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Twist Collective Blog

The Twist Team: Kate Gilbert

When we go to trade events, talk with customers and do shows, people often ask us what we do, what our titles are and how we work together. At the end of each edition is our Masthead, which lists everyone on staff and their title, along with the many people we are thrilled to thank for their contribution to the edition.

In this series of blog posts, which you can read, in its entirety, here, we'll be introducing you to some of the people who help make this magazine possible. As always, we would love to continue the discussion and get your feedback on this or any other blog post, over on Facebook.


Kate GilbertKate's official title, here at Twist, is "Editor-in-Chief and Publisher," but she's not afraid to roll her sleeves up and get her hands dirty, when it comes to making an edition.  At any given point she's involved in managing the live site including the current edition, producing an upcoming edition and planning the edition to come after that: a whole year's worth of work being juggled at any given time. She's the creative voice and vision behind the magazine and she still manages to find some time to design.

Below is a short interview Kate and I had. If you want to find out more, be sure to check out our other new series of blog posts covering the process of creating an edition

MM: What do you see as your primary responsibilities as the Editor and Publisher of the magazine?

KG: It's hard to come up with one thing because I do a bit of everything. I chose what's going into each issue (with help), assign yarns, style things for shoots, come up with shoot concepts and run the shoots, communicate with designers, photographers, editors, readers, do layouts, program pages… Short story: I do a bit of everything. But thank goodness I have a fantastic team who works with me because I couldn't do it alone. Little known fact: I end up modeling most of the socks.

MM: What is the most rewarding thing about your role?

KG: When I open a package an there's a beautiful knit, that's really fun. And then the real cherry on top is when knitters love it and I am proud of how we've photographed it and laid it out.

MM: How do you manage to design each season?

KG: The bonus of being in charge of the magazine is that I can miss the deadline by weeks and not get yelled at. And I can make sure my design is in the very last shoot. But sometimes, it means that I design and knit something in under two weeks. Some of you might remember the two week sweater challenge I started on twitter in order to knit Peregrine. Unfortunately, my last minute projects have earned me the nickname "Late Gilbert" with a couple of staff members. Marnie (the sweater) was finished the night before we shot it.

shawl held by kate's dad
Tolovana held aloft by Kate's dad

MM: You have probably learned a lot about producing a magazine in the past 4 years. What has been the biggest surprise for you?

KG: The honest truth is that I had NO IDEA how much work it was going to be. I think I've learned to delegate more. And to let go of an issue once it's out. The nice thing about a magazines (as opposed to a book) is that you get another chance to try again if something didn't work as you had hoped. I've also learned not to read what people say TOO much because it will just keep you up all night long.

MM: What do you wish more people knew about the magazine?

KG: Well, I always want more people know that the magazine exists, for starters! Even nearly four years later, it's not uncommon that I see tweets that say "how did I not know about twist collective before now!?!?" So tell your friends please! Also, each pattern purchased really helps us out and keeps the magazine going. And each time you tell an advertiser you found them in Twist, that's good for us too.

shawl held by kate's dad
Kate's daughter models
Ringo and Elwood

MM: You always have a huge list of people you thank at the end of every edition. Who are all those people?

KG: The core team is really small, but we rely on tons of people to get each issue out; testers, models, locations for shooting. My dad always helps with random stuff; he's built me a tent to shoot swatches in and held up sticks that had shawls draped on them. I have friends who put credits on photos and loan me clothes for shoots. And my daughter likes to pitch in by sorting yarns and picking out the ones she thinks are prettiest (usually pink and/or sparkly ones). She keeps designing socks so who knows?! Maybe she'll end up my partner one day!

MM: How many of the people who work for Twist, have you met in person?

KG: Very few, or at least not very often. Marnie and I have only met in person twice. I've seen Daryl, Sandi and Eric once each. I've never met most of the Tech Editors, nor Mary Joy. Irene is the exception. She's been a good friend of mine for fourteen years now. And my mom, obviously. She's known me longer than anyone! One day we'll have to have a Twist Collective retreat or something. We'll meet in the middle. How does Iowa sound?

MM: If you had one piece of advice to give 2008 Kate Gilbert, before she started the magazine, what would it be?

KG: WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. You think you'll remember. But you won't.