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Twist Collective Blog

Designer Process: Laresca

Corrina Ferguson

In today's post, Corrina Ferguson tells us the origin story of Laresca, a flowy, summery tank with a unique lace detail running up the sides and over the shoulders. You can also find this post on Corrina's blog, Picnic Knits. Corrina also brought us Cithara, another easy, wearable garment with gorgeous lace details.



Laresca began as most knitting things began with an idea; a “what if”. What if you took some sort of lace panel up the side of a tank and split it over the shoulders? And the perfect textured yarn made the stockinette body have some interest? So many moons ago I swatched a little something like this:


Swatch


It was a dk weight yarn, a cotton, silk and linen blend. I liked the way the lace was present, but not overwhelming. And the simplicity of the garter edging made me happy. But then I had to draw a picture – a concept sketch if you will. Drawing is not my forte. But I started drawing anyway and this is what I came up with:


Sketch


I am not sure what’s wrong with the top of her head. And despite my utter lack of drawing skills, Twist Collective was actually able to see my vision and said yes, yes, let’s make it. So they sent me yarn. Rowan Panama Yarn. I was skeptical about the yarn because of it's unusual appearance and texture, but then I started to knit with it . And the yarn was good. And I realized that Rowan Panama was the perfect Florida yarn, and that I was making a garment I could actually wear. So that made me feel good about the yarn. And the yarn and I became friends. And eventually the yarn became this:


Laresca in Twist


You know I’ve gotten much better at photography and I can usually capture decent pictures of my shawlette work, but I’m still not good with photographing models. But when I saw these pictures I was very, very happy. First off, she’s gorgeous. And I love the way Laresca looks on her, all breezy and comfortable. Exactly what you need for a hot summer.


Lace split detail


And I am so in love with the way the lace split and shoulder detailing worked out. I mean I wrote the pattern, I knit the sample, and I knew it fit and worked, but seeing it on the model and knowing that I had an awesome idea that I brought all the way to completion is kind of the best. It’s nice to know all the crazy ideas running around in my head aren’t that crazy after all.

The shoot must go on!

Even when the weather is not on our side.


Shelter from the storm


Robin provides shelter for cameras, models, furry friends, while we brave the rain.


For furry friends too

Twist Style Friday- Sylvatica

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.

 


 

 

Carly here, back again with another style Friday. Today, we look at the many ways to wear Sylvatica, Robin Melanson's lovely buttoned pullover (blogged about previously here).  With it's flattering boatneck and easy shape, you could wear this sweater with just about anything and look pretty awesome. Below are my styling ideas for kicking around town, weekend brunch, a casual date, or something else of that nature.

 

 

Sylvatica, styled casually

These could be workplace appropriate, depending on your job, but in case you're looking for ideas that are a little dressier- here are a couple!

 

Sylvatica, styled for work

If you've met me, you know how much color coordination pleases me- I may have let out an audible shriek when i came across those shoes on the left.  You can probably tell that I've been having a really good time playing with these images in Polyvore- some of you have too! We want to see your creations, so tweet them at us (@twistcollective, #twiststyle), or post them on our Facebook page.

 

The Twist Team: Kate Gilbert

When we go to trade events, talk with customers and do shows, people often ask us what we do, what our titles are and how we work together. At the end of each edition is our Masthead, which lists everyone on staff and their title, along with the many people we are thrilled to thank for their contribution to the edition.

In this series of blog posts, which you can read, in its entirety, here, we'll be introducing you to some of the people who help make this magazine possible. As always, we would love to continue the discussion and get your feedback on this or any other blog post, over on Facebook.


Kate GilbertKate's official title, here at Twist, is "Editor-in-Chief and Publisher," but she's not afraid to roll her sleeves up and get her hands dirty, when it comes to making an edition.  At any given point she's involved in managing the live site including the current edition, producing an upcoming edition and planning the edition to come after that: a whole year's worth of work being juggled at any given time. She's the creative voice and vision behind the magazine and she still manages to find some time to design.

Below is a short interview Kate and I had. If you want to find out more, be sure to check out our other new series of blog posts covering the process of creating an edition

MM: What do you see as your primary responsibilities as the Editor and Publisher of the magazine?

KG: It's hard to come up with one thing because I do a bit of everything. I chose what's going into each issue (with help), assign yarns, style things for shoots, come up with shoot concepts and run the shoots, communicate with designers, photographers, editors, readers, do layouts, program pages… Short story: I do a bit of everything. But thank goodness I have a fantastic team who works with me because I couldn't do it alone. Little known fact: I end up modeling most of the socks.

MM: What is the most rewarding thing about your role?

