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Twist Collective Blog

Throwback Thursday: Novak

Yesterday some of my colleagues went to have an offsite meeting at a restaurant near our office, and we decided to meet inside rather than on the patio because it was kind of chilly. 


This time of year my knitting impulse is going strong. I want to be ready when the cold weather gets here. This week's #throwbackthursday takes us to Fall 2009, our first anniversary issue. Say hi to Novak






She's got a slight A-line shape, and herringbone details on the dramatic collar and cuffs. Made in squishy plied worsted merino, this is also a speedy little sweater to make. I love a three quarter sleeve- you can wear long gloves and look seriously cool, and not overheat when you go inside. 



cuff detailcollar detail



The retro shape was inspired by 50s film star Kim Novak. Check out the sample on the designer, Claire Montgomerie. 



Claire Montgomerie wearing Novak



This 50s style is a classic in any era, and I know I would love to have a Novak to keep me warm when the snow flies. 

Twist Style Fridays: Meristem

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.



Happy Friday friends!!


I'm a big puddle of feelings today. I supervise a group of young women volunteers doing creative peer education and community building work (in my non-knitting life), and last night they held an event called "open mic for open hearts" where folks were invited to share music, art, poetry, comedy, or stories with the crowd. I'm not a performer and had never organized a thing like that, but it was kind of amazing. The event, and lots of my experiences working with young people, has me thinking a lot about what it means to be tough. Physical strength is a real thing, but it is only one thing. There is also resilience, and forgiveness, and healing, and teaching, and growth, and transformation. All of these are tough as heck (or tough AF, as the youths are saying these days). 



When I first started riding a bike in the city,  was so nervous. I didn't know how to take up space on the road. It was like a crash course in assertiveness (without the crash). For a while I had to repeat (in my head or our loud) the sentence "I am a vehicle!" over and over again to convince myself it was true. This event last night felt like a slow steady chant of "we are powerful." And we are.



Me, I use my clothes to remind me that I'm powerful. My clothes (and accessories, and makeup) are armor. Here is a silly shot of the aggressively sparkly shirt I wore last night to this performance. I wore purpley-black lipstick to feel extra tough (it worked).



carly, white and blond, wearing a black tank top decorated with lipstick made of sequins



One of my favorite things about the weather cooling down is that you can wear MORE CLOTHES. I am so excited about layering I can't even really explain it. You'll notice that every outfit in the set below involves layers. Dreamy!



So let's take a look at the garment, shall we? Meristem is a perfect layering piece, or a top on its own! The organic vine-y yoke is knit sideways from the center out, and the body stitches are picked up and knit downwards. Fun, right??



yoke detail of Meristem, terra cotta vest with sideways cabled yoke



I'm also a big fan of the split sideseam, and the garter edge at the bottom. This top is kind of simple, but there are lots of knitterly details to keep it interesting and make it special.



detail shot of waist shaping and split side seam



I say go forth and be layered! Be complicated and strong! Wear delightful knitted things and aggressive accessories (aggressories, as I sometimes call them)! No one will mess with you when your earrings are shark teeth or you could maybe cut them with the toe of your boot.



three layered outfits



How will you wear Meristem?

Throwback Thursday: Samsara

Hi folks! 


Carly here. Since we started an Instagram account, we have been noticing people posting old (and sometimes very hilarious) photos from their pasts with the hashtag #throwbackthursday. Kate and I thought it would be fun to feature patterns from past issues on the blog on Thursdays. Welcome to our first installment. 


This is Samsara. We first met her in out Winter 2010 issue



beige cropped jacket with cable panels on the lower front and back knit on the bias



Have you ever knitted something on the bias? Those cabled panels are knitted diagonally, and then stitches are picked up in various directions to make the rest of the jacket. The hem curves gently in the back, way before that was cool. 


back view



The simple one-button closure and the easy shape make this a perfect fall jacket. 



closure detail




Twist Style Friday: Cherrywood

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.


