Twist Collective Blog
Design Process: Cottage Garden
Published on Wednesday, 04 November 2009 09:20
by Cheryl Burke
graciously cross-posted with her blog, Yarnbee
Last fall I moved into a cottage on a historic turkey farm in western Massachusetts. The cottage is a Sears kit house from 1919 that was delivered on the local train. For the gardener in me, it was love at first sight as I saw the rambling flowerbeds and beautiful wisteria vine trailing up the side of the cottage. Other bonuses included a beautiful kitchen garden and the resident pet pig next door named Pinky.
At the same time I was exploring the work of a group of New England artists from the 1950s called the Folly Cove Designers. Led by Virginia Lee Burton (who wrote and illustrated many children’s books including Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel) this group made incredible designs that were hand-block-printed on fabric. Here's the wikipedia entry on their history.
I was drawn to the fact that many of their designs described daily life in New England. It got me thinking about a vintage-inspired colorwork sweater that would speak to my story of falling in love with a little cottage garden. I started sketching a yoke design that was bursting with joyful flowers.
Cottage Garden was originally submitted to the Summer issue and I was thrilled when Kate asked if we could add longer sleeves and move the design to the Fall issue.
I had a lot of fun exploring color options for Cottage Garden but settled on one of my favorite combinations: teal and chartreuse (swatch knit in Reynolds Whiskey)
The best part has been seeing how other knitters have made Cottage Garden their own. Look at these beautiful versions!
Kelly's Cottage Garden:
Momo's Cottage Garden:
Tanya's Cottage Garden:
What stories can your knitting tell?
Many thanks to Kelly, Momo and Tanya for the photos.
Design Process: Audrey in Unst
Published on Sunday, 01 November 2009 19:07
by Gudrun Johnson
Audrey In Unst had been percolating in my mind for a wee while before I submitted it to Twist. After seeing that one of the themes would be vintage inspired I figured this would be a nice fit.
I was definitely going for the fitted, slightly cropped look of an Audrey Hepburn era cardigan, hence the naming of the design.
I wanted a very simple bib of lace and swatched with a lace of Shetland origin, from the island of Unst. I didn’t want an ornate looking lace, so I went with this particular one as it is easy to work and has an almost crochet look to it.
(Original swatch done in Classic Elite’s Soft Linen yarn).
The swatch I submitted to Twist only showed one half of the bib and it didn’t quite enter my mind at that point that the other side would need to mirror the same slant that this particular lace pattern creates. Kate checked in to make sure this would be achievable, I swatched some more and made the necessary alterations to the lace pattern, and breathed a sigh of relief when it worked!
I chose to work this seamlessly from the bottom up in order that the lace be viewed from the correct orientation, otherwise it could have been worked top down. I felt that Audrey also needed some deep ribbing at the sleeves and cuffs and decided a twisted rib would give nice stitch definition in an otherwise mostly stockinette background.
This was my first seamless set-in sleeve design, having done raglans and round yokes before. It was very satisfying watching that sleeve cap grow out of the short rows and create its lovely neat turning-points around the armhole. I’m now a huge fan of this method!
As is always the case when a new design comes out, it is witnessing the interpretations of other knitters that is the most rewarding part. There are lots of beautiful finished Audreys out there showing off the cardigan’s wonderful versatility.
Here is a small selection from around the globe……Scotland, France and California!
Maybe I’ll even see a windswept Audrey in Shetland one day! Thanks to Hilary, Mel, Sarah, and Inga for letting me use their photos.
Twist Out & About: Stitches
Published on Thursday, 29 October 2009 08:56
Hard on the heels of Rhinebeck, I found myself able to go with friends to Stitches East, the biggest retail show in the business right in my own backyard (practically) in Hartford, CT. Once there, I quickly happened across Stephanie of Handknit Heroes and Allison of The Knit Princess sharing a booth.
I purchased a kit for a superhero mask from Stephanie, hoping that I might have enough time to get this knit by Hallowe'en. I mean Hallowe'en, 2010. You can get one too on her website.
The rest of my Friday in the big market was spent reeling from one fantastic booth to the next, admiring the goods of local (WEBS) and not-so-local retailers (Modern Yarn), yarn manufacturers (Kollage), indie dyers (Ivy Brambles), and handmade yarns by the spinners of
Indie Spun, all while renewing my acquisitive interest in things like a complete set of dpns from
Signature Needle Arts, a Boye electic ball winder from Yarn Bazaar (helloooo Santa),
and actually buying two of these goodies for knitters on my own Christmas list, Knit-out boxes from Lantern Moon that I had originally seen at TNNA.
I also got to knit on
The Big Sock. I look a little demented in this photo, but it is an action shot, after all. I mean, that knitter is moooving.
Seen and Noted: Got Knitting?
Published on Monday, 26 October 2009 08:56
Have you knitters out there seen this yet? It's Quebec's answer to the Got Milk? campaign, complete with knitting grandmother and a cursor smashing knitting game.
Click on the different icons to the lower left to zoom in on the room to see such things as a knitted wall art, rolling balls of yarn, and my personal favorite, the knit telephone cozy, complete with curly i-cord.
It's interesting to know that someone with creative power somewhere still thinks of knitting exclusively as the province of slightly daft grandmothers who knit superhero outfits for themselves (however fun the idea of knit superhero outfits might be. See the cape and mask on the mannequin? Do I have time before Hallowe'en to duplicate that? Maybe it's because I'm more of a daft grandmother than I would care to admit). Watch the tv commercials on the French version of the site to see Grandma in her superhero outfit, complete with tricked out Vespa.
Design Process: Urbanite
Published on Thursday, 22 October 2009 15:39
by Cher Underwood Fosberg, originally posted to her blog, The Amazing Adventures of Tom and Bel
My dad is the world's biggest clotheshorse. Seriously: the man must look good at all times.
His basement is like a one guy department store. It's completely amazing.
When we lived in the same city, we were shopping buddies. We often joked that if we had a family motto, it would be "Never pay retail."
Unsurprisingly, with a fellow like Dad for inspiration, the design had to handsome, practical and not too costly to knit. So as I noodled around with a lovely fluffy yarn, Harrisville Yarns Orchid (with Cashmere), for a ladies' pullover
it occurred to me that this might be a good man's sweater as well. Having borrowed many of my dad's (and these days, my husband's) sweaters over the years, I figured I had a pretty good grasp on what makes a good one: a long, lean look, attractive details like saddle shoulders and interesting-to-knit cables that are still understated, and a quiet color that didn't scream "look at me." Luckily for me, Twist's editors agreed.
After conferring with Kate, we decided to make the sweater a crew neck rather than the turtle I'd originally conceived (my husband and pop are both rather warm-blooded, so this made sense to me), and she selected the Soft Brown color in delicious Valley Yarns Amherst. I'd never knitted with this yarn before, but it is lovely. Soft and smooshy (yes, that's a technical term), easy on the hands, yet it shows off complex stitchwork beautifully. I am a big fan of yarns you can knit by touch, and Amherst delivers on that score. It's reasonably priced, too, which rocks my socks.
I can't wait for Urbanite to come back home just so I can wrap myself up in it. Though I may have to fight off the husband -- I think he's got his eye on this one, too.