've ever seen a cashmere carrot, though... and hopefully not the last!

LinkCashmere Merino from School Products

It's been nose to the grindstone around here, finishing up my MFA (May is almost here!) and doing some hefty knitting work (soon, soon to show) and I kinda hit the wall a short while ago. After a few days in the dregs, strategizing the next couple of months, I got on the subway and went to one of my favorite NYC hideaways - School Products.

The oldest yarn shop in Manhattan, I like to drop by whenever I need a pick-me-up (Consumer Alert!) because you just never know what you're gonna get. (And you always find something) The folks at SP keep a steady stock of discount luxury fiber cones (primarily cashmere) Italy and sell them to us budget shoppers. As usual, I went in distraught and came out feeling refreshed.

Cashmere Merino from School Products

Yes - refreshed by a sweaters-worth of Merino Cashmere (70 | 30) in the loveliest, smokiest shade of brown (I wouldn't have been surprised if it smelled like a campfire). And this, my friends, is my make-it-to-summer reward - a dreamy merino/cashmere sweater project for when life slows down. Until then, it's mounted like a monument on the shelf, in plain view, to keep me motivated. So far, it's working (I did cheat and swatch... although that only sweetens the desire. I love a good swatching session.)

Shetland Sampler

The other sweet treat (don't they kinda look edible?) is one that I can enjoy throughout the coming weeks - I've been trying to implement small but regular batches of spinning time into my week (Some meditate, I spin). This little shetland fiber sampler from Jamieson & Smith is the perfect thing - small amounts in harmonious, all-natural shades.

If I can keep it consistent, I'd love to do some colorwork with the finished yarns - it could make for a real knitting gem.

Shetland Sampler

Shetland is my favorite fiber to spin (I know, I'm a broken record) and keeping things simple is my preferred philosophy on most things in life, so here's to some good spinning!

Carrots. It works.

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