Picking a yarn for Brookdale Vest

You have lots of options when it comes to picking a yarn for your own Brookdale Vest. The gauge is 17 stitches = 4” (or 4.25 stitches per inch), so let’s talk about your options:

Option 1: Choose a worsted or aran-weight yarn

With a gauge of 4.25 stitches per inch, this falls in the worsted or aran-weight yarn category (aran is just a bit heavier than worsted). In the sample photographed below I used the aran-weight Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool Aran, a wool/silk/nylong blend. I love how it knit up in this yarn!

There are so many other worsted or aran-weight yarns you can consider as well. Below are swatches of:

  • Berroco’s Remix yarn – this would also make a great option especially if you’re looking for a non-wool idea). I was able to get gauge on the same US 8 needle.
  • Malabrigo Rios – always a favorite, and it would look nice in one of the variegated shades as well! I was able to get gauge on the same US 8 needle
  • Berroco Ultra Alpaca – love the drape of this yarn and it always knits up so nicely. I was able to get gauge on a US 9 needle.
Berroco Remix
Malabrigo Rios
Berroco Ultra Alpaca.

Featured below are examples of finished Brookdale’s, all knit in some other different worsted-weight yarns:

Jmwoods knit her Brookdale in Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok Worsted.
KathyAnne knit her Brookdale in Studio Donegal Soft Donegal
LaceyKay knit her Brookdale in Whimsical Colors Targhee Worsted.
Knitgnatt knit her Brookdale in Hudson + West Forge.
KnitNannyRuth knit her Brookdale in Juniper Moon Santa Cruz.

Not featured as swatches or examples but other worsted/aran weight yarns that I think might work well are: Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran, Kelbourne Woolens Lucky Tweed (to name just a couple!). Check with your local yarn shop for more ideas too!

Option 2: Double-strand a sport or DK-weight yarn together

This is what I did in the sample photographed below (modeled by my Mom!). I double-stranded Berroco Remix Light (a solid, shown in Ocean colorway)) with Berroco Summer Sesame (a striping/multi-color, shown in Beach Glass colorway). Note: many sites classify Summer Sesame as a worsted but personally I call it a DK – it would be an extremely thin worsted and I found it knits up much more like a DK yarn.

I originally got this idea to combine these 2 yarns from the yarn shop Coastal Purls – here is a picture they had posted that totally inspired me to give this a try! It’s a great option if you live in a warm climate because neither of the yarns have any wool in them.

Curious what other combinations of Remix Light and Summer Sesame would look like knit up together? Check out my swatches below!

Ocean (Remix Light) + Beach Glass (Summer Sesame)
Mist (Remix Light) + Beach Glass (Summer Sesame)
Midnight (Remix Light) + Beach Glass (Summer Sesame)
Ocean (Remix Light) + Inkwell (Summer Sesame)
Mist (Remix Light) + Inkwell (Summer Sesame)
Plum (Remix Light) + Orchid (Summer Sesame)
Mist (Remix Light) + Orchid (Summer Sesame)

If you want to consider double-stranding, you don’t always have to use 2 different yarns like this. You can use the same brand but in 2 different colors for a marled affect, or use the same color if you choose:

2 strands of Remix Light together: Ocean & Mist
2 strands of Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool DK together: Medium Gray

Quantities of Yarn

My pattern information page in the Brookdale pattern lists the yardages required based on the size you are making. I always add approximately 10% extra to these yardage estimates to account for gauge swatching. However, if you think you may lengthen your Brookdale, I would suggest you get an extra skein of yarn just for insurance. If you wind up not using it, I have lots of 1 skein projects that I can suggest that will work perfectly for this gauge.

If you are double-stranding, a good rule of thumb is to get double the yardage listed for your size. For example, if you were making size 3 which lists a total yardage of 625 yards, make sure to get at least 1250 yards total. But I typically recommend with double-stranding to get extra because depending on the different yarns used, there could be some discrepancies, especially if you’re using different yarns (and extra yarn is better than not enough yarn!).

Need help finding the yarn?

All of the yarns mentioned on this page are ones you will often find at local yarn shops, so stop by yours and support local! If you have problems finding them, or don’t have a local yarn shop near you, these are all yarns available at my local yarn shop Mother of Purl in Freeport, Maine. You can order online and have it shipped (and still support a great local yarn shop). Another shop I’ll mention again is Coastal Purl in Elizabeth City, North Carolina – they were my inspiration for creating the double-stranded version and have Summer Sesame and Remix Light yarn.