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Andrea RangelToday's post is brought to you by Andrea Rangel, and you can also find it here, on her blog. Scribe, these superwarm lined mittens, are her first contributions to the pages of Twist. If you or your loved ones live in cold climates, you're going to want to make some of these. In this post, Andrea tells is about how she found out that her project was a cover-girl, the finer points of liner-knitting, and what keeps her punk-rock heart warm. Enjoy!



One night I was working hard to finalize the layout for a men's color work cardigan when I was surprised by the latest issue of Twist Collective going live.  I found this out by seeing a photo of my mittens, Scribe, pop up on my Ravelry page.  It's a funny feeling when you see something you spent so much time with appear fully formed before your eyes, especially when you finished that work months and months ago.  It's a strange sort of deja vu in which the memory has been intensely enhanced by the skills of stylist, model, and photographer.  Thank you Twist Collective Team for showing my mittens in such a lovely light.


Scribe up close


These mittens started with the idea that I wanted really warm mittens for winter, especially if there's snowy weather.  I love the concept of lined wool mittens because a liner adds an extra pocket of air between the hands and the outside where even more warm air can get trapped and keep you toasty.  The double layer and dense gauge means that these are water and wind resistant too. 


Cross your heart


The mittens are constructed by using a provisional cast and working the liner mitt first.  Before working the outer mitten from the provisional cast on stitches, the liner is turned inside out because, as I found out through trial and error, at this dense gauge it's a lot more comfortable to have the purl side next to the fingers.  When I was trying on earlier versions, it seemed like I could feel the decreases at the top of the hand with the knit side in, which bugged me.  This way, it's all smooth.
It's not super obvious in the photos, but these mittens also include a cord to hang them around your neck when they're not being worn.  I'm terrible about losing just one mitten and this was my solution.  It also allows me to take them off to do a task without having to figure out where to put them down.
Those boots!

As a teenager I owned those very boots: 10-eye oxblood Docs.  Sometimes I still think about them and miss them, so to see them so perfectly styled with my mittens warms the punk rock part of my heart.
A closer look
Both mittens are worked the same in worsted weight wool so you don't have to worry about which is which, and the knitting goes quickly even with the lovely color work.
I encourage you to check out the rest of this issue of Twist Collective - it really is a stunner.
I can't wait to see the color combinations knitters come up with.
Caped and cozy

We went to new heights scouting locations for winter. Climbing up there was way too terrifying to do it a second time so we came up with plan B.



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 everyone! It's hard to know where to start with styling when a new issue is out. I want to play with all the dolls. I've started working with a bunch of the garments and am excited for Fridays to come; I hope you are too!!

This week, Picard. I love this sweater. It's sharp, a little edgy, well fitting, graphic, and well, pretty! I think it will also look fab on a variety of body shapes and types. Wear it with prints or saturated colors. Wear it with jeans, slacks, skirts or dresses. Wear it fancy or casual. Picard can take you where no sweater has gone before (in case the reference is lost on you, Picard is named for the Captain of the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek the Next Generation). If the reference is the opposite of lost on you, you should check this website out immediately. You're welcome.

Picard profilePicard back

This color was really speaking to me. I know you can make this garment in any color you like... but I would urge you to stick with something saturated. A rich color, like cobalt or teal  or mustard or plum? I know some people dress in darker colors as the weather cools down, but I like to kind of do the opposite. When it's grey outside, I want to provide my own vibrance. Color makes me happy. So I wanted to pair this top with some other rich tones; navy and ochre and oxblood. See?

Picard, times three

And then.. well, I got a little carried away.

Trendy Picard

I went to an art opening a few weeks ago, focused on textiles and fiber arts. It was pretty cool, and there was lots of yarn involved. It was an exciting and inspiring event in a lot of ways, but one of the ways that I didn't expect was that the artists who were present dressed to the nines. It was kind of like a runway show in addition to an art show (I loved it). The above outfits, especially the shoes, are inspired by that evening. There is velvet, metal, leather, plastic, mesh, (fake) fur, silk, and wool in the above set. Textiles galore!

How would you wear Picard?

Sandi RosnerWhether she is bringing us a modern classic design, or writing a helpful article about technique, Sandi Rosner brings a lot to Twist Collective. Today she shares just how worthwhile it can be to stick with an idea that doesn't work out right the first time. You can also find this post on her blog, here.




