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Twist Collective Blog

Sweetheart Scarf Fundraiser for Haiti

A couple months ago, my daughter was badly in need of a scarf. Being a four year old and in love with all that is girly, she requested a "Cinderella scarf" and supplied me with this illustration:

sweetheart scarf

Knowing that the reality of a knitted princess could never compete with what she imagined, we settled on a puffy heart that went through a hole to make putting it on and wearing it easy and comfortable. Thankfully she's in love with it. Here's the result:

sweetheart scarf

When the earthquake in Haiti happened I thought that this would be a great time to share the pattern. It's $4 and 100% of the proceeds will go to Habitat for Humanity's efforts in Haiti.

The pattern is written for a child's size, but includes plenty of information to make it for an adult. It's so fast that even I (who rarely gets to knit) whipped it out before my daughter's 4 year old patience ran out. There's plenty of time to knit them up as Valentine's gifts. Sweetheart Scarf Shop Page.

Never Hide, Yarn Division

Ray-Ban has a new campaign with their own production team called Never Hide Films.  The most recent one features a very big ball of yarn with a secret surprise inside.


Check out their flickr stream too, for Ball O' Yarn makin'-the-scene, uh, scenes.

"Hey . . . Can you guys break me off about 1600 yards for a Sylvi?" 


Design Process: Sabbatical


by Connie Chang Chinchio

originally posted to her blog.

For Sabbatical, I was aiming for a cardigan with long, clean lines and a large scale lace motif.





Originally, I thought a worsted weight yarn would be nice in order to emphasize the scale of the lace, but after a bit of consideration and swatching, I realized that a worsted weight yarn would allow only one or two repeats of the lace and might cut off the lace strangely. Since the lace repeat is 22 sts wide, a DK to sport weight yarn (and Road to China Light fell in between these gauges when knit with a size 6 needle), seemed more appropriate. One repeat would be around 4″, meaning that even the smallest size would have at least 2 repeats per front. Because it’s lace, the sweater zips along surprisingly quickly despite the relatively small gauge of the yarn.

Here is my submission sketch, with the swatch worked in Plymouth Silk Merino:





I wanted the focus to be on the large lace motif, so other than a k3p3 rib along the sleeve cuffs and hems which flows into the lace, nothing else distracts from it. Simple waist decreases and increases help define the shape in what might be otherwise an overly boxy garment. The sweater is finished off with a plain, stockinette band which is picked up along the fronts and neck; and to keep it from rolling, a very short doubled hem is turned at the very edge. In addition, I’d recommend a shot of heavy steam to flatten out the band.

One of the things I love about designing is the opportunity to experiment with different yarns. And the Fibre Company’s Road to China Light certainly does not disappoint. It’s a wonderful combination of alpaca, cashmere, silk, and camel, and comes in subtle, kettle dyed colors.






On a parting note, I am hopeless with naming my designs. Fortunately, Julia was helpful in naming this design. She was also the one who named my Uhura in the Summer issue. As a die hard science fiction aficionado, that name delighted me. For this cardigan, she said it had an Edwardian feel about it and suggested a list of names adhering to that general theme. I liked Sabbatical because it connotes rest and lounging around to me; and at the same time reminds me of academia. So, Sabbatical it is then. I hope some of you decide to either knit it, wear it, or both, on your Sabbaticals, however long they may last.

Style Notebook: Pas de Valse at the Tate Britain

For those of us who love a party: imagine Marnie MacLean's lovely Pas de Valse cardigan thrown over a Little Black Dress, out for the evening, perhaps at the opening party for the Andy Holden Exhibit at the Tate Britain (see previous post).  This is my purple Pas de Valse (still on the needles) with sparkly sandals, chunky bracelets with a bit more twinkle, and long earrings that tie it all together with purple jewels.  The young Michael York look-alike cast in the role of champagne-refreshing waiter is pure fancy, of course.

Twist About: Artist Andy Holden at the Tate Britain

From January to April 2010, artist Andy Holden will be displaying a giant knitted rock as part of Tate Britain’s Art Now program of contemporary displays. Never before shown in the UK, Pyramid Piece 2009 is a vastly enlarged replica of a small Egyptian stone fragment, created from knitted yarn and foam over a steel support. It will be on display alongside a companion film work, Return of the Pyramid Piece 2008, and a collection of tourist souvenirs, In Place of an Ending (Pyramid Souvenirs, Second Visit) 2008.


Holden’s practice is driven by an investigation into the relationship between stories and objects. While on a trip to Egypt as a young boy, he took home a small lump of rock from the pyramid of Cheops in Giza. Over a period of 13 years the object came to embody the artist’s sense of guilt, until he decided to travel back to Egypt and return it to the exact spot from which it was taken. A shaky amateur video, filmed by a man Holden met in a café and enlisted to help him, documented this mission and became the film Return of the Pyramid Piece 2008. The transformation of this rock from building material to historical relic to stolen souvenir is contrasted with a collection of more conventional pyramid merchandise, entitled In Place of an Ending (Pyramid Souvenirs, Second Visit) 2008, which use similarly small, solid objects to suggest a variety of multi-layered stories and histories.


After returning from his pilgrimage to Egypt, Holden set about creating a giant knitted replica of his stolen fragment. Working from paintings, diagrams, models and notes made before the trip, Holden’s colossal reproduction embodies the emotional importance of this tiny rock. The scale of the resulting work, Pyramid Piece 2009, seeks to convey the wide-eyed, awestruck feeling that Holden experienced during his first encounter with the pyramids. The laborious, repetitive process of knitting could also be seen as an absurd work of penance for the artist’s theft, or even as a scaled-down recreation of the mass labor it took to build the pyramids in the first place, with each woollen stitch or block of stone charting the time it took to construct the whole. This complex, millennia-spanning narrative becomes a kind of parable. At once charmingly quixotic and boldly monumental, it explores how we understand our place in the world through the objects that surround us.


Andy Holden was born in Bedford in 1982. He graduated from Goldsmith’s College in 2005 and now lives and works in Bedfordshire. Holden has exhibited widely, including recent solo shows at Hidde Van Seggelen, London; Works/Projects, Bristol and Kunstfort Vijfhuizen, Netherlands, and will be curating a music festival at Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge in September 2010.

The Art Now program at Tate Britain reflects the latest happenings in contemporary British art. Supported by Tate Patrons, it consists of a regular series of exhibitions, designed to demonstrate the quality and variety of new art in the UK.

Art Now: Andy Holden
Pyramid Piece and Return of the Pyramid Piece

9 January – 10 April 2009
Tate Britain, Level 2
Supported by Tate Patrons
Open every day 10.00-17.50, first Friday of every month open until 22.00
Admission free