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Twist Collective Blog

I Heart Kate Spade

Julia here.

It's winter shoot week(s) at Twist Collective, and Kate, Mary, Irene and I are all running around the fabric shops, shipping boxes back and forth across international borders, dipping into our friends' closets, and looking for just. the. right. belt.  I fantasize about having a styling staff at my beck and call, and a budget to pay them with to do the magic they do at someplace like Kate Spade, a lady-like candy store of skirt-and-blouse petit fours.  Last week, there was a lovely flash tour of their own photography process.



This week, they play with the clothes. I like the wardrobe ideas they have for such things as their boxy cardigan, and the layers you can put under a simple dress to change the mood. These are the sots of ideas a knitter can use when we consider the project queue and the crazy sweater love.  I may want to knit a purple lace tunic in mohair yarn because it looks so darned glamorous on the model, but how would I actually wear such a thing?  Kate Spade grounds me for a moment, reminds me of the wardrobe, how fun a navy cardigan can still be, and makes me feel all Jackie and Grace Kelly inside.


It is just me, or do you see Papineau in this outfit here? Or Sweet Pea Jacket in that great colour? The possibilities are, ahem, useful.

Carry on.

Twist Fall Shoot at Trott

Julia here.

You may have noticed that one of our fall sweater stories, Dressage, was photographed at a riding stable, TROtt, the Therapeutic Riding Association of Ottawa-Carleton.  Thanks to our model, Leslie, who was familiar with the good folks there and the wonderful work they do, we were able to spend the day, meet the horses, and pick up after ourselves and, uh, others.

My own son has benefited from therapeutic riding at a New Hampshire stable near where I live, so when Kate told me this was the work they do at TROtt, we thought it would be an opportunity to share my own enthusiasm for the practice with Twist readers, and to explain a little about why it's an important tool for so many people.

Therapeutic riding is a kind of physical therapy with a specially trained physical therapist that uses horses as equipment.  The natural rhythmns in the saddle of a walking horse requires the rider to focus their mental and physical attentions, and with practice, develops both muscle strength and concentration in the rider.  Therapeutic horses are also especially gentle animals, particularly talented and tolerant of frustrations and outbursts their riders can be prone to because of their own personal challenges. The horse is also a calming presence for the rider, and the empathy the rider has for the horse reinforces a willingness to do the work, something that can't be reproduced in a traditional therapeutic office setting with swings and yoga balls.  


Children and adults with all manner of challenges and disabilities can benefit from work in the saddle.  I have seen grown adults hoisted out of wheelchairs to ride enthusiastically, children with cerebral palsey trott giggling around the ring, and kids with anxiety disorders climb up on horse's back with hard-earned trust.  The experience is often liberating and unique in the rider's life, and an invaluable tool in their therapeutic development.

TROtt has served the Ottawa, Ontario area for over 30 years, offering therapeutic riding lessons to children and adults with disabilities.  TROtt instructors, all of whom are certified with the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA), give lessons to dozens of students each week with disabilities ranging from learning delays to paraplegia to multiple sclerosis.  Twelve specially selected and trained horses currently work at TROtt and as we found out during the photoshoot, therapy horses make excellent models!  Sam and Monty, both featured in the photostory, couldn't have cared less about the cameras, props, and constant clothing readjustments going on around them. 

TROtt relies on the help of over 140 volunteers to make lessons available and affordable to their riders.  If you're in the Ottawa area, you might consider helping out--you don't need horse experience to volunteer.  For those readers who live elsewhere, you can find a local therapeutic riding center through the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) or CanTRA.

Thank you Nancy Reid and Paula Rolfe for the work that you do at TROtt, and for the day we got to spend with you.

One Sweater Many Ways

Before Marnie MacLean sent us her fall sweater, Pas de Valse, she took some photos of the many ways she can imagine wearing her versatile design.


How will you wear yours?

Buy a pattern, Get Your Name in the Prize Hat

I'll bet that if you read here, you are probably also on the newsletter list and therefore already know about this one, but it never hurts to remind everyone of the ticking clock. 

We have been running a contest during the month of August to celebrate our first anniversary, giving everyone who purchased something from us since August 1st a chance at a cache of knit-happy prizes we've collected from our glorious and generous advertisers.

Like what? perhaps you are asking.


Like a pair of single point Signature Needle Arts needles customized for the winner.

Like yarn packs for Twist Collective patterns from Ariadne Knits, Unwind Yarn & Gems, Briggs and Little, Webs, and Elann.

Like the beautiful sterling silver stitch marker necklace from Knowknits that graced a page in our fall Tidbits.

Like a brand new book 99 Yarns from Green Mountain Spinnery.

Like a Zephyr Interchangable Needle set from Knitpicks.

Like a $50 gift certificate from Yarn Market.

Like free Twist patterns,tape measures, bags, and more.  So how do you get in on this bonanza?  If you purchased something from Twist Collective since August 1st, you're already entered in the prize drawing.  If not, and you've been meaning to get around to picking up that pattern for your autumn project, do it before midnight EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) September 9th. That's tomorrow, so don't delay. Each and every purchase equals one entry, so buy several patterns, and pick up a new Twist Tote while you're at it, and get as many entries in the contest. Winners will be notified by email, and announced here on the blog. So go buy something already.  We love you for it, and for some lucky knitters, we'll prove it.

Yarn Packs Available from Elann

Elann has been offering yarn packs for Twist Collective patterns. Last month, they had a great deal for yarn for Rebecca by Fiona Ellis, and are currently offering a 51% savings if you purchase their Peruvian Baby Cashmere before Monday September 7th, for Cinquefoil by Mary Jane Mucklestone.  You still need a copy of the pattern from our site to knit it, but you can't beat the price of the required yarn.