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Twist Collective Blog

Throwback Thursday: Mata Hari

Happy #throwbackthursday Twistfans!


We are flashing back this week to Winter 2010, to one of my favorite photostories we have ever done: Designer's Choice; what would our regulars knit for themselves? Six talented knitting designers designed, made, and modeled things for themselves. I love the human stuff about knitting and working with knitters. For me, knitting is intimately connected to some of my important friendships. We knit with people, and we knit for people. The projects we choose for ourselves have a bit of a magic quality to them.


Also since Twist works with people literally all over the world, so many of the folks who work together to make this magazine happen have never met in person! I found it really charming to see designers wearing a special thing they made with themselves in mind, and also sharing it with the rest of us. Some of our most popular patterns come from this story, and I think some of that is about the magic I'm talking about. These objects are full of love, and it's obvious.


Here is one stunner from that collection; Marnie MacLean's Mata Hari.



Mara Hari, worn with the deep V in the backV in the front



Oh, did I mention that this sweater is reversible? That's right, you can wear the gorgeous deep V in the front or the back. Never mind that the recommended yarn is a wool-silk blend (my kryptonite) with an almost shockingly high proportion of silk (39%!!!).



removable bow



I love Mata Hari's simple shape, the sleeve length, and the removable bow. This is a top you can wear a lot of different ways, but all of them are simple, pretty, and elegant. I would wear this, boatneck to the front, with a foofy crinolined shirt and heeled maryjanes, or deep V to the front with black and white graphic skinny pants (like these) and chunky ankle boots.



sweater and dog



Ideally any outfit should go well with Marnie's adorable pups.



Twist Style Friday: Philodendron

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.



Happy Friday fashion fans!!


I was in a pretty serious fashion pickle last weekend. I was in New York for a wedding. My darling friend Eli, who has been in my life for 15 years, tied the knot with his love at Queens Farm, as tiny little ponies strolled by and a perfect summer breeze blew. The weather that day was literally perfect. The rest of the weekend however, was hotter than I can even describe - and more humid too - like wading through hot soup. I was not prepared to dress for that (I'm not sure I know how to dress for that, my body was definitely made for colder climates), so I had three tops, a skirt, and a pair of cropped pants that I could wear semi comfortably.  Whether I was getting tattooed in Greenpoint, having brunch in Williamsburg, eating oysters in Gowanus, or seeing a Tony-winning musical (based on a graphic novel), I wore the same five things.


The outfits I made for this week's sweater - Philodendron - are kind of like that. You could mix and match any of the pieces and accessories and they would work together well. It's almost a capsule wardrobe.



three outfits



Now let's take a closer look at this stunning sweater






I love how the leaf motif travels vertically on the back and horizontally on the front. It gives the sweater a kind of asymmetry without actually being asymmetrical. The sleeves are also awfully pretty.



sleeve detail



I really recommend wearing something bright or even a little sparkly underneath to peek out through the lace.



lace detail



How will you wear Philodendron?






Throwback Thursday: Celandine

Do you remember what you were doing in the summer of 2010? I was moving from Montreal to Toronto, and adjusting to a new pace of life in a new city. It was overwhelming, and I did a LOT of knitting and jogging to keep busy. I needed projects that felt really quick and productive; instant gratification knitting. I made a lot of hats.


What I really wanted to make was this:






This was before I was an avid sock knitter, when I was scared of projects that used small needles. Now Celandine seems like a really well balanced project to me! The lace medallions require some concentration, but you make a bunch of them so you'd get quicker at it as you went, and then aside from some pretty shaping, the main body is super simple to knit. Plus if you're making it in the suggested yarn or something of a similar fiber content, every stitch would be a dream to knit. Silk is just amazing to work with.






This isn't a super simple or super speedy project, but if you're looking for a bit of a challenge, and a totally stunning result, I think Celandine might be just the lady for you.


Twist Style Friday: Fortuna

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.


Marnie here. Carly asked me to cover Style Friday while she enjoys a vacation weekend. Oh,how I envy her. It's been a month and a half of long hours, and few weekends for me and, of course, knitting away on next season's designs with any free hours I have available, so I'm planning to vacation vicariously through her until I can get some time off for myself.


Not that it's bad. I love my jobs and when I'm not working, my spouse and I have been tending our little garden. This year we've been eating ripe tomatoes until our stomachs hurt. Totally worth it. As great as the fresh food is, I think I might like some of our visitors even more. This sassy little hummingbird was giving me the hairy eyeball just the other day.





You can recognize the males by brightly colored feathers on their neck. They make me laugh every time they buzz my head and try to scare me off. They are no bigger than my thumb but they are fearless.


I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to be talking about knitting and fashion, though, so let's get to that. My design this season is Fortuna, a half-circle shawl with a complex, knit, purl, lace and twisted-stitch pattern. With such a beautiful silk yarn to work with, I wanted to do something that would take advantage of silk's sheen and play around with the way different stitch patterns reflect the light.






It's so hard to capture in a photograph, but I think you can get a feel for what I mean in this photo I took after blocking. To truly appreciate silk yarn, though, you really must see it in person.




Instead of styling this shawl with pieces found in Polyvore, I thought it would be fun to switch things up a little and instead, pair them with pieces I've sewn from commercially available patterns. I bet a lot of people who read this blog also sew, and pairing up knits with sewn projects, can produce a closet full of great-fitting pieces in just the colors and styles that make you happy.


On the left is Colette's Myrtle dress sewn in an old Star Wars bed sheet I bought online. To cover the waistband, I sewed a sash in the same material. Paired with ballet flats and a big bag, this is a great day dress and can go pretty much anywhere. I almost always find stores and restaurants too cold so any time I wear a sleeveless dress, I always bring a shawl or cardigan along.




Speaking of sleeveless dresses, in the middle is New Look 6002. The envelope photos make the pattern look really prom-y. There's lots of sparkle and pink on the dresses the lovely young models are wearing, but worked in a crisp linen, the piece becomes suitable for office or evening, depending on which accessories are used. I didn't have a single shot of me in the dress without Panda and Thea in front of me so I figured I'd keep them with the dress. Seems only fair. Dogs are optional accessories for this look.


On the right, is discontinued jacket pattern, Butterick 5393. Paired with cigarette pants, flats and a smart bag, this is a great option for the office and if the Autumn air gets a little too crisp, Fortuna makes a fantastic scarf that you can wear right up against your neck without ever feeling itchy. The free-form lace is juxtaposed against the more structured plaid and makes for a playful and unexpected combination.


Have you ever considered sewing pieces  to go with your knits? What would you pair with Fortuna?


Throwback Thursday: Wingspan

Welcome to another installment of #throwbackthursday, where we feature a pattern from a past issue of Twist Collective!


This week takes us back to Winter 2010, that time we did a photoshoot at a skating rink. Yeah, you're right, that *was* adorable. Hello there, Wingspan.



wingspan from the back



In addition to being a really lovely sweater, Wingspan is the cure for second sleeve syndrome! You knit from cuff to cuff in one piece, and then pick up stitches upwards for the cowl and downwards for the lower body. I oscillate between being a product knitter and a process knitter (does that make me a praxis knitter?), and unconventional construction is wildly alluring for me.



closeup of cables



The visual impact of the cables flowing seamlessly from wrist to wrist is just plan cool. If I were to knit this tomorrow (please don't make me, I am positively BURIED in knitting for soon-to-be-weds, newlyweds, and freshly baked (or still baking) humans), I might leave off the cowl and finish the edge with an applied i-cord. I overheat and like to be able to take my scarf off. With or without the cowl, Wingspan is a stunning sweater on or off the ice.



neck and cable detail