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Twist Collective Blog

Designer Post: Cypri

Today's post comes to us from Amanda Sheuzger, designer of the dazzling Cypri from our Winter issue (not to mention these lovely mittens, this gorgeous hat, and this striking tank). You can also find it (and more) on her blog, here. Amanda gives us a peek into the designing process, and how rejection can lead to inspiration. Enjoy!



cypri shawl held open by a model, in front of a geometric graffiti'd wall


I have been amazed with the wonderful response I have received for my latest design for Twist Collective, Cypri, mainly because it actually began with a rejection letter.  A year earlier, I had submitted a design idea for a shawl that didn’t make the cut.  I felt strongly about the idea – slip stitch cables on a striped background.  They create a strong graphic and are really fun to knit.  So I went back to the drawing board and reworked the design. 


First, I changed the shape.  The original was a top down triangle; this one would be a crescent shape (which is what I would actually prefer to knit for myself.)  I liked the idea of lots of detail at the bottom edge, and less detail in the short row shaping portion. 


Next I looked at the cable design.  The pattern in the original submission was inspired by a traditional twisted-stitch pattern.  This design needed something unique, so I began sketching.  I started with the idea of a long strand of gems hanging from a chain.


pencil sketches of swirly lines, plans for the cables on this shawl


The first sketches (above, left) were okay, but when I turned one upside down, I liked it much better.  The design started to fall into place.  I refined the shapes and they began to remind me of lady’s slipper orchids (above, right).


The next step was to turn the sketch into something knittable.  I lightly sketched the shapes on graph paper, trying to keep in mind the scale and potential gauge.  Then I charted the cable symbols right over the sketchy lines.  This step involved a lot of erasing as I worked out the cable crossings.  I refined it bit more as I knit the swatch.  It was finally ready to submit.


final sketch and swatch of cypri shawl submitted to Twist



The sample I knit for Twist is in Breathless by Shalimar Yarns.  It is a superwash merino/cashmere/silk blend that is very soft and creates a fabric with the perfect drape for this shawl.  While I love the colors of the sample, byzantium and mole, I want to knit my own in bing and scarab, a purple and teal combo similar my swatch.  Or maybe glacier and driftwood, or copper pennies and black truffle.  I could go on and on, there are so many colors to choose from.

Twist Style Friday: Ephyra

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! I don't know how stubborn winter is being in your various corners of the globe, but I want you to know that yesterday was the spring equinox, and it snowed in Toronto. I was so mad.


Regardless of what the actual weather is like, folks have been trying to will spring into being with brighter colors, canvas shoes, and lighter jackets. My friends are starting to talk about their summer plans, and I've started to make some of my own! I always get a lot of knitting done when I travel. I'm cooking up a lot of summer plans. Maybe too many; my list of possibles at the moments includes cottages, camps, folk school, an artist's residency, music festivals, and maybe a small triathalon.


Enough about me. Let's talk about clothes. This week's sweater, Ephyra, is super lovely! She's got asymmetry, unusual cables, and a cute-as-heck collar. See?


model wearing Ephyra sweater. mostly plain stockinette, with a column of cables on the right side and an asymmetrical collarsame sweater from the back. column of cables on left side.


I think that cable panel is stunning. I love that a simple cable is echoed down the sleeves, and I think the shaping on this top is just perfect.


detail of sleeve cables


I think you could wear this top in tons of ways, casual and fancy alike. I would love to see someone make this in a deep chocolate brown, or a hand-dyed chartreuse. The pale cornflower of the sample though, is pretty perfect. It's a color I think of as Leah Dolgoy blue, because my bestie totally gravitates towards this color.


Probably because I've been dreaming about being lakeside this summer, the outfits below are inspired by mermaids.


three outfits

How will you wear Ephyra?

Shooting Spring

 It's the equinox today, and I know I have been doing my best to will spring into existence. In case you were wondering, the busy Twist bees are making spring happen too, shooting for our spring issue!


photography equipment



photographer and floral wall


Keep your eyes open for more sneak previews. The next ones might even be less sneaky, and more preview-y.

Twist Style Friday: Calabash

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.


The weather has been torturing me. One gorgeous sunny day where the last four months begin to melt, and then an immense blizzard the next day, and today it's supposed to be warm and also it will rain. It's confusing, and it's making me grumpy.

On the bright side, I did score a sweet new spring jacket yesterday, and I have a pretty badass pair of low heeled boots I got on sale during the winter that I have not yet worn because I didnt want to get them soggy and salty their first time out on the town. Their time is coming.


My apartment is poorly insulated, so when I'm home, my uniform of late has been wool socks, leggings, a wool sweater, and a toque. I am so wishing I had today's snuggly featured sweater, Calabash. Look.


full shot of the sweater, foliage in the background. cabled yoke, long sleeves, high necklineback detail. same cable yoke is echoed, body is knit plain.


The snuggliest! I want it. Usually I want things in bright, saturated colors - and I obviously still think that would be lovely -  but mine would be like this one. Sheepy. Let's take one more look at the gorgeous cabled yoke.


closeup shot of cabled yoke. cables resemble vertical columns of vines growing up towards the face.


I was thinking about my friend Jenna when I made the set below. She is the master of the "oh this old thing?" look. She always looks elegant, and she never looks like she's trying, which actually might be the exact opposite of how I dress. I would curl up with Calabash and a good book, ideally in front of a roaring fire. Jenna would wear it to Fashion Week with shiny shoes and then to a party and the next day when she woke up her makeup would still be perfect. My friends are magic.

three outfits, one with pointy toe creepers and bright printed pants, one with a red crinoline and studded sneakers, and one with black leather pants and shiny ankle boots

How will you wear Calabash?

A Knitting Mystery!

headshot of Adrian BiziliaAdrian Bizilia, designer of Faux Bois from our premiere issue, sent us this yarny mystery. Can you help solve it? Tweet at us or comment on the Facebook thread if you have clues or answers!! Keep iup with Adrian on her website, helloyarn.




This hat is being passed around from friend to friend because no one can figure out where it's from or how it was made.  The person who owns the hat has two of them, very similar, and has had them for decades.   He let a friend bring one to me because other fibery people have failed to identify it.  Twist Collective, you're our last hope!  
a shallow cap with stripes and chevrons
I think I've figured out that it's Bosnian crochet, which is further than anyone else has gotten, but we still don't know where the hat is from.  It looks like hats you'd see in a souk in Marrakech, but from what I understand, those hats don't have floats on the inside.  It's a shallow hat, fitting the head like a Kufi hat.
the inside of the hat, showing floats like in stranded colorwork
In case they may lead you along in your search, here are links about Bosnian Crochet and Shephed's Knitting