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headshot of designer Marnie MacLean. she is wearing an apron and holding a rolling pin. Today's post is brought to you by Marnie MacLean, who is kind of a superstar. She has published a whopping 20 designs with us (21 if you count the men's and women's Doppler sweaters as two separate designs). Her style is effortless elegance; classic shapes with just the right amount of detail. Her pieces are fun to make, and gorgeous to wear, and her top from this most recent issue is no exception. You can also find this post on Marnie's blog, here




The new edition of Twist Collective came out, recently. Did you get a chance to see it? If not, grab a cup of your favorite warm or cold beverage, and take a few minutes to flip through its virtual pages, because there are so many fantastic pieces. I feel like I can't even pick favorites because I like so many of them for so many different reasons. The shawls, in particular, are really inspiring. Every last one is a winner and they look like they'd be a heck of a lot of fun to knit, too. And if you are a mitten person, especially if you are a colorwork mitten person, I really think you'll love what the designers have come up with. And of course, there are tons of garments, some socks, hats, mitts and cowls. So go take a look.


My piece is called Heyday. It's a sort of yoke/raglan hybrid, with body darts and a split neck. Just a few short rows over each sleeve, help shape the yoke around the shoulders. A simple cable/bobble pattern is worked around the hems and yoke and the neck is finished with some basic crochet. If you are a knit-only person, you can always substitute i-cord.



Marnie wearing Heyday, a cobalt blue pullover in rev. stockinette with a cable pattern along the yoke and hems



Worn open, the split neck makes a flattering v-neck, tied close, the neck is more of a ballet style, with a keyhole opening. Since the garment has so few details it's really a breeze to alter. Do you want to eliminate the split? Just work the yoke in the round. Do you want to make the neck narrower? Add more decrease rounds. Wider? Take out some decreases. This is really a piece you can customize and make your own.



Second modeled shot of Heyday; split neck is tied closed to make a keyhole



My original swatch and proposal, even suggested subbing the small bobble for a glass bead. I didn't think Sundara's stunning Sport Merino Two in this richly hued colorways, needed any extra adornment, but for a subtler colorway like one of her Vintage shades, a little glimmer might be just the thing.



marnie's submission sketch for Heyday



I really enjoyed both designing and knitting this piece. It's my first yoke-ish design and I was happy to see it come together without any big challenges. It's always a risk, taking on a new construction, under deadline, but I couldn't think of a better way to show of that swag-like stitch pattern. 



back view of the same top



You can find the yarn here with new colors coming all the time. I would love to know what your favorite piece in the edition is. Can you pick just one?



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!! Yesterday in Toronto the weather took a decidedly chilly turn, and although I have many people in my life who are lamenting the end of summertime, I have to admit that I was thrilled. I wore floral tights and a hot pink lacy scarf (knitted, of course) and a denim jacket and felt pretty darn blissful about the temperature. I am looking forward to fingerless gloves and toques and wool sweater times. Plus all I want to do is knit. 


In a total departure from my usual knitting MO, I have been really wanting to knit a pullover! It could be because there are so many gorgeous ones in our new issue. I'm feeling very torn between starting with Ravenscrag, Paria, or today's feature garment, Roxton. How will I possibly decide?? 


Let's take a close look at Roxton, shall we? 


back view of Roxton, hot pink  pullover with lace and cable panel in front and backfront view of same sweater, on a model with long blonde hair walking with a bike


This aran weight sweater has a serious squish factor, but the dropped stitch and lace patterning keeps the whole thing feeling light and breezy. The lacy panels deserve another glance.


lace detail


You could toss this on over jeans and boots and look amazing on every chilly day mother nature can throw at you. Or you could take my advice, and wear it with something sharp. 


Roxton Styling image


I kept all the accessories and other garments crisp, clean, and graphic. Maybe people won't know where to look first, and the interesting cutouts on your shoes, the bold patterning of your pants/skirt, or the juicy sweater that tops it off. Maybe that's awesome. 


How will you wear Roxton

Headshot of designer Barbara Benson

Barbara Benson's first design with Twist is a doozy. Courant is an epic stole that uses mosaic knitting *and* lace to achieve a unique and gorgeous effect. It might not be TV knitting, but gosh it's pretty. You can also find this post on her blog, here. I can't wait to see the color combinations knitters will choose!! 






What do you want to hear about? Do you want to have a detailed description of the pattern proposal process and the wonderful experience that was working with Twist Collective? Or do you want to peer into the dusty corners to try and understand the slightly off mind that would even dream of combining these two techniques? Maybe you want to see my relatively pitiful attempt at a “fashion sketch” that is required for pretty much all proposals?


Or do you just want to see the pretty pictures? Because we can totally do that!



closeup of Courant shawl wrapped around model's neck.



I was waiting impatiently to see how the photography for this shawl turned out … and I was not disappointed. I hope you love it too. This pattern involved quite a bit of indulging myself. If you hadn’t noticed, I like to push the boundaries a bit, break a rule here and there. One day I was visiting my best friend (who is a knitter of course) and I started paging through her copy of The Haapsalu Shawl and, just like any knitter, was in awe of the beauty of these intricate stitches.



closeup of stitch pattern, lace and colorwork


But can I leave well enough alone? Hah! Never. Where I stray from being on the “normal” side of things is that my first thought was “how can I make this two color?” The review I linked to refers to the book as “The Estonian Barbara Walker” which explains a great deal, considering my obsession with Walker’s Mosaic knitting concepts. Long story short (don’t laugh) I spent a great deal of time figuring out how to make this happen.



full shot of modeled Courant shawl



And this was the result. I will be forever grateful to Twist Collective for being willing to publish such a adventurous pattern. The entire issue is absolutely beautiful and if you haven’t taken a look at it yet, you should. I will be here when you get back.


