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Twist Collective Blog

Twist Style Fridays: Andover

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's almost the weekend, knitters! Which means lots of nice things, including another installment of Style Friday. This week, I took a look at Andover, Jean Chung's lovely cushy cardigan. There is a lot to love about this sweater. It has a lovely squishy texture, it has adorable elbow patches, and the pockets are handy and sweet. The oversize buttons steer it right out of twee territory.


Andover


My first set with this beauty is somwhere between casual and business-casual. A polished bag and a luxe top keeps things a little dressy (the one in the middle is sequined!), and menswear inspired shoes bring out the blazerish-ness of the sweater.

Andover with Pants

The next set is planted more firmly in the office, and is really just a pictoral love letter to tweed. Tailored dresses and sensible heels make this collegiate sweater look all grown up!


Andover with Desses


How would you wear your Andover?

Designer Process: Sultana

Sandi RosnerToday's post is brought to you by Sandi Rosner, designer, tech editor, and writer extraordinaire! You can also find it on her blog. We get to learn about why hats make excellent swatches, and how ancient textiles can inspire modern knits. Enjoy!!




In case you haven't seen it yet, the Fall 2012 issue of Twist Collective is online. I'm pleased to have been included with a design for a hat and mitten set called Sultana


Sultana Set


I wanted to share a bit with you about the inspiration for this design.


Last December, my friend Carson and I saw an exhibition of Anatolian kelims at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco. These tribal weaving were amazing, packed with complex geometric and figurative motifs in a riot of colors.


The oldest example in the collection was just a fragment of a 15th century kelim in only two colors - natural and a faded tomato red (madder, maybe? Name That Dye is not a game at which I excel). I loved the interplay of positive and negative space, and the way the interlocking spear shapes were edged with little bubbles. The bold graphic seemed surprisingly modern for a textile more than 600 years old. Carson and I agreed that it begged to be reinterpreted in knitting. I pulled out my camera and snuck a picture.


Sneaky photo


Even though the photo is of such poor quality, it was a fairly simple matter to import it into Illustrator and trace the motifs. Overlay a grid, and it starts to look suspiciously like a knitting chart.


hat/swatch


Here is my original swatch, made with some Cascade 220 I had on hand. Yes, I do tend to make hats as swatches for color patterns. Such patterns are easiest for me when knit in the round, and hats make good class samples, or can be donated to organizations like Halos of Hope if not needed. I love the contrast in these Gryffindor colors.


For the magazine, we chose a thinner yarn, Romney Ridge Farms Sport Weight. This is a great yarn for colorwork. Grown in Maine, it is a nice "sticky" wool that knits easily and blocks into a beautifully cohesive fabric. The hand dyed colors have subtle variations that give the pattern extra depth and interest.



Sultana side viewSultana top view


While you are looking at the magazine, don't miss my article about shaping in pattern. Many knitters struggle with maintaining lace and cable patterns while shaping armholes and necklines. The article takes you step by step through the process.

Old textiles are a great source of inspiration, particularly for colorwork. The landscape that surrounds us can also serve as the spark for great ideas.

Twist Style Fridays: Crosstrail

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 blogfans!

This week (in Toronto, at least) has been hot to the point of obscenity, but this has not deterred me one bit from dreaming about autumn. Dressing for fall is my absolute favourite. Layering is the best, because what's even more fun than wearing some clothes you like-- is wearing even more clothes you like! Last week you heard a bit about my affection for fall colours (mustard is the best, wine is also excellent, rusty browns are great too); this week, let's turn our attention to textures and fabrics, shall we? The most exciting one is knits, clearly, but fall is also the time for velvet, suede, leather, corduroy, tweed, and denim.

Without any additional clothing, this sweater already screams fall. The yarn has a tweedy quailty, the colours are warm and earthy, and the shape is easy, cozy, and feminine. Crosstrail, you're a beaut. I would wear this with pretty much nothing else, on chilly weekday mornings while I make coffee, listen to the radio, and have peach crumble for breakfast before heading out to start my day.


Crosstrail


Since the silouhette of the top is slouchy, I think keeping the rest of the outfit sleek is a nice counterpoint. I stuck with fitted pants for this first set and my only real regret is that you can't have a tactile experience of these clothes through a computer screen, because the pants on the right are suede, and the pants on the left are velvet. Plus the blue purse in the middle is Georgia O'Killing me with adorable.

Crosstrail with skinny pants

Maybe you could tell that boots are another thing I love about fall. I was also curious to see how this sweater would look over dresses, and what seemed to be true was that it can work is the skirt is fairly fitted. I think it could also work over a gauzy maxi skirt, especially if you have long wavy hair and freckles.

Crosstrail with dresses

How would you wear your Crosstrail?

Quick Dispatch: What we're doing today

Outfit construction site

Knitting for Ourselves: Carly's Madrigal


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.




So hi! This is me, Carly, Twist’s social media ninja. If you follow the blog, you have seen some of my sartorial influence already, but here’s a little summary, baseball-card style.

Carly

age: 28

height: 5’1”

measurements: 39-32-44

body shape: hourglass/pear

occupation: grad student; social work intern; sunday school teacher

hobbies: ladycrafts, feminism, flirtation, bartering, swimming

place of residence: downtown Toronto

personal style: bright, girly, obnoxious, a little tough


Photo courtesy of Jenny Mecija


One of my favorite experiences working with Twist was assisting on this photoshoot. The garments were exquisite, we were hanging out at Jane Heller’s lovely home, it was fun to style, and the model (also called Kate) is one of my close friends. We had a lovely day and delicious sandwiches. Seeing the garments from the magazine in real life is a wonderful and dangerous thing- they are so easy to fall in love with. The pattern after my heart that day was Madrigal, Kristen Rengren’s lace-paneled cardigan.


Kate C wearing Madrigal


Carly with a friend, before she eschewed pants




I love me a good cardigan- I wear dresses year-round, almost exclusively. Mass-produced clothing is made for some imaginary “normal” body, which no actual human seems to have, so basically everyone I know has a hard time finding perfect pants. Most of those folks compromise and wear not-quite-perfect pants, but a few years ago I halted the search and just started wearing things that tend to fit me pretty well right off the rack: dresses with full skirts and cinched waists. Cardigans take summery dresses into autumn and winter, and also take dresses that are a little bare into a more professional context.




photo courtesy of Leah Dolgoy



I chose this particular pattern for a few reasons. First off, I love the neckline; I have a fairly big tattoo on my chest, and I like to show it. Plus I think a scoop neck is just pretty. The mirrored lace is graphic and interesting, but not too busy. My ability to read my knitting is decent, but it helps if the pattern is a bit repetitive and there are large elements to landmark with (such as the central zigzag) I knew this would be fun to make (and it was!), but wouldn’t be frustrating. Since most of the dresses I’ll be wearing this with are fuller in the skirt, I cropped this cardigan significantly. I also shortened the sleeves, largely because I had a very small amount of yarn with which to make this cardigan a reality (less than 800 yards). I am really happy with the finished project, and I think this little red number will make a regular appearance in my autumn wardrobe.



Carly's Madrigalbutton detail


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