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Twist Collective Blog

Designer Post: Dulcia

Headshot of Warren Agee

 

Today's post is from Warren Agee, first time Twist contributor, and designer of the lovely square-necked cardigan Dulcia from our newest issue. You can also find this post on Warren's blog, and check him out also on Twitter @wageeeeee

 

 

 

 

full shot of Dulcia

 

 

I am happy to announce the publication of my brand-new pattern in the Fall 2016 Twist Collective: Dulcia.

 

Dulcia took a long and winding road to reach the public. I originally started designing this cardigan back in late summer of 2013 after I came across an unusual shade of Madelinetosh Tosh DK at my LYS: a pale gold shade called Winter Wheat. It was lonely sitting there on the shelf so I took it home. After doing a lot of swatching and digging through stitch dictionaries, I fell in love with a simple honeycomb stitch. I came up with the basic design and started knitting. And ripping. And knitting. And ripping. OMG so much trial and error to get it right! As I knitted the prototype I scribbled down the pattern. Then I went back and did all the calculations to grade the pattern for all the different sizes. I use a spreadsheet for this. I then hired a terrific technical editor so that all mistakes could be corrected and wording rewritten so everything made sense. The entire process (knitting, ripping, writing, & editing) took about a year (!!) due to other stresses in my life and the fact that I do this in my spare time.

 

Prototype

 

 

Near the end of the tech editing process I ran out of steam. I decided to change directions completely. I put away the pattern, left the design world, and studied portrait photography. Roughly a year later, after attending Stitches West in Santa Clara, CA in February 2016, I realized how much I dearly missed the warm and fuzzy knitting industry. I gave it another chance. My day job had changed, creating more space in my life for knitwear design. So I dusted off Dulcia and cast about for a way to publish it. I didn’t want to self-publish Dulcia; I wanted something different. I had never submitted a design to a major publication before, even though I had designed a few things for yarn companies, and a couple of those ended up in magazines. I knew the competition would be tough and the likelihood of getting accepted was slim, but I went for it. About the same time I noticed that Twist Collective had posted a call for submissions in the Ravelry Designers forum. “Oh boy, wouldn’t it be great to get into Twist – my absolute favorite knitting publication,” I thought. I wrote up my proposal and included photos I had taken of the sweater prototype (seen above). I was nervous and readied myself for rejection. I waited. And waited. And waited….

 

 

neckline

 

 

And then in late April I got an email from Kate Gilbert, Editor-In-Chief and Publisher of Twist. It started with the words “Dear Warren, I’m pleased to write you to accept…” That’s as far as I got. My heart stopped. I had been accepted! Joy! My mind raced, and in the next moment I was filled with panic: I’m gonna have so much work to do! What have I gotten myself into?

There was nothing to worry about, I would later discover. I received the yarn directly from Madelinetosh: Tosh DK in Prairie Fire, the most beautiful shade of pink I’d ever seen. And I’m not a pink person! I knitted up the sweater in about 4 weeks (with a couple days to spare), shipped it off, and worked at getting the pattern into shape according to their specifications. A couple months later, it was published in the Fall 2016 issue of Twist Collective!

I’m thrilled with the styling and photography, expertly shot by Crissy Jarvis.

 

 

button band and cuff detailsback

 

 

You may view and purchase the pattern by visiting Twist Collective. I appreciate your support!

Twist Style Fridays: Zellige

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.


 

 

 

Howdy friends. I'm feeling some weather related smugness this week. I'm still in Vancouver, hanging out with some of my favorite humans. It feels like September here, cool in the mornings, warm in the day, and chilly at night. I wore long sleeves and a wooly shawl to go get an ice cream sundae last night. Meanwhile, my home town is having heat warnings and my friends are all melting. Sorry Toronto friends. I know I say this every year, but OMG FALL you guys. It's the right weather for leather and velvet and corduroy and tweed. It's layers and vests and knitted socks. 

 

 

 

yoke detail

 

 

Zellige is a fabulous all season sweater that you should probably add to your wardrobe. She's lightweight, knit at a gauge just a hint looser than a pair of socks. On her own she's exactly the thing for a chilly spring morning. As a layering piece she'll add warmth to your ensemble without added bulk. 

 

 

full shot

 

 

She's also seamless, and with just a hint of simple colorwork around the yoke, Zellige is a pretty simple knit. I love the raspberry tone of the contrast color, and the slightly boat-y neckline. Maybe you want to show off that single skein of really special sock yarn on the yoke of something just like this? I also love a bracelet sleeve, but make them full length if you're looking for more of a winter sweater. 

 

 

side viewback

 

 

You already know what a crush I have on autumn, so it shouldn't surprise you that in styling this pretty lady, I went with denim and plaid and boots (and those cassette tape earrings?? Gimme). 

