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Twist Collective Blog

Props from Vogue Knitting

The new issue of Vogue Knitting is on the newsstands, and lo, there we are in boldface on page 20 in the "Made in Canada" column by Lee Ann Balazuc, represented by a photograph of Angela Hahn's beautiful Primrose Path sweater.  We are delighted to be recognized by the big guys, so thanks to Lee Ann and the VK folks for the nod.

 

 

 

New Hampshire Sheep and Wool: May 9th

Julia (yours truly) will be wandering the grounds at the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival on Saturday, May 9th.  It's my birthday, so I'll be handing out potlatch: Twist Collective buttons.  Tap me on the shoulder or hail me from across the sheep dog trials field, and grab a button from me for your knit bag.  See you then.

Design Process: Primrose Path

by Angela Hahn
 
When designing a knitwear pattern, I often start with a stitch I really like, but in the case of Primrose Path, I first had the idea of creating a sleeveless tank, worked in the round, with a lace band winding diagonally around the body from the hem up. With this in mind, I searched through stitch dictionaries until I found a few different lace patterns I thought might work -- patterns in which the lace repeat had some sort of diagonal element.  
 
swatches for primrose path
 
 
I ended up using a stitch pattern from a Japanese book, #138 from Knitting Patterns 300. The angle of the diagonal seemed right-- it wasn't too steep nor too flat (I was trying to get the lace band to start somewhere on the front, curve around one side, across the upper back, and end on the top of the shoulder).  I also realized that this pattern flowed perfectly into a k2, p3 rib, and I thought that using this rib for the body of the tank would be a great way to give it some shaping without using decreases and increases. After making a fairly large swatch, I wondered if the band might be too suggestive of a beauty contestant sash-- not good! So I added a few scattered lace flowers to soften the edges of the band.  Finally, a wide U neck seemed a good choice-- I thought the lines of a V-neck might compete with the diagonal line of the lace band.
 
sketch
 
 
I have to be honest: the idea of adding optional sleeves came from Kate!  Once we decided to do sleeves, it was time to fine-tune the placement of the lace band for all sizes, and to decide how to echo the lace band on the sleeves. Spiraling it up the sleeves didn't work because the sleeves are too narrow-- the band would have crossed the entire sleeve width well before reaching the top of the sleeve.  Instead I decided to make the lace band on the sleeves into an upside down "V" which could be adapted for all sizes fairly easily.  
 
 
 
Calculating the band placement on the body for all sizes was trickier; I didn't want the band to fall across the armhole edge, but continue unbroken to the shoulder. I realized that to do this, the band would need to start closer to the side seam in the larger sizes; unfortunately this means that as the sizes get larger, less of the lace accent is visible on the front of the sweater, but I think in all sizes, the lace really accents the back of the sweater nicely. I also decided that some knitters might prefer the clean look of the lace band without extra lace flowers, so I wrote that option into the pattern.
 
Finally, in keeping with the inherent asymmetry of the stitch pattern in this sweater, for the sample I decided to work the left sleeve with the optional scattered lace flowers, and the right sleeve without (with lace band only). I'm very happy with the overall effect, and with the fact that there are several options included in this pattern: with or without sleeves, with or without extra lace flowers on the body, and with or without extra lace flowers on one or both sleeves.
 
 
 
(The low camera angle in photos is due to the short stature of the 5-year-old photographer, not an artistic decision!)
 
Want to know more about Angela's design?  Read her blog post about Primrose Path here

More from Critter Comforts

Eloise Narrigan's Critter Comfort illustrations for Twist Collective's winter issue inspired a small frenzy when she opened an Etsy shop before Christmas, and she quickly sold out of the limited print run.

 critter bunny

 

A little time has gone by, and Eloise recently restocked her shop with fresh prints of her snuggly sweet bunnies, blue jays, and friends, and has added some other things we love too.

 

 

spinning magic
 

 

She ships quickly and carefully, and ever one of them is sure to brighten your kitchen or studio space. Tell her we sent you.

 

Eloise Draws on Etsy

 

What's a Poffertje?

As you might know by now, so baffled by the strange name of Megan Roger's blanket pattern that you went scrambling for the google button, Poffertjes are traditional Dutch cakes, a bit similar in texture to American pancakes. Cooked in a special cast-iron pan with several small shallow indentations in the bottom, poffertjes are usually served as an afternoon snack, not as a breakfast food, and often served with icing sugar.  Megan likes hers with strawberries and whipped cream too.
 
poffertjes and strawberries 
 
If you so inclined to try them (I know I am) here's a recipe adapted for us non-American cooks from one I found on RecipeZaar (that's the link to the original metric version).
 
Ingredients

1 cup flour
3 tbsp butter 
1 and 1/2 cups milk
2 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
A Poffertjes pan is helpful but not necessary: a large cast iron skillet will work too.

Directions
 
Heat the milk until lukewarm.
Mix the salt with the flour and make a well in the middle.
Mix the yeast with a little lukewarm milk and pour this into the well, together with 2/3 of the rest of the milk.
Stir to a thick, smooth batter. Add the rest of the lukewarm milk (keep stirring!).
Cover the batter with a dampened cloth and leave in a warm place for 1 hour.
Grease the pan with butter.  If you have a special poffertjes pan, fill each of the ‘wells’ of the pan with some of the batter.
With a regular skillet, drop 2" diameter dollops.  Fry until golden brown on both sides, turning before completely set on the first side. Adjust heat accordingly.
Serve the poffertjes hot with butter and confectioner' sugar, whipped cream and strawberries, or maple sugar.
 

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