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Twist Collective Blog

Behind the Scenes: Setting the mood

Last year, I wrote a blog post with tips for designers submitting proposals to us. You can read it here.

As we were discussing topics for future blog posts, it occurred to us that this is a natural jumping off point for a series of blog posts on the making of an edition. Often, people only see our call for submission and then, 9 months later (give or take) a beautiful new edition is born, but in that time, there's a lot going on.

So in the first, of an as-yet-undetermined number of blog posts, we'll be discussing the behind the scenes production cycle for creating an edition. You will be able to find all the posts here.  

The first step of an edition, is setting the mood. If you flip through the pages of our magazine, you'll notice there are individual stories made up of seven to ten designs, all shot with a common theme. For instance, in our Spring/Summer 2012 edition, we pay homage both to April showers and the subsequent May Flowers.

rain date Blooms
April Showers Bring May Flowers, with a little peek at Regent, Ceylon and Caeles

In order to ensure we have designs that can be grouped together, our mood boards also feature themes. These themes may or may not relate to the final shoots. More about that in future posts. 

SPSU12 board
Spring Summer 2012 Mood Board

Our mood boards don't focus on specific garment shapes or styles. We have found that when we put a garment in a mood board, we get tons of submissions that are just variations on that design and while there's nothing wrong with that, it feels like it actually limits people's creativity instead of sparking it. Instead, we focus on feelings like, top-left: light and airy or bottom-right: texture.  We might want people to think of a technique in a new way like top-right: lace, or design for a situation like bottom-left: poolside. When an idea cannot be literally translated into a design, we find that people abstract the concept into something that is uniquely their own. It's always inspiring to see what people have come up with.

With the mood board together and instructions included, we package everything up into a PDF. We send a link to the PDF to everyone who has signed up to receive our calls for submissions, and we post about it in the Designers group over on Ravelry.

We generally give people about a month to create a sketch, swatch and brief description of each of their proposals. 

We would love to hear what you think of our behind the scenes series of blog posts, or any of our other posts. To get in on the discussion join us on Facebook.

Twist Style Friday- Nyame

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 again knitters! Carly here, with another installment of Twist Style Fridays. This week, Nyame, a lovely ruffled tank designed by Julia Trice.


We showed it to you in the Spring/Summer issue like this-




I really love this piece- it's a stunner on it's own, as the centerpiece of an outfit. The two ideas below started out in mind as a day outfit (on the left) and a night outfit (right), but I think if you switched up the accessories, either one could be for daytime wandering or for going out at night.


Nyame styling options


I also think that Nyame makes a great layering piece; you could wear it as a camisole under a jacket or as part of a suit. You could also wear it as a sweatervest, to add a little feminine flair to a more structured work outfit. Layering can also carry this summery top well into the cooler seasons. I hope you like these!


Nyame styling options- work


How would you wear your Nyame?

Designer Process: Lingonberry

Lorilee BeltmanToday's post is brought to you by squares! Sounds like a Sesame Street intro, right? Truly, this post was written by talented designer Lorilee Beltman, and is cross-posted from her blog. She shares how Lingonberry, a truly innovative and beautiful sock design, came from lots and lots of tinkering with knitted squares! Follow your fascinations, knitters.

Lingonberry Socks

My first published pattern resulted from waiting for two skeins of stashed Noro Iro to speak to me. Thinking this self-striper would look nifty knit as concentric squares, I set out to make simple squares in garter stitch, worked from the outside inward. The darn thing was only about three feet long! By a happy accident I could not find more of that colorway, and was forced to come up with a creative solution.  I reknit a few squares of two different sizes, recalculating for a five-foot scarf, which was still too skimpy. I figured I’d have a more lengthy scarf if I left out the centers. What I ended up with was something that garnered far more compliments that my original plan would have. I eventually submitted it to Interweave Knits, and it was included in a lighter weight and a summer yarn for the spring 2008 issue as Chameleon Scarf. Since then I have released it on Ravelry with instructions for fingering, worsted, and bulky yarns, and with it’s original title- Holey Squares Scarf. (photo below- Sandi Gunnett)

Squares make a scarf

Meanwhile, I kept playing with squares. For instance, when seamed, a simple hand-warmer could be made from one of these squares.

When Judy Becker’s Magic Cast On came on the scene in the spring of 2006 via, the lights went on for me. That simple handwarmer could be made more difficult, but seamless, by using a combination of long tail and magic cast ons. Aha!

