Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tweed, Glorious Tweed


It seems that the knitting world has been overcome by a resurgence of tweed. And who can blame us? The textures are lovely and classic, and the cabling and other stitch patterns interesting to knit and very versatile. We can wear the hottest fashion trend while, in the very same garment, having a timeless classic that we can wear for years. What could be better? Could it be that the hot, hot, hot knitter of the last couple years, Jared Flood, and his blog, Brooklyn Tweed, have made us all re-evaluate our basics? I can't help but believe that his influence is a factor. The very name of his blog has us searching our stashes, LYS's, and the internet, for twists of marl and flecks of donegal. The articles in every major knitting magazine have picked up the topic, with historical descriptions of tweed origins and the latest tweed yarn comparisons.

Berocco has introduced a new yarn, Blackstone Tweed, which intrigues me with its colors and patterns. Berocco has caught my eye with their designs for the last several seasons in a row, and it is hard to compete with Norah Gaughan, their design director, for wearable yet intriguing patterns that are both interesting and easy to knit.

While the latest Berocco tweed and patterns have captured my attention, it is an older Norah Gaughan pattern that actually made it onto my needles, the "Uptown Toffee" pattern from "Knitter's Magazine," republished in a "Best of Knitter's" book, "Jackets For Work and Play."

Picture from, "Jackets For Work and Play."
Norah made hers in Classic Elite's "Inca Alpaca" yarn, which I have also used (for the Cozy Critter Cowl and Cap), but I chose for this pattern a tweed in a DK weight. It is Jo Sharp's "Silkroad DK Tweed," in the Emerald colorway. It has a small amount of cashmere, and it seems to have a softness that some of the other tweeds don't. I really like how it is knitting up. The cables are interesting, and the double moss stitch has a nice firmness and drape at the same time.

I had made some cables in the past (such as the Central Park Hoodie), and I had heard of "cabling without a cable needle," but I hadn't really looked into it. I finally added that skill recently, and it has been a big help. There is a great tutorial in the Fall 2009 Interweave Knits, also available on their Knitting Daily site.
I've also got another tweed cardigan in my "queue," this one from the Winter 2008 "Interweave Knits," the "Ropes and Picots Cardigan" by Laura Grutzeck. I chose the yarn used in the pattern, in another color, Rowan "Scottish Tweed DK," mine in Thistle (purple). I had some left from my Almeara Gloves (by the ubiquitous Jared Flood), and I picked up some more. (I'm not too worried about dye lot, with Rowan.)

Picture from "Interweave Knits," Winter 2008.
And, of course, speaking of Jared Flood, I have one of his tweedy items in my queue. Yesterday, I picked up yarn to make the "Green Autumn" mittens from the Fall 2009 "Vogue Knitting" (cover pattern).
Picture from "Vogue Knitting," Fall 2008.
I'll use Jamieson's "Silk and Lambswool," in a purple colorway. I picked up this yarn, yesterday, at Knitty Couture, in St. Louis (The Loop). Jamieson's, now renamed Simply Shetland, has many wonderful tweed yarns... and patterns... and... well, I'd better stop blogging and go knit. :)

Happy Knitting
Lisa Kay

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

That jacket is to-die-for and I have always admired those mittens. I can't wait to see you make both! Good luck.