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Twist Collective Blog

Design Process: Granville

FFiona Ellisiona Ellis knows about cables. She knows about lots of other things too, but she sure has a knack for creating beautiful fabrics by making stitches contra dance. Check out some of her cable-icious designs from past issues of Twist- if you need more convincing (or, just look at them anyways.... because SQUISH)- Harriet, Gwendolyn, Mehndi, Lesley, and Breckenridge are some stunners. In this post, she shares the inspiration for Granville, and tells us about the dreamy yarn she got to use for it.

 

 

I am so thrilled to see the wonderful response from knitters to Granville. It is a cable design that I have had loitering in the wings for quite some time.

 

Granville

 

My swatch for it had been originally worked just as a class sample for my Morphing Cables workshop. Then every time I pulled it out to show students it always had a nice response but for some reason I didn’t think of working it into a full garment design…one of those doh moments when it finally dawned on me.

 

Blue Swatch

 

In the class I have everybody cast on a bunch of stitches and set up a rib pattern. Then I teach my students how cables move, wave my magic wand to put them in full control of their swatch and tell them to play.

I love to approach my designing in just this way; casting on and just knitting to see what happens. Every time the cords of the cables meet you can decide where they go from here, like choosing which fork in the road to take. It is a technique that I often use to generate initial ideas.

When I was preparing for the class I made several samples that all start out from the same rib pattern that I set for my students and the foundation for Granville was one of these swatches.

 

Swatch time!

 

The added bonus of this project was that I got to work with Sweet Georgia Yarns for a second time. I have until recently not really paid a whole lot of attention to hand dyed yarns for cable patterning. The multi color ones that are sooo appealing in the skein are often just too busy when combined with intricate cables. You lose the patterning and it doesn’t serve the yarn well either. But semi-solid or tone on tone hand dyed yarns add a visual texture that I have now discovered looks really great with cables especially if they are larger in scale.

 

Green Swatch

 

The name? That is in honour of my meeting with Felicia Lo of Sweet Georgia Yarns when I was in Vancouver last year. We had lunch together and she brought me the yarn for the project along. So it seemed fitting that I named the cardigan after one of the most popular spots in the city. You can read about out meeting here.

Here are two lovely finished Granville sweaters, made by Manon Charpentier (left) and Jennifer Nashmi (right). Thanks for sharing your projects with me!!

 

Manon's GranvilleJennifer's Granville

Quick Dispatch: How Many Cameras Do You Need?

 

Camera Party

Twist Style Friday: Barnsley

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.



I went accidental shopping today, friends. I had plans to meet my big brother and our cousin for dinner, but my class got out early and I had some time to kill. I could have done some of my reading, or started the research for one of the many papers I should already be thinking about writing, but instead I walked along the fancy part of Bloor Street where MAC and Sephora and Holt Renfrew and Prada and Chanel all live. I'm a girl on a grad school budget, so I never go shopping on purpose anymore, but these in between times when I'm in serious shopping areas are totally dangerous for my wallet. All of this to tell you that I scored a pretty cool (and weird) dress from the collaboration between H&M and fancy French design house Maison Martin Margiela (which I talked about in this post), 70% off. It was the last day that the collection was in store, and this was the last one of those dresses. Clearly the shopping goddesses were smiling on me. I want to wear it with a leather bomber jacket and motorcycle boots, and I also want to wear it with towering flatforms and this sweater:


Barnsley


Okay, okay, twist my arm; I'll show you.


Carly's new dress, and Barnsley

The sweater is simple and elegant. You can dress it up or down! Knit it in a solid yarn for a great basic, or use the minimalist pattern as a canvas for your most special yarn and unique buttons. As you can see from the above, I would wear it with ridiculous things, and probably also with that bird skirt from the shoot- I have that bird skirt. It's pretty dang cute.


Today though- today is a special day- you get to see somone else's style vision!!  Mari- the designer of this lovely top- made some Polyvore sets with her lovely creation. You can find out more about Mari and her designs on her blog, here. Without futher ado, here is Mari!


I designed the Barnsley cardigan right after TNNA in Phoenix in February 2012. For this sweater I wanted something that would be comfortable, wearable, and flattering. The deep ribbing on the waist creates a beautiful fit without the need for waist shaping. The short rows in the bust are graded by cup size rather than bust measurement, so you can achieve the perfect customized fit without all the extra calculations! I think that this v-neck is a great twist on the classic boyfriend cardigan.

So, here’s how I would wear Barnsley.

Cold Weather Chic:  This is one toasty warm sweater, and the perfect item for laying in the bitter cold! Here I would wear the sweater with dark skinny jeans, lovely brown boots, a beautiful cream colored coat and bright red mittens to cheer me up.





