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Twist Collective Blog

Twist Style Friday: Nevyn

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.



Today is a good day, friends. My dear friend Eroca has been staying with me and my housemates for a little while, waiting for her visa to come through so she can embark on a round of artistically driven (and grant funded!) travel. It's been a bit of a debacle, but as of this morning she has both a passport and a Brazilian visa. Right now what I want to tell you about is Eroca's amazing style. She approaches dressing the same way she approaches knitting- conceptually. She once knitted a over a mile of scarf to use as a projection screen. In 2014 she only wore unisuits every day. Literally every single day she wore a jumpsuit, bathing suit, overall, coverall, romper, or other sort of top + bottom clothing item. 


I can be an outrageous dresser. I will admit to wearing leopard print every day this week, and purchasing a pair of shiny gold jeans yesterday. I even took a selfie of my shiny gold butt and posted it on Instagram.  But even I cannot bring the level of performance and deliberateness to my clothing the way this lady does. 


We can all agree, however, that this sweater is awesome. Look. 



Nevyn, a grey cabled cardigan that closes with a zipper, modeled outdoors by a brunette woman in red pants and glasses.



It's a basic enough cardigan that you can wear it with pretty much anything, especially in a neutral color like this. The stunning part of this one is actually the back. The cable section is super pretty, but also gives the top a little bit of an hourglassy shape. Check it. 



Same sweater from the back, has a diamond shaped cable medallion at the center back



I think Kate's styling is pretty perfect (like usual), but I like my outfits a little... well... sillier. If my clothes make my smile, that starts my day off pretty well. Below you will see a lot of things with spikes, because spikes are fun. I love slightly aggressive accessories (aggressories?). Lately I have been wearing a lot of rings, enough to make my hands feel heavy. It's great. 



three outfits with sweater open (over dresses)



I will admit that these outfits were partially influenced by this extremely strange and amusing webcomic. You should probably click that link (you're welcome). 




two outfits with the sweater zipped closed



That last one on the right is totally an Eroca outfit (since the year of the unisuit ended, anyways). 


How will you wear Nevyn

Twist Style Friday: Radius

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.


Hi everyone. It's Marnie, here, filling in for Carly. It's rainy here in Oregon. If you know the US Pacific NW, that won't come as much of a shock. Our winters are generally rainy with a chance of downpour. With all the gray skies, bare trees and rain, I'm itching for some color, so when Carly asked me to take the reins, I was immediately drawn to Julie Blauw's Radius.



Radius by Julie Blauwradius detail



Check out those extra-long sleeves with thumb holes and the pockets. You're sure to stay toasty on those days that aren't quite cold enough for a jacket but are still a bit brisk. I think the gray and red are a perfect combo but with just a dark, light and contrast color needed, you can really customize this for your own wardrobe. How about brown, beige and green for an autumnal feel? Or black white and yellow for a stark modern look? There are a near infinite number of combinations and I'm really looking forward to seeing all the variations knitters make.



So how would I style this? The skinny jeans and red boots are pretty perfect, and here in Oregon, it'd blend right in. I don't know that I'll improve on Kate's styling but I think there are definitely some equally fun options.


radius times three


My first thought, which is always my first thought, was plaid. I love it and not just because my last name is Scottish. Picking up the lines of the sweater motif, the skirt in the middle has a pretty pleated tulip shape. Throw on some tights (teddy bear tights, no less) and some plaid heels and you have a pretty fun outfit. Ok, the tights might be over-the-top but opaque black or even red tights would work just as well. On the right, I wanted to play more with color. Red Doc Martins and cyan jeans and scarf make the whole outfit a riot of color, that still feels cohesive. On the left, I toned things way down and tried to imagine an outfit that could work at the office. Boots and a knee-length gray wool skirt are office appropriate and accessories like bags and hair clips can bring just a little more color into the whole outfit.




