By Fiona Ellis
When a fashion trend debuts it can be shocking or at least unsettling to the common view of what constitutes appropriate attire. If however, the look in question resonates with the contemporary thinking, the trend becomes acceptable and widely adopted. Take tights for example. A glimpse of stocking was once, as Cole Porter so aptly put it, “simply shocking” but now we take the sight of Lycra-sheathed leg in stride.
Some may view fashion as frivolous, but clothes are an interesting reflection of what is happening within a culture. Studying what was fashionable can provide insight into the social norms of a particular era and tell us a lot about how women were viewed (and how they viewed themselves) in society. Throughout its history, hosiery responded both to the rise and fall of hemlines, sociological changes, and technological advances in both fiber and manufacturing. In many cases because these aspects are at play at the same time it’s not always clear which was the strongest influence precipitating the changes.
By Hypatia Francis
A typical workday for Tom Redpath starts early. By five o’clock in the morning—while most of us are still asleep—he’s on the road, heading for his first job of the day: a sheep farm in Vankleek Hill, Ontario. He has a long day ahead of him—likely multiple farms and hundreds of animals to work with. Tom, you see, is one of a near-extinct breed: the North American sheep shearer.
Lessons in Goat Rearing
Part One: There is Poop
By Amy King
Those of us obsessed with knitting eventually begin to dream of owning a few animals from which to harvest fiber. We have visions of blissfully tending to sheep, goats, or what-have-you; spinning and dyeing fleece and fiber into gorgeous yarns that we will use to make all sorts of fabulous creations. In my case that dream belonged, not to me, but to my daughter. I was blissfully happy to purchase my fibers, thank you very much. But she had other ideas. What makes a kid campaign for goats instead of a puppy or a kitten? Who knows? She’s a teenager and not very forthcoming about most things. Whatever the reasons she embarked on a two-year campaign to convince us that we needed goats and eventually we acquiesced. Because it’s kind of a nice dream, right?
In my dream the goats were clean, loveable creatures that eat grass, are open to snuggling, and supply all the fiber one could ever hope to own. Mess didn’t enter into the idealistic picture that I had created in my head. Cute barn, muffled noises, rolling green pastures—all without the compost pile. That was the vision. The reality is that there is poop. Lots of it. It ends up on your clothes, on your shoes, in your hair, and on your face. Don't ask me how it ends up in your hair or on your face. If I knew, I would be able to ensure that it never ever happened again. This is not a promise I am able to make to myself. I only promise to check every so often to make sure I clean it off as soon possible.
Introduction to Intarsia
by Sandi Rosner
Intarsia is a knitting technique that cycles in and out of fashion. In the early '90s, knitting magazines featured pullovers with large-scale world maps or zebra stripes, while yarn companies showed sweaters that were a patchwork of different yarn textures. If you think pictorial knits are just for children's wear or the ugly Christmas sweater, think again. For Fall 2007, Chanel featured a pullover with a large penguin design in its ad campaign. And argyle is a classic motif that never really goes out of style.
Intarsia is due for resurgence. In this issue of Twist Collective, intarsia is used for my design, Interleaf. With only basic knitting skills, you, too, can master this technique.
Swatch It! Spring Summer 2014
by Clara Parkes
Consider the sweater. Perched on our shoulders are tens of thousands, who are we kidding, millions of stitches in a garment that could, depending on the yarn, weigh upwards of a kilo. The fabric is expected to move and flex and breathe with us, withstand the slings and arrows of everyday wear, and, at the end of the day, still look as fresh and beautiful as the day it was born. Not every yarn can do this.
Darn It All!
by Kate Gilbert
Last February, I put on one of my favorite pairs of socks—one of the first pairs I ever made. They’re a lovely toe-up design that I managed to squeak out of one precious hank of Lorna’s Laces Lucky Stripe Shepherd Sock back when I lived in Paris, some ten years ago.
And that’s when I found the holes. Four of them. Figuring them for goners, I sent a tweet saying that they were biting the dust, and I prepared to say goodbye.
Then the responses, urging me to darn them, started filling my feed.
Somehow I had absorbed the idea that socks with holes weren’t worth saving. (Who said that you should drop the offending pair in the trash bin, saying “oh darn!” as you do?). The tweets suggested otherwise.