Twist Collective Blog
Knitting for Ourselves: Robin's (theoretical) Coventry
We love showing you beautiful patterns in the pages of our magazine, but we also want to show them to you in new ways! Twist Style Fridays are one of the ways we work on this, but one of the limitations of a site like Polyvore is that all the clothes are shown on one body type! This feature is a way for us to show how we choose and adapt Twist garments to suit ourselves. You've met the Twist Team already on the blog, now you can follow this feature here if you want to know more about what we make when we knit for ourselves.
Body shape: slim and boyish
Occupation: production assistant, technical editor, knitwear designer
Hobbies: sewing, gardening, vintage shopping
Place of residence: Montreal
Personal style: I am drawn to juxtaposition and unexpectedness. I like feminine clothing but I always pair it with something a bit more utilitarian or rough-around-the-edges. I love traditional menswear-type clothing: structured jackets, tweeds, plaids, leather, riding boots. Again, there has to be something a little unusual about the pairing in order for it to be interesting to me.
If I had the luxury of time to knit something that wasn't a work project, what would it be? I have been eyeing Coventry since Carly first approached me to write a blog post in the "Knitting for Ourselves" series. I am also a designer, and I do get my garments back from Twist. I am the sample size, so I have garments that I have knit that I can wear; however, I know them all inside out, and how much fun would it be to knit something that came out of someone else's head?
Here is what I like about the shape of Coventry: while it is loose and jacket-like, it is also quite short. This appeals to me because – as a person who does not have a generous and shapely bosom – if clothing is too oversized, I feel as though I am swimming in it, and I look like a boy. However, neither do I wish to wear skin-tight clothing all the time, and when it is cold, I like to layer as much as the next girl, so a few looser pieces are a must. It's all about the balance between the elements of a garment: I think if one element is exaggerated, something else should be understated. The vertical elements of this design are also appealing on a shorter garment. I find the composition of this garment quite clever.
I would probably make my collar detachable, because while I love the look of the scarf-collar, I have a boiled wool coat that has one and I find that there is less versatility for wearing it open. I would knit a little ribbed neckband, put cool buttons on it, and matching buttonholes on the scarf edge, so that I could attach or remove it according to my whimsy.
I put together a few outfits using Polyvore, showing how I would wear Coventry and what colors I might choose to make it. I love earthy tones and warm muddy colors. I don't usually choose clear bright colors for myself. I am pale and freckly with reddish-brown hair. I tend to choose loden green, mustard, red-orange, browns and greys.
For the orange-brown version, I paired it with tan cords and Frye boots, and punched it up with some orange accessories (how cute is the gingham phone cover?) I think boots go with all outfits. I have a rather large boot collection and wear boots 90% of the time.
I don't usually go for blues, but I do like Prussian blue –a navy with a greenish tinge. I put my blue sweater with an overprinted tartan dress by Vivienne Westwood, some burgundy leather ankle boots and a grey satchel. While Vivienne Westwood is out of my budget, I sew much of my own clothing and there is no reason I can't have a similar outfit that is within my knitwear-designer means. In fact, I am working on a draped plaid skirt right now!
I always have a hard time deciding on a color, because I want All the Colors, and I don't have All the Time (or All the Money). It's easier with sewing because it doesn't take as long as knitting, so I really could have nearly All the Colors. I had to show the sweater in a favorite shade of green as well. I paired it with a burgundy leather skirt, and accessorized with a well-worn leather bag, green high-heeled oxfords and a carved Bakelite bangle.
The purple version is matched with a textured-knit mini skirt – I think a close-fitting mini skirt is a nice option for a swingy cardigan like this one. I find mixing silhouettes is usually quite reliable for producing wearable and attractive options. I accessorized with moto boots and a studded purse because I felt the outfit was looking a little too feminine otherwise. I like how the coral purse handles provide a vigorous splash of bright color, contrasting nicely with the tough studs.
Perhaps it sounds as though I spend an inordinate amount of time contemplating the minutiae of stylish knitting. In a way it's true, but I also feel that I am entertaining myself (and hopefully some others as well) in a non-harmful and fairly productive way. Luckily, I am balancing all this frivolously girlish glee with some recent backbreaking labor in my new community garden plot (turning over a 20 by 40-foot swath of overgrown field with just a shovel). I am no bonbon-munching lollygagger! If it weren't obvious, I feel that it is okay to occupy oneself in a multitude of ways, and not all of them have to be serious business.