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Twist Collective Blog

Book Review: Mother-Daughter Knits

It's taken me a while to come around to sharing my thoughts on Sally Melville's latest book, Mother Daughter Knits: 30 Designs to Flatter and Fit, not because I am reluctant to tell you what I think.  On the contrary, I was immediately enthusiastic about this book, and unlike my usual ebullience with such enthusiasms, I sort of sat on it, forgot about it, and then rediscovered it as I was clearing out the pile of things on the desk.  Leafing through the book again, I am persuaded that my initial reaction to it will remain my opinion about it for as long as it lives in my book library, which will be (and this is really all you need to know about this book) for as long as I have a library.





There are a few books which every knitter just has to have, like the two by Ann Budd (A Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns and A Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns), The Vogue Knitting Book, maybe a stitch dictionary or two, and a Nancy Bush sock book.  Then there are the books that serve as a library of knits, covering every opportunity you may ever have an impulse to knit, like the shawl for a friend's wedding, the riot of colour pullover, or the perfect Baby cardigan, found in such books as The Green Mountain Spinnery Book, the Mason-Dixon Knitting couplet, and the late great Rowan Magazines #8 and 34.

I submit that Mother Daughter Knits is such a book, full of Sally's experience, her advice for customizing patterns for the most flattering results, and a collection of knits that feel fresh, modern, and age appropriate for the whole spectrum of knitters. It is as beautiful a book as we have come to expect from Potter Craft, and with the participation of Melville's knitting daughter Caddie, as current a collection as a knit book is capable.  So check it out next time you're at your local bookstore or yarn shop, and even if you don't agree that you need these particular patterns in your library, that the book is diverse and appealing on many levels of skill and taste.  

Happy Birthday

It's August first, and pinch me, but we're one year old today!  Thank you so much for being here, for supporting the work of independent designers with your purchases, and spreading the Twist Collective word.  Want to celebrate with us?  Go buy a pattern (you know you want at least one), and keep us all going for another year!



Lovely cupcake notecards from creativeapples.


Twist report from Tigard Knitting Guild

Marnie MacLean graciously hosted a Twist Collective fashion show last week at the Tigard Knitting Guild in Portland, Oregon.  She also posted about the evening on her blog, so if you are interested in how it went, and want to see some lovely pictures of happy knitters wearing beautiful sweaters, you should go there now. Her friend Erica took pictures.  Just so you know.


marnie hostsfashion show


Where in the World Have the Buzz Bags Gone?

Barbara sent us a photo of her Buzz Bag all coloured in.  Isn't it darling?  


twistbag painted



If you haven't done this to yours yet, Allison Green Will, designer of Bernhardt and Jaali, told me she had great success doing hers with just regular felt tip markers.  I can't account for how wash fast it would be that way, but if the colour all comes out, you can just do it again! Think you might want one to colour in for yourself?  We have about 15 of them left in the shop, so act fast.

Kate and I thought you might get a little kick out of a map, just a graphic representation of where we've sent the Buzz Bags. Just click on this link.

View Where in the World are the Buzz Bags?  map here.

An Introduction, and a Contest

Hello Twist readers!  My name is Rachael, the new production manager for Twist Collective.  I came on board in May 2009 just before the launch of the summer issue, and have been diving in to get up to speed ever since.  I thought it was time to give you all a quick hello, and introduce a kind of contest that we’re having here on the Twist blog.

When I first met Kate, we sat and talked about how we both started knitting and our subsequent forays into the knitting world.  I told her the story of the first thing I had made for anyone, a horribly ugly scarf for my dad.  Here is the story: (reposted from my blog,

I’ve been knitting since I was a kid, but like many people I got back into it as an adult. My mom taught me once upon a time, and I laboriously worked at it.  When I saw other people knitting I thought I was doing it all strange and backwards, but it turned out that I was just knitting English style in a sea of Continental knitters.  After learning that my style was indeed legitimate, I felt a lot better about it and now embrace my yarn throwing technique.

When I was younger I never really finished all that much, though I did do a lot of strange small yarn-lumps that I claimed were mittens for my dolls.  The odd Christmas I would get it together enough to complete a project, and my dad would be saddled with another of my misshapen, dropped-stitch creation that I proudly hoped he would wear to work.

One year, I made was a striped light-and-dark blue scarf for my dad.  I think I got the yarn from Safeway, and it definitely wasn’t the same at one end as it was on the other.  I don’t think it was even long enough to be more than a yoke around his neck, and just tucked into his collar.  My dad worked in a mine, and it actually kept him serviceably warm, so he wore it to work every day.

One day in November, just as my dad was having his lunch in the loader he was working in, he noticed one of the other guys on shift sitting in the snow, just down from the road.  My dad wondered what he was up to - the guy was a notorious prankster, but this seemed a bit odd.  The guy waved to him, and then waved again and again.  Finally, my dad got out of the truck and climbed down the embankment next to the road to see what was wrong.

The guy had taken a wrong step, fallen down the embankment and broken his leg.  He’d been sitting there for hours in the cold, waiting for someone to come by and spot him.  By now, he was getting pretty cold and needed medical attention.  My dad took off for help, but not before taking my scarf off and wrapping it around his head and neck to keep him warm.

I used to see this fellow now and again as I was growing up, and he would always tell me how warm that scarf was, and that it saved his life.  It was ugly, but my dad wore it until it fell apart years later.  My knitting has improved in the intervening time, and I’m branching bravely away from scarves and into sweaters, colourwork, and even my own designs, the best thing I will probably ever make was that ratty little scarf.

Perhaps you’ve been there too – sometimes the ugliest, strangest, quickest things we make are the unexpected successes. So with that in mind, we here at the Twist blog are looking for YOUR stories about the things you have knitted that have led interesting lives, had adventures, and inspired funny, quirky and unique stories or what knitting has done for you or someone you know. 

We’ll be collecting and posting stories as an ongoing column in our blog.  If your story is chosen, Twist will send you a free Twist Collective tape measure in the color of your choosing, and you’ll get a link back to your blog (if you have one).  Feel free to send pictures, or even links to stories you have already written.  Be creative, and you can always send more than one story if you've got them lined up around the block! You can send your entries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

We're looking forward to hearing all the stories you have to share, and to many more fun issues with the Twist crew.