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Twist Collective Blog

Designer Post: Fine Kettle


Jennette CrossJennette Cross is the author of today's post, as well as the designer of Fine Kettle, the squishy, swishy, slip-stitchy shawl from our latest issue. Read about her quest to become a Twist designer, her fear of fish (a fear I share!), and the clever tricks you'll learn knitting your own version of her gorgeous creation. You can also find this post on her blog, here.




Fall of 2008. I had been working at Lakeside Fibers for a year and a half. “Hey,” said my bosslady, “have you seen this new online magazine, Twist Collective?” Ten minutes later appearing in Twist Collective one day became one of my life goals.


Fine Kettle


This is Fine Kettle, my pattern from Spring/Summer 2013.

I had been submitting to Twist for a little over a year before this one was accepted. I have never ever felt bad when they turned me down; the patterns they put out are always so amazing there just wasn’t any point to feeling bad. And if I’m honest, I’m delighted they rejected the first two things I submitted because they were WAY above my skill level at the time. Now before I submit anything for publication I make sure that I have thought through every step and every eventuality. By the time I write a submission, I am sure that I can do it.


When the call for this issue went out there were photos of fish on the mood boards. I love fish even though I’m afraid of them (aquariums are a wonderful combination of beauty, fascination, and horror) so I decided I was going to do some kind of Fish shawl. Of course, any shawl I design is going to be a Combination Shawl, because I am obsessed. I messed around with my stitch dictionaries for a while, and then I started thinking about scales . . . scales that got larger and larger as the shawl progressed! Why, I could HIDE the Combination increases INSIDE the scales! It would be the cleverest thing I ever did.

Lots of swatching later I was very happy with my increase-hiding scales, but unsure about how to finish the edge. I needed something to help counteract the stockinette stitch curl that was inevitably going to happen at the hem, and for this pattern it seemed like the solution was garter stitch. I didn’t want to just slap some garter stitch on the edge though – it needed to flow somehow. The fish needed some tails.






The swatch and drawing above are what I ended up with. Then I took a step back and realized that I had just designed a gigantic slipped stitch shawl that looked like a fish. “Oh well,” I said to myself. “It’s not like they’re going to get another submission for a gigantic slipped stitch shawl that looks like a fish.” Besides, it was too late. I was already in love with it.

But they accepted it, and got me beautiful yarn, we put together a beautiful pattern, and they had Jane Heller do some stunning photography.


color detail


The shawl begins with one long starter tab (I love a good starter tab) and then goes immediately into the fish scale pattern. The scales are all slipped stitches; you only use one strand of yarn at a time, and the wrong side rows are all “slip the slipped stitches and purl the purl stitches” so they’re about as easy as they can be.

The garter stitch edges are worked entirely in the main color, which means that technically the shawl has a bit of intarsia. Trust me though – it’s about the easiest intarsia ever. And it’s worth it to create those lovely unbroken main color edges.


fish scales


The shawl finishes with garter stitch fishtails, inset into the last section of scales. The garter fishtails increase according to Pi Logic, so they have lots of extra drape.

Of course, from the photos you can automatically tell that one of the best parts is the yarn. Sunshine Yarns Merino Silk Fine was the perfect yarn for this project – soft, beautifully drapey, silky, and shiny. I’ve had some questions through Ravelry about the actual yardage used; my notes indicate that I used about 730 yards of the Main Color and 630 yards of the Contrast. If you are getting a different gauge, you’ll use a different amount of yarn.


fish tails


I am beyond delighted with how this has turned out and working with Twist was absolutely lovely. I hope you like my Fine Kettle and are inspired to knit a gigantic slipped stitch shawl that looks like a fish of your very own.


Twist Style Friday: Lindis

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.


Well this is just pretty.


collar detail


Cables and knots in cobalt cotton. How could you not want to wear that? I was in just in Key Largo for my cousin's wedding, and it was a million degrees every day. It made me feel weirdly lucky, as a knitter, to live somewhere cold! Lindis, however, you could totally wear even in a really hot climate. From a distance, it's a simple tank with a pretty shape. Up close, the details are truly stunning. Check it out.


