Please fill out the information below to subscribe to our newsletter.
First Name
Last Name
Email Address*

Twist Collective Blog

Designer Process: Fortune Bay

Merecedes Tarasovich-Clark

Today's post is brought to you by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark, designer of the lovely Fortune Bay, a modern take on the striped sailor sweater. She also brought us this lovely wrap. This entry is cross-posted from her blog.

Fortune Bay

It’s been like a ghost town around here. The universe has spent the last few months throwing a series of curveballs my way, and a lot of it would make for some pretty rich writing material, just not for a knitting blog. Maybe more on that later. In between bits of chaos, I have been working on a few design projects that were really fun.

My new pattern, Fortune Bay, is out in the newest Twist Collective. I am SO happy to finally be able to share this design! I love stripes. Madly. And Fortune Bay takes the idea of a classic sailor striped pullover and turns it on its side. Pretty much literally.

Side Detail

Shoulder Detail

Back Detail

The 2-row horizontal stripes begin at the shoulder, with a seamless, top-down set-in sleeve construction that ensures a matching pattern along the front, sleeves, and back. Once the stripes reach the torso, a series of short rows alter the stripes to create a diagonal slant from underarm to hem. While knitting several striped swatches, I had an “Ah-ha!” moment thinking about short rows that led to the idea for Fortune Bay.

Fortune Bay Swatch

The original swatch and sketch show the origin of the pattern, which came to life in a gorgeous neutral palette of alpaca blend yarn for the final garment.

Fortune bay sketch

I love thinking about all the possibilities for color pairings for this pullover. Aqua and grey? Black and white? Red and ecru? Mustard and navy? Which colors would you choose for this timeless wardrobe staple?

Twist Style Fridays: Andover

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.

It's almost the weekend, knitters! Which means lots of nice things, including another installment of Style Friday. This week, I took a look at Andover, Jean Chung's lovely cushy cardigan. There is a lot to love about this sweater. It has a lovely squishy texture, it has adorable elbow patches, and the pockets are handy and sweet. The oversize buttons steer it right out of twee territory.


My first set with this beauty is somwhere between casual and business-casual. A polished bag and a luxe top keeps things a little dressy (the one in the middle is sequined!), and menswear inspired shoes bring out the blazerish-ness of the sweater.

Andover with Pants

The next set is planted more firmly in the office, and is really just a pictoral love letter to tweed. Tailored dresses and sensible heels make this collegiate sweater look all grown up!

Andover with Desses

How would you wear your Andover?

Designer Process: Sultana

Sandi RosnerToday's post is brought to you by Sandi Rosner, designer, tech editor, and writer extraordinaire! You can also find it on her blog. We get to learn about why hats make excellent swatches, and how ancient textiles can inspire modern knits. Enjoy!!

In case you haven't seen it yet, the Fall 2012 issue of Twist Collective is online. I'm pleased to have been included with a design for a hat and mitten set called Sultana

Sultana Set

I wanted to share a bit with you about the inspiration for this design.

Last December, my friend Carson and I saw an exhibition of Anatolian kelims at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco. These tribal weaving were amazing, packed with complex geometric and figurative motifs in a riot of colors.

The oldest example in the collection was just a fragment of a 15th century kelim in only two colors - natural and a faded tomato red (madder, maybe? Name That Dye is not a game at which I excel). I loved the interplay of positive and negative space, and the way the interlocking spear shapes were edged with little bubbles. The bold graphic seemed surprisingly modern for a textile more than 600 years old. Carson and I agreed that it begged to be reinterpreted in knitting. I pulled out my camera and snuck a picture.

Sneaky photo

Even though the photo is of such poor quality, it was a fairly simple matter to import it into Illustrator and trace the motifs. Overlay a grid, and it starts to look suspiciously like a knitting chart.


Here is my original swatch, made with some Cascade 220 I had on hand. Yes, I do tend to make hats as swatches for color patterns. Such patterns are easiest for me when knit in the round, and hats make good class samples, or can be donated to organizations like Halos of Hope if not needed. I love the contrast in these Gryffindor colors.

For the magazine, we chose a thinner yarn, Romney Ridge Farms Sport Weight. This is a great yarn for colorwork. Grown in Maine, it is a nice "sticky" wool that knits easily and blocks into a beautifully cohesive fabric. The hand dyed colors have subtle variations that give the pattern extra depth and interest.

Sultana side viewSultana top view

While you are looking at the magazine, don't miss my article about shaping in pattern. Many knitters struggle with maintaining lace and cable patterns while shaping armholes and necklines. The article takes you step by step through the process.

Old textiles are a great source of inspiration, particularly for colorwork. The landscape that surrounds us can also serve as the spark for great ideas.

Twist Style Fridays: Crosstrail

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 blogfans!

This week (in Toronto, at least) has been hot to the point of obscenity, but this has not deterred me one bit from dreaming about autumn. Dressing for fall is my absolute favourite. Layering is the best, because what's even more fun than wearing some clothes you like-- is wearing even more clothes you like! Last week you heard a bit about my affection for fall colours (mustard is the best, wine is also excellent, rusty browns are great too); this week, let's turn our attention to textures and fabrics, shall we? The most exciting one is knits, clearly, but fall is also the time for velvet, suede, leather, corduroy, tweed, and denim.

Without any additional clothing, this sweater already screams fall. The yarn has a tweedy quailty, the colours are warm and earthy, and the shape is easy, cozy, and feminine. Crosstrail, you're a beaut. I would wear this with pretty much nothing else, on chilly weekday mornings while I make coffee, listen to the radio, and have peach crumble for breakfast before heading out to start my day.


Since the silouhette of the top is slouchy, I think keeping the rest of the outfit sleek is a nice counterpoint. I stuck with fitted pants for this first set and my only real regret is that you can't have a tactile experience of these clothes through a computer screen, because the pants on the right are suede, and the pants on the left are velvet. Plus the blue purse in the middle is Georgia O'Killing me with adorable.

Crosstrail with skinny pants

Maybe you could tell that boots are another thing I love about fall. I was also curious to see how this sweater would look over dresses, and what seemed to be true was that it can work is the skirt is fairly fitted. I think it could also work over a gauzy maxi skirt, especially if you have long wavy hair and freckles.

Crosstrail with dresses

How would you wear your Crosstrail?

Quick Dispatch: What we're doing today

Outfit construction site