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Twist Collective Blog

Quick Dispatch: Jane with her helpers

Jane's nephews are missing in this photo, but all of the kids helped with handling horses, catching chickens, getting more carrots from the kitchen… all sorts of farm stuff!


Jane and her assistants

Twist Style Friday: Sympatico

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.

Happy Friday everyone! I don't know what the climate is like where you all are, but I know I have been pulling out the handknits in the last couple of weeks. My trusty cardigans are getting some serious airtime,  and so are some of my knitted accessories. Today I was wearing three knitted items- a toque, a lacy scarf, and a cardigan- all made at different times and with different yarns- and all of them were basically the same color. I tend to gravitate towards the same three or four color families for my knitting, and with the exception of hot pink, which I love in all contexts, they aren't the same colors I gravitate towards in clothing I buy ready-made. Has anyone else noticed this patten? Or a different pattern in terms of your color-love?


There she is- this week's featured garment- Sympatico. She's the exact thing you want to have on a chilly grey day, especially if you have a delicate scarf to tuck into the collar, and most especially if that scarf is in a contrasting color and peeks out just a little bit. Wonderful. Those pockets are perfect, and the wide button bands create really lovely vertical lines. It's crisp and elegant without being structured or fussy. This sweater will make you look put together, but like you didn't really have to try to look that way. Speaking of effortless (seeming) elegance; this sweater makes me think of Jackie O. You'll see that influence in the set I made. It's a little bit buttoned-up, a little bit saucy, a little bit 60's, and a whole lot of now. Check the shoes- I really went to town on those.

so many great dresses, so many great shoes

That mustard dress at the top left- that's the hue I was wearing in triplicate this morning. I don't know about you folks, but I really want a Sympatico to wear over every single one of my dresses- and I want that bespectacled frock for myself, immediately. How will you wear yours?

Twist Collective, the online matchmaker

Fiona Ellis

Today's post is brought to you by Fiona Ellis- knitter, designer, author, and teacher extraordinaire! Today she shares some moment from Knit Camp (already sounds like paradise, right?), as well as some reflections on Twist's role in creating exciting partnerships in the knitting world.

Dear knitters, I just got back from teaching at The Needle Emporium’s Knit Camp where I always have a wonderful time; great students, lots of yarn, delish meals, time to kick back and knit as well as class- time, but most importantly a whole three days of being among our people.

This year one of my fellow guest instructors was Beth Casey, owner of Lorna’s Laces. I have used Beth’s yarn for several projects in the past and this year we were both part of the three-way collaboration when we came up with Soakboxes.  But before this past weekend I have only ever met her briefly in person before. So it was wonderful to spend time getting to know her and her business philosophy. It is this kind of meeting that sparks all sorts of cool new ideas and projects….so keep your eyes open for future projects.

It got me thinking about how Twist Collective has acted as a kind of matchmaker between the wonderful yarn companies whose products are featured and I (and probably many other designers).

This spring I was traveling a lot and so when it came time to take delivery of yarn for up-coming projects my whereabouts became a factor. This was how Twist Collective set up Felicia Lo, owner of Sweet Georgia Yarns, and I on a kind of blind date in Vancouver. You can read about it here on her blog:  I was so happy to be able tell her all about Breckenridge (worked in her yarn) before the Fall issue went live. But you will have to wait until the winter issue of TC to see what came out of the yarn handed off during that meeting.

Also springing out of the relationship from working together on several projects for Twist, I was invited to teach at the Green Mountain Spinnery  Knitters in the Green Mountains weekend. This turned out to the birthplace of “The Human Cable”. Eric (one of the co- owners at GMS) and I devised a performance piece using unsuspecting victims (I mean volunteer students) to play the part of the stitches involved in a T5B cable cross. It turns out to be a great teaching tool as well as a whole lot of fun. So in my world I like to say: “What happens at camp, doesn’t always stay at camp”…but there are several photos from this past weekend that I really hope don’t surface on the Internet.

Knitters Girl Gang

Twist Collective very kindly sent gift certificates as prizes for camp here are two of the lucky winners pictured with Julie Schilthuis, owner of The Needle Emporium & myself.

PS: GMS have fellow Twist designer Amy Christoffers teaching at this year’s retreat.

Here are some more photos from Knit Camp-

View from Camp classrooms 

View from the classrooms

photo credit: Julie Schilthuis

Me teaching my “Tints, Tones & Knit Two (colours) together” class.


photo credit: Julie Schilthuis

Instructors offering encouragement to human swifts

Thurs eve’s ice breaker/get to know the participants include knit related games here Beth Casey, Josh Bennett (the 3rd guest instructor) and I encourage our teams being human swifts (against the clock)- I’m removing my team mate’s socks because they were causing too much friction.


The prize winners Carole & Wendy with Julie


Beth Casey taking a pic of me while I take one of her

Quick Dispatch: Watch Out Marnie!

Someone is growing quickly and ready to take the sweater I promised you.


Spunky's getting big

Twist Style Fridays: Sapwood

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 love me a good henley. Most of the ones in my wardrobe are really old, really soft, and "borrowed" from cute boys I know (or used to know). Maybe that's why henleys always seem a little masculine to me (even if like Sapwood, they are girl-shaped, and in a soft color, and have lovely feminine detailing) or maybe somewhere deep in my subconscious I knew that the henley shirt began as a men's rowing uniform. I think there is something sweet, and cozy, and just a little bit insouciant about tossing a boyish shirt over something really girlie. If you wanted to bring out that old-school henley edge, make yours in navy, heathered grey, or an oatmeal tone. These first outfits, in this robin's egg shade, may border on twee- but there's nothing wrong with looking unapologetically adorable once in a while.

Sapwood, girlie

This is definitely a top that plays well with others; it's a great layering piece. In the looks above, the top kind of dresses down the dresses, takes them into definite daytime territory. But I also want to show you that even though a henley always looks a tiny bit "undone", you can still wear it and look put-together. Observe:

Sapwood, fancified

This is pretty dorky, but that whole set was inspired by the movie Pleasantville- the cool greys really make the colors pop right out at you. I think Sapwood would be right at home in a prim 50's inspired outfit, over your gym clothes in yoga class, with a sweet frock, or over your most worn-in jeans. How would you wear your Sapwood?