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Twist Collective Blog

Knitting for Ourselves: Carly's Maroni

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.


 

 


Hey everyone! Carly here. We've met before on this feature, when I showed you my Madrigal cardigan. Today i'm telling you about what just might be the most beautiful thing I have ever made. Someday it could be dethroned from that title, but for now, I'm feeling pretty chuffed about this object.

 

Maroni in the magazine

 

Like lots of you probably do, I take a long slow flip through each issue of Twist when it launches. Even though I'm in the (lucky lucky!!) position to participate in the creation of the magazine, and so have seen bits and pieces of the issue before launch, that first flip-through is still a really lovely ritual. Then I start dreaming about what to make. I spent a good long time stuck on the cover image from Winter's Twist- that luscious, blanket-y shawl really spoke to me. I went yarn shopping about two days after the launch.

 

That's where I hit my first snag. The yarn used in the pattern is wildly beautiful, but the yardage required made it a little rich for my grad student budget. I absolutely love Tanis' dye work, however, and all of her yarns are amazing. I was shopping at the Purple Purl on Queen East in Toronto, where they have a pretty vast selection of her yarns. So I made an executive decision to knit in a finer gauge, because I could get a whole lot more yardage for my buck if I chose the epic skeins of Red Label cashmere and silk. Another route if the original yarn is too pricey for you would be to use something woolier in the same weight. Me, I am a total sucker for silk, and knitting with this stuff was amazing. I've been a (bottle) blondie for a couple of years now, and somehow being a lemonhead makes wearing pink extra fun.

 

Maroni full view

 

I knew I would have to make some adjustments to the pattern in order to get a generously sized shawl while knitting at a finer gauge. I didn't think about how many additional cable crosses I would be taking on, but it never got tedious. I tend to wear my shawls wrapped around my neck, point-down, rather than across my shoulders, which means I want long tails for secure wrapping. I decided to accelerate the rate of increases along the top edge of the shawl. I didn't have a precise method for this, but I tried to keep the extra increases tucked under cable crosses where I could. I got about two or two and a half new cable columns on the edges for each one at the centre. The original I think has about 18 columns in the finished object; mine has 34. The only really tricky part was trying to make sure I would have the two sets of columns meet up at the right point to start the edging chart.

 

Detail of Carly's Maroni

 

The result is a shallower triangle that is exactly the size and shape that I wanted. The cables keep the fabric dense and lush even at a finer gauge. I ran a bit short on yarn and skipped a couple of rows between the end of the chart and the bind off, but you can't really tell! I almost didn't block it because I put it on immediately and never wanted to take it off. I think I've worn it every day since it finished drying on my hilarious wrestling-mat blocking system (you can see a piece of it in the photo below, behind the fishtank). Blocking really transformed it too, and helped stretch out those tails.

 

All blocked and ready

 

This shawl, along with these socks (see below!) taught me how to cable without a cable needle, and I have never been happier to learn a knitting skill, at least not since I learned to knit in the round! Without a cable needle to fuss with, this project became portable enough to bring to class with me. I'm in a professional masters program, so my classes follow a silly format; eight hours of class, once a month, for a total of five sessions. I don't know how my colleagues sit still for that long without something to keep their hands busy. It's made me a prolific knitter this year.

 

Maroni and Parade

 

I cannot recommend this pattern highly enough. It's clear and comprehensible, the charts are fairly intuitive. It was challenging but never frustrating. Someday I'll splurge on some Orange Label and make another one. It was really, really fun to knit. I super-duper love my Maroni. What yarn would you use to make one? Would you make changes to the pattern to suit your tastes? Would yours be hot pink? Tell us on Twitter or Facebook about your dream Twist projects, and then make them real!

 

Carly wearing her fancy new scarf

Twist Style Friday: Aleph

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'm having a little lovefest with cables these days. I'm going to tell you more about it next week, because I just finished an extremely cable-ful Twist project that I can't wait to share with you all! I used to be so afraid of those windy stitches, but once you get the hang of cabling (especially withough a cable needle! It's so fun!), it's pretty simple, and creates amazing fabric. The effort to impact ratio is truly excellent.

