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Twist Collective Blog

Designer Post: Spinner

headshot of Laura Patterson

Today's post comes from Laura Patterson, designer of the stunning beaded shawl Spinner, from our newest issue. You can also find this post on her blog, here, and more about her designs here. Enjoy!





Late last spring I saw Twist Collective’s call for their Winter 2015 issue. It was a theme of wintery contrasts, geometric shapes whose edges were softened by drifts of snow, and accented with the sparkle of city lights and snow falling at night. The images coalesced into a feeling that I had to capture with yarn.



part of the mood board for winter 2015



I immediately knew that my design must reflect those same sharp edges, but softened somehow, and it had to have beads, lots of beads to sparkle and shimmer like lights reflected off nighttime snow.


My home office is upstairs in a spare bedroom, and this is where I do all my computer work: typing up patterns and creating charts, keeping up on the latest knitting news, (most of) my social media interaction. My knitting library lives here, as do my yarn, beads, spare needles and crochet hooks, a sewing machine, shipping supplies, and all sorts of other stuff. This is all well and good. Everything I need is close at hand. This isn’t, though, where I knit. I knit downstairs in the TV room. On the couch. With my feet up. Netflix tuned (do you “tune” Netflix?) to whatever show I’m currently watching (it’s pointless asking how many times I’ve watched Arrow in its entirety, as I have absolutely no idea). Because of this a certain amount of yarn has migrated to the TV room. There’s a large basket next to the ottoman overflowing with it, and on the hearth is a pile of my most-used stitch dictionaries, the latest knitting magazines, a sheet for blocking, and the odd pattern or two. Frankly, I’ve tired of carrying them all upstairs and putting them away, only to haul them back downstairs again a day or two later.



wingspan from the back



Anyway, with Twist’s winter call in mind, sitting on the couch, TV on, probably watching Arrow, I dug through my favorite books of stitches from Japan. Wait. Back up. There it is. The perfect stitch. Diamonds and sharp angles that combine and move knit and purl stitches back and forth across the lace, paired yarn overs and decreases, accentuated with lovely five-stitch cables. I dug through the basket, found the perfect yarn for my swatch: lace weight, but slightly fuzzy because of the high alpaca content. Now the beads, the swatch must have beads. Back upstairs. Yes, there they are.



spinner swatch



When I wrote up my submission I made one fatal error. This is what I said, “Shawl would work equally well in pure white, winter white, snowy-blue, snowy-gray, red, or black (but please don’t make me knit the model in black! LOL).” See? It’s all my fault. I made Kate think that the shawl would look good knit with dark yarn. To her credit, when she sent my acceptance letter, Kate actually asked if a dark color would be okay: “I’m tempted to send you a very dark purple. Would you kill me for wanting to send you that?” This is where I made my second error. I said that it would be fine! Head. Desk.



shawl wrapped around model



Honestly though, the color is fabulous, I had reasonable light, didn’t have to frog it (miracle of miracles), and it turned out beautifully. Don’t you think?



beading detail shot



I love knitting with beads, so naturally I have a small (cough) collection of them. A number of them have been sitting mournfully in my stash for years, waiting for that perfect project to come along. One of the mournful colors was suddenly ecstatic: size 8/0 glass seed beads that look like little pearls. I knit up a tiny swatch to be sure. Yes. Oh yes. They’re just right. The white beads on the fuzzy dark yarn look just like snowflakes falling against a night sky.

Twist Style Friday: Cappadocia

Every Friday we feature one of the garments from the magazine in a post about styling. We suggest different ways to wear the garment in question using mock-ups from Polyvore. We encourage readers to tell us what they think about these outfits via our Facebook page or Twitter, and if folks want to make their own outfits, please tweet them at us with the hashtag #twiststyle. You can find all of the Style Friday posts here.



Happy Friday fashion fans!!


Those of you south of the border are heading into a long weekend, which might just be a fantastic time to start a brand new knitting project. That is, unless you're cooking for a zillion of your favorite folks. I hope that however you are spending your time, you get to see some of your nears and dears, and hopefully get a few stitches in.


I went on a bit of a destashing spree this week. I frogged a bunch of projects I haven't touched in ages, and swapped a bunch of yarn I didn't have big dreams for. In exchange I got some very ethical coffee, postage stamps, some stunning yarn I *do* have big dreams for, and some nail decals shaped like tiny tiny snacks. I also frogged a hat I have already ripped and reknitted three times. I think I finally know how to make it perfect, and I'm pretty impressed that the yarn still looks kind of great. 


