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Twist Collective Blog

Throwback Thursday: Celandine

Do you remember what you were doing in the summer of 2010? I was moving from Montreal to Toronto, and adjusting to a new pace of life in a new city. It was overwhelming, and I did a LOT of knitting and jogging to keep busy. I needed projects that felt really quick and productive; instant gratification knitting. I made a lot of hats.


What I really wanted to make was this:






This was before I was an avid sock knitter, when I was scared of projects that used small needles. Now Celandine seems like a really well balanced project to me! The lace medallions require some concentration, but you make a bunch of them so you'd get quicker at it as you went, and then aside from some pretty shaping, the main body is super simple to knit. Plus if you're making it in the suggested yarn or something of a similar fiber content, every stitch would be a dream to knit. Silk is just amazing to work with.






This isn't a super simple or super speedy project, but if you're looking for a bit of a challenge, and a totally stunning result, I think Celandine might be just the lady for you.


Twist Style Friday: Fortuna

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.


Marnie here. Carly asked me to cover Style Friday while she enjoys a vacation weekend. Oh,how I envy her. It's been a month and a half of long hours, and few weekends for me and, of course, knitting away on next season's designs with any free hours I have available, so I'm planning to vacation vicariously through her until I can get some time off for myself.


Not that it's bad. I love my jobs and when I'm not working, my spouse and I have been tending our little garden. This year we've been eating ripe tomatoes until our stomachs hurt. Totally worth it. As great as the fresh food is, I think I might like some of our visitors even more. This sassy little hummingbird was giving me the hairy eyeball just the other day.





You can recognize the males by brightly colored feathers on their neck. They make me laugh every time they buzz my head and try to scare me off. They are no bigger than my thumb but they are fearless.


I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to be talking about knitting and fashion, though, so let's get to that. My design this season is Fortuna, a half-circle shawl with a complex, knit, purl, lace and twisted-stitch pattern. With such a beautiful silk yarn to work with, I wanted to do something that would take advantage of silk's sheen and play around with the way different stitch patterns reflect the light.






It's so hard to capture in a photograph, but I think you can get a feel for what I mean in this photo I took after blocking. To truly appreciate silk yarn, though, you really must see it in person.




Instead of styling this shawl with pieces found in Polyvore, I thought it would be fun to switch things up a little and instead, pair them with pieces I've sewn from commercially available patterns. I bet a lot of people who read this blog also sew, and pairing up knits with sewn projects, can produce a closet full of great-fitting pieces in just the colors and styles that make you happy.


On the left is Colette's Myrtle dress sewn in an old Star Wars bed sheet I bought online. To cover the waistband, I sewed a sash in the same material. Paired with ballet flats and a big bag, this is a great day dress and can go pretty much anywhere. I almost always find stores and restaurants too cold so any time I wear a sleeveless dress, I always bring a shawl or cardigan along.




Speaking of sleeveless dresses, in the middle is New Look 6002. The envelope photos make the pattern look really prom-y. There's lots of sparkle and pink on the dresses the lovely young models are wearing, but worked in a crisp linen, the piece becomes suitable for office or evening, depending on which accessories are used. I didn't have a single shot of me in the dress without Panda and Thea in front of me so I figured I'd keep them with the dress. Seems only fair. Dogs are optional accessories for this look.


On the right, is discontinued jacket pattern, Butterick 5393. Paired with cigarette pants, flats and a smart bag, this is a great option for the office and if the Autumn air gets a little too crisp, Fortuna makes a fantastic scarf that you can wear right up against your neck without ever feeling itchy. The free-form lace is juxtaposed against the more structured plaid and makes for a playful and unexpected combination.


Have you ever considered sewing pieces  to go with your knits? What would you pair with Fortuna?


Throwback Thursday: Wingspan

Welcome to another installment of #throwbackthursday, where we feature a pattern from a past issue of Twist Collective!


This week takes us back to Winter 2010, that time we did a photoshoot at a skating rink. Yeah, you're right, that *was* adorable. Hello there, Wingspan.



wingspan from the back



In addition to being a really lovely sweater, Wingspan is the cure for second sleeve syndrome! You knit from cuff to cuff in one piece, and then pick up stitches upwards for the cowl and downwards for the lower body. I oscillate between being a product knitter and a process knitter (does that make me a praxis knitter?), and unconventional construction is wildly alluring for me.



closeup of cables



The visual impact of the cables flowing seamlessly from wrist to wrist is just plan cool. If I were to knit this tomorrow (please don't make me, I am positively BURIED in knitting for soon-to-be-weds, newlyweds, and freshly baked (or still baking) humans), I might leave off the cowl and finish the edge with an applied i-cord. I overheat and like to be able to take my scarf off. With or without the cowl, Wingspan is a stunning sweater on or off the ice.



neck and cable detail





Twist Style Friday: Sachertorte

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.


Even though technically January is the beginning of the year, having spent so many years either as a student, or working with youth (many of whom are in school of some variety), September always feels like the beginning of something. The pace of things changes. The light shifts. The trees start to pretty up their leaves before releasing them. The year is a wheel at at this point I am reflective, looking at the echoes of the year before and the year before that.


One of the reasons I like living in a place where the seasons are so distinct is that is reminds me that change is normal and important and ultimately, possible. The leaves will grow back. Not everything is for keeps.


I'm knitting a LOT of wedding presents right now (pretend you didn't read that, people I love who are getting hitched), which hopefully are for longtime keeping! Knits can last pretty much forever, especially if you take nice care of them and learn how to darn. This week's sweater I can imagine being passed down through generations. Oh hi there Sachertorte.



collar and front detail



The stunning cables are pretty timeless (and just pretty), and the swingy shape means the same size can be worn by folks with pretty different body sizes and shapes (excellent for sharing and heirlooming).



side shot back view



I don't have any grand recommendations except for this; wear this sweater with things you love. Wear things you love every day if you can. Forget all the rules you've been taught about what's fashionable and what's flattering.  I was working on this styling in my office on a day we have some teenage volunteers around, and so I asked them what they thought of the outfits I had put together, and they universally hated the one on the right, which is obviously my favorite, because I always like the most ridiculous things the most. One of them said "You'd have to be pretty confident to wear those pants with those shoes" which made me laugh, but I think she had it backwards. Wearing gold shoes makes me feel bulletproof. I think you should probably give it a whirl. Oh, and also try a grown-up tutu, because that's cute and also hilarious. Carry a big angular purse and you won't look like a giant child, I promise.




three outfits



How will you wear Sachertorte?

Throwback Thursday: Novak

Yesterday some of my colleagues went to have an offsite meeting at a restaurant near our office, and we decided to meet inside rather than on the patio because it was kind of chilly. 


This time of year my knitting impulse is going strong. I want to be ready when the cold weather gets here. This week's #throwbackthursday takes us to Fall 2009, our first anniversary issue. Say hi to Novak






She's got a slight A-line shape, and herringbone details on the dramatic collar and cuffs. Made in squishy plied worsted merino, this is also a speedy little sweater to make. I love a three quarter sleeve- you can wear long gloves and look seriously cool, and not overheat when you go inside. 



cuff detailcollar detail



The retro shape was inspired by 50s film star Kim Novak. Check out the sample on the designer, Claire Montgomerie. 



Claire Montgomerie wearing Novak



This 50s style is a classic in any era, and I know I would love to have a Novak to keep me warm when the snow flies.