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Robin MelansonRobin Melanson has contributed twelve delightful patterns to the pages of Twist Collective. Her eye for detail  and shape make her designs special and wearable. She has become an important part of the production team, and we couldn't be happier to have her. Find out more about Robin on her website, here. Follow the whole Five for Five interview series here!




some RM designs

more robin!

(top row: Stormsvale, Willow-withe, Twigs and Leaves; bottom row: Hazelwood, Bellevue, Frost Tapestry)


 1. What's your favorite thing to knit?

I love to knit two-handed fair-isle. It’s the only kind of knitting in which I still lose myself. I find it very diverting; I forget I have a deadline and I can just enjoy the knitting. That doesn’t happen for me with any other sort of knitting. It’s like my fingers are dancing. And while my fingers dance, my mind wanders.


2. What's your favorite design you did for Twist Collective and why?

My favorite design is probably Bellevue. It was one of the first designs I did after moving to Quebec and basically starting my life over. Life suddenly had a better flavour than before, and I think the improvement is reflected in the designs I did at that time. This sweater is super comfy to throw on over anything, but nice and fitted with vertical patterning, and it has fun textures to knit. Plus I love the buttons and the deep neckline.


3.  Where do you get your inspiration for designs from?

Ha! From everything that exists in time and space. From the way my brain functions, I suppose. I see shape, order, logic, and beauty, everywhere. Then I interpret it. One of the biggest categories of inspiration for me is Things I Thought I Saw. This is where my mind misinterprets something I actually do see, into something completely different, and I say, “oh wait, that’s not right,” then, “ah, but what if it were like that?” Not referring to clothes or knitting specifically, but anything – tree bark, a fence, the shape of an eddy in a pool of water. Last week, I thought I saw a baby alligator, but it was just a really big leaf. That particular incident has not inspired any knitting.


4. Tell us about a job you've had in the past that would amuse or surprise people who don't know you.

I used to be a nightclub bartender. My work wardrobe consisted of stuff like leather pants, PVC jumpsuits, and platform shoes. I wore a bottle opener on a chain on my wrist.


5. Finish this sentence:  If everyone knew how to knit …

there would be a yarn aisle at the grocery.



last one!

(top row: Zahedra, Sylvatica, Capriccio; bottom row: Zigreta, Maeshowe, Viridis, Sarannis)

Deborah NewtonToday's post is brought to you by Deborah Newton. She tells us about some of her favorite stitch patterns, which come together on her recently published (and totally adorable) accessory set, Ballast. We have also taken the liberty of showing you this lovely set in a few more colors; colors that are all available in this excellent yarn, O-Wool Classic 2-ply. This set, folks, makes for some simple and satisfying holiday gift knitting. Hint hint.




hatboth bits

Although I love complexity in my garment designs, when I work out  the details of accessories I like them to be easy to knit, with simple stitch patterns. Carry-abouts, I call them! But still—I like these simpler projects to LOOK complex, and that was one of my design challenges in this beret and mitt set.




I decided to combine a couple of my favorite pattern stitches. Each is unique, and they work well together, in addition to being a pleasure to knit. The texture of the patterns is enhanced by the crisp “O-WOOL” I used for these accessory pieces.


If you do not know this little vertical panel, do take the time to try it. I discovered it years ago in one of Barbara Walker’s Treasuries and I have used it countless times. Why do I adore it?

1. So easy to knit: two pattern rows, two plain rows.

2. It employs the easy Right Twist, a favorite “on-the-needle action” of mine. I always feel rich when I am doing Right Twists: all that texture and no cable needle necessary!

3. The finished column of texture is outwardly rounded and has great depth.

If you do not know how to work a Right Twist, here is an explanation: K2tog, leave sts on needle; then insert RH needle between 2 sts just knitted tog and k first st again, then sl both sts from LH needle. Give it a try!





This is another of my favorite panels of stitches! The other pattern in the beret and mitts is a simple column of knit and purl stitches, formed of two separate elements: side ladders and a center “chevron” unit.

In a crisp yarn, this knit/purl combination has both ease and deep texture. I am also fond of this panel since I used it in a sweater I designed for my first book DESIGNING KNITWEAR, modeled by my brother Jason.

Even if you do not make my mitts and beret, do take the time to explore these lovely little patterns and apply them in your own projects!


more colors

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 reality of cooler temperatures being here to stay (for a while, anyways) really hit home on Wednesday night, when I came home to find that I had no heat, hot water, or gas (for the stove). We had electricity, and a couple of space heaters, and lots of blankets. It was a bit like an adventure; winter camping without leaving home! The plumber came back yesterday afternoon and now things are back to nornal. During 24 hours of icy apartment times, I was happy to be a knitter. Incidentally, this skill has also landed me a firm place on my partner's zombie apolcalypse team, though I will also have to learn how to shear, card, and spin, unless the zombie apocalypse lands me next to a yarn shop.


I'm focusing on two more gorgeous garments this week, Gallivant and Lempicka. These, you remember, were the two surprise, late release patterns from our most recent issue. Sometimes we just have tricks up our sleeves like that.


Speaking of sleeves, Gallivant has really lovely ones. Have you looked close?


sleeve detailfull shot


I have to tell you, I love this sweater. It's light and delicate, but the full sleeves and high neck keep it cozy. The paired buttons are sweet and a little unusual, and even though it has a pleasing asymmetrical closure, you can still wear it open if you like. The zigzag lace continues down both sides of the fronts.