Here is something else that looks kind of great (by which I mean super great, actually).



collar detail



Cappadocia has a simple shape and is the perfect layering piece for unpredictable weather. I love the way the simple lace makes the ribs ripple slightly. The pattern looks a bit like staggered blossoms on a trellis.



side shotback



In a yarn like this one, with a generous shot of silk, you might not even mind if you make some mistakes and have to knit it again and again.


Wear it like a blazer, over a crisp collared shirt and slim pants, over a flowy dress, or with some serious glitter.



four outfits



How will you wear Cappadocia? I hope it's with sparklepants!

Throwback Thursday: Argyle Jacket


We have been thinking lots about color this week at Twist (I mean, a little bit always). Kate just started a new blog series showing some of our designs in alternate colorways, I picked a color for the Channa sweater I'm knitting, and we are always thinking an issue (two, really) ahead; choosing colors and textures of yarn for future projects.


So I thought it might be fun to look at a garment with a lot of possibilities around color this week for #throwbackthursday. Remember Argyle Jacket?? It's from Fall 2009, but still looks so current!



argyle jacket, modeledargyle panel detail, sleeve



Jenn, the designer, also wrote a blog post (back in the day) with some swatches of alternate color combinations. Here are my favorites-



bluesgrey, lime, forest greenblack and white and red all over



I hope you find the perfect color combination that inspires you to give this Argyle Jacket a whirl!

Color me: Lovat

Hi. Kate here. Choosing colors for garments in each issue is always a funny thing. Sometimes I end up picking a color that isn't MY personal favorite, but I'm not the only person who reads Twist Collective (thankfully!) so I try to pick a variety of colors through the year. Inevitably, I end up looking at some patterns and saying to myself "Great pattern, but what color would I want this in?" So I've decided to play around in photoshop and show you a project in other available colors. Let me know what you're into!

First up: Lovat. I love(at) this sweater (see what I did there?), but I'm not a blue-green person. Thankfully Valley Yarns Northampton is available in about a zillion (37!) colors. Many of them are complex and heathered so they're a bit difficult to mock up quickly in photoshop, but I think you'll get the idea!

Lovat color options

Which is your favorite? Or what color should I have tried Lovat out in?

Twist Style Friday: Channa

Every Friday we feature one of the garments from the magazine in a post about styling. We suggest different ways to wear the garment in question using mock-ups from Polyvore. We encourage readers to tell us what they think about these outfits via our Facebook page or Twitter, and if folks want to make their own outfits, please tweet them at us with the hashtag #twiststyle. You can find all of the Style Friday posts here.


Happy Friday folks!!


It is always a good week when we drop a new issue, and winter is such a juicy time to be a knitter.  Even though to some extent I get to watch these issues develop from the inside (looking through submissions, helping with naming patterns), new issues as a whole still feel like a delicious surprise.


If you read this column often you may know that I try to knit something from every issue of Twist. I'm not totally there, and since time keeps moving forward, catching up may never be fully possible. But I cast on a project from the new issue last night. I just couldn't stop myself. Four episodes of Nashville later (yup, I'm still fully on that train), I have the hem and the short rows for the dipped back.



Carly's channa hem



This pattern is a good deal more plain than the projects I usually choose to knit for myself. There is no fancy lace, no twisty cables. Channa has a simple shape and some little details I just love.



neckline detail



At a glance I thought the sweater front was in garter stitch, but it's closer to half-garter, half-stockinette. That means you get the textural impact of the purl ridges that are such a squishy and wonderful part of knitted garter, but the gauge difference between the front and back is not nearly as pronounced.


The hems too, are a little bit special. That's ribbing you see there, but it's framed with a little bit of garter. It's somehow polished and rustic at the same time. I think this sweater is just lovely.



side viewback




Since I'm making my Channa in soft merino with a little sprinkle of cashmere (lucky clearance find last year!), likely I will want to wear it against my skin, plain and simple (except electric orange). But I also really loved Kate's styling in the shoot above, and the slight A-line shape and boat neck of this top make it really conducive to one of my fave fashion opportunities: LAYERING.


Especially in a gentle neutral, Channa can handle some loud patterns, like how a blanket of snow over a city makes it seem peaceful even when it's still bustling (can you tell that I actually *like* winter?).



three loud layered outfits



How will you wear Channa?