American Wool-Man…

Contrary to a previous post where I claimed to dislike knitting “on demand” I am actually making a cardi for the BFF’s birthday this year. This isn’t technically “on demand” since she didn’t actually request a knitted item for her birthday and, in fact, will probably not even want anything wool by the time her birthday arrives over memorial day weekend. To assure myself that I wouldn’t be doing any knitting I wasn’t really into, I didn’t give her much say in the project. I know her pretty well so I’m confident I can pick a style that will suit both her personality and her wardrobe. I did, however, let her pick the fiber and the color. I had to give the girl something.

Of the options presented to her she chose this:

Brooklyn Tweed's "Loft" in Almanac

Brooklyn Tweed’s “Loft” in Almanac

 

This is “Loft” by Brooklyn Tweed (brainchild of famed designer Jared Flood) and the color is “Almanac“. I’m really glad she chose this because I’ve wanted an excuse to try Brooklyn Tweed’s yarn and I’m having a hard time justifying yarn purchases these days, but hey, it’s a birthday present, who am I to argue?

Brooklyn Tweed produces two yarn weights:

Fingering: Loft

Worsted: Shelter

They are both made from American sourced wool and spun in historic Harrissville, New Hampshire.  I haven’t knit this up yet (no, not even a swatch!), but I can tell you it’s a nice soft wool. I can lay it against the “oh-so-sensitive” skin on my neck with nary a prickle! (Spell-check really wants that to be “pickle”) The color-ways are all sophisticated and subtle and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the quality. It’s not cheap but not outrageous either and their patterns? The best IMO. You can read more about them here.

Quince and Co. also uses American sourced and spun wool and I’ve wanted to try theirs as well but, as yet, I have resisted the urge. Although I’m very tempted, as I love their soft, sophisticated and whimsical color palette, their price-points are quite good, they have awesome patterns and they’re very “carbon footprint” conscious. You can read their story here.

To make them even more tempting they have a wider selection of weights (and even fibers!)

Fingering: Finch (wool), Tern (wool/silk) and Sparrow (linen)

Sort:  Chickadee (wool)

Worsted: Lark (wool) and Owl (wool/alpaca)

Aran: Osprey (wool)

Puffin: Bulky (wool)

I have been lusting after Chickadee in “Apricot” for ages and will, eventually, have to break down and get some, for a review, of course! I certainly wouldn’t be buying any unnecessary yarn…..

The other American wool I love is Stonehedge Fiber Mill’s  “Shepherd’s wool”. This company isn’t just American it’s also a Michigan company with a working farm, wool processing and even a line of equipment for fiber mills should you be interested in starting your own!

Stonehedge Fiber Mill does have an online “shop” but it is considerably less sophisticated than the two mentioned above in that, you can see what’s available on-line but then must either e-mail or call to place an order. Not a big deal but not exactly instant gratification either. Nonetheless, Shepherd’s wool has become my “go-to” worsted weight wool. Because It’s a Michigan wool it is available at almost every LYS near me in some form or other and often available as special order. Shepherd’s wool comes in a nice variety of colors, is soft (no detectable itch factor), wears well, is a pleasure to knit with (good stitch definition), priced well and comes in three weights:

Worsted, DK and Fingering, aptly named “Worsted” “DK” and “Fingering” (It’s a working farm, they’re very practical!).

Stonehedge has a small selection of patterns and kits available as well.

So what’s with the “American Wool-Man” title of this post?

When my Brooklyn Tweed package arrived the other day I had the song “American Woman” going through my head. (That’s the Lenny Kravitz version, which I’m partial to but, for the benefit of any musical purists out there, I’ll include the original Guess Who’s version too.) I immediately changed the words to “American wool-man…..” finding my own self quite amusing. This got me to thinking about songs pertaining to wool and/or knitting (again). There aren’t many. I love Weezer’s “Undone”, which is really about unravelling – a common theme around here. But my personal favorite is, most assuredly, Meryn Cadell’s “The Sweater Song”. If you haven’t heard either of these songs in a while (or ever) take a listen. I promise they’ll make you smile.

It’s a good day to be Knitish!

Comments

  1. Loving that blue wool. Thanks for all the cool links

Trackbacks

  1. […] As for the “contiguous” sleeves I tried on an ill-fated “Rhinia” a while back, I have now made a second attempt. This time it’s a pretty basic sweater: “Same same but different (contiguous Walnus)” by the uber talented “Ankestrick” (Ravelry user name: fallmasche). This sweater is a birthday present for the BFF so I’ve been knitting like mad to get it finished in time (a week from tomorrow!) and I’m using the “Brooklyn Tweed” “Loft” that I wrote about in this post. […]

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