BT Men vol. 1
(all photos ©Brooklyn Tweed)
The Brooklyn-based knitwear designer, photographer, yarn monger and awesome-name-owner Jared Flood has released his first men’s pattern collection for his company, Brooklyn Tweed, and oh my, there are no words.
It’s made slightly NSFW by the exclusive use of BT’s own yarns, Loft (fingering weight) and Shelter (worsted weight), available in a vast range of mossy, tweedy, natural hues (blended from no more than 11 base colours), and spun in New Hampshire from - yee-haw - USA sheep. The yarn never leaves the country until it’s sold. Although I’ve yet to buy a skein, I know it’s going to be worth every cent I convert.
Anyway, back to the patterns. Flood confesses that although he’s adored knitting for years (just check out his original blog - oozing with early genius, unlike my first projects, garter stitch monstrosities) he found few patterns for men he liked - and even fewer designed by men - and more often than not had to convert women’s sweaters and cardigans to flatter him. BT Men is a collection of sweaters, cardigans, scarves and hats for men featuring cables, panels and chic design that would be equally at home in the coffee shops of Brooklyn or adorning the heads and chests of those rural Wyoming farmers herding the sheep that made them. There’s no super-chunky grandad ties or eccentric square vests in sight.
The patterns look uncomplicated to construct, a vital part of their charm, assisted by schematics on the last few pages that elegantly and simply describe how to put them together. Cables are narrow and tight when they appear, juxtaposing the current trend in women’s knitting, and are especially apparent in fisherman sweater Squall. There’s even a ‘girlfriend’ version of one of the turtlenecks - and we’d be very appreciative to receive one of these from a guy knitter friend.
I would have liked to have seen more variation in texture, such as a moss stitch beanie, but moss stitch is my catnip. ‘Moss everything!’ is my battle cry. Also, Mr Flood, socks will be a welcome addition, especially if they’re as simple as the other designs look… but we’ll have to wait for vol. 2 to see.
All in all, a clean, elegant, to-the-point done debut into a much-neglected area of knitting, and it’s obvious flipping through the lookbook that it was heavily influenced by A. a very good photographer, and B. a man who likes to make and wear knitting. Brooklyn = best.
I’m currently saving up for yarns from Brooklyn Tweed, and my fiancé doesn’t wear a lot of knitted things, sob. Have you knitted with their yarns or bought any patterns from BT Men? Leave your comments below!