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Twist Collective Blog

Designer Post: Tarian

Thayer Preece parker headshot. She has long curly brown hair and is holding a plate with cake on it

Thayer Preece Parker is the author of today's post. She tells us all about her inspiration and design process for the lovely textured top Tarian. Thayer has contributed two other wonderful patterns to our pages. You can find this post, and more about Thayer on her blog, here.





Model is wearing the featured sweater, which is an off-white, long sleeved pullover with a crew neck and textures stitch patterns. The sleeves are long and have thumbholes. The model is a young white girl with long blonde hair, and is standing with her arms crossed over her chest.


I was very happy to have the chance to work with Twist Collective again on my latest sweater design, Tarian. Tarian is a cozy pullover that features several different stitch patterns and one of my favourite sleeve options–thumbholes!


I’ve always felt that the sweaters I knit and design should be really wearable–the sort of thing that would look right at home with the sweaters you’ve bought at stores. My design inspirations these days therefore almost always come from shapes or details that I’ve seen in fashion magazines or on store shelves, so that the shapes and elements are representative of current fashions.



closeup of the model's midsection and right sleeve. In her hand she is holding an old fashioned camera. There is a latticework pattern on the main body of the sweater, inward facing chevrons in  a panel across the hips, and ribbing below that.


One element that I added were the longer sleeves with the thumbholes. I’m the sort of person who is always cold, and I always try to buy or make sweaters with very long sleeves so I can pull them down over my hands for maximum coziness. I have a couple of athletic fleeces that have extra long sleeves with thumbholes in them, so that you can have super long sleeves but still be able to use your fingers. I love them so much that I knew I wanted to incorporate that element into one of my designs asap, and this seemed like the perfect one!


For those of you who aren’t as big a fan of the long sleeves as I am though, the pattern also includes instructions for finishing the sleeves at a normal length without the holes. In addition, although I like my sweaters fitted, I know that not everyone does, so it also includes instructions both with and without waist shaping, so that you can really make the fit and detail of this sweater your own!


This was exactly how Tarian came about–I saw a multi-textured sweater in a shop that I loved, and I set out to make my own version, using stitch patterns and design elements that represented what I would like to wear in a sweater of that type. After a bit of experimentation in swatching, I came up with the patterns that you see in the images above and below.


closeup of the model's midsection and arms to show the various textured knitted panels on the sweater


The yarn that Twist had me work with was a fuzzy alpaca blend, Valley Yarns Stockbridge, which made the sample sweater extra cozy. This sweater would look great in a number of different yarns though–pure merino for awesome stitch definition, cotton for a warmer climate, or the blend that I plan to use for my own version–a merino silk yarn for a bit of shimmer to those stitches!


Of course with it being the middle of summer here in Australia, I won’t be thinking about warm wool pullovers for a little while, but I’m looking forward to getting one of these babies on the needles this autumn!


For more details and pictures, or to buy a copy of the pattern, please check out the pattern page on the Twist Collective website or Ravelry!

Twist Style Friday: Piscataqua

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.


The first thing I saw this morning when I turned off my alarm and opened my Facebook page (yes, sometimes I check Facebook before even being vertical), was a post from my friend Liz, which said "Happy Palentine's Day! I love every last one of you, friends!"


It totally disarmed me. I tend to be a bit of a grump about holidays, especially if I feel like those holidays are telling me what to do (I don't much like being told what to do). So I am going to spare all of you my soapbox talk today, and declare you (yes you)  my Valentines/Palentines.


Phew. Okay. Now that's out of the way, let's talk about clothes!! Check out today's sweater. She is a beaut.


Model is thin and blonde, wearing a light aqua knit hoodie with cables along the buttonbands and up over the hood. The buttons are made of light wood.


Garter edges, pretty cables, and a  hood. Piscataqua is basically perfect. Let's have a closer look at some of those details, and oh gosh the back is pretty.


closeup of the cables on the hood, which are like figure eights.closeup of the inverted v-shape cable medallion on the lower back of the sweater


Okay so there is one thing I shamelessly love about Valentine's, and that is the combination of red and pink. I know it's sometimes thought of as a fashion faux-pas, but I think those colours look lovely together, and they both look perfect with this minty sweater. You may not be surprised that I went full-on girl with this styling set.


three outfits with this sweater, all with pink and red acessories


How will you wear Piscataqua?



Designer Post: Postcards from Buenos Aires


Fiona Ellis' headshot

Today, Fiona Ellis gives us a peek into the yarn-iest parts of her vacation in Argentina! Ruddington is Fiona's contribution to our Winter issue, and she has thrown several wonderful designs into the Twist cauldron. Fiona also contributed an article about Framework Knitting to our most recent issue- check that out here.




