b r o o k l y n t w e e d
  Fall Loves You, Wool. And So Do I.
Well. It's been a wild month of travel for me -- from Oklahoma City, to Philadelphia, to Texas, to New England and many a space in between. I've had the wonderful fortune of knitting with folks from all over the country and it has been an absolute pleasure. When I returned to Brooklyn on Monday for a two week break from airplanes, I sat down at my knitting window and realized that transition-time was over and Fall has, in my absence, made itself quite at home here in the city.

The click of the seasons is something that gives me pleasure beyond words, and Summer to Fall, not surprisingly, has got to be the most special time of year for us knitters. It's usually about the second week of October when my fingers start to twitch even more than usual for soft, wool sweaters on my needles and my eyes desire a bath of materials in rich, autumn heathers.

What else does October mean? It's the one time of year that I knowingly cast my self-control to the wind and embrace even my most irrational wool cravings, which means I generally acquire more during this period than any other. So, in the spirit of full disclosure, I might as well share with you some recent acquisitions from my travels and yarns that are frankly keeping me up at night with giddy anticipation.

Harrisville Shetland Cones

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting Historic Harrisville in New Hampshire -- home of some of my very favorite American-milled yarns and a historic treasure for our national textile tradition. I've been on a major lace knitting stint lately (before the sweater monster came to bite) and these are both slated for woollie shawls.

Harrisville Designs is like a wool-lovers paradise: walls of colorful, sturdy wools housed in a 2-century-old brick building nestled directly over a stream (if you peak through a knot-hole in the floor boards you'll see the flowing waters of the stream below). A destination for any knitter's New England itinerary... and a destination I hope to return to in the future.

Imperial Stock Ranch

Another wool that has recently sent me headlong into infatuation comes from the opposite coast and my home region of the Pacific Northwest. Imperial Stock Ranch makes beautiful, Oregon-grown yarns from their 125+ year old flock of Columbia Sheep (the farm, which is a National Historic District, has been responsible in part for developing this wonderful breed). The yarns are minimally processed using antique spinning techniques (a la many other favorite yarns you've heard me wax poetic about in the past -- Beaverslide Dry Goods in MT and Marr Haven in MI, most notably) and come in both two-ply woolen spun yarns (yum!) and a wonderful unspun bulky "puck", similar to Unspun Icelandic Wool. While the company has been in business for decades, their recent push into the world of hand knitting is one that I think is a very welcome addition to the industry.

Jamieson and Smith Jumper Weight

And no Fall knitting would be complete without a healthy dose of Shetland Jumper-Weight wools straight from the island. You may be sick of me talking about my wool-standby, but I do start to get nervous if I'm away from this stuff for too long. To me, Shetland yarns are truly fine wines in our world of materials. With these? More lace. Always more lace.

I must sound like a glutton at this point, pulling in all this wool for Fall (there's more too...but we won't go there today) but if you can't be a wool glutton in the Fall, when can you be? And there's no better way to spend the afternoon than quietly working stitches in a good, solid wool as you watch the fading golden light play across the increasingly bare branches.

Despite the natural world telling us that Fall symbolizes the end of something, to me it represents a new beginning and a new inspiration. I hope you are feeling inspired by the wools under your roof and the cooler breezes that are causing us to grab our woolens on the way out the door. Lets enjoy it while it's here!


So very glad you're back, you're pix and yarn are always inspiring. I'm so sorry I missed you in Texas!

I love fall, too! In addition to getting to pull out all my handknits in hopes of wearing them (Southern California, not known for its knit-friendly weather), I get the urge to organize and revolutionize. I think it's an echo of back-to-school shopping. New schedules, new sugjects, new notebooks... Ahhhh, fall.

Just like you fall inspires me a lot... but I just hope I will keep my self-control and use the wool I already have at home instead of look for new ones (though I'm tempted by beaverslide dry goods-because of you!- and will need to be strong).
happy knitting in the fall's golden light :o)

Entranced by the idea of a knitting window. My view, unlike Brooklyn, will not involve architecture--just trees and trees and the occasional squirrel and more trees. Have you ever tried translating your view into a knitted piece?

Welcome back! I've missed your blog and lovely photos while you've been away.

Jared, don't know if I've ever posted on your blog before, but had to tell you I got your book about a month ago and it is awesome! It's hard to believe you packed so much good stuff into this booklet! Thanks for sharing your hard work and talent with all of us (yes, I know, I paid for the book, but even at the price I paid, I definitely got the better end of the deal!)
Joan in Ellicott City, "Merlin"

Autumn is the best time of year for knitting. Lovely wool you have there... drool.

Thanks for putting exact words to my thoughts on fall! I've failed to do so for a long time, but you express it very precisely. And what lovely wool! YUM!

As a new knitter, I'd never before felt this happy that fall's arrived. You stated it beautifully.

That's a very poetic blog entry! Reminds me a bit of Attic24.

It's so nice to be a knitter and have a love for good yarns and quiet productivity. It's very soothing and satisfying to be a knitter, especially in the fall.

I love fall and fires in the stove, plus rests of shetland for a fair isle!

mmmm...love Imperial Stock Ranch's stuff!

Hey - are you to be at Rhinebeck? It looks to me to be wool wool wool weather there!

And will you be making it up to Rhinebeck this weekend?

