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Twist Collective Blog

Twist Style Friday Double Trouble: Falkirk and Ravenscrag

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.


 

 

Happy Friday friends!!

 

I've been thinking a lot about clothes this week. I've been wanting to dress a little tougher lately, reaching for my stompy boots on more and more mornings. I've been choosing darker and darker colors for my nails (currently a deep grey with green shimmer, called Sally), and my dear friend Clara gifted me a black lipstick. I've been wearing burgundies and purples for a long time, but had never quite made the leap to black. I wore it for the first time yesterday (yup, to work, in daylight!) and it was a surreal experience. I'm someone who strangers feel immediately comfortable with- maybe a little too comfortable. When all the single seats on a train are taken, I am always the person who gets a seatmate first. I have weird hair and tattoos and piercings and I'm usually wearing at least one strange item of clothing, and probably I'm knitting in public. People often seem to feel super comfortable approaching me and talking to me and asking me about my knitting or my body modifications.

 

While on the subway wearing black lipstick, not a single person made eye contact with me. I often describe my clothes and makeup as my femme armor; things that make me feel appropriately guarded as I move through the world. Black lipstick seems capable of creating a literal force field around me. It's so fascinating how differently people reacted to me with this one small change. It's not that I want to be scary, but there was something really fun about subverting the whole idea of makeup as a tool to achieve attractiveness; this is something I put on my face that actively repelled people. 

 


Anyways. I likely won't wear it with my Ravenscrag (in progress) because I think I will want to talk to literally everyone about this sweater. I'll be shouting from the rooftops. I'm a little in love with it, and right now it's just a back piece and one sleeve. Mine is about 12 shades brighter than the original, but let's just gaze at it lovingly, shall we? Sigh. Hello pretty. 

 

 

Ravenscrag modeled, from the back.

 

 

The cables are amazing, the shape is so bombshell, the neckline is super pretty. I just flat out love this sweater. It would be awesome in a rich caramel or coffee brown, in a solid bright, or a soft heather. You probably want one. 

 

 

detail of scoop neckline and cables on front

 

I'm going to wear mine with pencil skirts and pointy boots, or with skinny jeans and legwarmers and doc martens. 

 

 

three outfits

 

 

But wait, we have another gorgeous sweater to look at today!!  If you've been paying attention, you know that also means that our next issue is almost fully baked. I can barely wait for you all to see it. For now you will have to console yourself with this cozy wonder. Hello Falkirk

 

 

Plaid knitted jacket with tie-belt

 

 

Fall and plaid are a really excellent pair. At my friend Alysse's family cottage, there are a bunch of plaid shirt-jacket things (I call them lumberjackets) that everyone wears when it gets chilly at night. Falkirk is the refined version of that. Super cozy, and exactly what you want to wrap yourself in on a icy night, ideally near a roaring fire or wood stove. The details keep it looking super polished; the contrast edge on the buttonband and collar, the perfect rustic buttons, and the perfect saddle shoulder. Take a look! 

 

 

shoulder detail

 

 

This sweater does have a little bit of a gentlemanly air about it, so I nodded at that a little in my styling. The plaid also gives you lots of colors to work with. 

 

 

three outfits

 

 

How will you wear Falkirk? What about Ravenscrag

Twist Style Friday/Designer Post Mashup: Portiere

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.



Today's style Friday is a bit of a mashup! We are featuring Fiona Ellis' cabled masterpiece Portiere, and parts of this post are also about Fiona's design inspiration. You can find that post on her blog, here. One of the coolest things about working with Twist is that I get to interact with so many amazing humans. Mostly this happens on the internet, but occasionally I get to actually see some of these folks in meatspace. Fiona and I have hung out a few times over coffee and knitting, and she is just as fun, creative, and unexpected as her designs would suggest. In the next few paragraphs and images, she tells us about her inspiration and design process for this lovely sweater. 

 

 

front of sweaterback

 

Portiere; a heavy curtain used across a doorway to keep out drafts or a cosy sweater featuring swag-like cables to keep out cool Fall breezes.

