Yarn Reviews

Unpopular Opinion: Brooklyn Tweed

My friend Chantal teaches a ‘Learn to Knit’ class at our local LYS. She talks about how there are two types of knitters – the ones who find a project, and then find the perfect yarn for it; and ones who just buy whatever yarn they feel like and figure it out later. Guess which one I am? I’m actually her example of the “buy whatever yarn they feel like” knitter.  I won’t lie, I’m extremely impulsive. I can walk into a yarn store for a pair of needles, and come out with a couple hundred dollars worth of yarn. It’s a terrible habit, really.

Anyway – a few weeks ago my LYS was posting about the much anticipated arrival of Brooklyn Tweed! I got super hyped – a new yarn?! Oh hell yes! I think I went down the day they got it in. It was beautiful – so many amazing colours, three different weights (Brooklyn Tweed actually offers 5 different weights, but my LYS had three in stock). I eagerly picked up several skeins of Shelter (worsted), and Quarry (bulky).

A quick instagram search yielded amazing results – the patterns that Brooklyn Tweed have produced are unbelievably beautiful. (Regardless of whether or not I use this yarn again, I definitely see some pattern purchases in my future.) Of course I got super excited seeing all these amazing projects, and cast on.

Let’s talk about what happened next.

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Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter (140 yards/skein, 50g, worsted weight)

Pattern: Antler Hat by Tin Can Knits

The Good: I freaking love this pattern. I actually knit it four times in a week. But we’ll talk about that another day. The colours available in Shelter are really beautiful. There’s a yellow that I’m still considering buying even though I didn’t enjoy the yarn. I used snowbound.

The Bad: Dear lord, I have never dropped so many stitches in my life. I’m a pretty experienced knitter, but I drop the occasional stitch from time to time, but this was insane. This yarn is slippery as all hell. Cabling with this was an absolute nightmare. On the plus side, I got really good at fixing my mistakes in a cable pattern. When I finished up the hat, and went to pull the tail through the remaining stitches, the yarn BROKE. So I had a stub left at the of my hat, which I wasn’t able to weave in. I had to frantically try to felt it together (which I’m still not sure actually worked) to actually finish my hat. When I tried to tie on my pompom, it broke again.

I wet blocked the piece, and overall didn’t notice much change. It softened up a little bit, but it’s not an exceptionally soft wool. I still felt like the tension was a little uneven. There is zero stretch to this yarn, so I’m sort of wishing I had made the adult large size hat, because this one doesn’t fit super comfortably.

Overall: I don’t think I’ll knit with Shelter again. I might consider weaving with it. A friend of mine made an absolutely gorgeous scarf on a cricket loom with it, so I’d definitely consider doing that!

Next, I tried the Quarry.

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Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Quarry (200 yards, 100 grams, bulky/chunky weight)

Pattern: Etta Hat by Miskunn

The Good: Amazing yardage (200!) for a bulky weight expensive yarn. I was able to knit the hat in one skein, and had enough left to make a huge pompom. PS – this stuff makes a really interesting pompom. I also really loved the stitch definition. Also – the colourways are named after different CRYSTALS. Be still my crystal loving heart. I used moonstone.

The Bad: Breakage! I did notice the yarn broke while trying to secure my pompom. I didn’t have any problems knitting with this skein, but I did try another skein for a new project, and it broke SEVEN times while knitting the brim of a hat. I don’t know if that was just a bad skein, or what. But I was wildly unimpressed.

Overall: The yarn knits up kind of like a heavy worsted or aran – it isn’t as bulky as some other catagory 5 yarns I’ve used, so just something to keep in mind if you’re planning a project. I tried knitting it on 8mm needles, and it didn’t quite fill out as well as I would have liked, but looks great on 6mm. The pattern I used it on actually called for worsted weight yarn, but I used this to match the gauge.  Nowhere does it say that the yarn is superwashed, but it does not felt together. I tried felting to attach the broken ends to no avail.

I’ll try this yarn again, since I have several skeins, but after the experience I had with my second skein, I’m a little worried. I don’t think that I’m such a forceful knitter that I should be getting so much breakage while knitting, but I did.

In the end, I don’t think Brooklyn Tweed is for me. I’m disappointed, because I had really high hopes. I am still 100% obsessed with their patterns – especially the sweaters and cardigans, and will definitely be trying some of them in the future.

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