Wow, that’s a lot of descriptors to fit into one title . . . but they all apply to Bellows, one of the gorgeous Brooklyn Tweed patterns from BT Fall 14. I love Brooklyn Tweed yarns, but I wanted to experiment with a new, very similar yarn I discovered recently — Swan’s Island All American Collection (75% Rambouillet Wool / 25% alpaca). Like Brooklyn Tweed, this 100% wool (also all-American produced) has a light, lofty feel to it and a tweedy appearance. You would definitely want to use a lofty worsted weight yarn, because you knit it doubled, so any heavier yarn would make a VERY heavy sweater!
I used 10 skeins of All American in color Frost, and got gauge with the recommended US 11 needles (US 10s for ribbing). I really debated the sizing – I wanted an oversized fit, as the sweater is modeled in the pattern, but I thought that 9″ of positive ease would make me look like I was swimming in it! There’s a big size jump from 43 1/4″ to 48″, and so I was stuck – go with the 43″ size and have only about 4″ ease, or jump all the way up to 48″, which would give me 9″ of ease? In the end, I just couldn’t risk going so big, and I figured I could block it pretty aggressively if I wanted a larger fit, so I went with 43 1/4″.
Whew . . . it was the right call. It doesn’t fit exactly oversized on me, but to tell you the truth, an oversize fit on someone with a frame like mine just isn’t as adorable as it is on the twiggy models that Brooklyn Tweed always uses 🙂 So, I get the snuggly, oversize feel, without looking too bulky. And I definitely wouldn’t want to look any bulkier – worsted weight yarn held double results in a lot of heft! The styling of the cardigan – especially its relatively short length – helps balance out the bulk, however.
And, the most amazing thing: I knit this entire sweater in seven days! There was just enough detailing, stitch patterns, cabling, etc to keep it interesting, without making it so complex as to keep me up at nights (which is sometimes the case with BT patterns). I love the fit and styling of the cardigan, and I love the All American yarn – it has a great tweedy color and a very soft (yet substantial) texture. A definite winner! Now it just needs to be cold enough during our mild Oregon winters to wear this thing . . .Pin It