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Twist Collective Blog

Throwback Thursday: Addie

There are so many sweater patterns in the world, and I don't find it super simple to guess which ones will really strike my fancy. Sometimes I just see something from a particular angle, or there is one detail that really stands out, and the decision is made before I have really considered it. Suddenly, I just feel like I MUST HAVE IT.



detail shot of waist shaping and split side seam



That photo is what got my hooked on Addie. I love when designers see shaping as a design opportunity and use the lines to their advantage.



close up of lace panels



Once I have the love moment with a pattern, then I start to see more and more details that I love. I'm loving the vertical panels of simple lace.



back of sweaterfull shot



In a paler color, this sweater would read like a lace sampler in that granny-chic kind of way. In a richer or deeper color it's a basic cardigan you can wear with businessy or formal stuff as well. I want one in pale yellow to wear with a vintage slip and doc martens and dark lipstick so I can pretend I'm Courtney Love.

Designer Post: Shivelight

Thien-Kieu Lam's headshot

 Today's post comes to you from Thien-Kieu Lam, designer of the stunning Shivelight set from the newest Twist. You can keep track of Thien-Kieu by following her on Twitter @KieuLam or checking out her website!  





I’m honored to make my debut as a Twist Collective designer with Shivelight, a hat and cowl design that is featured in the current winter collection. The idea for this design came from my obsession with language, specifically with my discovery of the Japanese word komorebi, a noun for the “sunlight filtering through trees.” I love these kinds of words (more frequently found in languages other than English), which encapsulate an entire situation, state of being, or phenomenon in a single word. So succinct!

With this image in my mind, I sat down with some graph paper and a pencil. My original swatch looks nothing like the finished design. I would show you, but that swatch seems to have disappeared into a black hole somewhere. It didn’t quite capture the feeling of komorebi so I filed the idea away and worked on other designs. I’m a big believer in stepping away from problems and coming back to them with a fresh perspective. I never looked at that swatch again. I didn’t think about it much either, until I came across a stitch motif called “roots and branches.” This was the light bulb moment. I knew I could adapt this motif to create the look I wanted, and it became the basis for this hat and cowl.



from the back


I sought to create a winter forest, branches bare, with space for sunlight. Thick cables became tree trunks, and the vertical lines of twisted stitches in between represent distant trees, there but barely visible. The large cables split into branches that intertwine to form a canopy. I strived to create a balance between density and openness, much like a forest that includes both light and shadow.






And during this process, I discovered the word “shivelight,” the English equivalent of komorebi. It’s a word coined by poet Gerard Manley Hopkins and it never quite made it into the vernacular, but I think it’s a beautiful word. And thus, the design was christened.

For Shivelight, I had the opportunity to work with a new-to-me yarn, Lakes Yarn and Fiber Organic Merino Sport. It’s made from 100% GOTS certified merino and is hand-dyed in small batches by Ami Volz. The color used in the samples is Soft Linen. The yarn was lovely to work with, and Ami offers many other beautiful colorways. Check out Kate’s post in which she re-imagines Shivelight in other Lakes Yarn and Fiber colorways.



designer's own Shivelight laid flat


Having shipped off my samples to Twist, I decided to knit another set for myself. I finished the cowl right before the holidays, using Harrisville Designs Flywheel in the color Mallard. I love the rolled hem, but I opted to omit the rolled edges for this cowl. The key here is to work the rib pattern a sufficient number of rows at the beginning and the end so that the cables don’t distort the edges. Of course, you could replace the rolled hems with any kind of edging. A band of garter stitch at the top and bottom would be lovely too.



designer wearing her Shivelight cowl



And this is me sporting my new Shivelight cowl on an unseasonably warm Christmas (hence the sleeveless dress). I’m happy to say the temperature has since dropped, and there have been many more opportunities to cozy up in this cowl!

Shivelight was a joy to design, and I can’t wait to see your interpretation of it!


