Twist Collective Blog
Introducing:Twist Style Fridays
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.
Carly here- bloglady and (self proclaimed) style maven. Kate and I have been talking about bringing more fashion-based fun to this here blog, and so we would like to introduce you to a new feature- Twist Style Fridays! Each week, we will bring you a post about taking these lovely patterns off your blocking boards, out of your moth-proof closets, off of your dress forms, and out into the world- you know, like clothes. We may talk about outfits, accessories, shoes (my vice), colors, and so much more.
The last time I wrote about styling, I encouraged you all to play with Polyvore (an online styling tool/playground), and tweet your creations (#twiststyle)! I am reiterating that request now. We want to see your ideas!! Starting with, Amanda Keep's lovely ruffled cardigan, Edgehill.
My idea for wearing this one isn't wildly different from the one above- still casual and girly. But I think a skirt with a little more pouf would really bring out that lovely arched hemline, and echo the volume of the ruffles.
So, how would you wear your Edgehill?
In today's post, Elizabeth McCarten shares the evolution of her newest Twist design, Brookline. A favorite garment, an old jean jacket, and a teenage daughter all play important roles in the creation of this elegant cardigan. Keep up with her on her blog, from which this post is borrowed.
It started with a trip to the sheep and wool festival at Rhinebeck in October, 2010. Janie H. and I drove down together and while we were there, Janie discovered Helen Hamann's yarns and designs. She must have tried on every garment in Helen's booth, looking fabulous in all of them as only Janie can, and before the day was out she'd made arrangements for Helen to do a trunk show at her shop in Perth, ON. On our last afternoon in Rhinebeck, when our woolly shopping was wrapped up, Janie and I did a little more shopping in the village. We visited Haldora, where once again, Janie tried on numerous garments and looked smashing in all of them. At a nearby, less pricey shop I bought a mohair blend wrap-style cardigan, knitted at a loose gauge with long ties.
In the end, I only wore that little cardigan once. I found the ties annoying because they forced me to wear the cardigan closed. Nevertheless, I loved everything else about the piece and in the back of my mind thought that sometime I might make myself something similar.
Thus, the Perth Cardi was born. This has been my go-to sweater for the last year. I wear it open with the fronts dangling, I wear it closed, I wear it with blue jeans and with dresses, I wear it layered under a heavier jacket in winter, or as a light coverup on cool summer evenings by Lake Ontario. Then, last summer, I bought some more of Helen's Luxury in a colour labelled "Raspberry Glaze", intending to make a Perth Cardi for Isabel, my then 19-year-old. If I loved the Cardi, shouldn't she? Apparently not. After some discussion and ensuing reflection, I decided to try a variation of the Cardi that would fit into the same number of stitches, and I thought maybe I'd do a higher V-neck, not a wrap. A few inches of knitting later, I realized that the garment I was knitting had a completely different feel. It was a little dressier, a little more fun, and even though Isabel, a computer science major, isn't the 'girly-girl' sort, her new cardigan was going to have ruffles.
The Perth Cardi was transformed into what at the time I called the "Gore Street Cardigan", so named because of the design's early 19th-century feel, just like the street of the same name here in historic Kingston, ON, and appropriate given the deep gores in the cardigan's body. Isabel donned her new cardigan, we pinned up her hair, and despite the high heat and humidity, we managed some photos.
The buttons you see here were some ancient Rowan ones from my button box; the little stars echoed the knot motif perfectly. I had only enough for three pairs, but Isabel is small, so they worked. These were the photos which were sent as part of my submission to Twist.
After the submission was accepted, Kate asked how I would feel about doing the magazine sample in The Fibre Company's "Road to China Light". Who wouldn't be delighted to work with an alpaca/silk/cashmere/camel blend? The result, before I sent it off for professional photography is here:
In this case, the buttons were salvaged from an old jean jacket originally purchased from a J. Jill in the Washington, DC area when we lived there. Twist decided to re-name the design "Brookline".
Now, finally, I'm getting around to knitting a version for myself in SandnesGarn's Lanett from my stash in a soft, neutral blue-grey.
Here, the top portion of the fabric looks smoother than the bottom due to blocking. I'm a big fan of putting all the stitches of a work-in-progress on a length of yarn and wet-blocking to check for gauge and fit. Since I'm only 5' 1", I've also shortened the raglans on this size 38". (I've previously blogged about how to do this in connection with my design, Sandridge, in case you're interested.) This was the state the sweater was in two weeks before the Toronto Knit Frolic, the debut of this version of Brookline- don't worry, I finished it in time!
Robin Melanson shares some of her inspiration for Sylvatica, a beautiful spring pullover from our latest issue. This sweater has a lovely neckline, a simple shape, and gorgeous details. We can't wait to see more of you wearing your own! Robin's designs never disappoint (remember this one? and this one? and don't forget about this one!!). You can keep up with Robin on her blog, where you will also find this entry, and much much more. For example, did you know that Robin has knitted costume items for stage productions, including Mary Poppins and The Lord of the Rings? Well, now you know.