But you know what this sweater really makes me think of? The motorcycle I got right after I met my now-husband, Leo. When Leo and I met, we were working together and another woman in the office always called him, Lorenzo. She was the sweetest woman but could never get his name right. When I got the bike, it inherited Leo's alter-ego's name. Lorenzo was a beautiful red Ducati Monster 750. My Radius outfit inspired by Lorenzo should never, ever, actually be worn to drive a motorcycle. Get yourself some good sturdy boots, protective leather, use your turn signal and watch the road, but in fantasy world, stilettos and leather leggings are totally fine. Be careful you don't cause an accident with your gorgeousness.


So what do you think? Can you work Radius into your wardrobe?

Design Process: Parapet


Headshot of designer Fiona Ellis

Fiona Ellis's lovely piece in our newest issue is Parapet, a clever cardigan with some really lovely details. You can find out more about her inspiration and also see a short post about button choice on Fiona's blog, here. Fiona has designed *lots* of lovely things that have graced our pages, but this one, this one, and this one are a couple of my faves. You can also find a version of this post on SweetGeorgia Yarns blog, here. 






For more years that I care to admit to I have taken photos of items that inspire me, even before digital cameras made it so easy and inexpensive to do so.  One of the wonderful things about having an archive of these shots is that over time I have been able to categorize the types of image that appeal to me most. I mean if you could only see how many photos I have of magnolia flowers (documented each year it seems).



steps to a castle



So one day when I was making a sub set of my photos I was struck by how often I am drawn to stair step type patterns. For somebody who loves asymmetry so much it makes me smile to notice how it’s the even & mostly equal repetition of the line that delights me. Although I do like photos of them taken off center.



steps around a brick column



We often refer to the way we try to avoid the stair- step look that the knitting produces. So these types of patterns are a “no-brainer” because they work with the very nature of the knitted stitch.



Montreal spiral staircasesame staircase, different angle



But how do you keep the beauty of the repetition with it becoming boring and static?  One way is to set them on the diagonal where the lines become a zig-zag. This gives them a dynamic active feel, something that I think of as being almost somewhat masculine in feel, especially when compared to how soft undulating lines produce a gentle feminine over all look.



Parapet, purple cardigan with zigzag stitch pattern on yoke and sleeves, modeled by a brunette girl standing in front of a wood stove in a red room



In my most recent design work I have tried to include techniques that we tend to find used more with woven fabric than with knit fabric. What I call dressmaker details; pleats, buttoned cuffs etc. So for Parapet I thought it would be fun to juxtapose the strong dynamic lines of a zig-zag pattern with soft gathers.



closeup of Parapet sweater from the back, showing detail of stitch pattern and gathers below the yoke line



The gathers in the back give a fullness that leads to the slight swing shape, combined with the stand-up collar (also borrow from woven fabric constructions) it makes it feel more like a softly tailored jacket than a cardigan. The tiny gathers at the crown of the sleeve also give fullness to the cap while keeping the sleeve slim throughout the arm. The overall silhouette was drawn from empire line gowns that were fashionable at the turn of the 19th century -a style that I love. If you were to ask me why I based Parapet on this style I would probably have to confess that it’s probably because of watching too many films based on Jane Austen books…especially if Colin Firth happens to be in them. Cough. Ahem. Cough.



detail shot of yoke and collar



For this project I got to work with yarn from one of my favorite yarnmakers, SweetGeorgia. Cable patterns by their very nature produce really interesting effects of light and shade. The combination of the different textures means that light bounces off the fabric differently in each area and highlights the three dimensional aspect of the stitches. Similarly the talented dyers that I have worked with which includes SweetGeorgia Yarns also produce enticing effects of pale & dark within their yarns. So I found when I combined these yarns with my cables that these yarns it added an extra dimension of visual texture to the patterning that produced an even more beautiful effect. I fell in love. Working with these yarns have produced some of the patterns that I am most proud of (check out Ruddington, Granville, and Breckenridge). I think this is because when working in collaboration with another artist the combination of each of our talents has the ability to produce something really special. 


Twist Style Friday: Addington

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 folks! I'm writing this today from my bed, where I have relegated myself for the day. It's nothing serious, just some winter sniffles, but I'm trying not to do that thing anymore where I pretend I'm not sick, act like I'm not sick, and stay sick for way too long. Don't worry mom, I'm drinking lots of fluids (coffee counts, right?) and getting lots of rest. My best lazy food invention for this time of year is a can of chicken noodle soup with a big pile of spicy kimchi scooped in. Slurp. 