Throwback Thursday: Okame

Do you remember Okame? Stunning in Winter 2011, stunning now.



back of sweater



I love a good staghorn cable, and that squishy garter collar also totally calls to me.



unbuttonedcloser, buttoned



The cable echo on the sleeves and the sparse garter ridges tie the whole thing together, and the curved fronts mean this cardigan looks great open or closed. Plus, this single-ply, squishy merino yarn comes in a bunch of stunning colors.

Designer Post: Nalina

Natalie Servant headshot


This post comes to you from Natalie Servant, designer of the stunning Nalina hat and cowl set from our newest issue. Learn all about how she was inspired by a building in Guelph Ontario, and how a blurry photo became the chart for this lovely pattern. You can learn more about Natalie by checking out her blog, here.




I am a huge fan of Art Deco art and architecture. When I am going to be traveling to or through a city I tend to Google first to find out if there are any interesting buildings to see. If there are too many, I narrow things down to the ones that I find the most beautiful.


What I really love are the amazing details that I get to see in person. There are tons of pictures online for the more well-known buildings, but every time I see one in person there are decorative flourishes that I get to focus on that didn't show up in the other pictures. It's kind of like the difference between watching sports on TV and being there in person: you get to look at what interests you.


When I visited my parents in Guelph, Ontario in the summer of 2013 I was finally there on a weekday instead of a weekend. This meant that I had a chance to peek inside the old post office building: Guelph's Dominion Building. It was built back in 1935, in the Depression era, as part of a government works program. The outside looks fairly innocuous from across the road:



exterior of Dominion Building


The best bits of the outside are the metal spandrels:






I had to ask permission to take pictures inside. Sadly I only had my cell phone, but I saw some lovely details. There was a metal grille, some lovely work on the ceiling, and then I saw the metalwork.












Sadly, the only picture that didn't turn out was the one that I worked from! In 2014 I want to create a design based on this beautiful metallic lotus, and worked until I came up with a chart. I had to kind of squint at this.



image to try to chart



 It wasn't until the Twist Collective submission call for the issue that I finally printed the chart and started knitting in July 2015:






It's kind of funny to me that I knit the swatch in super bright contrasting colors and then the final design used tone-on-tone colors that are a lot closer to the original metalwork of the inspiration!



cowl Nalina hat



Twist Style Friday: Lovat

Every Friday we feature one of the garments from the magazine in a post about styling. We suggest different ways to wear the garment in question using mock-ups from Polyvore. We encourage readers to tell us what they think about these outfits via our Facebook page or Twitter, and if folks want to make their own outfits, please tweet them at us with the hashtag #twiststyle. You can find all of the Style Friday posts here.



Friday! It has arrived! You know how on vacation sometimes, it's hard to remember what day it is, because you don't have the same kinds of structured obligations as you do most of the time? Welcome to my all the time life now. Not that I'm on vacation, but the Monday-to-Friday workweek (which only ever had a loose hold on me really) no longer governs my time! I made the set of outfits below between 1 and 3am last night, and am working most of this weekend. I led a workshop on Wednesday night that ended at 11. I am routine-less, and fashion fans, it is impacting my knitting.


I have a serious case of startitis. I am in the midst of four different pairs of socks, two blankets, a sweater, two shawls, and a pair of legwarmers, and those are just the projects i am *actively* working on!! I have several others that are napping in a basket and may or may not ever rouse from their slumber. What prince will kiss them? I do not know.


So I won't be starting a Lovat today, because I am NOT ALLOWED TO (I am already knitting two patterns from the most recent Twist), but gosh is it ever pretty.



backcollar and front detail



I love how all the elements narrow at the waist. The taper of the buttonbands and the ribs at the waist all make the single closure a nice, geometric focal point. If hourglass is an appealing shape for you- those cables create wonderful lines.



waist details



Check out Kate's mockups of Lovat in some other colors, and the outfits below for some more inspiration, and then go start yours (so I can live vicariously through you)!



three outfits



How will you wear Lovat?