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Twist Collective Blog

Sunday Trunk Show in Beverly Farms, MA

December 7th, as in, THIS coming Sunday, from noon to 5 pm, Julia and the box of Twist Collective knits will be in the divine and giddy company of Tink and Wink at Yarns in the Farms in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts for their Holiday Open House.

yarns in the farms


The buffalo yarn gals promise nibbles and yarn petting galore, as well as copious opportunity for asking questions and the regarding of Twist Collective fare up close.  Get 'yer bells on and click here for directions.



Finished Objects: Maelstrom

I finished my Maelstrom socks, and they fit perfectly.  I realy enjoyed knitting them because the leg repeat is only a few rows long, easy to memorize, and each little completed section made me feel like I'd made a huge leap forward.  The heel flap and gusset flowed perfectly from the spiraling elements, and the instep offered row by row progress as the diagonal closed in on the opposite side.  And for the second sock, the whole thing was reversed in direction, so it was almost like it wasn't even a second sock at all.


How giddy am I over this pattern?  I'm going to do something I've never done before: knit another pair,  this time in a yarn I picked up at Rhinebeck specifically for this pattern: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight, color Rare Gems.  


Given my experience with the STR Mediumweight, I can see how Maelstrom's instep knit to the specified gauge can stretch to fit even my 9½ foot.  However, I think just knitting the called-for gauge would make the leg a bit of a tussle to fit over my heel putting the thing on, so what I'm going to do on this my second pair is knit the lightweight to my calculated gauge of 7.5 stitches to the inch, and then switch needles after I turn the heel to get the slightly tighter recommended gauge of 8 stitches.   

In the meantime, I'm wearing the blue ones. A lot.


Fashion Show at Yarn and Fiber

Last weekend, Cyndi and Jerry of Yarn and Fiber Company in Derry, New Hampshire invited Julia to bring the box of sweaters in for an informal fashion show, and everyone had a great time with it. Jerry captured the evening on video, which he has posted to their website in three parts. Here, just to get you started, is the first one.


Thanks to Britany, Jodie, Cheryl, and Amy for modeling, and to everyone who came out to fondle the sweaters in person.

Design Process: The Story of Vivian

 by Ysolda Teague

from her original post here 

Vivian combines elements of traditional Aran and Gansey sweaters with a flattering fitted silhouette. Darted waist shaping is worked invisibly into the large cable patterns that run up the front and in the back seed stitch panel, giving a perfect fit with the illusion of a nipped-in waist. Knit seamlessly, the sleeves are joined with the body at the underarm and worked in one piece to the saddle shoulders which are worked back and forth, joining to the body stitches as you go. Unbroken cables run from the flared cuffs up the sleeves over the saddles and eventually join together at the centre of the hood.
The whole thing started with this sketch, which I sent to Kate, along with the Little Birds and Keyhole ideas back when she first contacted me about the magazine. Kate said she liked the idea, but wanted to use it for winter (at that point they were taking submissions for the first issue) - great, I responded and promptly forgot all about it.

There are some obvious common elements, but my sketch doesn’t exactly look like the finished design. That’s pretty normal, at least for me, maybe because I don’t actually sketch out most of my ideas they all tend to evolve on the needles. And in this case, honestly, I was a little bored by my sketch by the time I went back to it, so I grabbed a couple of stitch dictionaries and decided to make it more interesting. The problem with that was that I not only made the design more interesting (in my opinion!) I made the pattern writing, especially the grading really ‘interesting’ and the knitting more time consuming.

We picked out a yarn, easy - I think Kate and I have reasonably similar tastes, and a colourway, not so easy but I think we were both pleased with what we’d choosen. This was it.

Yeah, that looks different too. It’s a beautiful yarn and I was excited for it to arrive so I could get started. When the tracking claimed it had arrived in Ireland, I was just pleased that it would be with me in a day or two. Except it wasn’t. And then the tracking said something about out to delivery, still in Ireland, and I started to worry. Lots of phone calls later and we had no idea where the yarn was - not even whether it was in the Republic or Northern Ireland, but neither postal system claimed to have it. The clock was ticking.  Time for plan B, and Kate basically said "it doesn’t matter so much what it is, as long as you like it. Just get some yarn now". Hmm… ok.