 

Sometimes when I set out to design cable patterning I have a pretty strong idea of how I want it to look before I even cast on. Mostly if the first attempts don’t do what I thought, so I keep working until I finally get what I had in my mind’s eye. But then some times it doesn’t work how I thought but those initial swatches take me off down another avenue. Portiere is the results of one of those explorations. It didn’t end up where I thought it would but I’m still very pleased with the result and the process was fun and educational.

 

fancy chandeliertwisty chandelier

 

 

Earlier in the year I was captivated by the swags, chains and dripping jewels on some chandeliers I saw in a store. So I took some photos so that I could examine them more closely later. Photos somehow amplify the details for me and form a reference for me to sketch from.

 


I began swatching knowing that to create lines with soft arcs cables need to have a combination of crosses moving at different rates. If you use the exact same speed of traveling across the fabric throughout you end up with simple diagonal lines. More on this here.

 

first try

 


So that is where I began. I started with a small repeat but it didn’t really do what I had hoped for.

 

second attempt

 

So as I pondered I decided to see what would happen if I combined it with it’s own mirror image, placed right next to each other - all snuggly with no space between. 

 

final cable pattern swatch

 

 

I liked that version, but then a question popped into my head - I have a lot of those “I wonder what would happen if….” moments. So if one repeat plus its mirror image was interesting (ie 2 repeats) maybe four repeats would be even better. And indeed it was.  That is how the cable used in Portiere was born….which ended up looking nothing like a swag on a chandelier but took on the look of soft drapes from heavy curtains used to keep out drafts…hence the name.

 

 

Fiona and Kimready to send

 

That is the designer part of the behind the scene story, but this project had a few fun little personal asides too. When I was knitting it Karen Alfke from Churchmouse Yarn was visiting and it turned out that we were both knitting with Brooklyn Tweed yarn.  Because I knew that there would be lots of chatting going on during her visit I finished the cable cuff sections of the sleeves before she arrived. Then I could work on the stockinette stitch upper part, so I could carry it around, gossip and possibly drink beer while I knitted. This worked pretty well except that after a particularly fun evening our waiter from the Queen & Beaver pub had to chase after me…shouting

"Excuse Miss you seems to have forgotten your knitting!"

[blush].


Thanks to him saving my bacon, Portiere was finished in time for the photo shoot.

 

 

portiere in the magazine

 

 

Let's take a look at some styling options, shall we? Fiona is also the fashiony brain behind these outfits, but we are back to me being the wordsmith. Hello! I know folks, I'm really resting on my laurels this week. If you miss my styling, don't be too sad! We will have a bit of a sartorial bonanza in the next little bit. 

 

with a plaid skirt and clunky boots

 

 

I might have those exact boots, except in cheetah-print. They're amazing. This outfit has a bit of a Vivienne Westwood highbrow-punk vibe to it. 

 

jeans and a bowler

 

This one is pretty simple and casual, except for that killer hat. I am mostly a slouchy knitted beanie kind of lady, but I love fancy hats on other people, and this kind of brimmed hat looks especially amazing on folks either with super long wavy mermaid hair, or stick straight, blunt bobs with heavy bangs. Also, confession time; I also have those boots. Mine are a lighter brown, and I have worn them basically to dust. Fiona and I are similar creatures in that way; shoe stores are one of our natural habitats, especially the Fluevog store. 

 

pleated skirt and fancy heels

 

At a birthday party a few weeks ago for my friend Ash, we all painted our nails and put on weird clay facemasks and watched Clueless. I think Cher Horowitz would be all over this outfit, and by that I mean that I love it. 

 

How will you wear Portiere

 

 

 

 

 

Twist Style Friday: Greenery

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.


 


I should tell you, I am generally kind of a Halloween spoilsport. I get stressed out about costumes, I don't really like parties, and most candy is unappealing to me (I only want chocolate). I know folks who are super into it, and I support them, but most years when this day rolls around, I plan to stay home. Tonight I am cooking a nice dinner with a small group of friends, and we are going to watch movies about witches. Probably The Craft, and maybe also The Witches. We will eat chocolates that are not tiny-sized (those aren't on sale yet).  