I think this top is so drippingly elegant, I just want to put it with all the richest, most luxurious things. Like flocked damask, velvet, metallics, suede, maybe a little PVC? It's shiny, so I think it works.

three outfits


Lempicka has pretty sleeves too. Without the full view, they look kind of branch-like, especially in this earthy color. From the front or back, you get to see that the patterning is more art deco than arboretum.


side shotback view


I would love to see someone knit this in a vibrant solid or semisolid, one of those really bouncy round yarns that gives amazing stitch definition. So. Darn. Pretty.


You've seen it with jeans, so I styled with some more girly stuff. The overall message is this: great boots.


three more!


How will you wear Lempicka? What about Gallivant?



Rachel CoopeyToday's post is brought to you by Rachel Coopey, designer of the lovely cabled mittens from our latest issue. This entry is cross-posted from Rachel's blog, which you can find here. Rachel was one of the lovely designers we interviewed for our fifth anniversary designer spotlight series, so you can also learn more about her in that post. I was excited to see this post because I (Carly) am currently knitting myself a pair of Apple Catchers, *and* there is a recipe in the post that sounds extremely delicious. Dig in!




I've got apple trees in my garden. They are a blessing and a curse. At this time of year I have more apples (and pears, and plums) than I can cope with, as soon as you clear the fallen fruit, a new carpet has formed.


apples that have been caught

photo credit Rachel Atkinson


I designed a pair of mittens for the Autumn Twist Collective; Apple Catchers. I love working with Twist, they always, always do such an amazing job of styling and photographing the pieces in the collection and these photographs are the most beautiful anyone has ever taken of my work.


mittens and hugs


holding warm hands

There are 2 versions, a shorter version and a more dramatic elbow length pair, the cable appears on the front and the back of the mitten. The samples are knitted in Shalimar Breathless - a yarn I have been very enthusiastic about in the past and I still love it deeply, it's a dream to knit with and the colours and beautiful (You can now get it in the UK at Loop).

I called the pattern Apple Catchers. It's a reference to my favourite thing about Autumn; the abundance of fruit (I also like the colder weather which necessitates the wearing of copious amounts of knitwear). One of the great things about apples is the baking they prompt; the pies, cakes and puddings that come out of the oven after a Sunday roast. I asked Rachel Atkinson if she would whip me up an apple recipe and she very kindly obliged.


apple catcher pudding


Photo Credit Rachel Atkinson


Celebrate apple season with this delicious pudding; tangy sharp cooking apples stew in their juices underneath the fluffy Apple Catcher sponge topping making it perfect for lazy autumnal weekends curled up on the sofa with your knitting.


Apple Catcher Pudding

600g cooking apples - British Bramleys are perfect at this time of year
75g light soft brown sugar (demerara works fine too)
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
 and juice of half a lemon
100g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the dish
100g caster sugar, plus a little extra for dusting
2 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
100g self-raising flour

Set your oven to 180°C and place a shelf in the lower third of the oven. Peel, core and chop the apples into chunks then place in a lightly buttered 2 litre ovenproof dish. To the apples add the brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest and juice, mixing to coat, and set to one side.

In a separate bowl beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy.
 Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to combine followed by the vanilla extract. Sift in the self-raising flour and gently mix together to a soft consistency. Spread the cake batter over the top of the apples covering them completely.

Pop in the oven for about 40 minutes, checking after 30 minutes to see how it’s getting on.

Insert a cake tester into the centre to check the apples are cooked; they should retain a little bit of bite but not be too crunchy, and the sponge topping will have bloomed upwards. Sadly it’s likely to collapse on cooling, so quickly sprinkle with caster sugar and eat it whilst still warm dowsed liberally with custard or cream. For a truly disgraceful indulgent treat add a dollop of clotted cream!

Yum yum!

(Apple Catchers are also giant pants, I really have to give credit to Jim for the name of this pattern, on whom I can always rely on to lower the tone - like the time I asked for name suggestions for my sock peacock...)






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.

Yes, sartorially inclined readers, this is our third consecutive double feature fashion friday. Yes, this means Winter (the issue, not the season... although... you know) is coming. I biked to work today and my fingers were awfully chilly. It's supposed to snow here this week. I have to admit that I never grew out of the wonder little kids feel about the first snowfall. I mean, sparkles literally fall from the sky; it is sort of amazing.

We're looking at two lovely garments this week. First up is Silverstone, an understated cabled henley that can be buttoned up into a cozy turtleneck.


full viewback


To me, especially in this color, this top seems like a really really pretty version of a long underwear top. Perfect for outdoor activities in the cold, or snuggling up to a fire with a cup of hot cocoa. In a saturated color (especially a jewel tone!!) it would be more like a pretty blouse. You could wear it with a knee length skirt and suede heels. Or charcoal cigarette pants, ballet flats, and a big chunky silver cuff. Or like this.




See that burgundy leather jacket?? See it? It's perfect. With Siverstone, or just about anything else.

Well maybe not with Sarannis, since that is also a jacket. A really, really cute jacket. See?




Maybe we need to go in for a little closeup. There is some seriously squishy texture going on in there.




Make it with a little extra ease and wear it over a hoodie or other sweater and jeans for when the weather is really biting, or knit it closer to your measurements and wear it like a smart little cardigan to bring your summery dresses into a few more seasons.

Don't forget to wear cute shoes.




How about you? How will you wear Sarannis and Silverstone?