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Twist Collective Blog

Designer Process: Tenaya

Elizabeth Doherty

Today's post is brought to you by Elizabeth Doherty, designer of this wonderful cardigan, as well as this lovely chilly weather accessory set. She tells us about how this cardigan combines more than a few of her favorite things. Keep up with Elizabeth here.

Tenaya, front detail

I think that a classic set-in sleeve design is the most universally flattering style. This type of sweater looks great on most people because it emphasizes the lines of the wearer’s body, rather than creating style lines that run counter to the human form, as can happen with raglan shaping, for example.

But when it comes to knitting a sweater, I have a strong preference for top-down construction. I think that it is easiest to fit a sweater from the top, as you have gravity working for, rather than against you when you check the fit. I also like that the commitment level is lower in a top-down design. You begin with fewer stitches, and if the size you've chosen to make is not quite right, you'll probably know it by the time you get just a few inches knit.

Tenaya, back detail

In designing Tenaya, I’ve used classic set-in sleeve styling — but turned it on it’s head — creating a seamless top-down cardigan with a clean, tailored look that can be customized as you knit. And by first fitting the sweater to the frame of your shoulders you can see immediately where adjustments need to be made for your own shape.

The cardigan begins with two separate shoulder pieces that are shaped with simple short rows, then joined to form the upper back. The fronts are picked up from the back’s cast-on edges, providing a bit of structure for the shoulders. Once the fronts and back are worked to the underarms, they are joined and worked in one piece to the hem, with a little waist shaping along the way. The sleeves are set in seamlessly from the top, their caps shaped with short rows for a great fit.

Tenaya is intended to have a close fit through the shoulders and bust and a bit of figure-skimming ease through the waist and hips, making for a streamlined, flattering shape. Cables alternate with eyelet ribs to add interest to the design, and entertainment value for the knitter.

Tenaya close


A tip- one difference with this sort of construction is the importance of row gauge. If your gauge differs substantially from the pattern's it will affect the depth of the armholes. This can be corrected for by beginning the underarm shaping earlier or later, as your gauge dictates so, just double-check your gauge when you're a few inches in.

Tenaya, full shot

Quick Dispatch: Chickens

Kate's daughter checks out the wildlife at Roxham Farm


Spunky surveys some potential feathery friends

Twist Style Friday: Parapluie

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.

Hi there Twistfans! Thanks for joining me an another adventure down the sartorial rabbit-hole. This week, we spend a little time with one of the snuggliest, most lovely tops- the elegant tunic Parapluie.


This combo, tunic-leggings-boots, is pretty classic, and literally anyone can wear it. It tends to be a fairly casual look, but I put together a few combinations in this vein that could travel to a few different sorts of occasions. Whether you're dining with friends, attending an evening event, or sipping hot cocoa at a ski chalet, Parapluie might just be your best friend. Observe:

Leggings and Boots with Parapluie

You could also rock this top with jeans and chucks, or basic solid leggings and cowboy boots. A big belt or a chunky necklace makes sure it doesn't look like loungewear. Just because this sweater is cozy doesn't mean you can't wear it in a dressier way- especially in a solid neutral color, this shape is elegant and lends itself well to looks with long clean lines. Check it out.

Parapluie goes out on the town

A skirt that hugs your hips, a structured bag, and a little something metallic bring this top right into evening territory. With solids it gives a nice colorblocking effect, but you can also use it as an opportunity to showcase a loud pattern or a piece of statement jewelry. These looks showcase a habit of mine- turning tops into dresses! I think this sweater is really perfect to travel with in cooler temperatures, since it can be pretty and functional in so many contexts.

How would you wear your Parapluie?

Designer Process: Budapest Market Socks

Shannon Okey

Today's post comes to you from designer Shannon Okey. She tells us about the gravitational pull of the color green, and the inspiration for these lovely socks. You can keep up with Shannon on her website, here.

Green Fingers sweater

I've always been a Color Person -- but generally a wildly disorganized one. Only when my mother volunteered to come organize all my yarn onto one of my studio walls (I deliberately installed slatwall in the studio for this purpose and then never got around to it) did I see just how many shades of color I actually owned!

Shannon's Studio

Inevitably, I end up buying green. It's almost a joke -- when I was on book tour with Kim Werker in 2006, if she got to the yarn shop before me, she'd actually pull skeins of yarn out that she knew I was probably going to end up buying, and they were all green. (And all bought, for that matter, eventually leading to this sweater called Green Fingers). The color cries out to me in the shop before the actual yarn itself does most of the time.

So, when it came to designing these socks, I knew full well what colors I wanted to put together, and the first pair (the sample seen here was knit by my beloved summer intern Sarah Jo Burch) were rich and warm, just like the brick and tiles of the building in Budapest that inspired it. The Shibui sock yarn in Wasabi and Honey just sang together. I almost could feel the late summer sun on my back. One of the last times I was in Budapest (I myself interned and had an academic fellowship in Munich and Prague, so I went down to Budapest quite a lot: I even applied for grad school there) I walked past the central market hall that I'd based this pattern on and just stopped in the middle of the sidewalk. There's something about the way the light hits those old buildings at certain times of day. It's breathtaking.

Original Budapest Market socks
Photo Credit: Sarah Jo Burch

The stitch patterns and colorwork in these socks will look good in any color combination, but if you ask me, why not find colors that make you want to grab a cappuccino and a newspaper to read while you're basking in the sun? If the color makes you happy, the finished item will make you happy!

Budapest Market in the pages of Twist

Designer Process: Banach

Rachel CoopeyOur post today is brought to you by Rachel Coopey, designer of the wonderful Banach mittens, and also these super socks. She tells us about the simple pleasures of growing your own fruit, raincoats, bouncy yarn, and warm hands. You can also find it on her blog.

Autumn is upon us! We didn't really have a summer here in the UK, it was the wettest one for 100 years and it was mostly cold too so I'm quite happy to move on and leave it behind.

Autumn is my favourite time of year, there is loads of seasonal produce, fires get lit, blankets come out and knitwear gets worn in abundance.

In my garden some of the apples are ready:

Rachel's apples

I'm lucky enough to have 5 apple trees, some are cooking apples and some are eaters. The fruit is a bit smaller than usual because of the aforementioned weather but unlike the pear and plum trees, which were a complete failure this year, there are more than enough apples to go around.

Autumn also means the release of the Twist Collective Fall 2012 collection and I'm honoured to have a pattern included - Banach

Pretty patterns

They have a hemmed cuff and colourwork section followed by a twisted stitch cable pattern on the back of the hand, the palm of the hand has seed stitch detail. They are just right for the impending cold weather - the only thing worse than cold hands are cold feet!

Pretty model, pretty mittens

The photographs and styling are stunning, I've been on the look out for a yellow mac ever since I saw this one!


I used Dragonfly Fibers Djinni yarn and it was such lovely stuff to work with, the colours are beautiful and the yarn is bouncy and gave the mittens such crisp stitch definition. You can get a kit including the colours I used for the mittens shown here. I'll definitely use this yarn again, maybe for a pair of socks next time.

focus on colors

You can buy the pattern from the Twist Collective site or from Ravelry - it's great to be able to keep the pattern in your Rav library. I'd love to see any finished mittens or mittens in progress or even just theoretical colour choices in my Ravelry group.

Banach fronts and backs

All photos belong to the very talented Carrie Bostick Hoge - when I grow up I want to take pictures like her.