 

I was *more* Halloween-y yesterday. A colleague of mine suggested that it might be fun to dress as each other for our volunteer meeting closest to Halloween. He is a tall thin south asian man, and I am a curvy short white girl, and we both have very distinctive styles, so this was pretty comical. We both took this project on pretty seriously; he gave himself a colorful manicure, wore purple lipstick, and a floral velvet Betsey Johnson skater dress. I also brought him a knit hat and scarf to wear. My costume might seem more regular - I wore jeans and a T shirt and a hoodie with some activisty buttons on the kangaroo pocket, with a plaid grampa hat, glasses, and sneakers - except that I literally felt like another person. Those clothes are "normal", but they aren't at all normal *for me*. I didn't wear makeup, guys. Ok, I wore neutral-ish nail polish and tinted chapstick. If we're Facebook friends you can see the photos. 

 

The thing David and I have in common is a serious commitment to color coordination. This week's sweater, Greenery, is a total dream for people like us who like to match things to each other, because you have so many delicious accent colors to choose from! 

 

 

yoke detail

 

 

My favorites are obviously the brightest ones, the blue closest to the neckline, and that amazing chartreuse. This sweater would also be super amazing in tonal neutrals, like gradient browns or greys. Obviously, I like a pop of color, but mostly I just can't wait to see the amazing combinations that knitters come up with. 

 

 

full shot of Greenery sweater

 

 

I also really love the detail on the sides. In addition to looking totally pretty, this also seems like it would super fun to knit. I would be so excited, watching the pattern emerge! Then, compulsively matching your shoes or earrings or purses to the perfect colors you've chosen... or maybe that's just me. 

 

 

three outfits

 

 

How will you wear Greenery

 

 

Twist Style Friday: Cahoots

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.


 


Happy Friday fashion fans!! It's been full on sweater weather here lately (and leather weather, velvet weather, sweater-tights weather... all the best kinds of weather) and I have been so happy to be pulling out my handknits and boots. I don't even mind the bit of rain. 

 

Fall happens fast, so I'm doing my best to relish these days; walking home from work and eating my lunch outside.  I want to breathe all the air while it doesn't hurt my lungs. It makes me want to listen to fiddle tunes and darn socks and stay up too late so I don't miss it. 

 

 

full viewsleeve detail

 

 

Cahoots is the perfect cardigan for this time of year. She's cute and shaped enough to look adorable with whatever outfit you have on, but she is also thick and cozy enough to hold off jacket-wearing until the mercury falls just a little bit further. 

 

 

frontback

 

 

Snuggly and sweet, right? You could totally wear this over jeans and a t shirt, and the neckline is high enough to work with a collared shirt as well, so you could blazer it too. In this color though, with those bright buttons, Cahoots was calling to me. She said, "make me pretty!" 

 

One of the best ways of keeping a pretty dress and sweet cardigan from looking overly twee is to butch it up a little with your shoe choice. A little gender-blending can add an edge to an outfit that's otherwise potentially toothache causing. So pick yourself a nice brogue, or a chelsea boot to go with your frock, and get outside where the leaves are falling! 

 

 

 three outfits

 

 

How will you wear Cahoots?

 

Twist Style Friday: Calais

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.


 


I wore pants to a party last weekend and someone asked me if it was because I'd lost a bet. They weren't saying that I didn't look great (I did), just that they had literally never seen me dressed that way, and so there had to be some kind of justification for it. Incidentally, there was. My actual party outfit was well, minimal, and it was cold, and I rode my bike to the party. The sweater, stretchy jeans, and boots ensemble I arrived in was just my transportation outfit. 

 

Still, this exchange has been making me think about how much a particular *look* (or a few variations on a theme) can be almost like a uniform. Our clothes can be part of how we show ourselves to the world, and also give others information about who we are and how we want to be perceived. 

 

As someone who moves through the world as a woman, and as someone pretty sensitive, I think about balancing strength and vulnerability a lot. I often think of my clothing, makeup, and accessories as armor that I wear to feel protected. 

 

This, my fashiony friends, is a pretty piece of armor. 

 

 

neckline detail

 

 

The ribs and cables seem protective to me, but also this top is kinda sexy. It's a bit like putting your body in a pretty sweater-cage. 

 

 

full shot from the frontback

 

 

I paired Calais with other things that make me feel tough. Animal print, stompy boots, leather, and bright colors. 

 

three outfits

 

How will you wear Calais

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