Neckwear Made From Brooklyn Tweed Vale

Today I want to highlight some neckwear accessories that I’ve made over the past few years. They are all made from the same yarn, Brooklyn Tweed Vale, and all the patterns are from Brooklyn Tweed as well. If you haven’t tried any of their patterns, I highly recommend them. They are all high quality and include details on all required techniques (cast on, blocking, stitch patterns, etc.).

The Yarn

My Vale shade card

Brooklyn Tweed Vale is a laceweight Rambouillet wool that premiered in 2017. When it was released, I immediately ordered a shade card to see what it was like. The yarn is soft and springy, and comes in several colors ranging from bold to pastel to neutral. As a laceweight yarn, the look really changes depending on the gauge of the project it is used in. I’ve completed three projects with Vale so far.

Gully Cowl

Gully cowl

I made Gully (pattern) in the summer of 2017, right after I received the shade card and decided I must knit with this yarn. This lightweight cowl took one skein of Vale in colorway Norway. This was the first time I had tried brioche knitting, which uses yarn overs and slipped stitches to create a squishy fabric. It is an interesting technique to use with laceweight yarn, resulting in a cozy but very lightweight feel. This cowl is knit flat, starting from the bottom, and gradually tapers to a narrower opening at the top. It is seamed together after blocking to create a tube. Unlike a lot of cowl designs, this one fits very closely to the neck. Mine ended up almost too tight, so if I make this pattern again I will swatch carefully and consider going up a needle size (I used the recommended US4 this time).

Brora Shawl

Brora shawl

I made the Brora Shawl (pattern) in 2017 and early 2018, using two skeins of Vale in colorway Heron and US3 needles. This triangular shawl was a delight to knit and I wear it frequently. The center triangle is knit first, starting at the center point, then the edges of this triangle are picked up and the outer lace motif is worked out toward the edges. The center triangle has a subtle garter triangle pattern, and the lace section includes both garter stitch and eyelets. I like that this shawl is light enough that it could go with a summer dress to lessen the chill of the evening, or it could be a layer underneath a warmer coat in the colder seasons.

Close-up view of the two Brora sections

Prism Cowl

Prism cowl

I started the Prism Cowl (pattern) in mid-2018, and didn’t finish it until mid-2020! This was during the height of my knitting rut so I really was not working on it for most of this time. I finally picked it back up and finished it once I started working from home due to the coronavirus in March 2020. Anyway, this cowl used two skeins of Vale in colorway Thaw and a US6 needle. It is knit flat and grafted together after blocking. The pattern is a satisfying combination of garter stitch and geometric lace. It was interesting to knit but also fairly easy to memorize each row. It can be styled as a long cowl or wrapped double for extra coziness.

What’s Next?

Vale yarn in Sashiko, Vernal, Barberry, and Morel (L-R)

I went a little crazy on ordering Vale yarn back in 2017, so I have a few skeins left – one each of colorways Sashiko, Vernal, Barberry, and Morel. Maybe I’ll make some more Gully Cowls as gifts, or track down some other one-skein patterns. These colors could also work nicely together if I find a nice large, multicolor project. It will be a treat to use this wonderful yarn again!

Past Projects – Wedding Shawl

Happy first day of February! I can’t believe January is already over…I have not done as much knitting as I would have liked! One reason for this is that I have a small injury to my left hand. I don’t think it’s too serious, but there’s a little bit of nerve damage so I’m being really careful and taking it easy while rehabbing. Unfortunately, this means I probably won’t be knitting for at least a few weeks, which really puts a damper on my stash challenge progress for now.

In the meantime, I’ll be writing about some projects I have completed in the past, along with some other crafty things. Today’s post features the lace shawl I knit for my wedding in 2012.

Photo credit Eli Pitta

Photo credit:  Eli Pitta

For this shawl, I tried lace knitting for the first time. Lace knitting  is characterized by intricate designs with holes and shaping, and typically uses small needles and fine thread to create delicate pieces. Unlike a lot of the other projects I do, this one required me to pay very close attention to every stitch. It’s easy to make mistakes in knitting in general, but even more so with lace. Plus it’s harder to correct mistakes when the pattern involves many yarn overs and decreases as lace typically does.

Photo credit:  Eli Pitta

Photo credit: Eli Pitta

The shawl pattern comes from the Interweave Knits Accessories 2011 magazine. (This is a great issue! I have made several items from patterns in it, so it was well worth the $15 it set me back.) The pattern is called Trousseau Wrap and was designed by Miriam L. Felton. The Interweave Accessories issue has several beautiful wedding shawls, but this one really jumped out at me as something I had to make for myself. I love how the points on the ends of the shawl make a bold statement, while the ring pattern in the shawl body is intricate and timeless. For my shawl, I used Lorna’s Laces Helen’s Lace yarn in red for a pop of color.

Photo credit:  Eli Pitta

Photo credit: Eli Pitta

The construction technique for the shawl was new to me. First, one end is knit side-to-side to create the four points. Next, stitches are picked up along the edge and the piece is worked from bottom to top to create the body of the shawl, with stitches held provisionally once the desired length is reached. Stitches are cast on for the second end, which is knit from side to side again. At the end of each WS row, the last stitch is knit together with a held stitch from the body. I thought this was a really cool way to keep the shawl as all one piece, yet allow for the knitting direction to change in the different parts of the shawl.

Photo credit:  Eli Pitta

Photo credit: Eli Pitta

The hardest part of making this shawl was carefully manipulating the fine yarn, particularly because the pattern has many K3tog stitches in every other row. Once I got the hang of it, I enjoyed the detailed work and it was fun to spend my time making something so beautiful. It did take a long time though – I started in April 2012 and finished just a couple days before my wedding at the end of August 2012, so about 4 months! It ended up being just the perfect accessory to wear during my wedding, and I really enjoyed creating something unique and personal for this special occasion.