BT Winter 2013

As the snow accumulates outside in the midst of a fairly big storm blowing through Saint Louis, I’m reminded that winter knitting is still in full swing. Putting my current projects aside, I thought it was time to brush away the cobwebs here and say hello.

I should mention, there’s a little pattern/yarn giveaway at the end of this post.

Earlier this month, our Brooklyn Tweed in-house design team published 18 new patterns – all of which we are very exited about. It’s always fun to see people debating which one they will knit first.

As our next collection deadline approaches (just wait until you see what we’ve been up to!), it’s fun to look back on the pieces I designed for the Winter Collection, remembering the inspiration behind them as well as the techniques I worked through to perfect each one. Each time I see one of my patterns published, I’m somewhat amazed it came out of me!

When seeking inspiration, I sometimes look in my own closet and find a favorite shirt or pant and ask myself what would go great with it. That is exactly how Hudson took shape. I love turtlenecks but for Hudson, I wanted one that had a more updated and flattering shape and more interesting texture. When it came to working through the waist and raglan shoulder shaping, I tried over and over until I was happy that I had created the perfect double decreases that blend with the twisted rib pattern. I’m going to make another one soon, maybe in a bright color (gasp).

I. Love. This. Scarf. With gorgeous texture and a simple cable repeat, it’s knitted extra wide and long for a really amazing accessory. During our initial concept meeting, I declared that I preferred the WS of the textured stitch pattern, while Jared voted for the RS as his favorite (shown above). For the pattern, we happily provided instructions for both. My design aesthetic leans well into the unisex category, so I made sure Kirkwood works equally well for a man or woman. Good luck fighting over it :) Head over here to see the WS version in Fossil (off-white) that the lovely and talented Nicole sample-knitted for me.

Over the past year I have played around in Illustrator working on a few ideas for potential colorwork. When we decided that we would feature colorwork in this collection, I came back to those ideas with new energy. The result was Kimmswick which quite honestly took on a life of its own as I worked through putting different charts together, building a cohesive balance of traditional and modern and putting some diagonal “white space” in the mix. Yes, I did plenty of ripping back to get it right. While there were moments when I thought it would never end, who knew that I would enjoy colorwork so much.

Last week, we were at Madrona for a fun meet and greet with knitters in the Rotunda. Our samples from this collection were featured in the Churchmouse Yarns & Teas booth in the market area, and every time I would stop by, people were trying Clayton on. Of course, it gave me great satisfaction to see that and it really worked for so many different ages and body types. I’m exited to explore more tailored garments in the future.

Thanks to my gorgeous friend Karen for modeling the sample garments before I shipped them off.

The names for these patterns are all neighborhoods in Saint Louis (paying homage to my current host city) with the exception of Hudson, which is the fantastic location of Hudson, NY where we shot the photos for this collection.

I’ve talked about myself long enough, but if you’re still reading, you can pop over to to read more about me in this month’s designer interview. (Psst, there’s a generous pattern collection and pattern/yarn giveaway as an incentive.)

Mostly, I am really interested in your thoughts. Please don’t be shy and leave a comment below!

Cheers. x


  • Monique on Jul 16, 2013 Reply

    Gosh these look cozy! I’m reading this post extremely late and it’s making me yearn for chilly and cozy weather!

    • julie on Jul 17, 2013 Reply

      I know exactly how you feel, Monique :)

  • ang on Jul 09, 2013 Reply

    Julie. Congrats. This collection is amazing. What a talent!
    Ps id love to work with you on a test someday! (Slikchik) ravelry , x

    • julie on Jul 10, 2013 Reply

      Very kind Angela, thank you!

  • Amy J on Feb 27, 2013 Reply

    Love the designs (always love the lines/texture of yours). I was nosy enough to read the article on whitknits…would be a GREAT thing for you (now I’m just being a bit bossy ;) to start designing menswear….down to the smaller boys…not-so-subtle hint. There’s such a gap there!

    • julie on Feb 27, 2013 Reply

      Thanks, Amy! Oh, trust me… there’s plenty afoot. Stay tuned :)

  • Julie on Feb 26, 2013 Reply

    Oh shoot. I was there! I missed you! I did however make the Churchmouse booth my first stop and I loved everything from the new collection. Especially your grey sweater and fair isle scarf, as well as Jarod’s designs. Bliss! You all are doing great things with Shelter and Loft.

    • julie on Feb 26, 2013 Reply

      I’m sure I was somewhere nearby — sorry I missed you! Thanks so much. :)

  • Ness on Feb 23, 2013 Reply

    I’m crazy about everything in this collection, but most especially your scarves! They are gorgeous! I can’t wait to have a Kimmswick of my own. :)

  • Donna on Feb 23, 2013 Reply

    Wonderful collection. My favorite . . . Hudson . . . love the texture and turtleneck. Thanks, Julie.

  • Karen on Feb 22, 2013 Reply

    Hello Julie, thank you for the beautiful designs and patterns. i have started Clayton and I have a question – do you have any problems with the reverse stockinet stitch curling up on the back sides? I am getting a serious curl on the two sections of reverse stockinet. Was wondering if I am doing something wrong? Using fingering weight alpaca. Perhaps its the yarn. Thanks for any tips you can provide. :D

    Ps I was born in St Louis and lived in Kirkwood and Ballwin during my childhood. I love how you named the patterns! Your photos are beautiful too.

    • julie on Feb 22, 2013 Reply

      Hi Karen.

      Certain yarns will curl worse than others, so it’s possible that’s causing it to roll in more than usual. You could try putting a damp towel over the edge and hitting it with a heavy dose from a steam iron (steam, not too much pressure) and pin it down until it’s cool/dry to see how it might behave with blocking later. In the end, wet blocking it (as instructed in the pattern) will give you the best results.

      Good luck and thanks!

  • Line on Feb 22, 2013 Reply

    The only one of these I’d seen before is Kimmswick – but that was love at first sight – love the texture and the colours. It went straight into my queue, I’m on a bit of a stranded knitting roll at the moment.
    I loooove Kirkwood, sent an image off to my man right away. Love the unisexness of it, the colour and the rusticness.
    Hudson looks really interesting too – will have to have a look to see if that might work for a man as well…

    • julie on Feb 22, 2013 Reply

      The BT colors play so well together, there’s so many possibilities for pairing them in a Kimmswick project. Enjoy!

  • susanna on Feb 22, 2013 Reply

    hello julie,
    just want to tell you how much i admire your designs. they are all so graceful, beautiful and esthetically minimalist that renders them timeless and compliments whoever wearing these garments! thank you!
    so far, my favourite to-go-to scarf is doux, but i’m itching to knit kirkwood. :)

    • julie on Feb 22, 2013 Reply

      Too kind, thank you Susanna!

  • julie on Feb 21, 2013 Reply

    I love the turtleneck….

  • karentempler on Feb 21, 2013 Reply

    The scarf looks great both ways, but I’m with you on preferring the WS version. It’s a beauty.

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