Twist Collective Blog
Design Process: Pisara and Pyörre
We are delighted to feature two designs from Mari Muinonen in the spring issue, a pair of sweaters that demonstrate how special her design sense is, and how little details like her colour choices and an original take on the cable can make a simple tunic a unique and powerful piece of clothing. Mari shared her thoughts about the sweaters on her blog shortly after publication, and I am delighted to pass them along here.
Pyörre (Finnish for swirl) is a men's hoodie. Well, it can be made in sizes starting at 35" chest, so it's a boys' hoodie also. I thought of cool summer nights and still wet hair, just throwing the hoodie on and going on until morning. The yarn is Valley Yarns Williamstown from Webs, and a new yarn for me. I love it and love the texture. Those are my dad's logs in the photo on the left. I am often inspired by them, I guess.
Pisara (Finnish for a drop) is a women's simple tunic-length pullover with interest on the sleeves and cable-details. I like the model in the magazine photos very much. She is very feminine-shaped and Pisara looks good on her. The pattern includes 10 sizes, which was a lot of math for me :) but I want to give this many sizes as possible. The swirl cable on the upper back was a challenge for me to design.
I fell in love with the yarn [ShibuiKnits Merino Alpaca], and thought about putting in every possible detail and cable, but then I decided that simple was the best way to feel and show the yarn. Still, I wonder if I could do something more with it?
But new stitches, new day.
Need a Knit Tattoo Idea?
I know a lot of knitters with knit and spin themed tattoos, but this one is the first I've seen with a practical application.
This is Sophie, who I met at Yarns in the Farms in Beverly Farms, MA, and who has her gauge tattoo featured on YitF's shop blog. It's six inches worth of 1/4 inch marks, which she must find to be very useful while knitting on the subway.
If you're thinking about getting a knitting tattoo, you can also check out the collection that Terry has curated for her brilliant blog, sknitter, and the associated cultural reportage. Considering the possibilities is half the fun.
Design Process: Colours for Luke's Diced Vest
One of the things that drives me as a knitter is colour, so I am drawn to Mary Jane Mucklestone's work in general, but (this week) Luke's Diced Vest in particular. Three harmonious patterns of different scale compliment the proportions of the body, and turn a traditional garment into something modern and compelling. It's both masculine and beautiful, which is a rare fusion in a man's sweater.
Meanwhile, the potential for play in fair isle is impossible to fathom, and I would be paralyzed by the choices. I asked Mary Jane to share the swatches she made as she settled on her masterful final combination. How she ever managed to make the final decision is beyond me, because all of her color choices are so delicious, and the yarn from Sunday Knits impossible to put down (don't take just my word about Sunday Knits: read Clara's Parkes sensuous evaluation of the yarn used in Luke's Vest in Knitter's Review).
Colors used according to the pattern chart follow the swatches, with the brighter background colors listed in the left column, and the darker foreground colors in the right.
Luke A: this pattern is slightly larger than the final version
From the center bit above 2 rows of Espresso, the rows on the actual pattern chart would roughly be:
rnd 14: curry chestnut
rnd 13: curry chestnut
rnd 12: pumpkin raisin
rnd 11: pumpkin raisin
rnd 10: tomato espresso
rnd 9: tomato espresso
rnd 8: melon/berry iris/pickle ( either or!)
rnd 14: pumpkin earth
rnd 13: pumpkin earth
rnd 12: curry chestnut/sea
rnd 11: curry chestnut/sea
rnd 10: wheat raisin
rnd 9: wheat espresso
rnd 8: pickle/bone iris
rnd 8: sage espresso
rnd 7: twig raisin
rnd 6: twig raisin
rnd 5: stone chestnut
rnd 4: stone chestnut
rnd 3: bone earth
rnd 2: bone earth
rnd 1: cloud pumpkin/pickle
• there is a little more variation at the top of this one, which includes iris.
This swatch tries a little bit of everything used thus far, plus plum and fir.
Luke E: The launching point for Luke B veering towards the super standard at top which includes beet at the center
Luke F is closest to the final version. Tempted? Check out the lovely guy wearing Mary Jane's beautiful garment, and click on the shop page for more details.
The issue is up, and we're all ready for spring knitting at my house. I adore this issue because this has been an especially long and cold winter here in New England (stop laughing, you Canadians), and I find the colours and the garments in Twist Collective's spring issue so lively, so girly and optimistic, I can't help but trust that the season will follow suit. Cue the leaves! Bring on the flowers. Cast on with Bamboo Silk. I'm ready.
Another little surprise we have for you is in the shop. It's this.
It's 12 x 16½ x 7"/30.5 x 42 x 8 cm, with 20" handles, made of natural canvas, and printed with a fun graphic by Marianne Dubuc, who illustrated the Sock-a-Doodle-Doo story in the spring issue. I love the clean black and white of the drawing, but honestly, I can't wait to get out my fabric pens and color in the ladybugs.
It's a pre-order only, so if you want want want one, order it soon. $18, shipping included to continental US.
The Sock-Knitting World Traveller, Armchair Contingent
This one is for you. You know who you are: you're the sock knitter who googles "Holz and Stein needles" and thinks nothing of buying knitting books from Finland and Japan, even though you don't speak the language. And maybe you even knit some of those projects, muddling through, getting help in the far flung groups and forums you joined for just that purpose. This one is for you, because it's about a book that you can only buy (for now) in Germany.
Socken aus aller Welt (socks from around the world) by Stephanie van der Linden. That's the German Amazon link. Remember it's here because you might need it later.
We've been lucky to represent some of Stephanie's patterns here on Twist Collective, and many of you may also be familiar with Stephanie's mastery of sock design from her yahoo group, the Socken Kreativ Liste. In Germany, she has written a number of knitting books for children and sock knitters. Socken aus aller Welt is her most recent effort, and the one most worth collecting for your book shelf.
It is beautifully shot and laid out, with photographs that show the socks and their details clearly, and with a liberal sprinkling of thematic vistas like Irish pubs, fields of lavendar, and Austrian mountaintops to accompany their relevant sock patterns, like postcards for the armchair traveller. The offerings are marvellous in diversity, with elegantly executed patterns derived from such reliable influences as English Ganseys, Turkish Kilims, and Estonian mittens, to original inspirations from Italian high fashion and Japanese textiles.
These are not beginners' sock patterns, as they employ some techniques like lace, stranding, and travelling stitches that more accomplished or merely determined knitters will be comfortable tackling in a foreign language. But the technique guide and stitch journals are so well illustrated that language may not be an issue when experimenting with two handed jaquards, unusual twisted stitches, or incorporating beads into your knitting. For others, the photos of the socks themselves will serve as enough justification for adding this book to their knitting shelf, because they are a promise of what might be possible, given time, and a good German dictionary.
The book is printed on heavy creamy paper, and it smells good too, like new Corinthian leather. Why is it that only foreign books get this kind of printer's respect?
€14.90 is about $19 US, but with standard shipping from Amazon to North America, it will run you more like $35. But before you dismiss that as extravagant, you should know that it has these socks too:
I was saving those for last. I know! huh? As for the language barrier, there are a few on-line resources for translating such things. Some German knitting terms and abbreviations can be worked out at Granny's Garret, here, and here. Click around that site and you may find enough to supplement your usual Babelfish stumblings to knit a few pair.
I only tell you this because I know you would want to know.