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Twist Collective Blog

Designer Post: Smoky Lake

headshot of Jessie McKitrick

This post comes to us from Jesse McKitrick, designer of the stunning Smoky Lake jacket/cardigan found in our newest issue. This is her first pattern with Twist and we are thrilled to have it in our pages. You can find this post in its original form, as well as more about Jessie on her blog, here

 

 

 

 

My Grandpa grew up near Smoky Lake here in Alberta, and I love when he tells the story of the time he and his brother came home with what they thought was a big fluffy dog that was only too happy to follow them. My Great-Grandmother was less than enthusiastic about any intent to keep the creature, and my Great-Grandfather brought the bear cub back to where the boys had found it.



The last time I was in Smoky Lake (the town, not the lake), it was rather an icy day in February, and I could have used a warm, sturdy, cozy cardigan to wrap myself up in. Smoky Lake, my design for Twist Collective Fall 2016, is a cabled and double-breasted cardigan with a shawl collar that totally fits the bill for warm, sturdy and cozy.

 

 

Sue wearing Smoky Lake

 

 

This cardigan is worked in Briggs & Little Atlantic, which is a bulky 3-ply wool that shows off cables nicely, even in a relatively darker shade like Grape, which Smoky Lake features. Of course, Briggs & Little Atlantic also comes in an excellent range of colours, both in heathered (like Grape) and solid. I think if I was knitting Smoky Lake again, I'd be tempted to also try Grey Heather, Fern, or Rust.

 

 

 

Jesse in Smoky Lake, in profile

 

 

For warmth, I can tell you I tried this one on one warm summer day, and would have melted if I had kept it on any longer than it took to snap a few photos. I feel Smoky Lake would be perfect for a fall (and spring for that matter) coat. If I had been able to wear it while camping with my family this summer, it would have also been just the thing for chilly mornings in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

 

 

Sue from the back

 

 

The wool is not only warm, but hard-wearing, and will keep your knitting in good form for a very long time. Briggs & Little Atlantic relaxes slightly with a wash, and plumps up a wee bit too; it keeps its shape and definition while making the drape and handle come out just right.

When designing Smoky Lake, I wanted to use cables that would be sculptural enough to stand out even on a darker wool, but that would work well with a bulky wool without distorting the overall fabric. I settled on two cables that would play nicely with each other in columns. I wanted a Pea Coat feel to the sweater, a sense of being wrapped in wool against all weather and ready for outdoor exploration over lake, sea, woodland or field. A double-breasted coat with a voluminous shawl collar had the right sort of feel too it, and so I sketched this up:

 

 

 

sketch

 

 

Of course, with bulky wool and a good sized button-band in the front meant that there would be less density of cables than in my sketch (I also don't think I got the eyes quite right, but that has very little to do with the sweater, right?); but the sketch conveyed the feel I was looking for, and once calculations and adjustments to assure a good fit for all the sizes in question for men and women were worked over and approved, I set about crunching numbers and making sure that the sweater worked up into a cozy and beautiful garment. I really enjoyed working up the shawl collar; no matter how often I use short-rows, they feel like magic, and the bands worked up particularly quickly in the bulky yarn.

 

 

Jesse from the frontside shot of Sue

 

 

I am so pleased to see my idea fully transformed into reality, even better than I had imagined it. I really enjoyed working with Twist Collective on this project; much thanks to all of the Twist staff! Twist Collective, as always, has beautiful photography, and I recommend even to the non-knitters who read this blog to go take a look through this issue (and back issues as well)!

Thanks and love to my Grandpa, who, by the way, always looks great in a double-breasted jacket.

The Smoky Lake pattern is now available for purchase here.

Twist Style Friday: Ziarre

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 fashion fans!! 

 

 

I'm writing you from the past, by which I mean that I'm on Pacific Standard Time this week. I did only a medium job packing for this trip; the weather in Vancouver is really variable! I super wish I had one of these with me. With the cropped length and elbow length sleeves, she is enough to warm you up after a chilly rain, but wee enough to fold up and squish into your purse. 

 

 

Ziarre

 

 

She's a summertime girl in a cotton blend like this one, or an all season layering piece in wool. Call me biased, I want everything to be made of wool. It can have a little silk or something in it I guess. 

 

 

sleeve detail

 

 

The high neck and the cropped length give this a bit of a vintage vibe, so pick a decade that you like, and make it work. I picked the 50s, the 60s, and the 90s, because that's just the kind of guy I am. 

 

How will you wear Ziarre

 

Throwback Thursday: Ardwell

close up

 

 

Remember Ardwell? She's delicate laceweight and so folds up real small to fit in your fancy purse, but has some garter-squish to keep you cozy warm. She's great with an evening gown or a denim jacket. 

 

 

full view, unfurled

 

 

Also, reversible!!!! 

 

 

wide shot

 

 

I just inherited some lovely laceweight wool in a coral-y red, and maybe it wants to be an Ardwell I can snuggle up to this fall. 

Twist Style Friday: Wrought

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.


 

Maybe it's because I'm a freelancer that my ideas about what "day" and "night" are deviate slightly from the norm, or it might be the other way around? Time mostly seems made up to me, especially when it's possible to do what I'll be doing tomorrow, which is to fly for five hours and arrive only two hours later than I left, no flux capacitor required. 

 

My friend Eroca does a lot of travelling, so she is my go-to for packing and flying tips. She recently told me a gut-busting story about a time when her luggage was overweight and instead of eating the charge, she opened the bag up and put on layers and layers of clothing until the bag was light enough to pass muster. The lesson I get from that tale is this: wear your bulkiest and heaviest clothes and shoes on the plane. Even when the weather is hot, it's nearly always cold on planes, and you'll have more room in your bag for your things. Also, take no guff and always look amazing. 

 

 

full shot on floral background

 

 

If I had a Wrought, it's what I'd be wearing on the plane tomorrow. 

 

 

sleeve detailback

 

 

She's got great cable details on the arms, but the body is mostly plain, keeping the shape sleek. I like the slightly scooped neckline and the single twisty cable that carries onto the side of the body. 

 

 

neckline

 

 

There was a tiny whiff of fall in the air this week (not to mention our spiffy Fall Issue...) and I got so excited. I love fall fashion. Wrought is the perfect sweater to carry you season to season.  I was feeling leather and denim and boots and that color that isn't blue or grey or green exactly but looks like whales. 

 

How will you wear Wrought

Throwback Thursday: Koleine

I was smitten with this sweater when we first published it, and I haven't changed my mind!

 

 

shoulder detail

 

 

Koleine's textural stripes are delicious, and I love the way they narrow at the waist. 

 

 

waist detailback detail

 

 

The cables are simple and lovely, the foldy collar is a delight. Plus, the whole thing is reversible. That's pretty cool. 

 

 

back shoulder

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