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Twist Collective Blog

The Fall 2012 edition is live

Put your hands together for the new edition. Check out all the great new articles, and patterns, right here

Horatio and Oren by Barbara Gregory

Quick Dispatch: Summer Cubicle

Sometimes, self-employment is really wonderful.


Kate's summer office

Twist Style Fridays Double Feature: Paisley and Flagstone

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.

Hi fashion fans. I'm back again with another exciting installment of Twist Style Fridays. This week, our fashion adventure is extra-exciting, because we are styling TWO garments from the Spring/Summer issue. We wanted to do this fun feature with as many designs as possible before our next issue launches (soon- we promise!!). Today, two lovely sweaters are on the sartorial menu: Paisley and Flagstone. We always want to know your styling ideas, so play with these garments in Polyvore, post your ideas on our Facebook, or tweet them at us @twistcollective (#twiststyle).

First up- Paisley. This sweater has some gorgeous details- the eyelets around the neckline, the princess "seams", and of course, the lovely paisley motifs.


My first impulse was to keep the styling on this one pretty simple, and let the sweater really shine. Here are three variations on basic denim, cute shoes, and solid bags.

Paisley, styled plainly

Of course, I am someone who considers leopard print to be a neutral, so I couldn't stick to just basics for this one. The next set got a little wild, since I started to wonder about pattern-matching; what happens when you mix paisley with *more* paisley?? This does:

Paisley Squared

Maybe those are a little wild for some folks- but think about how they would look if the sweater were slate grey, or camel? Think about it, anyways.


Flagstone is a lovely cardigan that brings the eye upwards, towards the fetching lace panels, and your pretty, pretty face. My first set are riffs on the style you see above- floral dresses, simple sandals, perfect cardi.

Flagstone with dresses

The shirtdress in the center actually inspired the enture next set- not all necklines look wonderful with crisp collars, but this one really does. This means it's an easy addition to a business casual wardrobe for cooler days, or a lovely counterpoint to the sheer, summery button downs that are so very trendy right now. For your viewing (and wearing?) pleasure- three takes on Flagstone with a collared shirt and pants.

Flagstone with collars

How would you wear Flagstone? What about Paisley?

Designer Process: Paisley

Fiona Ellis

Fiona Ellis is the author of today's post, where we hear about how geometry is a knitter's best friend, especially when trying to create innovative shapes and patterns in your creations.  Fiona is a design superstar, having contributed a number of amazing patterns to our magazine, as well as some extremely lovely publications of her own. Keep up with Fiona's latest by following her on Twitter.


I totally hated mathematics in school. So it amuses me how the calculations I leaned back then play such big a part in my work today. For some reason the principles that made me feel like I was in a thick fog once upon a time now make total sense once I apply them to knitting. It doesn’t even feel like math to me now- it feels like simple common sense.

So you can imagine that I get a huge kick out of explaining in my workshops that when you are figuring out the shaping of say an armhole that you are really sort of calculating the hypotenuse of a series of triangles. I love that word “hypotenuse” and love being able to use it in a knitting class. I always joke that I can calculate one but I just can’t spell it (but obviously I do know how to look up the spelling for the purpose of this piece).

Of course this is geometry and it is also at play when figuring out the angle of a line that you may wish to make when designing a cable – what I call drawing with cable “cords”. If you need a steep angle for your line you move the cord over by just one stitch at a time, if you need a shallower angle then you move the cord by two or maybe three stitches at a time. The real fun begins when you use them in combination with each other to create many different shapes.

Illustration of angle made my single stitch cableIllustration of angle from two-stitch cableIllustration of angle made by three-stitch cable

I used this idea when I sat down to design the paisley cable motif in Paisley. As I already knew how I was going to approach the task it meant that I ended up having to make far fewer swatches than if I have done it by trial and error alone. Aesthetics play their part after the first swatches or two. There is still some back and forth once you see how the lines look knit up at the gauge you will be working in. You still need to make it look as pretty as possible or in this case to make a motif that resembles the paisley we know and love.

Chart illustrating different cables usedSwatch illustrating different angles made by various cable crosses

Quick Dispatch: The tail end of a photo shoot

The tail end of a phot shoot usually involves our own tail ends; Jane snaps a silly photo right before we call it a wrap!


Robin and Kate mug for the camera