Receive HTML?

Twist Collective Blog

Design Process: Hallett’s Ledge


Elinor Brown's first pattern for Twist Collective is Hallett's Ledge, a beautiful cabled and ribbed cardigan in a universally flattering shape. This cross-post from her own blog, gives us a little peek at her inspiration and the construction of the garment.

To see more information about Hallett's Ledge, see the shop page. And if you are planning to knit Hallett's Ledge, be sure to join the KAL on Ravelry.

Didn't I tell you twist collective's Fall issue would be amazing? . . . I feel so honored that my latest design, Hallett’s Ledge, is included among them. Allow me to share some of twist’s photos, taken by the talentedJane Heller. Hallett’s Ledge is a modern interpretation of a fisherman-style sweater. It takes its name from a shoal in Nantucket Sound, off the southern coast of Cape Cod.

Copyright Jane Heller

Copyright Jane Heller

Knitted in Rowan Felted Tweed Aran, Hallett’s Ledge is a tailored and textured women’s cardigan that will prove both interesting to knit and easy to wear. The garment employs ribbing below the empire waist, garter eyelet rows marking the empire waist and echoed at the elbow, and an interesting cable pattern at the bust, upper back, and upper arms. It is intended to be worn with about 2″ of positive ease at the bust.

Copyright Jane Heller
Copyright Jane Heller

The body is worked in one piece from the bottom to the armholes, after which point the fronts and back are treated separately. The close fitting sleeves are knitted in the round to the armhole, and then the sleeve cap is worked flat and sewn into the body. The neck band and button bands are picked up and knitted onto the body.

Copyright Jane Heller
Jane Heller

This was another projectI swatched last fall, hoping to create a modern, flattering interpretation of an aran sweater for women. As you may know, it is myfirmly heldopinionthat heavily cabled garments should be trim fitting, with as little excess fabric as possible, due to the weight and bulk of the cabled stitch pattern. After all, there is nothing worse than a heavy, droopy, bag-shaped, boxy sweater. Nothing!

Copyright Jane Heller
Copyright Jane Hellerb

I received my yarn only days after learning we would be moving 800 miles away in less than a month’s time. Consequently, I did all of my math and worked out pattern sizing before we left, and knitted the bulk of the garment on the road between Kansas and Ohio. Let me tell you, this was the most compelling sight along the interminably dull trek!

Hallett's Ledge, unblocked sleeve

The sweater itself knitted up quite quickly, although blocking took forever (DAYS!) because our washing machine had not yet been delivered to our new house. Who blocks the old-fashioned way?The spin cycle reduces drying time a hundred fold!

WIP, Hallett's Ledge

Of course, as with any ribbed garment, blocking is key. Look at the difference between the shriveled up in-progress body and the neatly blocked one.

Hallett's Ledge blocking

Because the ribbing shrunk up so much on itself, I also aggressively pinned down the button bands.

Hallett's Ledge blocking

The design element I love most about the garment is the centered cable running down the top of the sleeve. I love the symmetrical look of centered sleeve cables; consequently, Iusethemfrequently.

Hallett's Ledge centered sleeve cables

As with the sleeves, the cabling on the upper back is also centered.

Hallett's Ledge, back

This requires a bit more math to set up the stitch pattern, but I feel it’s math worth doing. After all, I did not suffer through 7th grade algebra for nothing! Why didn’t anyone ever tell me algebra could be so handy?

Hallett's Ledge

Although I intended 2″ of positive ease at the bust for this cardigan, I had to try on my sample despite it being a size too small for me! As you can see, this is a much closer fit (roughly 1″ of negative ease at the bust) on me.

Hallett's Ledge

I do think the drape is better with positive ease, although your mileage may vary.

Hallett's Ledge details

For more information about the pattern itself or to purchase a copy, please seethe pattern page at twist collective. I hope you enjoy it! . . . There are stunning works from many of my favorite designers in this issue!


Design Process: Kiloran


Cirilia Rose's graceful Kiloran dress is her first design for Twist Collective. Today she offers us a little about her inspiration for piece. She has written a similar post over at the Berroco blog. Find out more about Kiloran here.


This is my very first design for Twist and I couldn't be more excited about it! Kiloran, the dress I designed for this issue, was an absolute joy to work on from the initial inception to the agonizing wait for the debut issue.

