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Twist Collective Blog

Twist Style Fridays: Never too old for Brookline

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.



Get ready for a pretty special fashion friday, knitters! Today's post is coming to you from Elizabeth McCarten, designer of the elegant Brookline cardigan. You can also find it on her blog, here.  Now, I certainly have been having fun with these styling posts, and I hope you have been enjoying them (always feel free to tell me/us what you think on our Facebook page, by the way), but you may have noticed that demure, mature, and sophisticated styles are not exactly my forte. So in today's post, Elizabeth shares some ways to wear Brookline in a more casual way than in the magazine.


Brookline, styled by Twist


When Brookline came out in Twist Collective last April, a knitter wrote to me asking whether I thought a woman over 40 could wear this design. I designed the prototype for Isabel, my 20-year-old daughter, shown here in an alpaca version:


Brookline Prototype


I wanted to give this photo a dressed-up, party feel. Isabel is very petite and admittedly, looks good in just about everything. At the same time, I only ever design and knit women's sweaters that I would wear myself, so the answer to the reader who asked if an older woman could wear Brookline, is a definite yes. I am 55 and I love this design. Not only is the shape extremely forgiving, but it can be worn dressed up or down and it's perfect for those tricky "transitional" seasons. For example, here it is shown with a 6-year-old J.Jill sleeveless linen blouse and equally old J.Jill blue jeans.


Outfit #1



Neckline closeupsleeve detail


Wondering about accessories?



earrings

Silver earrings from "Sterling" here in Kingston

bracelets

Bracelet from recycled silver spoons purchased at P'Lover

Eyeglass chain

Eyeglass holder/necklace from J.Jill.

shoes

Slightly beat-up but very comfy Naot clogs.


This is a great look for browsing at Kingston's City Market on a Saturday morning or meeting up with friends for knitting at a local coffee shop. When I want to be a bit more dressed up, I button Brookline over loose knit black pants and a knit black tee, both from Cut Loose.


Outfit #2


Closeup


Accessories?


Earrings

Earrings purchased at Catch Can in Washington, DC.

Accessories

Tilley hat (expensive and worth every penny), Clark shoes, and

grey/black scarf bought at Chris Reynolds in Westport.


I can't finish without showing my fave bag. You wouldn't believe how many compliments I get about this, and not just from knitters who admire its capacious interior. Everyone thinks it's a $300 leather bag in a rich red. Wrong. It's vinyl faux leather, available at Pinecone in Westport, ON. Now you know!


So, how would you wear your Brookline?

Designer Process: Corona

Carol FellerToday's post is brought to you by Carol Feller, designer of many wonderful Twist Collective patterns (like Corcovado, Trousseau, and Parcel, just to name a few). She shares her inspiration and design process for the wonderful lush circular shawl from Spring/Summer, Corona. You can keep up with her on her website, or on twitter.




Corona


The mood boards that the Twist Collective sent out for Spring/Summer 2012 had some wonderful textures and patterns shown on them, the one that caught my eye was the underside of the mushroom.  The concentric circles and outward ‘spokes’ made me want to create a circular shawl that evokes this basic concept.


Spring/Summer 2012 Mood Board


I began searching for lace pattern that evoked the lined inner side of the mushroom and I ended up settling on the zig zag ribbon lace pattern.  It created the spoked outward lines I was looking for and it created a wonderful texture.

I created the inner circle from side to side using short rows in garter stitch which mimics the inner stem of the mushroom.  To echo this inner stem the outer edge of the shawl/mushroom uses a garter stitch edging that is knitted on so it’s traveling in the same direction as the garter stitch inner core.

This was where I diverged from the initial concept.  Looking for good yarn matches I decided to try out a mini version using some Easy Knits ‘Deeply Wicked’ merino.  The bright yellow isn’t exactly mushroomy but it changed the shawl in my eyes from its mushroom beginnings into a sunburst.


swatch


The basic idea for this shawl is basic enough that it is easily modified.  If you just wanted to create a small circular baby blanket you just finish with the lace section early and begin the garter stitch border.

I really love circular shawls – you can leave them open, pinning at the front to create almost a circular cardigan,


Carol wearing her Corona open


or alternatively fold the piece in half and you’ve got a super warm semi-circular shawl


Carol wearing her Corona folded



How do you wear your circular shawl?

If Kate's daughter was our fashion consultant

This hat would be in every shot. Every single shot!


Spunky's best lid

Twist Style Fridays- Marnie

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 again! Carly here with another exciting installment of fashionable Friday! Today I played with Marnie, Kate Gilbert's sweet lace top. This item is a winner, friends. The boatneck and lace details are pretty and feminine, a three-quarter sleeve looks lovely on just about anyone, and you can adjust the length to be perfect for your shape and proportions. A higher neckline keeps things totally profesh, even if you're busty.

