May 2020 Meeting Recap: Luigi Boccia of Brooklyn Tweed Takes Us Behind the Scenes with the Design and Launch of a New Yarn, Member Tips, and Show & Tell
by Kimberly Williams
May’s virtual meeting presentations started with Anna sharing tips on how to keep track of what sized needle was used for a gauge swatch.
Method 1: add a series of yarn overs to a row of the swatch. For example, if you are knitting with size 5 needles, you would add 5 yarn overs with their corresponding K2TOG (YO, K2TOG, YO, K2TOG, YO, K2TOG, YO, K2TOG, YO, K2TOG).
Method 2: add knots to a tail to equal the needle size.
Method 3: add a numbered bead to a removable stitch marker. This last is my personal favorite, as I love an excuse to buy beads.
Click images below to see examples.
Our speaker for the month was Luigi Boccia, co-owner and operations manager of Brooklyn Tweed. He took us through the process of launching a new yarn and gave us an exclusive preview of their next yarn, Dapple. After 10 years of focusing on growing a business and maintaining their goal of sustainably sourced and milled yarn from the U.S., they were ready to challenge themselves and create something a bit more playful.
Dapple blends cotton, a renewable, sustainable fiber, with Merino wool. The wool comes from a Colorado ranch owned by a scientist focusing on improving the genetics of the herd. This business relationship had already been established. Finding a cotton farm that met Brooklyn Tweed’s high standards was the first challenge. They learned about a Texas organic cotton farm while watching the documentary The True Cost. That farm turned out to be a perfect fit.
The next big challenge was how to dye the fibers. Wool and cotton take color differently. Cotton provides an additional challenge as it takes color sporadically. You could dye each separately and then mix them together, trying for an exact match. Or you can achieve a marled effect with 2 different colors. Or as their mill suggested, you can dye the fibers together with a dye developed for one of the fibers and produce a faded effect normally produced through a hand-dyed method. And thus was born the first line of Brooklyn Tweed with no two skeins alike.
Luigi’s excitement for the whimsy in Dapple was obvious. He encourages sweater knitters to be experimental with skein placement to get the best variation. Dapple’s playful nature is set apart from Brooklyn Tweed’s other lines’ classic and timeless colors.
For me, the most interesting thing was learning about why they release only a few colors with each new line. The smaller palettes help local yarn shops adjust their space to new inventory. Too many choices can also overwhelm knitters already excited by a new yarn. Which of us hasn’t stood, mesmerized and drooling over a newly discovered yarn?
Now we will all hold our breath until Dapple is released on July 15th with two new patterns by Jared Flood.
Thank you, Luigi, for our sneak peek!
We wrapped up with a virtual show and tell. Our knitters have been productive and have created some beautiful things.
Want to watch the full meeting? Click here.