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Twist Collective Blog

Designer Process: Burrard

Glenna CGlenna C's work is cables is lovely. You can see it in Burrard, from this most recent issue, and also in these darling socks. You can keep up with her on her blog. In today's entry, she tells us about how Smallville, Art Deco architecture, and Vancouverites inspired this recent design.  Enjoy!

Burrard cable detail

My design inspiration for Burrard goes back to February 2011, when I paid a late winter visit to Vancouver and spent a relaxing few days with some knitter friends. It is a really fabulous city, and has a moderate enough climate that, even if it is still cold and snowy in other parts of the country, by the end of February Vancouver is already showing patches of green grass. It's also such a wonderful place just to be in - no matter where you are in the urban core, you are not far from a glimpse of the water, trees, and mountains that surround the city, which is pretty great.

city of glass

I've heard Vancouver called the 'city of glass,' since so much of the recent architecture shows off a lot of glass windows and metal structures. However, there are also quite a few stone buildings built earlier in the 20th Century, including the Marine Building at the corner of Burrard and West Hastings.

Marine arch

It was one of my favourite buildings downtown. (And not just because it stands in as the 'Daily Planet' building on the 'Smallville' television series. Although if you're a television fan like me Vancouver is pretty neat overall, since you can find locations from Battlestar Galactica, Fringe, even 21 Jumpstreet!) The Marine building is one of the standout examples of Art Deco architecture in Canada. It's a beautiful tall structure with a lot of elegant detail so common to the early 20th Century style.



I wanted to use this somehow in a knitted piece, but in a garment that also suited the eclectic, comfort-driven style of so many Vancouverites. This had to be a sweater that would be a warm and comfortable layer, but still showcase some of the same kinds of vertical, elegant, and structured motifs from the architectural inspiration. Eventually I sat down to develop some design concepts in the spring of 2012, and the Burrard cardigan was born. I know I plan to get a Burrard for myself onto the needles this winter, with fond Vancouver memories to inspire my knitting. I hope you'll enjoy this knit as part of your winter wardrobe!

Burrard side

Twist Style Friday: North Wind

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.

I don't even like new years eve (too much pressure to have fun makes me anxious), but somehow as December ripens, the level of sparkle in my wardrobe that is acceptable to me steadily increases. Last night I met a friend for a delicious latke dinner- festive perhaps, but certainly not fancy- and I wore a dress that bears a strong resemblance to a disco ball. Styled with doc martens, opaque black tights, wool socks, and a cardigan in a bright solid color, I am pretty tempted to wear this dress in the daytime. In any other month this might seem outlandish to me, but these days I can't think of a good reason not to be metallic. It tickles me that I get to write this column, given that my personal style would score medium-high on a ridiculousness scale. Thank you, dear Twist readers, for taking me seriously, even if only for a moment.

Allow me to introduce this week's subject: North Wind.

North Wind

It's pretty easy, I think, to imagine this as a serious staple in your casual wardrobe. With leggings or jeans, it's autumn on the beach. It's on the way to yoga. It's the extra layer under your coat for those really brutal days. It's cozy and shapely and the details are gorgeous.

cable detail

I do contend that this sweater need not be confined to your casual wardrobe, however. Please feel absolutely free to take North Wind out on the town. Take her shopping. Take her to the movies. Take her to a festive gathering. Take her to grandmother's house. This right side of this set is inspired by little red riding hood (because duh) and the left side is a little more... glitzy. Call it Gossip Girl (top left), or Bowie-librarian (bottom left).

North Wind Styling

How will you wear North Wind?

Design Process: Simsbury

Tabetha HedrickI hope you all have a (orange) crush on this sweater. Simsbury is Tabetha Hedrick's second contribution to Twist Collective (her first was this dish). Today she shares her design process for this lovely sweater, her desire to swim in yarn, and her faves from the Winter issues. You can also find this post (and much more) on Tabetha's blog. Enjoy!




The Winter issue of Twist Collective made it's appearance recently and I am honored to be a part of such a beautiful collection with my piece, SIMSBURY -




Each design in the issue begs to be knit and is easily styled for the Winter wardrobe. I am particularly drawn to Fiona Ellis' Granville and Glenna C's Burrard, with their stunning use of cables and comfort. Faina Goberstein's Astra, Julia Trice's Esme, and Amy Miller's Dressage are enchanting, too! The models and photography (thanks, you guys!) are stunning throughout every page. You will not be disappointed one bit!