KG: When I open a package an there's a beautiful knit, that's really fun. And then the real cherry on top is when knitters love it and I am proud of how we've photographed it and laid it out.

MM: How do you manage to design each season?

KG: The bonus of being in charge of the magazine is that I can miss the deadline by weeks and not get yelled at. And I can make sure my design is in the very last shoot. But sometimes, it means that I design and knit something in under two weeks. Some of you might remember the two week sweater challenge I started on twitter in order to knit Peregrine. Unfortunately, my last minute projects have earned me the nickname "Late Gilbert" with a couple of staff members. Marnie (the sweater) was finished the night before we shot it.

shawl held by kate's dad
Tolovana held aloft by Kate's dad

MM: You have probably learned a lot about producing a magazine in the past 4 years. What has been the biggest surprise for you?

KG: The honest truth is that I had NO IDEA how much work it was going to be. I think I've learned to delegate more. And to let go of an issue once it's out. The nice thing about a magazines (as opposed to a book) is that you get another chance to try again if something didn't work as you had hoped. I've also learned not to read what people say TOO much because it will just keep you up all night long.

MM: What do you wish more people knew about the magazine?

KG: Well, I always want more people know that the magazine exists, for starters! Even nearly four years later, it's not uncommon that I see tweets that say "how did I not know about twist collective before now!?!?" So tell your friends please! Also, each pattern purchased really helps us out and keeps the magazine going. And each time you tell an advertiser you found them in Twist, that's good for us too.

shawl held by kate's dad
Kate's daughter models
Ringo and Elwood

MM: You always have a huge list of people you thank at the end of every edition. Who are all those people?

KG: The core team is really small, but we rely on tons of people to get each issue out; testers, models, locations for shooting. My dad always helps with random stuff; he's built me a tent to shoot swatches in and held up sticks that had shawls draped on them. I have friends who put credits on photos and loan me clothes for shoots. And my daughter likes to pitch in by sorting yarns and picking out the ones she thinks are prettiest (usually pink and/or sparkly ones). She keeps designing socks so who knows?! Maybe she'll end up my partner one day!

MM: How many of the people who work for Twist, have you met in person?

KG: Very few, or at least not very often. Marnie and I have only met in person twice. I've seen Daryl, Sandi and Eric once each. I've never met most of the Tech Editors, nor Mary Joy. Irene is the exception. She's been a good friend of mine for fourteen years now. And my mom, obviously. She's known me longer than anyone! One day we'll have to have a Twist Collective retreat or something. We'll meet in the middle. How does Iowa sound?

MM: If you had one piece of advice to give 2008 Kate Gilbert, before she started the magazine, what would it be?

KG: WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. You think you'll remember. But you won't.

Behind the Scenes: Setting the mood

Last year, I wrote a blog post with tips for designers submitting proposals to us. You can read it here.

As we were discussing topics for future blog posts, it occurred to us that this is a natural jumping off point for a series of blog posts on the making of an edition. Often, people only see our call for submission and then, 9 months later (give or take) a beautiful new edition is born, but in that time, there's a lot going on.

So in the first, of an as-yet-undetermined number of blog posts, we'll be discussing the behind the scenes production cycle for creating an edition. You will be able to find all the posts here.  

The first step of an edition, is setting the mood. If you flip through the pages of our magazine, you'll notice there are individual stories made up of seven to ten designs, all shot with a common theme. For instance, in our Spring/Summer 2012 edition, we pay homage both to April showers and the subsequent May Flowers.

rain date Blooms
April Showers Bring May Flowers, with a little peek at Regent, Ceylon and Caeles

In order to ensure we have designs that can be grouped together, our mood boards also feature themes. These themes may or may not relate to the final shoots. More about that in future posts. 

SPSU12 board
Spring Summer 2012 Mood Board

Our mood boards don't focus on specific garment shapes or styles. We have found that when we put a garment in a mood board, we get tons of submissions that are just variations on that design and while there's nothing wrong with that, it feels like it actually limits people's creativity instead of sparking it. Instead, we focus on feelings like, top-left: light and airy or bottom-right: texture.  We might want people to think of a technique in a new way like top-right: lace, or design for a situation like bottom-left: poolside. When an idea cannot be literally translated into a design, we find that people abstract the concept into something that is uniquely their own. It's always inspiring to see what people have come up with.

With the mood board together and instructions included, we package everything up into a PDF. We send a link to the PDF to everyone who has signed up to receive our calls for submissions, and we post about it in the Designers group over on Ravelry.

We generally give people about a month to create a sketch, swatch and brief description of each of their proposals. 



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.

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