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Twist Collective Blog

A Knitter's Guide to Polyvore


by Marnie MacLean, from a series of original posts in the Ravelry Twist Collective forum.

If you read the Twist Collective Blog regularly, you've seen the Style Notebook posts where Julia uses a site called Polyvore to suggest styling options for the many beautiful patterns Twist offers. I've gotten sucked into the fun and will be offering posts on my blog ways you might work some of my designs into your own wardrobe (if you happen to share my weird sense of style). I absolutely love the way Julia and Kate style my pieces for the magazine, but I also think it's really fun to see pieces in another context. Here's how I play with Polyvore, and now you can too. I’ll say that I found Polyvore a little hard to use at first, a little unintuitive, but once you get it, it’s fun.

For the graphics I used (and you can yank anything I’ve used, from my sets and re-use them if you like), I used photoshop to clear out the backgrounds and then I saved them to the web using a program called Skitch. I don’t know what to suggest if you use a PC, but, as mentioned, Flickr is no good. You can just grab photos from Twist, but Polyvore does a subpar job of clearing out the background, IMHO.
Probably the easiest way to get started, once you’ve made your account, is to go into someone else’s set and look at the individual items listed down the side. Click on the one you want to use and click “Be The first…”

Step 1:


Step 2:


Step 3:


Step 4:


For people who want to know how to clip a new image to polyvore, here’s a very simple walk-through.

Step A:

Go to the bottom of any Polyvore page and choose “Clipper.” Drag the “Clip to Polyvore” text to your toolbar simply using your mouse to do so.


Step B:

Navigate to an image you want to clip. You cannot clip anything from Flickr. You can use items you’ve personally loaded into Ravelry or your blog. Click the Polyvore bookmark and a box will appear


Step C:

Click on an image you want to clip. Note that in Ravelry, the thumbnail will pop up into a larger image and you will have to click that so it’s 2 clicks in Ravelry, 1 click in most other places.


Step D:

Click as many images as you like and add names and tags.


Step E:

Go back to Polyvore and admire your handywork!


Proceed with abandon!

To see the outfits that Marnie has imagined for her own Twist designs, visit her blog.  To see reader-submitted polyvore ideas, stay tuned here to the blog.

Design Process: Courting Sophia

Today's post is written by Kat Coyle and is cross posted from her own blog which you can find here. This is Kat's third design for Twist Collective. She also designed Petal and Ardent.


The new Twist Collective came out last week, and it’s filled with beautiful knitting patterns. I’m so, so, so, pleased to be a part of it. My shawl pattern Courting Sophia is one of a few gorgeous lace shawl and scarf patterns. It’s great to have a nice variety of lace patterns to choose from. My piece was inspired by hand woven lace shawls from Mexico, fairy tales and the art knitting of Mary Walker Phillips .

Photo Credit: Caroline Bergeron


The photo above is from Twist Collective. Photo copyright Caroline Bergeron.
I like the dramatic swirl of fabric and the dance like movement, dashing off to the spring fiesta.
Ravelry link for Courting Sophia.

As I recall the theme mentioned with the submission page had something to do with parties. In my imagination I pictured a landscape with wispy trees, lacy fences, and strings of lights. I tried to convey the landscape of romance at a summer party.
The folk art painting above is from a plate hanging in my mother’s house. I like to knit with her and I know that images like this plate influence my design work.

Shawl and skirt image from Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress, a book of Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe beautifully photographed and catalogued for the world to admire.

The lovely, golden yarn, Laci from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, in 24-karat color way, no less, adds to the effect of a deep summer glow

After the issue came out, I got excited to knit another Courting Sophia. Lately, I’ve become obsessed with red.

After knitting a few rows, I thought it would be great fun to add more colors! In my mind, the mohair stripes with pink and white triangles represent the smoggy, horizon with mountains landscape of Los Angeles.
If you decide to include intarsia details, make sure you work with bobbins. At first, I tried it with the yarns hanging loose. What a mess! Imagine thirty different lace weight yarns tangled up. Once, I got organized with bobbins, everything got a lot simpler.

Here is my palette. A wide assortment of wool, mohair and alpaca yarns, with one mystery glitzy thread. Metallics used sparingly are like flashes of light.
ravelry link for the red Courting Sophia and yellow Courting Sophia.

More inspiration from Frida Kahlo’s closet.

Twist Tidbits

Julia here. Since I'm in a sharing mood, I thought I'd tell you about some of the little things I've seen around the knitting world lately that have made me smile.  If you follow our Twitter feed, you may recognize a few of them, with my apologies.

1) A few weeks ago when I went to the Hub Mills Store to fondle the new Classic Elite Yarns, like the Verde Collection Chesapeake with which we had Tonia Barry knit her gorgeous Goose Rocks (I love the green colorway, especially). I also fell in love with these little zippered "yarn cases" from a new-to-me source, Walker Bags (scroll down the page for the yarn case).  The mesh is a little bit rigid and smooth and stands up like a charm, and all the inside seams are finished with tape. I bought a pink one for sock knitting, but I currently have it assigned to a baby sweater I'm making for my nephew.


