Twist Collective Blog
Casting on: Wisteria
In November of last year, Kate and I were talking online about sweaters that had caught my eye. I was sending her links to this blog and that, talking about "yokes" and construction and how a sweater sits on the shoulders and such because I was, at the time, besotted with a certain cabled yoke cashmere sweater that had recently been adapted in a pattern available for download. At the time, I was intoxicated with it, and Kate, good friend that she is, was trying to talk some sense into me about foolish affections. In two-ply cashmere perhaps it is well-engineered, but for hand knitting, she felt it was a shape that was doomed for my body. She kept shaking her head over binding bits, the lack of flattery to the "assets", and how a human being has arms that swing freely from the shoulders. Usually. "You don't want to make that. What you want to make is this" and into my IM window popped this:
I think it took her twenty seconds to draw this. It was for me love at first sight. Gone from my interest was the cashmere cable. I felt like Romeo dropping Roxanne for Juliet. The moment I saw the sketch I finally understood what Kate was talking about, and I have hounded her for the pattern ever since.
Last Friday I got it, along with everybody else, and I cast on.
I am using Green Mountain Green, a two-ply heavy worsted yarn from the Green Mountain Spinnery. It is a plump yarn, with a hand-made quality and a slight haze to it that softens the cables oh so slightly, and hides the few increases that are not concealed by the clever path of the cables. I like the silver sheen to it, and the colour, or lack of it. I feel like this will be the sweater I can wear to meet the Ents.
Cookie A’s knee socks may be the most alluring knee socks I have seen in a long time: the shaping, the traveling stitches, the centered motifs on the shin and the Achilles tendon, like Bavarian pastry and fishnets all in one. One reader said her husband called them “sexy.”
Oooh, the frisson!
I’m all for sexy, especially in the knitting, but I may lack the stamina to knit socks that go all the way . . . up to . . . there. I am a tall girl, and knee socks tweak my acrophobia. Happily, the pattern includes instructions for the short version, every bit as charming as the full size pair, complete with the diamond badges and the Bavarian pastry cables. And they are so cute in red. Who can say no?
How the Magazine Works
One of the things we wanted to do with Twist Collective was make the most of the tools that come with publishing on the Internet, namely, interactivity and flexibility for the reader.
As you stroll through the magazine for the first time (because you clicked on the large arrows on the sides of pages, instead of going straight to the shop, right?) you’ll notice that the pattern pages have -- in addition to detailed photos of the projects -- pattern information that shows up when you roll over the name of the pattern on that page. The rollovers are shorthand information to tell you a little about the pattern: the size range it’s written for, and the yarn involved in knitting the sample. You can find out more by clicking through to the pattern’s shop page where you can review all the details before you decide if, I mean, that you want to buy it.
Articles have front pages in the magazine. If you want to read the whole article (which we hope you do), you will find the complete text and illustrations by clicking through to those pages from the magazine. There is a link to the article index on the top bar. You will also find on the full article page an email icon that lets you share with friends something that you can’t bear to keep to yourself.
You will notice that on the article pages, there is a place to “login” and sign up for the newsletter. There is no need to fill in either field. It’s purely voluntary. Logging in is completely optional as is requesting the newsletter.
One little tip that you probably already know about computers in general, but it never hurts to be reminded of: if you find the type is too small, you can enlarge it on a PC by pushing the “control” and the “plus” (+) buttons at the same time to bring the type into your comfort zone. On a Mac, that translates into the “command” and “plus” buttons. Voila! Instant readability. The type may then overshoot the page, but we forgive you.
Throughout the magazine and in the marketplace, you will see advertising spaces from our sponsors. All of the ads click through to their own sites. Some people have already expressed dismay that ads are even in the magazine. Understood, but if you’d like to know a little about our decision to take advertising aside from the need for revenue to support the work involved, please see the FAQ.
A lot of people are asking about bulk purchases. Here’s the answer, for now. For the immediate future, we will not be offering discounted rates for multiple purchases, with our apologies. We really appreciate the enthusiasm that has greeted our first issue, and I promise you that we are actively thinking about how we can afford to both pay designers fairly and to gratify the pattern collectors with a “buy them all” or a “buy several for less” option. But for now, I can only remind you that knitting time is what it is, and the patterns aren’t going anywhere. They will be here when you are ready, so come back after your first project, and buy the next one (or two) then .
Oh, hey, it must be Friday, because here we are. ::checking calendar:: Yep, August 1st, right on time.
It’s been a long 62 days watching those circles tick down for you, has it? Thanks for all the emails and encouragement along the way. It was amusing, we must say, to watch some people squirm on the Ravelry group, playing "I Spy" with the sneak peeks, and getting all frothy around the mouth for the work we’ve been putting in. It makes a girl feel either a like a deer being chased by wolves, or like Santa Claus. Not sure which. Well, for the four of us, the time whizzed by. But now time’s up; we must step away from the keyboard and let you through to the site.
Hopefully you have already taken a stroll through the first issue, clicked on a few of the articles to see what they look like, and perhaps even bought the pattern for your next project. That would be really cool.
One more thing: the magazine is in beta, so please be kind. Any problems you come across can be sent to . There will be changes as time goes on, but for now, welcome. We’re excited to be here.