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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Yarn Review #6: Brooklyn Tweed

Hello! Welcome to Yarn Reviews. Today is the sixth installment of my yarn reviews and it looks like I'm "on time" for once!

The intention is that once a month, roughly about mid-month (depending on the day - Year of Projects are on Sundays, WIP Wednesdays are on Wednesdays, and FO Fridays are on Fridays so rarely will you see a Yarn Review on those days), I'll do a yarn review, which may or may not include multiple types of the same yarn or multiple different yarns on the same day. The yarns in question, unless specified, are coming from my stash, purchased by me, for me, and for my use. I've been given no money or other non-monetary gifts for these yarn reviews. The reviews are of my opinion and based on my own experience and do not necessarily coincide with other fiber enthusiasts, though they may.

And that, dear readers, is my disclaimer (of sorts). 

Let's move on, shall we :)

1. Information about the Company: A few years ago, Jared Flood, knitter, photographer and knitwear designer, had a grand idea. He wanted a yarn that was spun from American breeds of sheep. His research showed that this was not something that had been done on a commercial scale and he set out to do it. A small team of creative professionals, including Flood, came up with Brooklyn Tweed. The idea was that this venture would help support and sustain the tradition of textile production in the US. More information can be found on their website.

2. Other Yarns Offered: Currently there are only two yarns offered - Shelter and Loft (Loft is the finger weight version)

3. Information about the Yarn (specific to the yarn being reviewed):
     - Official Name: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter
     - Fiber Content: 100% Targhee-Columbia Wool
     - Skein Weight & Yardage: 50 grams & 140 yds (128 m)
     - Gauge: 5 sts/inch on US #7 (4.5 mm) or 4.5 sts/inch on US #8 (5 mm) or 4.25 sts/inch on US #9 (5.5 mm)
     - Yarn Weight: Worsted
     - Washing Instructions: Handwash only
     - Where to Purchase: Here is a listing where Shelter can be found in stores (very limited) but it can also be purchased online, directly from Brooklyn Tweed's website.

4. Review (the real reason you are here):
     - Pros
          1. Array of colors (32 different colors, based on the website)
          2. American bred, sheared, processed, spun, dyed...100% American product
          3. Durable
          4. Fabulous stitch definition
          5. Warm (it's wool, it should be warm!)
          6. Dyed very well - match dyelots, of course, but I haven't seen any Shelter with under-dyed spots.
     - Cons
          1. It's a little.....rustic. When I made my hat (see below), I kept finding bits of organic matter spun right into the yarn so I spent time picking that out while I was knitting.
          2. Somewhat itchy - this isn't something I'd necessarily want to make a cowl with as it would bother me. For a cardigan to wear over long-sleeves or mittens with lining...perfect. Not something I want right on my skin. Now, perhaps a good soak in conditioner will help but I haven't done that yet.
          3. Cost prohibitive. It runs $12.50/skein and you only get 140 yds. Now, I made a hat with one skein and that's fine. For small projects, the price isn't horrible...but if you're looking to make a long-sleeved, cabled cardigan, this yarn can get a little expensive (of course, which yarn doesn't).
          4. Sold in very few places and screens vary with color accuracy. I know knitters and crocheters like to bury their faces in the yarn and see what they're getting...and with so few places selling this, it's difficult to be able to do that. 
          5. A little splitty. I think this is because of the handspunish quality but I did have some difficulty getting my needles to place properly. 

I have only ever owned one skein of Shelter. I won it at our year-end Madison Knitters' Guild meeting a couple years ago (Jared Flood had been one of the speakers that year). 

It became this:


This photo doesn't do it justice...the color is all wrong (it's the Nest colorway, the same one used in the original pattern and photo shoot). The pattern is one of Jared Flood's patterns and was designed with Shelter in mind. I made some modifications (adding length, for instance)...I wound up with less than 10" when I finished the hat. 

Since then, I have seen Shelter in very limited quantities out in the wild. I do like working with it for some projects and I think that, if I find it again, I'll snatch some up :)

I hope you've enjoyed. I expect a book review will come within the next week but I have to decide which book I want to discuss :)


  1. Interesting tidbits on this yarn.

  2. Your hat is lovely! Thanks for the review. I haven't seen this in person and am glad to have an idea of what to expect when I do.

  3. Thanks for this review! Its exactly what I wanted to know. Brooklyn Tweed has so many things on Ravelry (patterns) and they're made up with their own yarn, of course, and beautiful. But the price stops me. And the rougher wool. The colors, though, wow!