Working at Calico & Ivy last year, I heard customers and staff raving about the Brooklyn Tweed range of yarns. I thought I would give the brand a go, so I found a pattern and colour I liked and started this hat and cowl set using Shelter 10 ply in the colour they call ‘flannel’ and I call denim blue.

Casting on in the round

I bought the yarn because I wanted to try Brooklyn Tweed, which has so many fans.

Honestly, I do not think I will use this yarn again. To me, it felt stiff and scratchy (even after soaking in softening wool wash while blocking), and it has a very ‘primitive’ or ‘rustic’ feel. The yarn snapped while I was weaving in the ends of the hat, and despite using a pattern designed for the yarn, I did not have enough to finish the last two rows on the cowl ribbing. The cowl does not drape but stands up stiffly. I think the yarn’s stiffness and the lack of elasticity were my least favourite features.

Snapped yarn

As I was tying off the hat and weaving in the end, the yarn snapped.

Brooklyn Tweed ‘Scrollwork’ pattern made by Granny Maud’s Girl

No one will know that the ribbing is too short on one side of the cowl unless it is pointed out to them.

What I loved about this project were:

  • the colour
  • the cable design of the pattern, called Scrollwork.

I might be crazy, but I really enjoy knitting patterns and textures, especially cables. Plain knitting bores me silly.

Brooklyn Tweed ‘Scrollwork’ pattern made by Granny Maud’s Girl

I like the colour and the braided cables.

Would I use Brooklyn Tweed yarn again? Probably not, even though I have knitted with far worse yarns. Lots of people love it, but yarns that make me happy tend to be softer, like the silk blend I bought recently. I think yarn choice is a matter of personal preference. Many people I know love this yarn. Many people I know also adore batik fabrics, and there is nothing wrong with them, but batiks do not float my boat. This yarn might be akin to batik fabric; there is nothing wrong with it, but it is not my cup of tea. Perhaps my problem is simply that I live in Australia, next door to New Zealand, and I am spoiled for choice for excellent quality merino wool from these two outstanding sheep-rearing nations.

Saying that, this was one of those projects that turned out well despite a few setbacks.

I knitted this for my stepdaughter, who lives in country Victoria (so rural and rustic are appropriate), but I might make her another set in something softer one day.


11 thoughts on “Scrollwork

  1. Isn’t it funny when you hear lots of good things about something, then can’t see what everybody is raving about when you come to experience it yourself. I suppose that applies to lots of things – books, films, music, etc. – as well as wool and fabric.
    Anyway, the finished items are beautiful. The cable design is gorgeous and is very well defined – could it be the nature of the yarn that helped with that or would it be the same in a softer yarn I wonder?

    • You are absolutely right that one of the yarn’s strengths is the clear stitch definition. One of the things that inspired me to try it was that I saw it look really nice in a patterned and textured shawl/chunky baby blanket.

      A lot of the raving is personal preference. For example, I love hand sewing with Aurifil 80 wt. A friend hates it because she is much stronger than I am and snaps the thread all the time! (Can we add men to that list? 😊)

  2. I do agree that if you have to work with materials by hand, whether fabric or yarn, it needs to feel pleasant, sympathetic to the hand and reassure you that it will be comfortable when worn. I think stiff and scratchy do not reassure me, although the idea of a wool silk mix or wool and possum or alpaca sound lovely. It’s a beautiful pattern, and I hope you try it again in something softer.

  3. I have often considered tweed because of how it looks, but wondered about the stiff or scratchiness of it, so I appreciate your review. It certainly does show off the cables to advantage, hope you DIL enjoys the set!

  4. Your hat and cowl are lovely, but they don’t even look soft! My favorite yarn to wear next to my skin is bamboo! Thanks for sharing your opinions and your work!

  5. I’m with you – I love the color but I can tell by looking at it that I wouldn’t be a fan of the texture. I think I had some yarn very similar to that in my stash that I finally ended up giving to my aunt because every project that I tried starting with it, I couldn’t stand knitting with it. I like soft merino wools, certain cottons, and silk & bamboo blends. I also agree on the cables – they were always my favorite to knit.

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