The new issue of Twist Collective was released last week, and I have a new design to share.


Meet Porto...


Porto, full view


This pullover came about because I was curious about the possibility of shaping a sweater with cables. As you may know, the twisting action of cables draws the knitting in, making the fabric narrower.  Instead of the usual increases and decreases to shape the waist, could I achieve the same shaping with a cable motif? I charted and swatched to figure out just how much cable was needed to produce the shaping I wanted. Then I knit the sweater.

And it wasn't right.

The scale was off. The cable medallion produced the waist shaping I wanted, but it was too small to make the visual impact needed.

I had three choices:
1. Take a trip down the river Denial and leave it as it was.
2. Remove the sleeves, take out the shoulder seams, and unravel the body of the sweater to the beginning of the cable, then re-knit.
3. Cut off the sweater at the bustline, unravel and re-knit the lower body of the sweater with revised cables panels, then graft the sections back together.
Monty, I'll take door number 3, though number 1 is very tempting.

I don't have photos of the surgery in process (it's just too much like taking photos of a crash at the side of the road). As you can see, the operation was successful. The re-scaled cables are so much better than the original. After blocking, even I can't find the line where the pieces were grafted together.


Cable detail

The sweater has a deep V-neck with cabled decreases for just a touch of sexy detail.

For the yarn, I wanted to use something a bit luxurious. Something soft and warm, with good stitch definition to show off the cables, but without bulk. Lorna's Laces Honor was perfect. It is 70% baby alpaca and 30% silk. The yarn is drapey, but not droopy. It caresses your skin in the most wonderful way. And the nearly solid color adds depth and richness.


Neckline detail


At some of the wineries in Napa Valley, tastings of port are offered with small squares of dark chocolate - truly a match made in heaven. In my fantasy life, I'd wear this casually elegant sweater in front of a crackling fire, bathed in candlelight, curled up on the couch with a charming man, sipping port and letting squares of chocolate melt on my tongue.

Click on over here to buy the pattern and begin making your own fantasy.

Also in this issue, I have an article on knitting myths and why you might choose to ignore them. I had a lovely e-mail in my box this morning from the one and only Cat Bordhi, thanking me for the article. Made my day.

Audry Nicklin


Today's post was written by Audry Nicklin, designer of the amazing Celestarium, the starry shawl from our newest issue. In this entry Audry explains how she knitted the sky. Literally.  You can also find it on her website.




Celestarium detail


Celestarium started it's life in early 2011 with the question, "Wouldn't it be cool if there was a shawl that was also a star chart?" Of course knitting a star chart seemed utterly crazy. How do you even chart something circular that has no pattern repeats. Although the idea was neat enough to earn a sticky note on what my brother lovingly refers to as the "Beautiful Mind" wall, it seemed impossible, so I tried my best to think about other things.


Sticky Note


Except that the idea kept bugging me. It seems obvious now, but it took me 6 months to determine that the only way to chart the sky accurately was to make a circular chart. After an unsuccessful search for a circular pi shawl chart, I ended up building one in Illustrator using a polar grid as a starting point. Eventually the chart was printed out, taped together, and hung on my window so I could refine the design.


chart taped to the window


Being from the northern hemisphere, Polaris seems like the logical center of the shawl. That ended up being the only easy star to chart. As it turns out, there is no standardization to constellations, so several sources had to be checked for each constellation before adding them to the chart.


Source material


The next big job was to make the piece knit-able. A big circular chart is wonderful for graphing, but an absolute nightmare to knit from. I toyed with different ways to keep track of star placement, but settled on placing a stitch marker every 36 stitches. Star positions were refined to make sure there were exactly 36 stitches in between each marker. No marker has to be moved in order to get the star placement correct. Additionally, all increase rounds do not have any stars, which makes the knitting go much smoother. As a bonus, the pattern includes a chart of the constellations so you know exactly what you have knit.




After 18 months of development, I finally was able to knit up the first version. Call it a coincidence or Providence, but right as I was looking into publishing the pattern Twist Collective's mood board landed in my inbox. One of the themes was macrocosmos with an image of stars. The rest is history.