Happy Friday everyone!! This week finally brought my favorite weather. It's been warm in the sun and cool in the shade. I can have my nice heavy blankets on my bed. I finished my Riverdale sweater, and sometime soon (er, and once I get and attach some buttons), I can actually wear it.


If you pay attention to my personal knitting and wearing proclivities, you may know that the only sweaters I knitted for years and years were cardigans, but lately I have been wearing more pullovers (and pants- whoa). I have a half-finished Ravenscrag that I want to get back to business on so I can wear it when wool weather makes a real appearance. All the sweaters from Twist are gorgeous (I think!), but for sure one of the garments from the newest Twist that really jumped out at me was this stunner.



red pullover with horizontal cable details modeled by a woman with pale skin and light hair, standing in the forestback view



I'm in love with the squishy garter low around the hands, and at the hem. I think the simple horizontal cable around the hip has a big impact but keeps the lines super clean. Cherrywood seems to be like she would be just as at home with skinny black pants and sky-high stilettos as in this wood nymph scene you see above. This sweater is gorgeous.



cuff detail



For you process knitters, this one starts with the cables, cast on provisionally and kitchenered into loops, and the garter is knit down from picked up edges, and the rest knit up from another picked up edge. This method really appeals to me, and means that when you reach the shoulder join, you get one of those magic chrysalis moments where a mess of fabric suddenly becomes a sweater. I'm a sucker for a dramatic reveal. It's why I can't stop watching Pretty Little Liars.


As for styling, I think a little drama is probably the way to go with this one. You're going to be wearing handmade decorative rope; you can be a little daring with the rest of the outfit.



three outfits



How will you wear Cherrywood?

Designer Post: Alodia



Headshot of designer Moira EngelMoira Engel is the author of today's post, and the designer of the lovely hooded shawl Alodia from our newest issue. You can also find this post (and more about Moira's work) on her website, here. This isn't Moira's first time designing a stunning scarf-like object for the pages of Twist, you might remember this lovely cowl from Winter 2014. 





closeup of cables on Alodia hooded wrap



I am so fortunate and excited to have another design in Twist Collective! The Alodia Hooded Scarf is included in their Fall 2015 release. The inspiration for this piece originally came from the sad fact  that I look really dorky in hats. With a hooded scarf I can be cozy and mysterious at the same time; a haunter of the deep forest swooping through the mist, or woodland creature bundled in wooliness with a nice warm head! Ok, probably only grocery shopping, but with an air of mystery for sure. I also wanted to see if my phone-side doodles could be translated into a knitting chart. The result is the center panel of the scarf. A twisting organic vine that springs from love of my jasmine, orchids and hoyas. Hopefully making for an engaging knitting project. 



back view with ends held out so you can see the shape of the piece



The construction is simple with only seaming on the hood and a few corners.  Edging gives the piece a nice finish and body.  I've broken up the edging so that there would always be a manageable number of stitches.  The mitred corners are simple and tidy.   I am currently wishing away the warm....actually, really really hot weather so that I can bundle myself in my woolies again!  



full shot of modeled wrapside view of hood



I enjoy the way different yarns show different dynamics of the textures. The yarn used in the off white version was Plymouth Yarn Galway Worsted. Galway is 100% wool, sturdy and soft. It has that shetland wool feel and is certainly very warm. The colorway gave the cable work an ethereal look, soft and misty.  I loved having it draped across my lap while knitting this piece up.  Very nurturing woolly warmth. 



prototypesecond shot of prototype



I made my prototype in Malabrigo Rios, a superwash merino. Also sturdy and soft and a delight to work with.  I am fond of superwash! The most noticeable difference is how dynamic the cables become working with a kettle dyed yarn. It's really interesting to see how working with different yarns can totally change the overall feel of a garment.  It can really bring out the inner artist and let a knitter really bring their own personality to a design.