Twist Collective Blog
Twist Collector: Jessica
Today's post is brought to you by a lovely Twist reader and prolific knitter! Jessica Ewing is from Pasadena, CA. She is the mother of a little girl and wife of a camera operator. When not working at an Arts School in Downtown Los Angeles, she is knitting, sewing, taking ballet classes, and sampling her husband’s handiwork. She is also a volunteer at a living history museum specializing in late Victorian Los Angeles. You can find her amazing work on Ravelry here. In addition to the projects you'll see below, she's knitted this one and this one, and has *four* Twist WIPs. We love you too, Jessica.
Right now I’m finishing up a Regent and I can hardly wait to snuggle deep into its warmth this winter…should winter ever choose to appear here.
(this one is Greenaway- plus a bonus fuzzface!!)
Quick Dispatch: Carrie takes her first shots
Carrie takes her first shots as the sun rises...
Twist Style Friday: Fathom
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.
Fathom is the focus of this week's fashion frolic. I like alliteration, could you tell? Your style maven has a cold this week, so I might be a teeny bit loopy. I tend to pun even more than usual when I'm under the weather.
I don't think my illness has had any negative effects on my taste in clothes (though tasting my food is another story altogether), but you tell me! Let me know on Facebook what you think about these outfits.
First, our customary refresher course, Fathom 101, as seen in the pages of Twist.
In form, this sweater is pretty unique. The asymmetrical lapels are really beautiful, and create lovely lines on the body. The lace keeps it looking delicate, but it has some structure too. Let's look just a little bit closer.
In function, I think of this sweater a bit like a denim jacket, or more precisely, like some kind of beautiful knitted love child of a cozy blanket and a structured blazer. Which means you can literally wear it with anything. Go on! Ok, I'll give you some examples.
You can use it to dress down a frilly frock, or refine ripped jeans and plaid. You could wear it hiking or out to dinner. How (and where) will you wear your Fathom? And if anyone wants to knit me one, I'll take it in deep red- oxblood, ideally. Have a stylish weekend everyone!
Designer Process: Altocumulus
Today's post comes to you from Angela Hahn, designer of the wonderful Altocumulus. You can also find it here, on her blog. Check out some of her other Twist patterns as well, like Plaited Tam, Laredo, and Primrose Path.
I'm thrilled to have another pattern in Twist Collective! Here are some details about the design process and inspiration for Altocumulus, a lace shawl.
Triangular shawls are almost always shaped by increasing (or decreasing, depending on whether working bottom-up or top-down) along the center of the shawl, resulting in a mitered construction, where the two halves of the shawl stitch pattern angle toward each each other. It's no accident this shaping is popular-- not only is it a logical way to create a triangle, it can yield really gorgeous results. But when I created the design for Altocumulus, I was in the mood to try something different: a triangular shawl worked straight up from the bottom edge, with the triangular shape coming from rapid increases worked into a lace stitch pattern.
I knew I wanted to use a lace pattern based on the "half drop" principle, where pattern repeats are staggered (many leaf- and diamond-motif laces are constructed this way). At left is an example of a simple diamond/leaf stitch pattern (NOT the stitch pattern used in Altocumulus), constructed on the half drop principle: the full repeat is outlined in red, and the staggered half repeats in blue. This staggering often causes a diagonal flow to the lace, which I thought would adapt perfectly to the angled edges of a triangular shawl.
I found a lovely base stitch pattern in the Japanese "Knitting Patterns Book 300," a swirling design that reminded me of flames or peony petals. Each repeat was 20 stitches, and although the total repeat was 24 rows, that 24 rows was really made up of two sections of 12 rows each, with the stitch pattern simply staggered in the second section. So I knew that to create a repeatable increase along the bottom edges of the shawl, I would have to increase a total of 20 stitches every 12 rows: this would result in one repeat added every 12 rows, so that the repeats could be stacked on each other like bricks in a wall.
Then it was just a matter of trial and error, attempting to add yarnovers and sprinkle in judicious decreases so that I could get enough stitches increased while still maintaining as much of the movement of the original lace pattern as possible. 20 stitches every 12 rows is a rapid rate of increase, so while I had plenty of yarnovers to work with, I had to be choosy about where I placed my decreases. Once I had an edge increase repeat that I liked, I submitted the idea to Twist, and was delighted when they accepted it.
One major issue presented itself once I began working on the pattern sample: I realized that even with the rapid rate of increases along the edges, the edge stitches would have to be stretched to their limit while blocking, while the center of the shawl would be stretchier than the edges, tending to form a convex curve along the top edge of the shawl-- not the most shoulder-friendly shape for the wearer. To counter this tendency, I added decreases and a narrow ribbing along the top edge.
I pinned out the yarnovers along the edge while blocking (see above), but once unpinned, the edge did contract a bit, so I ended up with more of a swirled, textured edging than an open one (see below). I actually like it this way, and I also like the fact that the lace stitches on every row pull strongly on the fabric, giving it a slightly three-dimensional quality.
And the name? Altocumulus clouds are the type of clouds in a mackerel sky, and once I saw the shawl knitted up in the gorgeous gray-blue Acadia yarn (from the Fibre Company), that is what the fabric reminded me of. (It also reminded me of William Morris wallpaper, but I don't like the name William Morris so much....)
Quick Dispatch: Jane with her helpers
Jane's nephews are missing in this photo, but all of the kids helped with handling horses, catching chickens, getting more carrots from the kitchen… all sorts of farm stuff!