Brookdale Tips

On this page you’ll find tips and tutorials to help you as you make your own Brookdale Vest! Below are the basic technique tutorials, and then in the next section I review some tips and techniques that are specific to Brookdale (so make sure to scroll to read them all!).

Basic Techniques Used:

Here are the basic techniques used (things like casting-on, decrease stitches, etc):

Special Brookdale Techniques:

Tips on Picking a Size

Picking a size can be very subjective because it really depends on your own personal style and how you like to wear your garments (some people like things more fitted and others like them more oversized!). In Brookdale I provide a recommended range of 2-5″ of positive ease in the chest. As an example, My bust is approx. 33″ and I’m wearing size 3 whose finished chest circumference is 37.75″, so I’m wearing it with approx. 4.75″ of positive ease at the chest. Note that the finished chest is from Front edge, across the back, to the next Front edge and it’s how it measures when laid flat. When you wear Brookdale, because of how the front panels drape along your neck, the front edges will not meet or overlap (and if you fold over your fronts like I have done in many of the pictures, the gap then becomes even larger).


Where to Join a New Ball of Yarn

In any open-style vest like this, recommend not joining a new ball of yarn at the beginning or end of row. This is because the wrong-side of the Fronts will likely show a little (since you may folder them a bit, or they may curl in a little, as you can see in the above photo), and you don’t want your ends showing. So I recommend joining a new ball around the sides – I usually joined mine on the back towards one of the sides. Just a little helpful tip for this pattern, as well as any open-style cardigan or vest!


Attaching Front Panels to Back Neck

Brookdale has front panels that wrap around the back of the neck. I’ve used this design look/technique in a couple other patterns and it works well for an open-style cardi like this (because it wraps around the neck, you never have the “falling off the shoulder” problem that often accompanies open-style cardigans). The techniques used aren’t hard, but what can be complicated is the process itself. This happens in three sections of the pattern – “Join Shoulders”, “Join Front Panel Ends” and “Join Back Neck.” I’ve outlined steps for each section in the pattern PDF, but I’ve also created a photo tutorial page that shows you photos that coorespond to each step. I’m a visual learner myself so I hope having these photos of each step will help you in this part of the pattern. Click here to view the tutorial page!


Blocking

Blocking is always important, but you’ll find that in Brookdale it’s super important! Check out my before and after blocking pictures below:

The front panels will curl inwards before blocking. In some yarns it may be more dramatic than others but I guarantee it will curl – it’s just the nature of the stitch pattern. But after you block, it relaxes the stitches and although a little flipping will still happen (it’s just the style of the piece), as you can see above, it’s much less dramatic! Over time, you may find it flips more, but this is where hand-steaming can really be your best friend. I have a mini hand steamer (the one below I got at Target years ago) – it helps for relaxing the front panels as well as getting any post-blocking side creases out:

If you are new to blocking, check out my video tutorial here! And in case it’s helpful, below is a photo of what my Brookdale looked like when it was on the blocking tiles: