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Twist Collective Blog

Victoria Unbuttoned

Funny things happen on a photo shoot, especially just after dawn on the streets of a busy city in the middle of a work week: suddenly, three hours have flown by and now there are people around. In this day and age, one can't go photographing just anyone as they walk through your background without the proper release forms, so the "shoot" is uh, shot. Officially speaking.

So it was with Connie Chang Chinchio's Victoria which had to be packed up before we could show the sweater worn in a more open way than just the buttoned up and slightly formal way we photographed that morning in Montreal.


Victoria Unbuttoned


As you can see, it looks a little different: more fun and flirty when a few buttons are left open. Perhaps it's the indispensable lady-like cardigan you've always promised yourself you'd make so that you always had one when you needed it (and you will). Easy to see yourself in those lovely details now, isn't it?  

Or maybe you imagine it in black, worn with skinny dark jeans and a heavy belt buckle peaking out from underneath.

Any other ideas come to mind? 

Fiber Revival

We’ll be out of “the office” for the coming week, so emails may sit for a little while.  The truly urgent business of sending out patterns will be on capable autopilot, but do forgive us if you have a question that needs answering Tuesday morning.  We’ll be mostly out of touch until the 25th.


Sereknity Sock yarn


Before our respective vacations. Kate came with me to Spencer Peirce Little Farm in Newbury, Massachusetts to the second year of Fiber Revival. There were classes, vendors, alpaca promenades, and the just plain old hanging out that is the staple of such glorious days.


Charkas demo


A turkey named Socrates spent much of the day courting anyone who stood still long enough, including Jonathon Bosworth of Journey Wheel who demonstrated spinning cotton on one of his beautiful bookcase charkas.  


Margaret in Linden


And Margaret Atkinson of Green Mountain Spinnery brought her fresh-off-the-needles version of Veronik Avery’s Linden in the new purple Yarn Over.  I talked her into giving a twirl in a suitably mossy grotto.


Jill in Linden
Jill in Linden


Jill Stover of Yarns in the Farms, who recently celebrated a major birthday, also gave it a try.  
And I caught up with Leslie Wind, who had new versions of her cable needle that was featured in the fall issue of Twist Collective. She has a new arrangement for selling them through Darcy’s Knotty Knitter if you’re still looking to get your hands on one of these.


picture of clouds


It was a glorious day, but like so many days this summer, the weather won out by mid-afternoon.  People scurried to get their wheels undercover, but all of us were glad to have had most of the day together.

The Dress

For readers who also sew, or who just admire great clothes, Daniel Beaudet, who created the grey flannel dress for Kate in the fall issue, has posted further insights into his process on his blog.  It looks like Daniel, taking inspiration from our designers, may make the pattern available through his website soon: go hound him to spur him on.  The post is worth looking if only for his beautiful sketch of the dress in jade green.
sketch of Kate's dress by Daniel Beaudet

Wisteria in Color

So now that you've seen where the idea for Wisteria came from, and the yarn I've set off with for my own, I thought I'd show you some of the other versions currently under way on the Web.

My friend Kelly is a dedicated color girl, and never fails to chose vibrant yarns for her knitting.  Her Wisteria is no exception as she quickly gravitated to one of her favorite yarns, Dream in Color Classy, in Flamingo Pie.  In the skein, the yarn didn't immediately say "Wisteria" to me, but in the knitting, the subtle shadings of the Dream in Color dye technique make for a delicious fabric.

Kelly's wisteria 

From pink to green: Mari's version makes me want to knit another one, in a cheery apple green well within my personal favorite color range.  She's using Garnstudio Alpaca from her stash.  Since it's a sport weight yarn, she using it doubled to get an appropriate gauge.  I love that.


Mari's wisteria


And even though Holly's version isn't very far along yet, I have to show you the color she chose: a sweet shade that Malabrigio Merino Worsted calls Orchid. Where my Wisteria will be in the silver a bit rugged, I think Holly's will be very ladylike and perfectly at home with either jeans or a floral skirt.


Holly's wisteria


I for one would love to see this sweater in both in a smooth black extra fine merino, and in a slightly fuzzy yarn, with maybe a touch of angora or kid mohair, in white.  A nice oversized one in white. Mmmm. yeah.  

We have a group over on Flickr now, so you can upload project photos over there, and of course, there's the group on Ravelry too also you can keep track of progress on any patterns you are thinking of casting on for.

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:


sketch of wisteria


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.  


julia's wisteria yoke


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.

Find the Wisteria pattern in the shop