Rethinking Brownyn

Sometimes it takes a bit of ordinary wear to fully iron out the kinks of a project, and that’s exactly what happened with my Bronwyn jumper. The ribbed neckband, which seemed just right before blocking, stretched out to a more open neck after a good soak.


A woman stands in front of a garden fence. She wears a handknit cabled jumper, denim shirt and red jeans. She is smiling.

Above: before and after blocking. It’s not a massive difference but enough to make me reconsider the neckband.

It’s not a major deal but I decided after some consideration that I’d rather a thick, cabled, fluffy jumper keep the back of my neck warm and leave the open necklines for spring and summer garments. As the neckband was knit separately after seaming, the easiest way to accomplish this was to undo the ribbing and reknit with a smaller stitch count (after thoroughly steaming the yarn to remove any kinks).

A woman stands in front of a garden fence. She wears a handknit cabled jumper, red jeans and purple boots. She is smiling.
I know this looks exactly the same, but I swear it’s different.

As per pattern instructions, my original neckband was knit by picking up 3 out of every 4 sts, so I started my new band with picking up 2 out of 3. I also used slightly smaller needles (3.75mm instead of the 4mm used initially). The back was quite low compared to my other handknit garments, so I knit one set of short rows between each shoulder midpoint to slightly raise that area without looking too disproportionate to the rest of the ribbing.

A woman stands in front of a garden fence. She wears a handknit cabled jumper, denim shirt, red jeans and purple suede boots.

A woman stands in front of a garden fence. She wears a handknit cabled jumper, red jeans and purple boots. A cat creeps into frame.

Above: back before and after.


Sounds simple, but of course I made work of it! The final result was reached after several days experimentation with different stitch counts, needle sizes, short rows worked and cast offs (this was cast off in pattern to maintain some stretch).

It might seem finicky but I figure if I put hundreds of hours work (and nearly the corresponding amount in dollars on yarn!) for a handcrafted garment I may as well have it the way that I like.

A woman stands in front of a garden fence. She wears a handknit cabled jumper, red jeans and purple boots. She is smiling. A cat stands next to her.


Can I take a moment to complain about the pattern photos for Bronwyn? I looked back over them, thinking perhaps it was designed to be an open-necked garment after all, but how the heck could I tell when the model’s hair covers the entire jumper? 

Woman wears handknit cabled jumper. Her long hair covers most detail.
Bronwyn – Melissa Wehrle – Wool People Vol. 10

Maggie Righetti would say that styling is deliberate. She wrote at length about how pattern publishers use creative poses to obscure pattern flaws and important details. I’m sure there was no ill-intent here, other than to achieve a certain ~aesthetic~,* but it’s still immensely unhelpful to have pattern photography that conceals key elements of said pattern.



*Is Brooklyn Tweed the Glossier of knitting, or what?

Author: Siobhan S

20 something, living in country Australia. Spoonie profile: ME/CFS, dysautonomia, anxiety. All about sewing, knitting and food. Unapologetic feminist and disability advocate.

10 thoughts on “Rethinking Brownyn”

  1. Great job on touching up your sweater! You’re right about the pattern photo. I had to concentrate really hard and imagine the model without long hair and then, ah-ha! The collar is very open, indeed. We shouldn’t have to use our imaginations much when looking at these types of photos. The long hair should have been back, not forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LOL what in the world were they thinking with that model’s hair for the photos?!?!? Ugh. That kind of crap irritates me to no end; I’m not here to see Becky’s busted-ass beach waves, I’m here for the garment. O_o (And apparently some sass-mouthing. 😉 )

    Well done on the neckband fix! (It *does* look different, LOL.) You are exactly right that if you’re going to invest the time and money to knit something for yourself, you ought to have it just how you’d like it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. M. Righetti hit the nail on the head!! Not just knit-crochet but sewing patterns too. I like the new neckline you fashioned, and I like the sweater styled with the blue shirt underneath & showing a bit at the neckline and hem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I usually wear jumpers like this with collared shirts underneath actually, just threw it on when the chance to take a photo arose. And yes, I can think of a few pattern companies who are guilty of posing their models to disguise drafting errors….


  4. I’ve been living in a pair of pants for the last year that I sewed & loved for some reasons but weren’t quite right at the bottom. An hour at the machine & they’re right now! But I have many (all?) knits that I need to give a similar re-work to as I’m learning more with each project. I so admire you for not settling when you weren’t completely happy, you’re right, the investment in time & $$$ is worth a bit more time to get what we want.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s amazing how just the smallest change can make something that languished in the wardrobe completely wearable. I do the same to RTW clothes as well that just weren’t quite right!


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