b r o o k l y n t w e e d
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.

They're lovely! Looking forward to seeing the gems you make of these treasures.

Better a carrot than a stick to beat you with should you fall by the wayside. Good luck to you!

They look like an ice cream parlor.

My mouth is watering. Your carrots are very fine looking, they would motivate me too.

such carrots, i'm a bit curious about the handspun colorwork, i can't wait to see the result.

I am going to visit NYC in April and School Products has been on my must-see list! So happy it's just a block and a half from my hotel! Cashmerino 70/30 bulky, here I come!! *sucks back in line of drool*

Thank you so much for this post. School Products is now on my list of must-go-to places when I'm in NYC. I'm slightly obsessed with brown yarns at the moment, especially when I can add a bit of Tiffany blue, or some other yummy shade of blue or purple. This brown combo is on needles right now:


Can't wait to see what you do with your carrots!

Oh how lovely! The Shetland ice cream puffs are gorgeous. On your advice I'm on the lookout for a Shetland fleece - like I need more wool, enabler!

Your work simply amazes me. Thanks for the constant inspiration!



That's the most delicious looking carrot I think I've ever seen. And the fiber for spinning... excuse me while I wipe the drool from my keyboard! LOL

Mmmmmm. Merino cashmere. Sounds yummy. I love the color. Can't wait to see your work in progress.

Mmmm, merino cashmere carrot...

May will be here before you know it!

Sounds like you did well in cheering yourself up! I am not a spinner, but that fiber looks amazing! I want to pet it!!

Jared, just keep dangling those "carrots" in front of us, such motivation!

haha, my carrot was four skeins of cascade 220 - That cashmere is more like a gallon of chocolate ice cream! :)

I'm so jealous of your proximity to so many cool shops in NYC. We have no such thing in Indiana. What lovely carrots! The merino cashmere sounds lovely.

Can't wait to see the finished product!

Oh how many times have I gone up to Sp and walked away with another addition to the cashnere stash. it's like a delicious addiction...
can't wait till you show us what you have in mind....I made a Hemlock ring blanket out of some SP cashmere...decadent to the nth degree.....

Oh my! Such gorgeous photography. I can hardly wait to see what you make. Bought the new Vogue Knitting today - I can't help but buy any magazine that has your work in it!

The merino-cashmere looks like it'll be great to knit. Enjoy it.

Jamieson & Smith have a sampler!? How much fiber is it? How much is it? Where can I get one? Oooooohh! It looks good. I love me some Shetland.

Spinning little amounts of the good stuff is such a reward, no? I just took Sweet Georgia Yarns' Little Luxuries class today and I feel so renewed in my love for it.

... enjoying your blog!

Oh my! I like so much these natural colours!

Nice carrots you've got there!

mmm--the roving looks like so much 'good eating'! colors & fiber-caresses always cheer me up, too. well-named fibers also bring smiles. what will you name your spun roving? good luck & bright blessings as you complete your MFA.

I love your blog.

It just makes me want to dive in a pool of natural colored fiber.

Fiber carrots are such a wonderful concept! So nice to be able to just nip down to School Products, too. And I love the phots of that Shetland sampler as much as you love the fiber.

What a wonderful way to motivate yourself! Best of luck to you in the coming months.

Great pictures!

Mmmmmmm...spinning in general has been a carrot of mine, and a fiber sampler like that seems like the perfect way to start. Thanks for the inspiration! Good luck with the MFA! I just started on my graduate degree, and I think we'll both deserve carrots in May! :-)

it all looks fabulous...

oh Jared! School Products is my favorite hang out on my way home from work.
You never know what you're going to find there from Karabella through beautiful Italian mill ends!
You're choice was awesome!

This is my first time to comment on your blog. I LOOOOOVE School Products. I paid it a visit one year ago yesterday when I made my first trip to NYC. There are so many treasures. I brought home 350 yard skeins of cashmere for my knitting friends. One of those friends designed a lovely lace scarf pattern for our skeins. Good times!!!!!!

I'm drooling over that cashmere yarn.

Hmmmm...School Products is going to be just a couple of blocks away from my new office. Now I'm not only interested in visiting the shop, but excited! Now how's *that* for a carrot? :o)

i ♥ this!

i heart retail therapy. beautiful yarns...

beautiful. and i can't wait to see what you have been working on!!

I have been wanting to do a fair isle sweater using all undyed natural fibers... sounds like you had a good time shopping - nothing makes me smile more than a new bag full of yarn! I just bought a sweaters worth of yarn yesterday but haven't talked about it...I must finish my other projects in progress first...


Your fiber samples looks like choclate-treats...yummy!!

I just love the new cashmere you purchased. I am staying tuned to see what beautiful thing emerges from it.

Hi Jared, Congrats on the great Vogue article. I couldn't help but feel slightly smug that I was a fan and blog reader before your Vogue mittens, and I am sure you have many more fans now. I look forward to your book.
Jared, I have a request about your photos. They are gorgeous and sensual, and really show me, on a cold hard screen, or glossy flat paper, how soft and sensual and tactile those yarns and knitted items must be. But the technician and knit student in me longs to see every stitch detail in 3-D clarity from cast-on to cast-off, and you soft-focus blurs everything outside the focal point - your Chunky Merino Throw was torture! PLEASE, do you think you could carry on with your regular wonderful photos, but add a second group with the whole knit in clear focus? Go on, you can add these photos in a side bar with the pattern instructions, or add a link so you don't spoil the artistic photos. I am hoping! Many thanks

Wow! Jewels, all! I can't wait to see what you make!

DROOL. That's all I have to say.

You know what they say about making carrot cake out of carrots!!!

This is my first look at your blog (I know, I know, late to the party!) and I just wanted to let you know that your photos are lovely. Is that what you are working on for your MFA? Ah, how I miss the darkroom... (That ages me, I know, since new photographers probably don't even use the darkroom anymore!)
Thanks, and nice to meet you.

The fiber looks gorgeous in the state of the picture it was taken. I love the simplicity and chemistry natural tones have, so it's even more attractive to me. Thanks for sharing the SP site, I'll definite peruse it. Spinning is definitely, for me at least, a calming and enjoying experience, I just need to invest in a wheel to further enjoy it, drop spinning is not as nice on the spine or neck area. I'd love to see your handspun.

when I saw your cone photo on FlickR I thought "oh..he is buying at ColourMart as well" ..but looks like Richard (the guy from ColourMart) is not the only one buying cones of cashmere and other luxury yarns from Italy!!
My stash is full of those cones: yak, merino, mohair, cashmere, silk...yummy

Hey, congrats on the article in "The Observer!" It makes you look like the Official Male Ambassador of Knitting (I mean that in the most flattering way, I assure you!)!!

I love your glove pattern in Vogue. And the pic of the fiber? Love

Spinning as meditation - you describe it perfectly. I was inspired to sign up for a spinning class after seeing your anatomy of a handspun blog posts - that was May 2008 and I have never looked back! I haven't tried Shetland yet...

Hola, I love your blog!, love the colors, love the images. My name is Jordana, and I’m going to NY in 3 days, and i was wondering if you could give me some tips about something crafty and interesting that is not too far from Manhattan, I also would love to buy some craft supplies.. this is my first time in NY, and I’m very excited… I hope you can help me…

i love your blog...avid follower, you inspire me!! what a lovely man...such lovely things!!!! please follow my blog...

Thank you very much for this blog...

Truely a nice blog and excellent anylasisi. I like your blog and the style you talk! Thanks for your great work, faithfully.
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