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Twist Collective Blog

Twist Style Friday: Pont Neuf

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.


 

 

As you read this, I am most likely in a mostly operational car with my friend Jenn, en route from Toronto to Montreal. We two are going to see some friends this weekend, and it was kind of a last minute decision! Impromptu roadtrip! So I'm writing to you all real late Thursday night; I haven't even packed yet and we hit the road early in the morning. I'm not complaining though; I am really excited to reunite with my Montreal yarn girls, a group that includes the lovely, talented Kate Gilbert. You can be jealous if you want. We might go to a roller derby game.

 

I'll be jealous of you if you have made this sweater. Pont Neuf. Sigh.

 

Pont Neuf

 

I love everything about this. The garter edging, the sleeve length, the sideways lace, the off-center buttons, the slightly boat-y neckline. I think I'm in love. Let's get a bit of a closer look at that lace panel, shall we?

 

Lace detail

 

Swoon.


Because of the asymmetrical fronts, you will probably mostly wear Pont Neuf closed, but you could open the last few buttons to make room for a pouffier skirt, or undo the top few and let the lapel fold down in front.

Check her out with some pants and cute footwear.

 

two outfits

 

You could also try something a little swishier, summery shoes and a flirty skirt.

 

three outfits

How will you wear Pont Neuf?

I'll say hi to la belle province, and la belle Kate for y'all. Happy Friday!!

 

 

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.


 Robin Melanson

Age: 36

Height: 5’5”

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?

 

Coventry

 

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.

 

Orange Coventry Outfit 

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!

 

Blue Coventry Outfit

 

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.

 

Olive Coventry Outfit

 

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.

 

Purple Coventry Outfit

 

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.

 

 

Designer Post: Winona

Laura ChauLaura Chau is the designer of the lovely Winona cardigan from our most recent issue. She has contributed some other gems to our pages, such as Sheepcote and Cityscape. The original Winona was made with the delicious and summery Classic Elite Yarns Soft Linen, but Laura made one for herself with yarn from her stash! Read all about it here, or on Laura's blog. Check out our Winona style post as well!

 

 

Winona original

 

Laura's Winona

 

Laura's Winona

 

Laura's Winona

 

 

For my version, I used stash yarn that I’ve had for a few years – Sliver Moon Farm fingering weight merino, which is super squishy and bouncy. I used less than 4 skeins in a lovely grey blue. I knit the size 36.5″, which fits me well in the shoulders with a bit of negative ease (an inch or so), but is nicely flared over my stomach and hips. It’s a more exaggerated silhouette than you might be used to, but it is so easy to wear. I’ll be wearing it over a dress (the one above is from Garnet Hill) all spring and summer.

Not a dress wearer? No worries, jeans are awesome too!

 

Winona with jeans

Twist Style Friday: Alvinda

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.


 


It was a good day for wool in Toronto yesterday folks! I wore handknit socks and a scarf while working on the styling last night for this post. I almost packed away my wooly sweaters and accessories when I moved at the beginning of May, but spring here can be a tricksy sort of season.

 

Alvinda


If I had one right now, I would totally be wearing Alvinda. An all-over lace cardigan always looks pretty and put together, whether you pair it with an evening dress or with jeans. I'll admit to feeling very very lazy about putting together cute outfits (to wear myself) this week. I've been to three weddings in as many weekends, most of which had additional rehearsal dinners or Sunday brunches, and they were all extremely lovely, but I had to look cute pretty much all the time. On purpose! I will leave you with just one piece of advice from all these nuptial adventures; if a chef invites you to his wedding, you should go. The food will be marvelous. I took a picture of my plate, and I almost never take pictures of my plates.

 

yum

 

Alvinda can go with you to a fancy occasion such as the wedding of a chef or other sort of elegant friend. Perhaps a whimsical teapot themed party? Brunch with friends?