Simsbury came about because I wanted a sweater that would be perfect for layering, something simple yet with beautiful details that draw the eye. It had to be perfect for curling up in front of the winter fire (sipping cocoa, immersed in a page-turning book) or for showing off with cute jeans at the ice skating rink with the beau. I'm pretty sure I achieved that in this piece.


Simsbury Sketch

The design features a plunging v-neck that showcases itself really well, but would highlight layered pieces beneath. The main body and sleeves are worked in Stockinette stitch, for a faster workup, but it is the hem, cuffs, and pockets that are the real heroes - delicate, yet firm, the twisted stitch and eyelets draw the eye in.




When I swatched for Simsbury, I quickly discovered that the yarn needed a good twist to uphold the integrity of the twisted stitches, yet stand well on its own in Stockinette stitch. In addition, a subtle vintage coloring (where the color softly fades in and out) would really make the lace pop.


Lace detail


When Glory Days yarn arrived in the mail from Briar Rose Fibers, I was awed by the HUGE skeins of luxury that filled the box. 500 yards skeins of fluffy yarn nearly made me want to swim naked in it (i did not, but a girl can dream!)... The results were amazing; beautiful texture, comfort, wearability, but most important, a fun project for any level of knitter.

I truly love this Simsbury and I hope you do, too - now hop over and check the whole issue out.

Design Process: Whirlpool

Christina Harris Whirlpool is Christina Harris' first contribution to Twist Collective. We are pretty happy with it, and we hope you are too! In this post, she shares how this gorgeous garment came to be, from the first idea to the finished product. You can also find this post (and more about Christina!) on her blog.







The idea for my Whirlpool vest started almost a year ago as a collection of  vaguely related sketches in my notebook.


a sketch

another one

a sweater?



Then I charted and knit this swatch with a certain idea:


too linear



I decided I wanted something that was less linear, more interlocking, but still vaguely circular. Which led to this:




and this:


Cardigan sketch


I thought, at first, I would make a dk-weight stranded cardigan:


cardi in progress


and got this far. It has quite a thick fabric and might work well as an outdoor (or hockey-watching in cold arenas) jacket, but I began to think a smaller, lighter-weight sweater would be something I would wear most often, so it morphed into a vest.


vest sketch


When Twist released their gorgeous mood board for the Winter issue it included several images of naturally-occurring repetitive elements that reminded me of this project so I decided to try my luck and submit it. I'm so happy they liked it, too


finished versionall done!

ready to wear


in the pages of Twist

Twist Style Friday: Luggala

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.

 Yesterday I wore a handknit cardigan, scarf, hat, and fingerless gloves. I was basically covered in a layer of yarn from the waist up. I also went yarn shopping, which is a luxury that as a grad student I only allow myself when I have a specific project in mind. I have some exciting craft-swaps in the pipeline, so I got to choose some pretty new stuff today. I love starting projects. 

All this to say that I am feeling extra sweet on knitting these days. It's getting me through my classes, my commute, and keeping my hands busy while I worry about my grades, and wonder if my friends will still like me at the end of my degree even though I haven't seen most of them in months.

Getting dressed every morning is probably the most fun part of my day, which is less sad than it sounds. I just like treating each day like an elaborate game of dress-up. It's especially fun on days where I have businessy meetings, workshops with teenagers, and social plans, without any stops at home in between. Clothing puzzles!! Enough about me. Let's get to the styling, shall we? Today's garment of choice is the delightful Luggala.


Is this sweater a sass machine, or is this sweater a sass machine?? Lots of variations on this exact outfit would be amazing; black slim pants with ballet flats, or bright skinny jeans with wool socks and combat boots, or those weirdly awesome spiky kneepad leggings with killer heels (if you just clicked on that link and lost all respect you once had for my sartorial prowess, believe me that I thought those were bizarre until I saw them on an actual human, and she looked really tough and really cool). This top has a classic shape, with some modern details that could read elegant or funky depending on what you wear it with. I think you could get away with just about anything as long as you watch the silhouette- don't put anything with too much volume above the hem of the sweater- you can wear it like a dressy pullover or like a hoodie.

Here. I'll show you.

Luggala lotsa ways

How will you wear Luggala?