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Twist Collective Blog

Style Notebook: Timpani, Reader Edition

Julia here.

A few weeks back, I posted one of my Polyvore collages for Connie Chang Chinchio's Timpani cardigan. Because of the length of the skirts I used, a few readers were concerned that I had forgotten that not everyone wants to show so much leg. I do my best to be sensitive to the range of people's comfort zones when it comes to clothes. When I choose things to put together on Polyvore, I try to avoid spending over a million bucks for an outfit, and I am usually pretty successful in collecting things that friends of mine would allow themselves to be seen wearing.  Sometimes skirts that match the sweaters are shorter than I would like, or the heels on the shoes are too tall, but a Polyvore collage is purely fantasy, and not at all something I consider as "the rules." 

However, the post inspired a number of readers to suggest "friendlier" sartorial choices for Timpani, and I want to (gleefully) share them with you here. 

April submitted this board (I'm digging the beaded sandals and the beach-casual vibe):

Kathy sent me this idea for Timpani, suitable for fancy work or a dinner date:


Becky had a dressier occasion in mind for her Timpani fantasy:

There's a few more Polyvore things in store, thanks to the creativity of readers like you. Stay tuned, and go knit something. xo

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.