My biggest fashion dilemma this week was trying to dress super super warm on Wednesday, when it was 20 below zero (Celsius) and I had an acupuncture treatment before work. I go to community acupuncture, which is a truly amazing thing, but you have to be able to roll up your pant legs and sleeves so they can poke you with needles. I wore two pairs of leggings, two pairs of socks, a dress (mostly a long stretchy tank top that covers my bum), a three quarter sleeve sparkly shirt, a cardigan, and a hoodie


The cold is a real thing these days, and it's been hard to predict whether my subterranean office will be an oven or an icebox, so I am all about layering right now. This week's sweater might be the perfect thing to keep in your office for those times when you're a little extra chilly. Addington is snuggly without being bulky, and hits the exact right note between casual and elegant. At least I think it does; elegance is not exactly in my wheelhouse. Let's take a look, see if you agree with my assessment. 



Addington cardigan, brown with cabled collar and no closure, modeled on a petite brunette woman standing in a brightly lit forestsame sweater seen from the front, held closed at the bust with a gold pin



Plus, pockets! The first time I knitted a pocket I felt really cool. 



closeup of pocket and front cable panel



So let's talk styling! It's easy to see how this cardigan can play well with all your casual clothes;  jeans, those weird fancy sweatpants everyone is wearing right now, yoga pants, whatever. But something about the shape of it made me want to channel a hot librarian/Lisa Loeb kind of vibe. 



three librarian-y outfits



How will you wear Addington

Designer Post: Anaphora


headshot of designer Moira Engel. she is a white woman with long brown hair, smiling against a backdrop of autumn leaves.


Today's post comes to us via Moira Engel, designer of the lovely Anaphora cowl in our newest issue.  This is her first pattern with us, and it's a beaut! You can also find this post (and more of her gorgeous work!) on her blog, here.






closeup of Anaphora infinity scarf, pale blue with a central cable and textured stitches on either side.



I am so delighted to have my design Anaphora  included in  Twist Collective Winter 2014.  The Anaphora infinity scarf is one of my favorites.  It’s like a fairy tale to me; it has a story….albeit brief …but still a story.  It’s a briar rose bush growing over an arbor gate and I can totally visualize what the actual scene would look like.  That peaceful mood carried me all the way through the project.  I love a good story, especially if it turns out to be pretty to wear!


I had fun with the construction of Anaphora.  The centre panel is worked flat and grafted at the ends.  Then the sides are picked up and knit in the round.  Somehow those details made the project fly by and seem less complicated.  Combine that with my “I’m in a rose garden” vibe, and it was a very satisfying project.  



same scarf, looped twice around the model's neck. she is a brunette wearing a herringbone jacket in black and grey.



Infinity scarves are probably the most versatile weather accessory that I’ve come to know and love.   They have inspired a total loyalty and I even wear them around the house to fend off the chill.  Now that I’m older I seem to make my own seasons, exclusive to me and regardless of the current environmental conditions.  Actually, it seems to be only two seasons; I’m way too hot and I’m way too cold.  I suppose that has a lot to do with why I love Infinity Scarves.  They slip on and off with one hand and no fuss.  They do not dangle in your cooking, or ignite when you reach in the oven.  Also, I love that they are not always migrating off to one side.  Having symmetry issues, everything must balance! (I straighten crooked pictures wherever I go) Wearing regular scarves is very time consuming when so much effort is spent adjusting and re-adjusting so that the scarf hangs evenly. An infinity scarf just settles on your shoulders and behaves or doubles up and behaves even better! 

As a project, infinity scarves are very agreeable, the gauge is not written in stone.  The pattern does not demand an uncompromising set of measurements. This is a huge advantage if you want to get creative with your yarn. Here's a picture of the exact same pattern worked in a DK instead of (the original) fingering!  



same scarf, knitted in rusty orange DK weight yarn, hanging on a dressform, outdoors on a wooden deck



I hope that the gods of fashion decide that infinity scarves are a classic must have accessory because I plan on wrapping one around my neck as often as I can!