Squares make mitts

The same handwarmer, using magic cast on on steroids, could be used for a mitered square mitten, again, without seams and all worked in the round. Now it was getting fun for me because I believed I was in a new territory of knitting geometry. I mean, I don’t think there’s another pattern out there where you cast on provisionally, work six directions from there, and join twice on the first round. The resulting Bobsled Mittens are found in Judy Becker’s book Beyond Toes, which is a collection of designs from folks similarly turned on by the magic. When I teach, I try to work JMCO into as many classes as possible.

Squares make mittens

The next self-imposed challenge was to work the bobsled architecture into a sock by turning the thumb into a heel. In spite of my worries over its wacky construction, I submitted it to Twist Collective where it appears in the current Spring/Summer 2012 issue. A few Lingonberry socks have now been showing up on Ravelry, and so far, I am relieved no one has had a heart attack. Some pretty, well-fitted socks have been made.

Lingonberry sock, back

For the curious, here is a link to the support video on Youtube.

Squares, who knew they could be so entertaining?

Twist Style Friday: Regent

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.

Carly here again for your weekly dose of fashion frolic. This time, I played with Marnie MacLean's gorgeous wrap cardigan, Regent. Especially in this delicious eggplant color, and sumptuous merino-silk blend, this sweater just drips luxury and elegance. Now, me, I am not exactly the elegant sort; I mostly like clothes that make me laugh. So my first impulse was to pair this piece with things that were a little off-kilter, like pink pants or a bubble-skirt.

Regent Styling (closed)

I love these outfits- I feel like me and elegance reached a quirky compromise. Plus that rich color really goes with eveything! I also wanted to show you how pretty Regent can look open- all ruffles and drape. So here are a few more ideas-

Styling Options (open)

Unbelted, this sweater takes on a new flavour, a sort of "I'm not trying very hard, I just happen to be fabulous" feel. I might just have to make one for myself. I asked Marnie if she might like to offer some ideas too, and she sent me these lovely options- a little more sophisticated, perhaps. 

Styling options from Marnie

I love the idea of pairing a cozy handknit with a spangled gown! Layers of luxe. You can find these outfits and more on our Polyvore page- and we would love to see you play around with them too! It's really a lot of fun- kind of like playing with paper dolls, but you have all the doll clothes in the whole world at your fingertips. Tweet your creations at us (@twistcollective, #twiststyle), or post them on our Facebook page. We want to know- how would you wear your Regent?

Where do you Twist?

Fiona EllisFiona Ellis is a regular contributor to Twist Collective.This issue, she designed the lovely Paisley, and authored the companion article about the fascinating history of paisley. Today, she shares her tips for knitting on the road, something she does a lot of! All of us at Twist are also inviting you to share your knitting adventures and travel tales with us.

have Twist tote, will travel

One of the aspects of my work is that I get to travel quite a lot, but this spring I have been accompanying my husband while he is on a cross North America extravaganza with his company. As this is mostly a driving tour I have had gobs of time to knit. I have several projects on the go, including a new design for the fall issue of Twist, so I have not been at all bored spending these long hours in the car.

There are logistics to be considered to be able to work on the road like this though. Shipping yarn to hotels has not been a problem thanks to excellent courier services. The wide availability of the Internet means I can work remotely just as I usually do. Five to seven un-interrupted hours to knit means I can get several inches done -- but also requires that I have already precisely figured out the pattern and shaping. Roadside stops to eat and answer the call of nature provide me with the opportunity to check my work, measure the piece and grab more yarn from the trunk.

From many previous trips on planes I already have a small project grab bag that contains my essential tools, including a small package of dental floss, which has multiple applications: it can be used for life-lines, as a stitch holder and also has an airplane friendly cutter. My knitting bag of choice has been the Twist Tote; boy does that thing hold a lot of yarn! I love the outer pockets for bottles of water and snacks (note from the bloglady- these totes are not currently available- but we have lots of cute lil Twist tape measures. They come in handy, whatever sort of bag you carry your projects in).

I thought I would share with you the most spectacular spot that I have taken it to so far: Hoosier Pass in Colorado. On the Continental Divide and an elevation of 11,539 feet, I think this is the highest I have been on knitting, excluding on an airplane of course.

Fiona and her knitting at the Hoosier Pass

The knitting peeking out is the new project for the fall issue and you can’t quite see it here but I am working on a pair of 4mm Signature Needles.

So the question for you is: Where in the world do you Twist? Whether it's your own backyard or a place you travelled to, we want to know where you take your Twist projects, and where they take you!

Tweet your photos of your latest projects (and/or totes and tape measures) out in the world @twistcollective, or post them on our Facebook page. Happy knitting, and happy travelling!