Barnsley with great boots



Spring Fling: Here it’s all about the clutch. I saw the clutch with the same shade of blue/green as the cardigan (oh how I love Blue Moon Fiber Arts for their amazing colors!). I chose the plum infinity scarf to tie in the plum from the clutch, a fun and flirty above the knee skirt, and two choices for shoes in the same beautiful blue/green depending on if it’s a high heel kind of day or a flats kind of day.


Skirty Barnsley




Cool & Casual: Working mostly from home this is my usual uniform, and how I am most likely to wear this sweater. A good basic white tank top, cute jeans, comfortable silver flats (my favorite pair have bows on them!) one piece of statement jewelry, and of course my favorite comfortable sweater! I think that this sweater is great for pairing with a necklace because of the lovely open v-neck, and how fun is the octopus necklace? This is my
favorite outfit of the three!


Barnsley with Jeans


So loves, how would you wear Barnsley?

Design Process: Pinion

Christa GilesToday's post is brought to you by Christa Giles, designer of the striking Pinion cardigan. Christa is no stranger here at Twist- she has designed a number of patterns you see in our pages, including Asher, Corinth, and Lallans. You can also find this post on her blog. She shares about her inspiration, innovative techniques, and her own version- what a difference gauge can make! Check it out below.

 

 

 

Pinion front

 

This is Pinion, a cardigan I designed for Twist Collective’s Winter 2012 issue. See it here.

 

The inspiration came directly from TC’s mood boards, a collection of pictures that they send out to designers as part of their Call for Submissions for each issue. This mood board included several photos of birds and feathers, and that was the primary image floating around in my head as I was imagining possible designs to swatch and submit.

 

Pinion Back

 


I love how well this sweater fits the model, with the waist shaping in exactly the right place! This doesn’t always happen, as I am knitting up a general size rather than to a specific model’s measurements, so I am always pleased when it turns out perfectly! Pinion’s structure-a top-down sweater with radiating motifs spreading from the collar onto the yoke- is similar to a design that I had already knit up. That one is destined for self-publishing later this year and has a very simple box motif suitable for first-time stranded knitters, but knowing that I was designing for Twist Collective’s readers let me throw in a few tweaks that would happily challenge more experienced knitters.

 

 

Colorwork detail

 

Most colourwork designs are made up of pixels, each little box being a single knit stitch worked in colour A or colour B. When I was thinking about feathers, I wanted swooping curves and flowing lines, not boxes and jagged edges, so I started combining colourwork with cabling, and a swatch was born!

 

My submission was accepted, and the Halcyon yarn arrived shortly after. This is the same yarn I was given for Thornia, and I think it is perfect for steeked projects: nice and grippy, with great blockability! I think Pinion was actually the easiest start-to-finish knit that I’ve done for Twist Collective (Boundless, Lara and Candlewick are in competition for the hardest) so the finished sample sweater flew off my needles with enough time left over for me to make a variation for myself!

 

This is my version of Pinion:

 

Christa's Pinion, back view

 

It was somewhat influenced by the sweaters knit by the Cowichan people of Vancouver Island, as I wanted a big, chunky sweater but didn’t want to use their traditional imagery or motif layout as I am not of First Nations descent. I really liked the feathers of Pinion, so after working a swatch consisting of two strands of Cascade 220 and one strand of Drops Alpaca (YUM!), I crunched the numbers and figured that the instructions for the smallest size would work with my gauge to make me an oversized knitted coat to wear through the winter, layered over a lightweight hoodie. A cozy hood and generous pockets were also part of my modifications, and I’m super happy with how they turned out.

 

Modified

 

I had also been looking at a lot of watercolour paintings of bird plumage, and planned to use an undyed cream yarn for my contrast colour, so the feathers would eventually be painted with acid dyes!

 

Acid Dye

 

It worked.. right up to the point where I had to admit that I have very little experience dyeing wool, and had no idea why my colours were going on as I had imagined but disappearing overnight to leave me with weirdly tinted feathers the next morning.

 

Faded dye

 

After working on it for about three days, I finally achieved a result I could live with, and steam-set the whole thing using a giant canning pot on my stove. There must have been another level of failure in my skills, as the sweater acquired a rusty orange blotch across the right pocket (you can see its edge on the front buttonband trim) but I am still happy wearing it out and about.

 

Christa's finished Pinion

 

You can also see some additional ideas about styling Pinion on the Twist Collective blog here.

 

Need help with the embroidery for the feather shafts? I made a tutorial video!

 

 

Quick Dispatch: Yoke Trouble

We do our best to make sure our designers and tech editors experience the majority of pattern related frustration, so your knitting can be smooth sailing!

 

yoke trouble

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