Here's how you saw it in the Spring/Summer issue-


Marnie


For my first set of looks, I stuck to a daytime vibe, but tried to show some different ways to wear this lovely sweater- layered over a fancy frock to dress it down; with a flowy skirt and floppy hat for a sunny afternoon stroll, perhaps along a beach; and with some truly awesome (okay, slightly outrageous) printed pants for a lunch event, museum date, or other slightly schmancy daytime occasion. I had brunch with my very sassy octogerarian Bubbie last weekend in Montreal, and she would wear the heck out of that outfit on the right, possibly with additional bling.

Styling Marnie


But let's be serious, this sweater can also be sexy. For this next set, I used a lot of a color that I hardly ever wear- black. I know I'm a weirdo in this respect- black is super useful. It matches everything, it's sleek, it's dressy, and it never goes out of style. So here we go, way out of my comfort zone.

Marnie for nighttime

Whichever way you wear it, wear your Marnie well! I can't wait to see more of these as FOs. Remember to tell us what you think of these outfits, and show us your styling ideas on Facebook or Twitter (#twiststyle).

Behind the Scenes: Choosing Submissions

Creating a knitting magazine isn't just about finding great designs and taking pictures of them. This series takes you behind the scenes from mood board to publication. You can find all the posts in this series, here.  

We would love to hear what you think of our behind the scenes series of blog posts, or any of our other posts. To get in on the discussion join us on Facebook.


In the last post, we talked about creating the mood board to go along with our calls for submissions. We give designers approximately a month to get back to us. We try to schedule submissions to be due at a time that is not completely bonkers. Ideally, we want to review new submissions during the lull when designers are knitting patterns for the upcoming edition.

We don't start looking at submissions until the deadline has passed at which point I take all the PDFs people have sent in, and put them together into PDFs of around 40 submissions each. Every submission gets a unique ID number, for ease of tracking.


organizing submissions in indesign
Compiling PDFs in InDesign.
This is Sandi Rosner's submission for Sanderling


Our review team is generally about 5-6 people. We create a spreadsheet with every submission, listed by ID number and the team goes in and marks the submissions they like most, any thoughts they have about what makes the proposal special and any questions they might have for the designer.


spreadsheet
We use Google Docs to track and discuss submissions.
Color coding helps us visually narrow the list


During this time, the team is careful to consider whether the designs they like are seasonally appropriate, likely to sell well, suitable for a wide range of body sizes, and sufficiently different from other designs we have to offer. It's not uncommon for us to absolutely love a design but be unable to take it because it closely resembles something scheduled to be published in the next edition. Great minds think alike, right?

From this spreadsheet, Kate assembles the "short list." The short list can be just a few more projects than needed to fill an edition or be half the submissions we receive. There is no set number for the first round on the short list. Items that really catch our attention land on the short list by merit of being fantastic, alone.

Based on the mood board, Kate divides up her kitchen wall into her mood board themes, or sometimes into color stories. She prints out the short list and starts assembling projects by theme and style. We try to come at the process as methodically as we can. Do we have enough great socks to do an entire sock shoot? How about shawls? Do we have a nice variety of construction methods, stitch patterns and styles or are we seeing a lot of the same thing?

This is a really challenging part of the process. The success of the edition hinges on choosing about 35 projects from several hundred, and making sure we don't overlook something great just because a person's drawing skills may not be top notch. Inevitably, we have to cut items from the list that we love, simply because we can't publish everything.

But eventually we do narrow the list down and we spend a couple days contacting everyone who was kind enough to send us a submission. I have to admit, I'm always sad to have to send people email telling them they weren't accepted. I hate rejections as much as the next person. It's always a little thrill to me when we are able to accept a design from someone whose submissions we've had to decline in the past.


choosing yarns
Kate's kitchen: submissions on the wall and color cards everywhere


The final step in the submissions process is yarn assignment.

As part of our submission requirements, we ask people to describe the characteristics of the yarn they want to use. Many people will provide a list of recommended yarns which helps as well. We work with yarn companies who help support the magazine, and we're lucky that the companies that do so, offer such a wide variety of gorgeous options. We try to assign hand dyers first, to socks, shawls and other garments that look good in hand dyed yarns, then we move on to the rest of the garments, being careful to find the best yarn in the color most suited to both the garment and the shoot we intend to put the garment in.


choosing yarns
More spreadsheets! This one for assigning yarn and tracking shipments


Assigning yarn can sometimes feel like an IQ test. One yarn might be perfect for two different projects, so which one gets the yarn? Or another yarn may be wonderful for a pair of socks but only comes in 1000 yard skeins. In the end, we may need to make a couple minor compromises but we like to think we're always able to find a good match.

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