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Twist Collective Blog

Twist report from Tigard Knitting Guild

Marnie MacLean graciously hosted a Twist Collective fashion show last week at the Tigard Knitting Guild in Portland, Oregon.  She also posted about the evening on her blog, so if you are interested in how it went, and want to see some lovely pictures of happy knitters wearing beautiful sweaters, you should go there now. Her friend Erica took pictures.  Just so you know.

 

marnie hostsfashion show

 

Where in the World Have the Buzz Bags Gone?

Barbara sent us a photo of her Buzz Bag all coloured in.  Isn't it darling?  


 

twistbag painted

 

 

If you haven't done this to yours yet, Allison Green Will, designer of Bernhardt and Jaali, told me she had great success doing hers with just regular felt tip markers.  I can't account for how wash fast it would be that way, but if the colour all comes out, you can just do it again! Think you might want one to colour in for yourself?  We have about 15 of them left in the shop, so act fast.

Kate and I thought you might get a little kick out of a map, just a graphic representation of where we've sent the Buzz Bags. Just click on this link.

View Where in the World are the Buzz Bags?  map here.

An Introduction, and a Contest

Hello Twist readers!  My name is Rachael, the new production manager for Twist Collective.  I came on board in May 2009 just before the launch of the summer issue, and have been diving in to get up to speed ever since.  I thought it was time to give you all a quick hello, and introduce a kind of contest that we’re having here on the Twist blog.

When I first met Kate, we sat and talked about how we both started knitting and our subsequent forays into the knitting world.  I told her the story of the first thing I had made for anyone, a horribly ugly scarf for my dad.  Here is the story: (reposted from my blog, www.knitternaut.com):

I’ve been knitting since I was a kid, but like many people I got back into it as an adult. My mom taught me once upon a time, and I laboriously worked at it.  When I saw other people knitting I thought I was doing it all strange and backwards, but it turned out that I was just knitting English style in a sea of Continental knitters.  After learning that my style was indeed legitimate, I felt a lot better about it and now embrace my yarn throwing technique.

When I was younger I never really finished all that much, though I did do a lot of strange small yarn-lumps that I claimed were mittens for my dolls.  The odd Christmas I would get it together enough to complete a project, and my dad would be saddled with another of my misshapen, dropped-stitch creation that I proudly hoped he would wear to work.

One year, I made was a striped light-and-dark blue scarf for my dad.  I think I got the yarn from Safeway, and it definitely wasn’t the same at one end as it was on the other.  I don’t think it was even long enough to be more than a yoke around his neck, and just tucked into his collar.  My dad worked in a mine, and it actually kept him serviceably warm, so he wore it to work every day.

One day in November, just as my dad was having his lunch in the loader he was working in, he noticed one of the other guys on shift sitting in the snow, just down from the road.  My dad wondered what he was up to - the guy was a notorious prankster, but this seemed a bit odd.  The guy waved to him, and then waved again and again.  Finally, my dad got out of the truck and climbed down the embankment next to the road to see what was wrong.

The guy had taken a wrong step, fallen down the embankment and broken his leg.  He’d been sitting there for hours in the cold, waiting for someone to come by and spot him.  By now, he was getting pretty cold and needed medical attention.  My dad took off for help, but not before taking my scarf off and wrapping it around his head and neck to keep him warm.

I used to see this fellow now and again as I was growing up, and he would always tell me how warm that scarf was, and that it saved his life.  It was ugly, but my dad wore it until it fell apart years later.  My knitting has improved in the intervening time, and I’m branching bravely away from scarves and into sweaters, colourwork, and even my own designs, the best thing I will probably ever make was that ratty little scarf.


Perhaps you’ve been there too – sometimes the ugliest, strangest, quickest things we make are the unexpected successes. So with that in mind, we here at the Twist blog are looking for YOUR stories about the things you have knitted that have led interesting lives, had adventures, and inspired funny, quirky and unique stories or what knitting has done for you or someone you know. 

We’ll be collecting and posting stories as an ongoing column in our blog.  If your story is chosen, Twist will send you a free Twist Collective tape measure in the color of your choosing, and you’ll get a link back to your blog (if you have one).  Feel free to send pictures, or even links to stories you have already written.  Be creative, and you can always send more than one story if you've got them lined up around the block! You can send your entries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

We're looking forward to hearing all the stories you have to share, and to many more fun issues with the Twist crew.

Seen Around London

Guerilla knitting, London style.  This one the result of a rollicking escapade of Knitstorming.  Read all about it here.