This gorgeous cardigan is for more of a cable minimalist, but the impact of those few twirly tendrils is just stunning. Don't you think so?

 

Aleph

 

It's pretty darn perfect with jeans. I don't even wear pants and I still want to be wearing that exact oufit pretty much now. I love the high neckline and the extended ribbing on the sleeve. The shape is easy, but not messy. I think you could dress this lots of different ways.

Here are a couple I cooked up for you:

 

Aleph three ways

I definitely want to know how you would wear Aleph, and I also want to know what color you would knit it in!

 

Let's take one more look at this garment, because it's so nice, and also because I love this photo. Laughter is gorgeous. I hope you all laugh this weekend!

 

Aleph full view

 

Quick circular needle organizer

Hi all. Kate here. The beginning of the year is always filled with good resolutions for me - mostly about how clean and organized I am going to be ALL YEAR LONG. It's mid February and I haven't given up (quite) yet, so I thought I'd share a little something I made with all of you other good-intentioned people out there. What's the hardest knitting thing to keep orderly? CIRCULAR NEEDLES! Am I right? I've struggled with them for years and have finally come up with something I'm pretty happy with.

Behold the beauty of my circular needle organizer:

 

Circular needle organizer

 

It's easy-peasy to make too. Just get some wide grosgrain ribbon cheaply. Mine was about 1½"/4cm wide and I used the ends of two different ribbons that I happened to have on hand. Cut two strips that are about a yard long (which will really be way more than you need). Put them back to back. Thread your machine and sew.

 

Circular needle organizer

 

I sewed forward, then back, then moved over to the 2 marker (If I was a sewing person, I guess I would know what this meant. I suppose it's cm?) on my machine without cutting the thread and did it over and over again, leaving about 15"/38 cm unsewn at the end. I suppose it doesn't matter much how spaced your sewing is as long as it's wide enough to let your biggest circular needle pass through when a couple others are already in there hanging by the cord.

 

Circular needle organizer

 

Like this!

 

Circular needle organizer

 

Then I snipped the thread between the sewing.

 

Circular needle organizer

 

Look how neat and perfect it is! (haha) Having a home economics teacher as a mom made me a super sewing lady!

 

Circular needle organizer

 

I just tied it to an over-the-door-clothes-hanger-thingamabob that I have on the back of my office door. You could always nail it to the wall, maybe using a grommet to make a pretty hole that won't fray. Or you could tie it to a sturdy hanger and tuck it away in the closet.

I fed the needles through according to size and put my spare interchangeable cords up at the top. When I finally get around to it, I plan on marking the slots with the needle sizes in US and metric sizes. I'm also going to attach a needle gauge to it so I'll always know where it is. I'll update with a photo when my good intentions finally become reality.

If you do this, definitely send us a photo! You can post it to our facebook page.

PS Webs did a great series of posts on organizing your entire knitting/crochet life in 31 days.

Quick Dispatch: Our Models are the Best

Cute like Beyonce, right?

 

 

Silly Face

Twist Style Friday: Astra

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.


 

You guys must think that I am so fickle. Every week I tell you that I am smitten with whatever garment I'm showing you! The thing is that in coming up with styling options, I fall in love with all of them. Styling is all about discovering possibilities. It's exciting! This week is no exception. I love this sweater the moment I saw it. I love the balletic neckline, the wavy hems, and the graceful shape. This sweater is sweetness and romance.

 

Astra

 

I know it's a teeny bit early in the month for this, but I was thinking of asking Astra to be my valentine. At a distance, it seems pretty plain, which means it's versatile and easy to wear. The details are gorgeous too, and keep the knitting interesting. My favourites are the details up top- the welted neckline and cables at the raglan line. Look- 

 

Shoulder Detail

 

Yup, smitten is definitely the word. No matter your style, no matter your age, Astra can find a happy home in your wardrobe. Here are just a few of the ways I could see Astra being worn. Maybe they could be date outfits.

 

Astra three ways

Those slightly strange lace boots could go with any one of those outfits, and I think they suit Astra's vibe perfectly. I gave some alternatives in case white lace heels aren't everyone's cup of tea. The blushing boots might be just about the cutest thing ever.

How about you? How would you wear Astra?

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