"There’s some Fyberspates Chunky Scrumptious in the shop I work in, and the dyer is lovely and might be able to help, how would that be?"

"Ok, what colour do you want?" We picked olive as a first choice. I called Jen at Fyberspates, explained the situation, and she wasn’t in the least bit fazed and told me to take whatever I needed and she would replace it. I called Katherine the store owner and asked what colours she had in stock, preferably in the chunky. Only the olive in a large enough quantity. Perfect! and although it wasn’t what we’d planned, I think it turned out very well. 

But actually working out how to do that, in ten sizes, did not flow together at all. But with the help of my fantastic tech editor, Alison, I ended up with a pattern that I’m very proud of. It was quite a saga to get to this point, and of course this is really only the beginning. I hope you like Vivian and I can’t wait to see your versions appear. I’d love to knit Vivian for myself, I even picked up some yarn on my trip to New Lanark, but I have no idea if it will ever happen, too many other things to work on right now, sigh! But I can still dream of a bright red, wooly Vivian, maybe with a fabric lining - wouldn’t that be great?

Design Process: The Story of Sylvi

by Mari Muinonen

Thank you for your beautiful comments on my blog and in Ravelry. I was even more excited with Sylvi than I was about GreenGable. This one is little more different, a little more something I have thought about for a long time, and something I wanted to do someday. And now it is here. The story began from this drawing and one cardigan, which I had knit. The Twist team asked me about a men's sweater, but this popped out from my head instead: not very manly.




Kate asked me to tell her more about it and to send details, photos, and a swatch. Meh. At this point, I was already bored with the design element of back cables. Mostly I wanted to throw it away.



I made the cardigan, at least, finished it almost, but knew that it wouldn't work with that yarn: it's a cotton blend. It was really heavy and stretched like chewing gum. But at least I could see what to do to the back of the cardigan. And after Kate's suggestion of the yarn, color and that I try it as a coat, I really saw in my mind what to do. I drew the sketch and began plans.


final sketch in red

The Yarn was supposed to come over the summer, but because the packet did not come as expected, I decided I to test the floral designs on another hoodie. I ripped out the finished cotton cardigan and knitted this summer hoodie.  But the final form for the back remained a mystery.


short version

Eventually I got the yarn for Sylvi and began to work. DL was tight so I had made some preparations, well, more than ever, I did not have a time to reknit the garment many times. I even made the paper pattern (I'd never before done that) drew the cables for it and add the flowers too. I began from the sleeves as always, and there the coat became to form.


paper chart

I sent the coat off in the mail the same week as Twist's first issue popped out. And just because life needs excitement, the packet traveled for two weeks without any sign of it. It was toooo exciting to wait when and where the coat would show up. At least it came out of Canada's customs, finally. At least it hadn't sunk to the bottom of the sea.


sylvi joy 

The last adjustmets of the pattern were completed last week.  By then it had been edited and read by Twist's experienced pattern makers and editors, and every time they asked me what to do.  I loved this kind of co-operation. One reason is my english is not perfect, and another is that I'm not a professional designer, so writing the pattern and committing the design to paper is quite difficult. I can knit, but making the pattern easy to follow, with sizes, instructions, notes... everything is new for me.   I'm just a newbie and Twist Collective Team has helped so much and make this all happen. THANK YOU!

Mari and Tea, big thanks to you also for the support and help. Without you I would have rip my hair out (and i'm not beautiful with a bald head) or just thrown the things out of the window.

SYLVI is the name of my Grandma. She loves flowers and has a green thumb.   Her garden is a big fairy land and feeds my imagination every visit.  She has had a big influence on my career choice of handicrafts and in other parts of my life too. 

So, this sweater is dedicated to my Grandma.