Wellcome back. Here in Oulu in northern Finland the coming winter is making us chill. So what would be better way to protect from it - grap the nearest wooly thing and wrap it around you.

Thanks for sharing your woolen wonders. I look forward to trying some of these. Unfortunately, it seems like as soon as Fall knocked on the door here in NE OH, the door closed! It feels like winter here.

Is it called Harrisville because the people who settled there were from Harris, and therefore knew how to make fantastic yarn? If so that would be very very cool.

Fall is definitely my favorite season, however, Spring has just sprung here, along with (for the first time in many years!) some desperately needed spring rains. The needles are click clacking happily in harmony with the sound of the falling rain... nice. Welcome home.

Yesterday I returned from a road trip. During my 10 day road trip, I found your book for sale in New York Upstate, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and CT. Just in case you didn't know. ha ha

If you like Harrisville Yarn, Webs has cones for sale. I noticed them during my Tuesday visit.

Oh I love fall as well- mostly because fall means you can show off your work more prominently due to the light layers to keep yourself warm... those include some amazing hand-knits!

I also bought your booklet knowing it would come in handy in the near future and it's already paying off. I'm making Quincy for a friend for Christmas.

Your blog has definitely inspired me to learn more about knitting, the textiles behind knitting and how much love can go into one piece. It inspired me so much so that I started my own blog! check me out if you'd like- I'd love to know what you think


Oh! And welcome back!

Aw, I love fall, and you too. What a nice read!

Welcome Fall!

Enjoy your rest between your travels...you have become quite a celebrity. I believe that all of us, who hold needles and use wool, love autumn most of all. With the anticipation of winter upon us we feel the need to create something to keep us warm. And, of course, we get to pull out all the woolies of past autumns!

Excellent time of year for creativity and inspiration!

My feelings exactly!

Ahhh... Harrisville's Shetland fingering weight wool yarn is my favorite for dyeing, weaving and I'm on my third sweater vest out of it for this winter - all in colors that I have dyed using natural dyes over the years. This yarn dyes beautifully and knits up great. The stitch definition from it is lovely to behold. Okay, I'm a sucker for working with wool, too.

it feels like its time to gather the harvest (whether that be apples or wool), and start preparing for winter (canning or knitting). This crisp weather makes me want to settle in and knit too.
Thanks for the links to great yarn!

I love fall, it is my fave time of year...can you hear the fiber calling more than usual!!

Gotta love fall! I know what you mean about the wools, I am all over the place with trying to decide between on yummy wool and the other!

Glad your are back. I've missed you.

Fall is my favorite season for many of the same reasons you stated. I'm looking forward to seeing you on Bainbridge Island.

I live in the Southwest, where fall truly is a beginning. Thanks for showing us all your new wools--I love picking up yarn recommendations from the pros!

I hear you about the Harrisville love. My local yarn store carries it, and I just love the way it holds a cable stitch. It's firm enough for good shape, but not too scratchy, and they have fabulous colors!

What an amazing yarn selection! Love the shetland most of all

Glad to see you again!

I just wanted to say that I totally agree with you about autumn--to me, it's a beginning time, rather than an ending time. I, too, have been itching to make sweaters and wraps.

I can't wait to see what you come out with next! Enjoy your autumn!


Beautiful post - thank you.

I have read your blog for quite a while and wanted to tell you how much I enjoy it. Am knitting Porom now for a gift and love how the pattern looks. Next I hope to knit your mitten or glove pattern. I love Fall! Thanks for the patterns!

Oh, such gorgeous yarns! I have you to thank for introducing me to the world of Shetland yarns! They are really amazing... I am in the process of making your wonderful mittens that appeared in Vogue last fall. I am so smitten with these mittens! I think I will have to make them in every color of the rainbow. Happy fall knitting!
~Emily in norway

Well said!
I've been vaguely feeling the same way, but you put it into words!
Can't get enough yarn!

Read your latest paean to fall and thought...hmmm..I'll be in Portland over the weekend; I should look up this Imperial Stock Ranch yarn. Finally found one of their kits for sale at a yarn store in Carlton, about 40 miles s.w. of Portland, and drove out on Friday. It was beyond glorious, with the roliing hills and gorgeous gold and fiery red leaves, so I had to also buy some red-gold-green yarn to remind me of the drive. Next day, at a family gathering, the step-dad of my daughter-in-law (for whom I bought the kit) told me that he regularly spends time in Maupin, home of the Imperial Stock Ranch and knows the family that runs it.

An inspiring warm and wonderful weekend, all triggered by your blog. Thanks for the inspiration!

I just finished the Quincy hat and I LOVE it! This one's for my niece and my daughter wants one. So do I.

Fall is most certainly the beginning of the year. All of those seeds - aren't they beginnings? Thanks for the lovely yarn shots - makes me ready to sign off the internet and get out one (or two, or three) of my current projects.

Beautiful, inspiring knitting and wonderful yarns. Harrisville is my standby yarn for almost any project. II would love to be able to tour the facility someday. I have a fairisle project kitted up in their shetland that I am anxious to start. Hooray for Fall!!!

Such beautiful yarn. It's good to have options I guess. I keep a very small stash for practical purposes. I prefer to live light. I buy as I knit. This is hard to do with so many great options.
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