 

Alvinda with dresses

 

I want all of those shoes, just so you know. You can also wear Alvinda more casually, with separates. Like so:

 

Alvinda with separates

 

Now I better go get knitting. I give handmade gifts, and I am behind! The last of the three happy couples got an IOU.

 

Alvinda detail


How would you wear Alvinda?

 

Designer Post: Fine Kettle

 

Jennette CrossJennette Cross is the author of today's post, as well as the designer of Fine Kettle, the squishy, swishy, slip-stitchy shawl from our latest issue. Read about her quest to become a Twist designer, her fear of fish (a fear I share!), and the clever tricks you'll learn knitting your own version of her gorgeous creation. You can also find this post on her blog, here.

 

 

 

Fall of 2008. I had been working at Lakeside Fibers for a year and a half. “Hey,” said my bosslady, “have you seen this new online magazine, Twist Collective?” Ten minutes later appearing in Twist Collective one day became one of my life goals.

 

Fine Kettle

 

This is Fine Kettle, my pattern from Spring/Summer 2013.

I had been submitting to Twist for a little over a year before this one was accepted. I have never ever felt bad when they turned me down; the patterns they put out are always so amazing there just wasn’t any point to feeling bad. And if I’m honest, I’m delighted they rejected the first two things I submitted because they were WAY above my skill level at the time. Now before I submit anything for publication I make sure that I have thought through every step and every eventuality. By the time I write a submission, I am sure that I can do it.

 

When the call for this issue went out there were photos of fish on the mood boards. I love fish even though I’m afraid of them (aquariums are a wonderful combination of beauty, fascination, and horror) so I decided I was going to do some kind of Fish shawl. Of course, any shawl I design is going to be a Combination Shawl, because I am obsessed. I messed around with my stitch dictionaries for a while, and then I started thinking about scales . . . scales that got larger and larger as the shawl progressed! Why, I could HIDE the Combination increases INSIDE the scales! It would be the cleverest thing I ever did.

Lots of swatching later I was very happy with my increase-hiding scales, but unsure about how to finish the edge. I needed something to help counteract the stockinette stitch curl that was inevitably going to happen at the hem, and for this pattern it seemed like the solution was garter stitch. I didn’t want to just slap some garter stitch on the edge though – it needed to flow somehow. The fish needed some tails.

 

swatch

 

sketch

 

The swatch and drawing above are what I ended up with. Then I took a step back and realized that I had just designed a gigantic slipped stitch shawl that looked like a fish. “Oh well,” I said to myself. “It’s not like they’re going to get another submission for a gigantic slipped stitch shawl that looks like a fish.” Besides, it was too late. I was already in love with it.

But they accepted it, and got me beautiful yarn, we put together a beautiful pattern, and they had Jane Heller do some stunning photography.

 

color detail

 

The shawl begins with one long starter tab (I love a good starter tab) and then goes immediately into the fish scale pattern. The scales are all slipped stitches; you only use one strand of yarn at a time, and the wrong side rows are all “slip the slipped stitches and purl the purl stitches” so they’re about as easy as they can be.

The garter stitch edges are worked entirely in the main color, which means that technically the shawl has a bit of intarsia. Trust me though – it’s about the easiest intarsia ever. And it’s worth it to create those lovely unbroken main color edges.

 

fish scales

 

The shawl finishes with garter stitch fishtails, inset into the last section of scales. The garter fishtails increase according to Pi Logic, so they have lots of extra drape.

Of course, from the photos you can automatically tell that one of the best parts is the yarn. Sunshine Yarns Merino Silk Fine was the perfect yarn for this project – soft, beautifully drapey, silky, and shiny. I’ve had some questions through Ravelry about the actual yardage used; my notes indicate that I used about 730 yards of the Main Color and 630 yards of the Contrast. If you are getting a different gauge, you’ll use a different amount of yarn.

 

fish tails

 

I am beyond delighted with how this has turned out and working with Twist was absolutely lovely. I hope you like my Fine Kettle and are inspired to knit a gigantic slipped stitch shawl that looks like a fish of your very own.

 

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