 

 

knitthecity_phonebooth

 

 

And an installation at the Jerwood Gallery near the Tate Modern in London, of a collection of one of knitting's greatest unsung projects, the UFO.  Curator Rachel Matthews, explains on the Project blog:

UFO Project Administration Service was the answer to a proposal I was asked to give for the Jerwood Contemporary Makers 2009 Exhibition. The exhibition will run from 10th June -19th July at the Jerwood Space in London and will then tour.


You are invited to take part in helping us complete Planet Earth's UFOs.  All the UFOs are posted opposite. Some are 'WAITING' for YOU, and some have been 'TAKEN' by SOMEBODY!
Take chances, make choices, tell stories, imagine the possibilities, and connect to the bottom draw of other knitters across the globe. 

Please leave comments, and for more information or to book a UFO, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Happy knitting and love,
Rachael Matthews
 
The blog is worth reading through for all of the creativity, heartache, and peripateticisms we knitters share.  Not every object ends up where its knitter originally imagined, and that's half the fun. Start from the beginning, and you have a great summer read. However, if you have limited time and want to get back to the knitting, read this entry about a shawl that survived its creator.

alt
UFO CAMBRIDGE HEATH

 

 

Design Process Ongoing: Pamela

by Fiona Ellis

I know, I know, most of you hate to do gauge swatches or even swatch with new yarns in general. But some knitters do love to swatch - it is still knitting after all. And maybe itʼs the delight we take in swatching that leads us into a life of designing. Although, just in case you think that I am saying this with a superior air, I will tell you that I also hate to do gauge swatches when making something for myself and if you promise not to tell I will let you into a secret -- I start on a sleeve which is really not much more than a large swatch and if I get gauge Iʼm off to the races and if not . . . well . . . back to square one.

Seeing as I love to swatch and you might hate to do so, this blog piece is perhaps a perfect marriage. In the Spring issue of Twist Collective my design Pamela was featured worked in Classic Elite Yarns Classic Silk, 50% cotton / 30% silk / 20% nylon.

 

classic_silk



After it was completed I still kept wondering what that lace patterning would look like in a different yarn. How would it affect the stitch definition and the way the fabric drapes for example? So I spoke to the nice people at Elann Yarns and asked if I could get my grubby little mitts on a few sample balls to try it out. Here are the results of my experiments. Each of the swatches was produced on a 4.5 mm needle (the size my pattern calls for) and produces the same gauge as the pattern describes but the effect produced is a little different between each of the yarns. Suggested needle sizes for the Elann yarns are 3.25 - 3.75 (US 3 -5) except for Pegasus which suggests 4.5 mm (US 7), the Classic Elite yarn suggests a 4 mm (US 6).

These were the yarns I sampled:

Elann Pegasus (white-shiny): 52.5% mercerized cotton / 47.5% viscose.
Elann Luna (off white): 55% viscose / 45% cotton.
Elann Camila (oatmeal): 50% cotton / 50% linen.
Elann Callista (peach): 50% viscose / 25% cotton / 25% linen.
Elann Pure Bamboo (white-matt): 100% bamboo.

The sample in Pegasus is most like the original because of its weight, but with the sheen from the viscose and the mercerized cotton it gives it a more festive "party" or evening look.

 

pegasus_swatch

 

Next in similarity to the Classic Silk is Luna, also because it is close in weight, but it is a tiny bit lighter so this swatch has more drape and again the sheen gives it a different look to that of the Classic Silk.

 

luna_swatch
  

 

Camila has lovely stitch definition and the linen content gives a dry hand to the fabric (in other words, it feels crisp). It is slightly more drapey than the original version in Classic Silk because I used a needle size larger than is called for.*

 

camila_swatch

 

 

Callista has both the sheen and crisp hand plus has even more drape than Camila which is this sample is almost limp. If I was going to use this yarn I would try it again on a smaller needle size for comparison.*

 

callista swatch

 

 

Pure Bamboo is the most different from the original yarn and because it is a much thinner yarn the 4.5 mm needles felt a little large when working it, but the lighter and more open feel gives considerably more drape. Again I would re-swatch this yarn on a smaller needles to compare the feel of each one. But worked as it is it will produce a different appearance than the original but it may be a look / feel that you prefer. Which proves that you can never tell until you have tried to yarn to know how it will work.

 

pure bamboo swatch

 

 

Something to note about the lace patterning for “Pamela” is that the stitch patterns look similar to each other because they are in fact just variations of each other. The first stitch pattern (lower half) has the lace worked on both the RS & WS but then as you move to the upper section (both of the swatch and garment) the pattern is elongated by the addition of “plain” WS rows between each “patterned” row. This produces a less open fabric which is something you might be looking for in the upper half of a sweater.

So think about yarn options when you look at sweater patterns, and about how playing around with different yarns can change a sweater's feel and style.  Have fun.

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