 

How will you wear Zellige

 

 

 

Throwback Thursday: Swansea

Sometimes you just need a little bobble. 

 

 

hat detail

 

 

Swansea is a delightful set of winter warmers to keep you cozy when the snow (or wind, or rain) flies. 

 

 

mittens

 

 

This adorable set will make you smile when the weather is dreary. 

Designer Post: Smoky Lake

headshot of Jessie McKitrick

This post comes to us from Jesse McKitrick, designer of the stunning Smoky Lake jacket/cardigan found in our newest issue. This is her first pattern with Twist and we are thrilled to have it in our pages. You can find this post in its original form, as well as more about Jessie on her blog, here

 

 

 

 

My Grandpa grew up near Smoky Lake here in Alberta, and I love when he tells the story of the time he and his brother came home with what they thought was a big fluffy dog that was only too happy to follow them. My Great-Grandmother was less than enthusiastic about any intent to keep the creature, and my Great-Grandfather brought the bear cub back to where the boys had found it.



The last time I was in Smoky Lake (the town, not the lake), it was rather an icy day in February, and I could have used a warm, sturdy, cozy cardigan to wrap myself up in. Smoky Lake, my design for Twist Collective Fall 2016, is a cabled and double-breasted cardigan with a shawl collar that totally fits the bill for warm, sturdy and cozy.

 

 

Sue wearing Smoky Lake

 

 

This cardigan is worked in Briggs & Little Atlantic, which is a bulky 3-ply wool that shows off cables nicely, even in a relatively darker shade like Grape, which Smoky Lake features. Of course, Briggs & Little Atlantic also comes in an excellent range of colours, both in heathered (like Grape) and solid. I think if I was knitting Smoky Lake again, I'd be tempted to also try Grey Heather, Fern, or Rust.

 

 

 

Jesse in Smoky Lake, in profile

 

 

For warmth, I can tell you I tried this one on one warm summer day, and would have melted if I had kept it on any longer than it took to snap a few photos. I feel Smoky Lake would be perfect for a fall (and spring for that matter) coat. If I had been able to wear it while camping with my family this summer, it would have also been just the thing for chilly mornings in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

 

 

Sue from the back

 

 

The wool is not only warm, but hard-wearing, and will keep your knitting in good form for a very long time. Briggs & Little Atlantic relaxes slightly with a wash, and plumps up a wee bit too; it keeps its shape and definition while making the drape and handle come out just right.

When designing Smoky Lake, I wanted to use cables that would be sculptural enough to stand out even on a darker wool, but that would work well with a bulky wool without distorting the overall fabric. I settled on two cables that would play nicely with each other in columns. I wanted a Pea Coat feel to the sweater, a sense of being wrapped in wool against all weather and ready for outdoor exploration over lake, sea, woodland or field. A double-breasted coat with a voluminous shawl collar had the right sort of feel too it, and so I sketched this up:

 

 

 

sketch

 

 

Of course, with bulky wool and a good sized button-band in the front meant that there would be less density of cables than in my sketch (I also don't think I got the eyes quite right, but that has very little to do with the sweater, right?); but the sketch conveyed the feel I was looking for, and once calculations and adjustments to assure a good fit for all the sizes in question for men and women were worked over and approved, I set about crunching numbers and making sure that the sweater worked up into a cozy and beautiful garment. I really enjoyed working up the shawl collar; no matter how often I use short-rows, they feel like magic, and the bands worked up particularly quickly in the bulky yarn.

 

 

Jesse from the frontside shot of Sue

 

 

I am so pleased to see my idea fully transformed into reality, even better than I had imagined it. I really enjoyed working with Twist Collective on this project; much thanks to all of the Twist staff! Twist Collective, as always, has beautiful photography, and I recommend even to the non-knitters who read this blog to go take a look through this issue (and back issues as well)!

Thanks and love to my Grandpa, who, by the way, always looks great in a double-breasted jacket.

The Smoky Lake pattern is now available for purchase here.

Twist Style Friday: Ziarre

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!! 

 

 

I'm writing you from the past, by which I mean that I'm on Pacific Standard Time this week. I did only a medium job packing for this trip; the weather in Vancouver is really variable! I super wish I had one of these with me. With the cropped length and elbow length sleeves, she is enough to warm you up after a chilly rain, but wee enough to fold up and squish into your purse. 

 

 

Ziarre

 

 

She's a summertime girl in a cotton blend like this one, or an all season layering piece in wool. Call me biased, I want everything to be made of wool. It can have a little silk or something in it I guess. 

 

 

sleeve detail

 

 

The high neck and the cropped length give this a bit of a vintage vibe, so pick a decade that you like, and make it work. I picked the 50s, the 60s, and the 90s, because that's just the kind of guy I am. 

 

How will you wear Ziarre

 

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