Well hello Twisters!  I'm joining you from Buenos Aires in sunny Argentina or as I now like to call it, Yarngentina. I am thrilled to see how many yarn bombed trees there are here. I tweeted about it and had a reply from a lovely knitter named Sheeri. She sent me the link to the blog post she had written about discovering the yarn district in BA. Yes there is such a thing.
three postcards with yarnbombed trees, with a banner reading "Greetings from Yarngentina"
So based on her information, yesterday I hopped on one of the wild buses they have here to go check it out for myself. "Take me to the yarn stores" I said to the driver. No, not really but I might as well have. As I hopped off the bus I found myself right outside a beautiful, highly colourful yarn store. But there was more...I think I counted 15 such stores all within one city block.
The stores are very different from the ones we are used to in North America. Not the cozy home-y look with the comfy chairs at all. They are brightly lit and welcoming in their own way, they do entice you to go, but maybe it's all the yarn that was calling to me. The yarn was mostly cottons and plenty of shiny mercerized yarns, not a lot of wool but some alpaca. It is summer in South America so I'm not sure if that's a seasonal thing or not. Yarn is sold by weight in hanks of varying size that don't have ball bands. There were many shop assistants, about half of who were men, serving and it seemed like it was more of a consultative process than a browse around and fondle the product like I am used to.
One large and three smaller photos of bright and colorful yarn stores in Argentina. A banner at the bottom reads "Hola Hilo! Greetings from Buenos Aires"
The brands appear to be specific to each shop and bear the same name as the store. I saw packing boxes labelled such that the product was made in Argentina; I'll have to research that a little more. What really struck me was the color ranges in every store. Each was a riot of bright and saturated colours, again I'm not sure if that's a South American or seasonal thing or not. Oh and one more thing I have never seen before - one store was selling yarn and bikinis - pretty sure that's not going to catch on in Canada in February any time soon.
If you would like to read Sheeri's account of her trip (with more pics) you can find it here.
Anyway I better get off as there is a nice bottle of Malbec & a nice juicy steak calling my name...but I wish you were here- really I do!
Happy Knitting!



Twist Style Friday: Quill

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.


Howdy Twistfans. Lots of you will probably have your eyes on Sochi this week! Me, I have some complicated feelings about the Olympics, but if you're watching, I hope the folks you're cheering for do really well, and that you get tons of knitting done.


I spent the last two days at a conference on health, and left with a terrible cold! Is that irony? I think it's Alanis Morisette irony, not irony as classically defined. The combo of totally blizzardy weather here in Toronto and the current state of my sinuses has me really craving springtime. You'll see it in my styling, trust me. Or maybe I subconsciously used the colors of the Olympic rings?


This week we're looking at Quill, Kate's contribution to the Winter issue. Though I am going to take a little tangent here in case you missed the release of Kate's newest pattern, lovely Lacet socks that reference the lacing of pointe shoes. Let me show you them. 



full view



Pretty, right?? I can't wait to start on a pair. Anyways, back to the topic at hand- fashion! Let's have a look at this fetching vest. 




Quill, front viewback



Quill is simple, but stands out. It'sa great layering piece for transitional weather, and can fit with lots of styles of dress! Make it in a sheepy wool, and it's a perfect vest to wear over collared shirts or flimsy dresses. In a softer fiber blend, wear it right next to your skin like the coziest camisole. Better yet, make two. 


three outfits


How will you wear Quill?

Designer Post: Scrimshaw

 Lacey VolkLacy Volk is the author of today's post, and you can also find it (and so much more) on her blog, here. Scrimshaw, the delightfully graphic cap from our most recent issue, is her first with Twist Collective. A striking combo of super squishy brioche rib, striped (reversible!!) stockinette, and an unconventional crown make this hat original and adorable.




Scrimshaw, as seen in Twist



I was looking at a lot icy images and winter cabin interiors at the time I was designing this hat, which definitely influenced the high contrast design. I really like the idea of embracing the stark contrast of winter and turning it into something modern.I even made a pinboard of some images that inspired this hat. You can look at the whole board if you like (here), but here are a few of my favorite images:
graphic menswearbirch treesblack and white boots
I’ve been going through a bit of a black-and-white phase. Black jeans, black boots, white cardigans. Black and white patterned everything… stripes, polka dots, stranded sweaters. A strand of pearls. A faux-leather blazer.
And why not? It’s classic yet bold. Edgy or refined. Minimal, maybe. Everything and nothing.


In this case it’s also a hat, called Scrimshaw… and it’s reversible. Black and white, inside and out.





You can find the pattern in the Winter 2013 Twist Collective. Since I had never published with Twist before, I took these photos in preparation to publish Scrimshaw myself if it wasn't accepted, and I love how they turned out! I’m so excited to be able to share them with you now.





Is there anything better than black and white with a pop of red?

Scrimshaw is sized for babies through adults, and is a quick knit in dk-weight yarn.