Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A plain shawl

I've finished knitting Brooklyn Tweed's shawl pattern, Terra, using the Shelter yarn for which it was designed.

terra 2

I'm very happy with this shawl. Because it's knitted with quite thick yarn - worsted gauge - it seems quite casual. It's the kind of shawl you could use when watching television on cool evenings, or to drape over your shoulders when you go for a coffee. I have a tendency to buy the same clothes, with slight variations, over and over again, and I'm now finding I knit the same kinds of things, with slight variations, over and over again. The Shelter yarn has the slight catchiness I love in yarns and that I've used before for shawls. It's quite a simple pattern, very well-written as all Brooklyn Tweed patterns are. It combines a triangular base of garter stitch broken up with regularly spaced rows of stocking stitch with a simple lace edging.

terra 3

Over the last year or so I seem to have had a number of conversations with knitting friends about the amount of attention male knitters and knitting designers attract, and whether the same designs would have the same success if designed by women. I don't think there is a simple answer to this question. It's certainly easier for male knitters to be initially noticed in the mainly feminine world of knitting. But I don't think that this attention would translate into the kind of success Jared Flood (Brooklyn Tweed) has achieved without a significant injection of talent. I happen to like Brooklyn Tweed's aesthetic sensibility. It has an elegant plainness - a kind of Shaker design quality - that appeals to me. I also admire the professionalism with which he's imbued all his activities, whether it's yarn production, knitting patterns, photography, garment blocking, or the design of his blog, with this sensibility.

I think this is the third Brooklyn Tweed pattern I've knitted. I may have initially noticed his designs because he stood out from the crowd as a male knitter, but I keep coming back to them because his knitting aesthetic appeals to me and because his patterns work.

I'll be glad when the weather cools down sufficiently to use this shawl.

Terra 1


Sel and Poivre said...

Oh my that is lovely!

As for Jared, I think his maleness matters less than his gift of photography and the way in which he styles and markets his patterns. I see huge parallels between him and Ysolda - a woman but also someone with a clear and appealing visual style.

Emily said...

Beautiful colour, and shawl. I also love catchy yarns, how they make each stitch work with the other rather than sitting separately.

Haven't tried shelter, and I probably won't, but I love Jared's pictures and approach.

Mrs. Lear said...

How beautiful! I've been very curious about this yarn. The colors are beautiful.

jp said...

I really love this shawl.

I love when you knit Jared Flood (especially for non-knitters) that the design is instantly dramatic, yet simple and it is clear the effort and skill in them.

Anonymous said...

that is just perfect, and my favourite shawl is still my slightly catchy nundle DK shetland triangle of his. and then my second favourite is girasole, so i agree, there is something he does that makes him stand out as a designer, regardless of gender. i have never knitted a shawl with a better written pattern than girasole, a joy. and now i am adding this one to my queue! so perfect for you too.

Rose Red said...

I think the comparison with Ysolda is a good one - I think they are both appealing and popular because of their particular aesthetic and the way they photograph and write about their knitting (both their own patterns and those of others). And they have embraced (or perhaps even pioneered) new methods of publication, and so are appealing to the internet generation of knitters as well.

Lovely shawl - I too love my aran weight Shetland Triangle, it's so luscious to have a thick shawl to wrap up in in winter.

1funkyknitwit said...

You already know how I feel about this shawl Lyn ;)
...LOVE !

Your so right about jared he does stand out of the crowd and I too like his simple but elegant designs :)

Brendaknits said...

Whichever matters most - maleness or photography, I don't know but the combination is DYNAMITE!

Caffeine Girl said...

Wow, I love that shawl. The design and color do have a Shaker sensibility.

I do think that male designers get more attention because of their gender, but that doesn't mean their designs aren't good.

Bells said...

this is unspeakably lovely. I've been looking out for a new winter weight shawl and this is it. Beautiful.

Jared Flood is the only male knitwear designer I've paid much attention to. I think what works out his stuff is a certain timelessness.