Receive HTML?

Twist Collective Blog

Twin Oaks Socks

Kate, here! For a while now, I've really wanted to have a tree growing up a sock. Finally, I sat down and did it and the Twin Oaks socks were born (pretty slowly and with a lot of whining on twitter).

twin oaks socks back

They're knitted toe up with a short row heel. The roots begin in the heel and grow into the trunk and then branches go out all the way around your leg until they intertwine on the front.

twin oaks socks front

We've snuck the magazine page into the end of our Sunday Socks section. And the shop page is here.

twin oaks socks

You probably don't want to knit a huge, woolly, aran sweater full of twisted stitches in the summer. So why not have some twisty fun on a smaller scale in a bamboo blend?

2 week sweater challenge

There’s a fall photoshoot happening on the 19th and I have a sweater that needs to be there… Errr, rather, I have a pile of hanks of yarn and an idea. I’ve been tweeting about this and last night asked if anyone was nuts enough to knit a sweater in 2 weeks with me. There appear to be some takers. So here’s the idea:

  • It can be a sweater for you, your kid, your baby, your cat. Doesn’t matter.

  • We’re knitting for the fame and the glory and the love of knitting and having an FO.

  • Start a sweater… or even finish a sweater that’s lingered much too long.

  • I have to ship on the 16th to be safe, but you all can have until the 22nd.

  • Post your progress here (we love photos!) Or tweet with the hashtag #2wksweater

Twist Tidbits: Wayuu Mochillas

Julia here.

J Crew surprises me every once in awhile, like a few weeks ago when they lobbed this genuine article up onto their accessories section:


let's take a closer look, shall we? The website calls this handwoven, but I wondered.


I thought I detected the signature of crochet there in the body of that bag. Certainly the handle is woven, but that looked to me like the tiny crochet stitch of an accomplished crocheter. But according to Carol Ventura of the Tapestry Crochet blog, "Although described as being woven, crocheted, or knit, the bags are actually made by looping — pulling the fiber all the way through a small loop." Ah.  I'd love to see a video of this technique if anyone has a lead on one.

A little research into this long-ago sold-out bag lead me a few places on the web that sell other versions, but all of them come from the same place, the Wayuu tribe of Columbia and Venezuela. The Wikipedia article about them is here.

I found these versions at Yoya: natural, the way I like it,


and these more brightly colored:


I found elsewhere that the bag at J Crew came from their participation in an event hosted by the BeLive Columbia organization, and several other "fashion industry" entities like Tory Burch and Philip Lim were invited as well. There's a worthwhile pdf on the Wayuu Project and the significance of their bag making on the BeLive website, so I can leave you to look at it if you like.

And there are others further afield, but all of them beautiful and (forgive my acquisitivist observation here) a perfect accompaniment for the summer.  Maybe I'll hunt one down for myself, pass my consumer's blessing on to the maker, and appreciate the bag as only a fellow stitcher can. Here's one last one for your viewing pleasure.


Design Process: Poplar and Elm


by Carol Sunday, originally posted to her blog at Sunday Knits.


I just love creating new stitch patterns. It's my favorite knitting-related thing to do. (And there's nothing knitting-related that I don't love to do!)



Poplar and Elm started with just "Poplar" — a closed lace stitch pattern made to look like leaves branching off of a central vine. The leaves were pretty easy, with the edge of a new leaf overlapping the shape of the one before it, and increases sprouting out from the leaf's center. The branching vine was a little trickier. It took several attempts to get the vine to branch out at just the right moment, and to join the leaf at just the right spot. Finally, just right . . . in worsted weight with a 15-st 12-row pattern repeat.

I liked it so much I decided to make an open lace version by changing the pick-up style increases to yarnovers. I thought I might use these two patterns together in a sweater with, say, a closed lace body and open lace sleeves ... maybe a cropped cardi with three-quarter length sleeves, or maybe a ballet-style wrap, close fitting with a wide neck and long narrow sleeves. I submitted both ideas for Twist's Spring/Summer issue using a lighter sport weight yarn. Kate liked the wrap (yay!) and I started knitting.


In sport weight, the pattern was smaller than in worsted, of course. It looked dainty and detailed, but I had envisioned something, well, smoother, more stockinette, bolder even, something with more ... scale.



It's amazing how much difference a little change in scale can make in a stitch pattern. I added 2 stitches and 2 rows - 17 sts and 14 rows per repeat. Now that was more like it!


So if more is good, even more, ie. 19 sts and 16 rows per repeat, might be even better. Well, hmmm, not necessarily. Plus, a larger stitch pattern would mean a larger spread between sizes. I preferred the mid-scale version, and so did Kate.



I'm thrilled with the way Poplar and Elm turned out. The pattern scale is just right. And the other two versions of the stitch pattern will be perfect for other projects. Anyway, it was so much fun playing with the scale on this stitch pattern. It makes me think of all the other stitch patterns that would lend themselves to just such adaptations ...

If you'd like to order a yarn pack, you may do so here.

Twist Collectors: Rebecca

My first Twist project was Wisteria: I know I’m not the only one who, when clicking through the inaugural issue, saw it and knew that I had to knit it right away. Once it was done, though, I had to find a role for it in my wardrobe. I live in a studio apartment with really limited storage space, so many of my clothing choices are made for their versatility. Complicating this is the need to dress myself for the office while allowing enough room for the jeans and t-shirt uniform that is now, alas, weekend-only wear. Enter Twist, with sweaters that can dress up or down.


Storage aside, my first few Twist sweaters were made simply out of love for the pattern: Wisteria, Vaila, and Vivian. Wisteria and Vaila have both made appearances at work, often paired with knee-high boots and a knee-length grey skirt, or with my favorite wide-legged black pants and flats. Those are both more casual outfits, good for days when I don’t have any meetings on my calendar, and I can hunker down at my desk.


More recent additions have been Audrey in Unst, the Vine Yoke Cardigan, and the Maire Riding Jacket, which I chose because I knew they would wear well at work. Audrey and Maire have already proven to be indispensable. I chose a soft greyish blue for Audrey, wanting something that would coordinate with most of my work trousers. It usually tops a plain white tee, but it’s also appeared over a crisp white blouse. I wear it frequently, since both the style and the softness of the fabric appeal so much to me, and I’m planning another Audrey in a purple tweed.

The Vine Yoke cardigan is often paired with those same white tees, and also with some floral-print blouses. It’s blue, for the same reason as Audrey, but the more feminine lace elements make it something I pull out when I want to feel dressy but not overly-tailored.

When I want to make more of a statement with a handknit, I pull out Maire, which gets noticed even in spite the ultra-neutral grey that I chose. It’s been best featured to over a plain white long-sleeved tee, navy pinstripe trousers, and bright red flats. I’ve found that it looks best closed, and after all the work I put into the cables, I want to show them off.


Vivian has shown up at work for casual Fridays, along with jeans and Danskos. I enjoy dressing up, but it’s also nice to not have to iron anything before I put it on for the day, and Vivian helps keep things classy but comfortable.

An unforeseen consequence of wearing my Twist pieces to work is that it’s sparked an interest in knitting in a few of my co-workers. To date, I’ve taught six of them how to knit to, and I foresee another crop in the future when my new Twist pieces appear at work. One thing that I stress about knitting to my students is the ease of adapting a pattern to fit one’s body type. As a slender person with longer-than-average arms and a long torso, I have, for the first time in my life, some clothes that really fit!

I’ve got at least three other Twist pieces in progress, and even more in the queue. You may watch the slow progress of those items on Ravelry, where you can find me as bekala.