Lindis side detail


You could wear this super casual, but the icord edges and architectural details and refined enough to make it dressy too. Lindis is easygoing. She can hang with a ballgown or with yoga pants.

Three outfits


I have to tell you one story about this wedding in Florida, because I just can't resist and also it is about creating outfits. It's rare for my whole extended family to get together, but when we do, we are kind of a walking party machine. We are also silly, and forgetful, and sometimes disorganized. My mom's gorgeous sister Leslie forgot to bring the dress she had planned to wear to the wedding. My mom had planned to wear a two-layer dress (both layers sequined; my mom is a magpie), so they split it. My mom wore the underlayer, and my aunt wore the overlay with a slip underneath. The both looked gorgeous.




two sisters, one dress


If you have a mom, or are a mom, or have someone you think of as a mom-type person, I hope you got to celebrate with them, or think about them this past weekend.

It was so exciting and fun to see some of you get into the styling game last week when we did a contest for Peking. There's no prize this week, but we still want to know: how would you wear Lindis?

Peking Contest Reprise!

Hey folks! Carly here.


I went to go play on Polyvore yesterday to work on my styling post for this week, and found that a bunch more people had made sets using Peking! These weren't shared on Ravelry, Twitter, or Facebook, so they didn't make it into yesterday's draw. We are sharing these additional entries today, and giving away another free pattern to the winner! If you want to play along next time, make sure you share your set with us!


Yesterday's winner, Mizkathychin also made this sweet colorblocked set.


Mizkathychin's set


Siidegarte used black and gold to fancy things up a bit.


Siidegarte's set


Sarahmontie wanted to take Peking to a day of reading on the beach.


sarahmontie's set


Mobarger went with pretty pastels.


Mobarger's set


Sjc96003 made this sweet monochromatic outfit.


sjc96003's set


Thanks for playing everyone, this contest was so fun!!  Mobarger is today's winner; email us to claim your prize!

The contest in now closed, but we still want to know: how would you wear Peking?




Peking Contest Results

Last week, Carly styled Peking her way, I (Kate) thought about what my way would be and we turned it into a contest! Keep your eyes peeled on Style Fridays moving forwards, we might just do something like this again.  Today, we're sharing some of the amazing entries with you all, and announcing the winner!

First up, Redribbonfox was jonesing for some floral jeans and came up with this:



Traceyalice changed the sweater to gray and put together an outfit that I'm now dying to own:


 thought about a dressy evening and proved that you can do volume on top and volume on the bottom at the same time:


Marnie (who is not allowed to win the contest) wants a picnic on the beach in palazzo pants:


And Gidgettm went for casual with lovely accessories:


I thought this was super fun and I hope you all enjoyed it too. It was really great to see everyone's individual sense of style! The random number generator made Mizkathychin the winner of a free pattern. Yayyyyyy! Thank you all for playing!

Make Peking Yours - A contest!

Kate here! Every week, Carly brings her sartorial skills to our Style Friday posts and this week she really made Peking her own. One of the things we love about Style Fridays and FOs is seeing garments in a new light. 

As a Work At Home Mom [WAHM] I'd wear Peking in a totally different way and I bet some of you have some great ideas too. We use Polyvore to make our Style Friday sets. It's totally free if you'd like to try it. Just use this link to grab the garment and style it any way you like. 

We want to see how you would wear Peking. Put together a set of your own with Polyvore or with photo editing software and share it on Facebookravelry or tweet it with the hashtag #twiststyle and we'll draw one name for a free pattern of your choosing.  In the mean time, I've put together my own outfit to get you thinking. Yes, it's just jeans but I'm all about colors and accessories right now so that I somehow look different every day at school pickup.

kate in peking

Do you share Carly's retro style? My color-loving aesthetic? Something else altogether? We want to see.

Please finalize your entry by the end of day Tuesday and we'll draw a name on Wednesday.