Image copyright  Mårten Ivert

In the past couple of years I have really tried to figure myself out as a designer. One item or shape I return to again and again is the dress. I think I like the design challenge of making something that won't stretch out of shape or look shapeless and unflattering. Two things that are vitally important are yarn choice and the judicious use of seams. I am all in favor of knitting things in the round and avoiding seams when possible, but in certain situations, a seam or a bound-off edge can add much-needed structure. Kiloran features several seams and where it makes sense, easy circular stockinette.

Kiloran mood board

As for inspiration, I was first inspired by dramatic open necklines seen on the runway and on Princess Anne of Battenberg of all people. The loose, elbow-length sleeves and fitted empire waistlines gave way to full skirts, sometimes with generous bustles. Precisely the kind of dress I'd want to wear in early fall! 

The knitting seemed to zip along, I'm not sure if it was because I was working with the very well-behaved 3-ply Ultra Alpaca in a new shade that I adore (Candy Floss Mix is a strange, evocative dusty pink) or if it was because I had discovered my new favorite film while working on the dress. I Know Where I'm Going!, directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger in 1945 is funny, wistful, gorgeous and endlessly entertaining — I finished the dress in under two weeks' time, an unusual speed for me that I completely attribute to Powell and Pressburger's masterpiece. 

I'm really hoping to knit a Kiloran for myself this fall, perhaps in romantic Flannery Red...

Design Process: Kinsol Trestle Men’s Vest

luise O'Neill

Luise O’Neill made her debut in Twist Collective with Kinsol Trestle, a subtly textured men's vest. This post originally appeared on her blog.

Kinsol Trestle Front View
Image copyright Mårten Ivert

Inspiration: The Kinsol Trestle

While doing some vacation research online, I came across this absolutely awe-inspiring structure which became the inspiration for my design — the Kinsol Trestle men’s vest.



The Kinsol Trestle is a wooden railway trestle, built in 1911 – 1920, located in the Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. At 44m (145 feet) high and 188m (614 feet) long, it is the longest trestles in the British Commonwealth and one of the highest in the world.




Abandoned in 1980, preservation efforts have been underway to include this historic treasure as part of the Canada Trails system so it can be used by runners, hikers, cyclists and equestrians. There are many more pics and stories on their website.



The Yarn





Briggs & Little Regal is a slightly rustic wool — you’ll find wee bits of vegetable matter that tell you the wool has not been overly processed. It provides beautiful stitch definition for this design. I chose the slightly heathered medium grey to reflect the colour of the aged wood of the trestle.


The Details

1. the knit-on edging – rather unique, I think. It creates knit stitches that meet the fabric at an angle, and






2. the V-neck.





Plus – there are cables and subtle textured stitches incorporated into the body design to reflect the wonderful structure that was its inspiration.

The vest is knit in the round to the underarms, so the only seaming is at the shoulders.

All the World's a Stage . . .

We're feeling a little theatrical this issue.  You'll see why when you look through it a little over a week from now.

If Twist Collective were indeed a theatre company, each issue would be a performance. Leading up to opening night, we rehearse and refine, make abundant artistic and practical choices, and ready the cast for the moment the curtain draws back on that first evening.

So here, while you consider the program, is the curtain for this fall's issue. Let it tell you what it will for what lies ahead.


Design Process: Chartres


by Fiona Ellis

I know everybody is excited to see the Fall issue (me included) but summer isn’t over yet you know! We just heard that Elann is having a sale on Reynolds' Cool Cotton so now is the perfect time to make my design from last year's Summer issue of Twist Collective, Chartres. If you get going now you will have it done for Summer’s last hurray and will be able to wear it under a jacket when Fall does arrive.



This got me thinking about when I had originally designed Chartres. I spend quite a bit of time musing over that elusive thing we call creativity, and I post here often about the whole process including where I find my inspiration. I was more than a little surprised and amused when the swatch for Chartres almost fell off my needles without my thinking too hard about it. I was working on it as a carry around project and along with my knitting I always have a book with me. I was reading “Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett, which is a millstone of a book and not ready good carry-around material but I just couldn’t put it down.



So one afternoon as I worked on the swatch I decided that it needed to have a focal point. As I believe most of us would rather draw attention to our faces rather than our hips I created a gentle movement of the vertical lines towards a converging point at the neckline.




I was especially pleased with how it looked but something about it looked very familiar. I picked up the book later and there it was right on the cover - I had created a cathedral window tracery without even being aware I was doing it. So of course the design was named Chartres after the famous cathedral in France.