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by Claire Montgomerie,

orginally published on her blog, MontyKnits.

Novak's journey began way back in January, when I received the fall mood boards from Twist. One of the themes was "vintage inspired" and I immediately thought of a sweater I have wanted to knit for ages, but had never had the time to bring to life.



novak sketch



I had made this sketch while watching a favourite film, Bell, Book and Candle, starring two of my favourite Hollywood stars, Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak. It is my interpretation of a sweater Novak wears in the film; I have always found her wardrobe in it spectacularly dramatic and inspirational, as her character is a mysterious witch who falls in love with Stewart's more human form. With design already sorted, I did some swatching for the woven look trims and sent off my board, complete with swatches, and luckily the Twist folk liked the idea as much as I did.

From there it was all systems go and in March we struggled over choosing a yarn which would do the sweater justice, while also creating a satisfyingly swift knit. Eventually Frog Tree Merino Melange 2ply was chosen, a beautiful worsted weight yarn in one of my of-the-moment shades, a soft rust red, as opposed to the scarlet of the original film.



novak knit

The yarn eventually arrived from overseas after a scarily long time and I began work in April, with a tight deadline to keep to get it back to Canada by May. This led to a few weeks tied to a cold sofa with only daytime T.V., my woolen blanket, and slippers for company! Luckily the yarn was a dream to work with, and aside from having to re-knit the neckline many times to get the shape I wanted, it was a really enjoyable process.



novak on Claire

I originally envisaged a soft, cosy and quick knit with a big fifties kick, and though Novak has evolved during the design process, I am very pleased with the finished product. The simple structure and retro silhouette are very me, so before the sweater went on its round-the-world trip, I could not resist having a fun trying-on session, imitating those elegantly eccentric poses of the many old knitting patterns I have from the era. The yarn is beautiful, giving a sumptuous drape and unbelievably light and cosy fabric, and Twist Collective have made it shine with the fifties styling. So, the only downside to the whole affair is that I won't be able to wear it this winter, as Novak is still touring the world, enjoying its fame and freedom!