2) The kick-ass-cool and competent Astrid from the Dreamworks animated movie How to Train Your Dragon wears a jersey I am almost certain is made from nalbinding.  I want to congratulate whoever it was in the Dreamworks studio who figured that one out.  I wonder if they are a knitter (or a nalbinder). (Image of Astrid and voice talent America Ferrera borrowed from IMDB).


3) Something else I saw recently in my local yarn store rounds were these beautiful (shawl) pins made by Bonnie Bishoff. These are engineered really well so that they actually stay "hooked", and the clever little ring that ensures such security doubles as a place to hang your reading glasses.  You know, if you need such a thing. Contact Yarns in the Farms if you're enchanted by them the way I was.


4) Next week we have a few more Designers sharing their design processes with us, and a few reader-submitted Style Notebook ideas for some of the sweaters from the most recent issue. Have a great weekend.

Design Process: Sweetgrass

Sarah Fama offers us this look at her first Twist Collective design, Sweetgrass. This entry is cross posted from her blog.


I have a new sock pattern out -- Sweetgrass, featured in the current issue of Twist Collective. (I may or may not have hyperventilated and done a totally dorky happy dance when I first found out the pattern was accepted. Twist rocks.)

The design started out with a stitch in a Japanese stitch dictionary. It was one of those "oh, that's cute, but what if I tinkered with it a bit, like this?" moments. I'm a sucker for stitch patterns with movement in them, and I loved how the ribbing seems to sway back and forth. This kind of stitch seems to play nice with both solid and variegated yarns. Here's a photo of the sample I used for the Twist submission -- it's in Malabrigo Sock in "Impressionist Sky." Since Twist does e-mail submissions, I was able to keep the sample and finish knitting the pair for myself. I've worn them a lot.

I loved knitting the first pair so much, I cast on for a second pair using Wollmeise sock yarn, in the Indisch Rot colorway. It's a really hard color to photograph!

So I've knit two and a half pairs, counting the Twist sample, and I'm still not tired of the pattern. I think that's a good sign.

More New Books for Spring

In the recent trend of knitting books that promise to be the last word on whatever you please in the ways of working with yarn, a few actually make good on their promise to the knitter's pursuit of excellence.

Lily Chin is one of those yeoman knitting and crochet teachers who knows enough about just about anything related to making stitches with hooks or needles to be able to write a decent book on it, and to give even traditional techniques her trademark witty and modern flair in the bargain. To take a class from Ms Chin is to be charmed by her, and to leaf through one her books is no less enchanting.


Embedded in the title of Power Cables: the Ultimate Guide to Knitting Inventive Cables are all the clues you need to know that here is a book that will both coddle the new cable knitter and intrigue even the experienced Aran accumulator. Here are cables expected and surprising, simple and "phony", rendered in brioche or intarsia, with suitable applications for every new idea guaranteed to open your switch stitching horizons. The Staghorn Cabled Coat is an inspiring application of a reversible (and beautiful) cable, and the Honeycomb V-Neck Pullover from the cover is a fresh take on the Aran sensibility. The stoles and scarves are remarkable for their wearability and the quality of enjoyment they promise to the knitter. Not everything included is indispensable, but who knows when you might require a resource for intarsia cables?


In the age of the internet, knitters seeking wider adventures in technique face the vexing barrier of language.  Some of the best teachers hail from other linguistic climes, and few knitters have the heart or patience for the inadequacies of knitting glossaries. I would be the first person to sign up for a class in Finnish or German for knitters, but who will host such a seminar? (I appeal to you.)
Happily, and in the meantime, the publishing world has recognized the value of the work of German designer (and frequent Twist Collective contributor) Stephanie van der Linden, whose several books published abroad are finally becoming available in English, like this one which she shares with her frequent co-author, Ewa Jostes,The Sock Knitter's Workshop, Everything Knitters Need to Knit Socks Beautifully. Want a sock to fit your pointy foot, a toe-up heel that won't wear out by tomorrow, a pretty cast off for said toe-up sock, or simply something different but not too crazy to add to your sock repertoire? Need a great all-around (dare I say it?) sock knitting bible? Here is your answer.


Adrienne Martini's terrific new memoir, Sweater Quest, My Year of Knitting Dangerously is exactly the sort of book I have become suspicious of lately, and I cracked it open not expecting to give it more than the obligatory glance.  I am a wee bit fatigued by knitting-circle-as-support-group titles that seek to cash in on knitter's supposed susceptibility to buy anything that casts a pop-cultural eye in our direction.  If I actually enjoyed such offerings, I would probably be more charitable in general, but while I have been known to buy a movie ticket just to see if the sweaters in Dan in Real Life were any good (meh, and not even handknit), two hours of my life I begrudge no one if I can knock out 40 rows on a sock in the dark.  But a book is a possible threat to knitting time itself (don't preach to me your tales of Audible, I've tried it with varied satisfaction), so a book must be good.

And similar to this particular train of thought, I looked up from my "obligatory glance" about 30 minutes later and found that I had indeed been enjoying myself.  Tremendously. And I haven't put it down since. Check out the excerpt on the Simon Schuster page linked above, but delve if you will into chapter 2 or 3 to find the beginning of the most compelling subject matters, to say nothing of the truly delicious stuff  further along.  Any knitter who has faced down a daunting project will understand and possibly laugh out loud, and any who has not will be inspired to find their own Mount Everest.