It is a big piece, my biggest to date. I am not going to lie, it is a lot of knitting. But it was nothing that even resembled a chore because of the unbelievable yarn I had to work with. The incomparable Miss Babs supplied the perfect blend of Merino and Silk in her fingering weight Shiruku in the colors Helen of Troy and Cygnus. In my proposal to Twist I was fairly adamant that they yarn needed to contain silk. This was necessary for a couple of reasons.


The slip stitch color-work technique used in the pattern creates a situation where there is a lot of compaction of the stitches. If you have handled any “traditional” mosaic work it can be quite … dense. Much of my development time has been centered around figuring out ways to thwart this tendency. One solution I have arrived at is knitting at a larger gauge than normal. A second component is the lace itself; adding in holes creates a more bendy fabric. The silk is the final component.


Silk has fine drape and allows the fabric to move and flow just as a shawl should. It also has very little memory so it improves the shawl’s ability to retain its shape once it has been blocked. Now, you might ask “Why not just go 100% silk?” which is a good question. Silk tends to be a very well defined yarn and the stitches stand out individually. Which is not precisely what I wanted. My yarn needed some floofiness, some bloom. It needed to fill in a bit so that the color-work had more of a presence.  So the Merino/Silk blend is perfect! And shucks if I didn’t have to knit with it. The sacrifices I make for y’all. 






I want to wrap things up by sending a special Thank You out to the awesome Raveler CathyG. The knitting of this shawl took place during my jaunt around the MidWest and she was kind enough to allow me to take over an entire room in her house to block this big guy. Crawling around on the floor with someone is an excellent bonding experience and I was pleased to have it with you!

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 is a happy Friday indeed, because we just launched our Fall issue!! I look forward to this all year, do you? I encourage you to take a long, slow flip through the pages, and let it all really sink in. I haven't chosen yet what my first project from this issue will be, and I have soooooo many UFOs, but gosh. So much pretty. 


Today you get one more taste of our Spring/Summer issue. We will start styling Fall next week, but there are two more lovely things to take a closer look at before we move on to the next season. I give you Chainlink



purple hoodie with chainlink cables and a zipped frontback detail, cables on upper portion


front view, modeled with jeans and a button-down shirt. white background


The cable pattern is stunning, and there is just the right amount of it. It has impact, but there is enough plain knitting to offset the visual and also to keep it a speedy knit. I asked myself: can you wear a hoodie with anything but jeans? Resoundingly, yes. 


three outfits



Next up is Aphelion. This is one of my favorites from the issue. I love the lace pattern and the cap sleeves, and the shape. It's cute, it's elegant, and you can wear it in a lot of different ways (including back-to-front; it's reversible)! 



modeled with the "back" in the "front"



modeled with the yoke detail in front


A little sweetness and a little toughness together make the best outfits, I think. Aphelion is a spoonful of sugar that perfects something a little sharper. Metallics, clean lines, and animal prints keep the sweetness at bay. 


two outfits


How will you wear Aphelion and Chainlink

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.



You read that title right. We are looking at *three* Twist garments today. All of them are super lovely. Let's take a quick look at these great tops, and then have an outfit bonanaza! 



First up is Belleville. a lovely spring cardigan with a fresh lacy back! 



Belleville, pale yellow cardigan with lace panel in back, seen from the back on a brunette model standing in front of a floral wallBelleville from the front



I love the graphic lace on the back, and how it's echoed on the cuffs and by the buttonbands. I think the neckline is sweet and pretty. I would like three. 



close up of tie-up sides of Portia tunic, lace yoke and split-seam skirt.full view of Portia tunic



Meet Portia! A cinched-waist tunic with integrated ties and pretty lace. Cute, right? 



Verbena, pale purple skirted tankback view



Verbena is an asymmetrical skirted tank with fun construction; you knit the skirt portion sideways, and then pick up and knit the top portion. 



three more!



For Verbena, I thought about different contexts in which you could wear this top. I think it could very easily be dressed up or down. In my brain, these outfits (from left to right) are for a garden party, a night at a club, and a weekend music festival. 



three outfits



It took a while for those loose pants to grow on me, as an idea. When i started seeing them in stores over the last few months, I had the same reaction as when people started wearing leggings as pants. I thought judgmentally, "put some darn pants on, humans!" Then I saw people wearing them and looking so comfy and so cool, and I was converted. I don't have any of my own yet, but if i find ones that fit me well - with a great and silly floral - they will be mine. Oh yes, they will be mine. 



and another three



Me, I don't wear a lot of onesies (the umbrella category for jumpsuits, coveralls, rompers, etc). I was thinking about my friend Eroca when I styled that outfit in the middle. She wears onesies almost exclusively - she calls them unisuits - and always looks fabulous. She and I built a giant cake last week for someone to jump out of. I burned myself with a hot glue gun and it was still a really great day. 



How will you wear Belleville, Portia, and Verbena?