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Twist Collective Blog

Throwback Thursday: Bright Star

It seems like ages ago, Winter 2009. I've lived in eleven apartments since then. In 2009 I was mostly a shawl knitter who dabbled in sweaters, but only worsted weight or heavier. These days my knitting is 90% socks and 10% weird things (an anarchy hat for a baby and a spider for a friend's altar fall into the latter category).


Not everything has changed though. I like this sweater then, and I still like it now. Do you remember Bright Star?



red cropped cardigan, modeled ove a pinup style dress



Sometimes you need a cardigan to cover up a little. Other times, your shoulders are chilly but you don't really want to cover up so much. Bright Star is so there for you. She is perfect over full skirted dresses, but other 50s syles would also be super cute (wiggle dresses!). She'd also be cute as heck with high waisted jeans, black or a candy-bright.



raglan line and ribbing detail



The best part- this top is a quick knit that doesn't take a ton of yarn, so the time between "I think I want to wear that" and "I'm wearing it!" can be pretty short.



Twist Style Friday: Bonspiel

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.



One of my first prized possessions was a knit hoodie. It wasn't handmade, like a prized knit thing would be in my life now, but that's because I got it when I was 16, and I had just learned to knit. A sweater seemed a long way off. This hoodie was from the store in the mall near my house where they sold hemp necklaces and pants with leg openings so wide they completely obscured any view of your shoes (it was 1998). I visited it at the store for months before my parents got it for me as a birthday gift. The next year, that exact sweater turned up in the pages of Seventeen magazine, and also in Sophia Coppola's film version of The Virgin Suicides. Mary Lisbon wore it and I never felt so cool in my whole life. I wore that thing for close to a decade.


I don't miss it exactly; our breakup may have even been lightly overdue. But I do sometimes wish for a slightly more sophisticated version of it. Something comforting and cozy, but a little more polished. Something like Bonspiel. She's distinctive and memorable, while also being super wearable and practical.



model wearing Bonspiel hoodie, curling



Things I dig: generous cuffs, the way the hem ribbing flows into the cables, the combination of ropy cables and pretty lace, the patterning on the hood, the sleeve cables, the ribs that continue up the sides. There is a lot going on in this hoodie, but it doesn't seem busy! It seems fun to make, and pretty darn adorable.



hood up, from the backside detail



In this bouncy, plied Halcyon, the cables are so lovely and sharp. It also comes in so many amazing colors!


Hoodies are playful, and so (I think), best worn with other things that make you smile a little: a pizza ring, shiny pants, a surprisingly wearable map-skirt, perhaps? Since Bonspiel has a lot of pattern, keeping the lines of your other garments pretty clean is a good idea, but go to town with your shoes and bags. 



three outfits



How will you wear Bonspiel? I hope it's with a pizza ring.

Throwback Thursday: Addie

There are so many sweater patterns in the world, and I don't find it super simple to guess which ones will really strike my fancy. Sometimes I just see something from a particular angle, or there is one detail that really stands out, and the decision is made before I have really considered it. Suddenly, I just feel like I MUST HAVE IT.



detail shot of waist shaping and split side seam



That photo is what got my hooked on Addie. I love when designers see shaping as a design opportunity and use the lines to their advantage.



close up of lace panels



Once I have the love moment with a pattern, then I start to see more and more details that I love. I'm loving the vertical panels of simple lace.



back of sweaterfull shot



In a paler color, this sweater would read like a lace sampler in that granny-chic kind of way. In a richer or deeper color it's a basic cardigan you can wear with businessy or formal stuff as well. I want one in pale yellow to wear with a vintage slip and doc martens and dark lipstick so I can pretend I'm Courtney Love.

Designer Post: Shivelight

Thien-Kieu Lam's headshot

 Today's post comes to you from Thien-Kieu Lam, designer of the stunning Shivelight set from the newest Twist. You can keep track of Thien-Kieu by following her on Twitter @KieuLam or checking out her website!  





I’m honored to make my debut as a Twist Collective designer with Shivelight, a hat and cowl design that is featured in the current winter collection. The idea for this design came from my obsession with language, specifically with my discovery of the Japanese word komorebi, a noun for the “sunlight filtering through trees.” I love these kinds of words (more frequently found in languages other than English), which encapsulate an entire situation, state of being, or phenomenon in a single word. So succinct!

With this image in my mind, I sat down with some graph paper and a pencil. My original swatch looks nothing like the finished design. I would show you, but that swatch seems to have disappeared into a black hole somewhere. It didn’t quite capture the feeling of komorebi so I filed the idea away and worked on other designs. I’m a big believer in stepping away from problems and coming back to them with a fresh perspective. I never looked at that swatch again. I didn’t think about it much either, until I came across a stitch motif called “roots and branches.” This was the light bulb moment. I knew I could adapt this motif to create the look I wanted, and it became the basis for this hat and cowl.



from the back


I sought to create a winter forest, branches bare, with space for sunlight. Thick cables became tree trunks, and the vertical lines of twisted stitches in between represent distant trees, there but barely visible. The large cables split into branches that intertwine to form a canopy. I strived to create a balance between density and openness, much like a forest that includes both light and shadow.






And during this process, I discovered the word “shivelight,” the English equivalent of komorebi. It’s a word coined by poet Gerard Manley Hopkins and it never quite made it into the vernacular, but I think it’s a beautiful word. And thus, the design was christened.

For Shivelight, I had the opportunity to work with a new-to-me yarn, Lakes Yarn and Fiber Organic Merino Sport. It’s made from 100% GOTS certified merino and is hand-dyed in small batches by Ami Volz. The color used in the samples is Soft Linen. The yarn was lovely to work with, and Ami offers many other beautiful colorways. Check out Kate’s post in which she re-imagines Shivelight in other Lakes Yarn and Fiber colorways.



designer's own Shivelight laid flat


Having shipped off my samples to Twist, I decided to knit another set for myself. I finished the cowl right before the holidays, using Harrisville Designs Flywheel in the color Mallard. I love the rolled hem, but I opted to omit the rolled edges for this cowl. The key here is to work the rib pattern a sufficient number of rows at the beginning and the end so that the cables don’t distort the edges. Of course, you could replace the rolled hems with any kind of edging. A band of garter stitch at the top and bottom would be lovely too.



designer wearing her Shivelight cowl



And this is me sporting my new Shivelight cowl on an unseasonably warm Christmas (hence the sleeveless dress). I’m happy to say the temperature has since dropped, and there have been many more opportunities to cozy up in this cowl!

Shivelight was a joy to design, and I can’t wait to see your interpretation of it!


Throwback Thursday: Okame

Do you remember Okame? Stunning in Winter 2011, stunning now.



back of sweater



I love a good staghorn cable, and that squishy garter collar also totally calls to me.



unbuttonedcloser, buttoned



The cable echo on the sleeves and the sparse garter ridges tie the whole thing together, and the curved fronts mean this cardigan looks great open or closed. Plus, this single-ply, squishy merino yarn comes in a bunch of stunning colors.