My most recent pattern for Twist Collective is Sylvatica, a short-sleeved Henley pullover in the spring issue. It’s worked in a lightweight wool, Filatura di Crosa Zarina. It has a delicate stitch pattern on the front and back, composed of columns of eyelet rib and lacy leaves. As I am usually inspired by the natural world, the name Sylvatica signifies a woodland habitat or origin. In my rather vivid imagination, I think of plants and mushrooms and flowers in a rather anthropomorphic way, that is, in my mind I give them characteristics that normally you would think only people have. It is a common theme in fairy tales and lore.
My sweetie gave me a beautiful edition of Grimm’s Fairy tales called The Juniper Tree, selected and translated by Lore Segal and illustrated by Maurice Sendak (of Where the Wild Things Are fame). The tales retain their original horror (compared to the watered-down versions often told to children) and are a really fun read. In the title story, the juniper tree resurrects a little boy to avenge his own death at the hands of his stepmother (who had then fed him to his father in a stew – gruesome!) So this is a peek inside what runs through my head as I sketch or knit, thinking of new designs. Particularly in the spring my mind turns to fantasy. The colours of spring sort of encourage it.
I went to the Papillons en Liberté exhibit at the Botanical Gardens. The exhibit was a large indoor garden with free-range butterflies just flying all around around you as you walk through the garden. Oddly enough, there were numerous security guards, I’m not sure if they were crowd control for the butterflies or the humans.
The colours of both the butterflies and the flowers were beautiful. They had set out plates of kiwi and oranges for the butterflies to eat. In one section there was a waterfall with a two story chasm in which were fluttering tons of giant turquoise butterflies. Pictures didn’t really do that justice as you couldn’t see the motion of the fluttering , though it was a pretty amazing effect in person.
I guess I try and use my imagination to re-create the beauty and mystery that I see around me, as people have always been doing. Whether you do it with words, brushstrokes, or yarn and fabric, the important thing is that we are thinking and interpreting.
The lovely Fairfax is Tanis Gray's first design in Twist Collective. Tanis is a prolific designer, featured in a number of magazines and books. Today she shares with us why this gorgeous spring pullover will always remind her of Santa Claus. You can learn more about Tanis on her website (from which this entry is cross-posted), or follow her on twitter.
I’ve been dying to have a design in Twist Collective since the first issue came out.
I submitted a proposal last year and promptly forgot about it until I got an email letting me know my design had been accepted! Super excited, I waited patiently for yarn to arrive in the mail. Kate chose one of my favorites, Classic Elite Solstice. A top-down raglan (my favorite) with bits of lace running down the 3/4 sleeves, picot hems and a huge, fold-over cowl; Fairfax is a great winter-to-spring pullover. Download the Fairfax pattern here.
I design a lot. The funny thing about my designs is I always associate each of them with what was going on while they were coming into existence. Or, way back in BC (Before Callum, my son) what I was watching on my computer while furiously knitting into the night. The days of late night knitting and TV watching are mostly over, and have been replaced with feedings and diaper changes, but I still have that association.
The best way to learn a lesson is to make a mistake once and hope to never repeat it again. For example, touching a hot stove, agreeing to babysit sextuplets alone, going against your gut or eating all the cookie dough batter before it makes it into the oven. Or in this particular case, deciding to go see Santa on Christmas Eve. “What the hell were we thinking,” you ask? Excellent question. We dragged our feet on whether or not to take C to see the man in red for weeks. I thought Santa might scare him, or the lines would be insane, or the mall would be too hot, or I’d want to find the stereo piping holiday music on repeat and beat it with a baseball bat a la Office Space. Yet Christmas Eve rolled around and I decided that Callum would only have one first Christmas, so we had better do it.
We went to the smaller mall and thought we’d be the only idiots who waited until the last-minute. Perhaps you heard the thwak that was my head hitting the wall over and over when we got in line and were told it was a 2.5 hour wait. While C slept peacefully in his stroller most of the time, my husband called his sister and mom to come keep us company and to entertain him. I on the other hand, grabbed my knitting bag and started to work, happy to have long ago mastered the art of knitting while standing, a skill i developed through years of knitting on the NYC subways.
The Twist Collective deadline was such that my sweater had to be in the mail on December 26th in order to make it to Kate in time to be photgraphed. Two and a half hours of knitting in line later-- I knew I’d be able to finish it, block, and write the pattern by the appointed hour. This sweater will forever be associated with standing in line, waiting for Santa. And yes, I learned my lesson. We’ll be in line next time on the first day he arrives.
As for Callum, he was a champ through and through.