Light as a feather with a rustic feel

Wool

Loft by Brooklyn Tweed

Sometimes you want a garment that’s warm but not heavy. Jared Flood and the team at Brooklyn Tweed have created just this. Loft is different to your average fingering wool. It has an artisan style, feather light weight and rustic feel. Made from Targhee-Columbia sheep wool, with beautiful crimp and spring, its woollen-spun 2-ply construction make it delicate, light and bouncy. It seems to capture pillows of air within the strands.

It should be handled gently when knitting and winding. The fibres aren’t over combed, giving it a light and slightly rough texture. Occasionally you may find a little hay in the yarn as it isn’t carbonised with chemicals to remove impurities. The hay will come out when you block it. With fleece from Wyoming, dyed in Philadelphia and spun in New Hampshire, this is an all-American yarn.

Loft is beautiful for accessories and homewares and depending on how vigorous the wearer, a good choice for light yet warm garments.

When knitting

Handle with care. Don’t pull the strand too hard or tightly as it may break. Adding additional twist to the yarn when completing a cable or knitting tights stitches can help prevent this. If it does happen to break felt-splice the ends together by wetting and gently rubbing back into one piece. I have needed to do this when doing colour work once as I split the yarn when pulling back a mistake. It held nicely when felt spliced back together

When winding take your time and put light tension with one hand on the yarn between the swift and the ball winder. This allows you to feel any stands catching and you can stop quickly to loosen it as required. I have never experienced breakage when treating the yarn this way when hand winding.

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When completing a gauge square people who knit more tightly say the gauge stays true. I knit more loosely and have found it grows.  I have gone down a garment size in most items I’ve made to get the right result. A swatch is necessary to check your how Loft reacts to your own knitting style. If you don’t like making a swatch start with a sleeve and block it first to ensure you are on the right track.

I used a long tail cast-on to give a little extra stretch and bound off with needles a few sizes bigger to provide additional give to the hem. Consider sewing up garments with a similar weight more sturdy yarn to give garments additional strength. This can help avoid threads breaking when you put the garment on and off.

The 37 colours are stunning, deep and vibrant. With names like Button Jar, Tartan and Long Johns who can resist! Definitely grab a shade card if you order online so you can experience the full range for yourself. It will mix with Shelter if you want to blend different weights. I’ve occasionally used two strands of Loft resulting in a yarn weight almost identical to Shelter.

I have found it great for homewares. I’ve made a number of cushion covers with Loft and the results have been stunning. When constructing cushions, I’ve found balancing out the front yarn panel with a fabric linen back a great way to create a polished finish.

Loft can also be felted gently if you want a denser result.

When blocking

I have found Loft tends to grow in both length and width so completing a swatch is essential. Blocking allows the yarn to bloom and become a little fuller and sturdier. You will find the blocked fabric is quite different to what is on your needles as you knit. Lace work shows up beautifully, the strands hold their shape allowing stitch definition is enhanced.

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When washing

Hand wash and dry flat. When washed in cool water, no dye ran from my items. Use hair conditioner to make the fibres softer. The colours are vibrant so dye run is something to keep an eye out for however I haven’t experienced this.

When wearing

Loft is soft for a woollen-spun it is not smooth. The fabric does become softer with washing so don’t judge the feel until blocked. I can wear it against my skin and wouldn’t say it is itchy, just textured.

The fabric won’t be as durable as some yarns and needs to be worn thoughtfully. I have a few friends who have needed to make repairs to their garments due to breakages in hems or collars. The delicacy of the fabric is important to consider when deciding what to make or who to make it for. The fabric can pill especially anywhere that the fabric is rubbed together. I found it pilled where my handbag touched my jumper when walking. I simply pulled the pills off leaving the strand nicely intact.

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Conclusion

Treat Loft with love and you will be rewarded for your efforts. It produces a fabric that’s delicate, light and warm. Somehow Loft floats on your needles. It needs to be handled with respect. The fabric you create will have a rustic, earthy feel and lovely stitch definition.

Weight Fingering with a 2ply construction
Length 251 metres / 275 yards
Unit Weight 50 grams / 1.76 ounces
Gauge 24-32 stitched per 10 cm / 4 inches
Needle 2-3.5mm / US 0-4
Composition and Origin 100% Wool – Targhee-Columbia, Wyoming United States
Ravelry Star Rating 4.2 from 1895 votes – 26/5/17
Recommended handling Dry Flat, Hand Wash, Wind slowly, be gentle, loose cast on and bind off. May pill lightly – pull them off it usually settles.
Colour 37 colours in the range, Heather
Supplier Brooklyn Tweed
Average retail price $14.75 USD – 6 cents per meter
Source of review yarn Purchased by author online directly from Brooklyn Tweed
Project Ideas Aranami Shawl by Olga Buraya-Kefelian, Broadwalk by Heidi Kirrmaier or Dresden by Kirsten Johnstone