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Twist Collective Blog

Seen and Noted: Got Knitting?

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


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.



Twist Contributors at Rhinebeck

Julia here.  I carried my camera around the New York Sheep & Wool festival fully intending to document every familiar face, and the day started out well enough.  Right away I ran into Cheryl Burke (designer of Cottage Garden) with her pal, Nicole.


And had a lovely chat with Gudrun Johnson (responsible for Vaila and Audrey in Unst) and her friend, Julia. Who are they talking to here?


Why, it's Mary Jane Mucklestone (designer of Luke's Diced Vest and Cinquefoil)!  I always love to see what Mary Jane is wearing.


I hung out with Alison Green Will (Tiveden), found Margaret Atkinson (Botanical Lace), Anne Hanson (Artichaut), Véronik Avery (Papineau), and Clara Parkes (Swatch It!), but that's about when I forgot to take pictures.  It wasn't until sometime during the Ravelry party, where I spotted Kay and Ann of The Problem Ladies, and heard tell of Pam Allen (Vaganova) knocking about the place, that I remembered myself, and got Team Rav together, all sporting sweaters featured in Twist!  Don't they all look fantastic? Jess, you need to make a blue Vaila: Gudrun's really set off your lovely eyes. Three words: Malabrigo Azul Profundo.


And now for two of the most photographed things of the weekend: the Ravelry party cupcakes:


And Bob.  No doubt you've seen Ysolda's Bob head on the blogs by now, but Irene got some special attention while we were waiting for the bus . . .


a special Bob kiss.  I love this shot.  I may make it my desktop for the next month. Cheers!


Twist Out & About: Rhinebeck

Once upon an October, Julia and Irene went to Rhinebeck for the New York Sheep and Wool Festival to hand out buttons and maybe see a Twist sweater or two in the wild. Neither of us were prepared to see quite as many as we did, so it was thrilling day for us. Here are a few.


RavelryJess and RavelrySarah in original Twist sweaters Vaila and Vivian.  Now these I did expect to spot because Jess had graciously agreed to sport Vaila for us because she hadn't managed to finish her own Rhinebeck sweater in time for the weekend.  I brought Ysolda's original Vivian along to return it to her, and the chilly forecast inspired Texan in Sarah to add another layer.  I have a much better picture of Sarah in the next post.  She's much cuter than this, I assure you.


DianeInOz and KellyR (who knit both sweaters; it the was the kind of weather that inspired such sharing) in Vivian and Cottage Garden (I especially love that color combination).


Ebcahavoc's Wisteria. It's not short sleeved, she has her coat pulled off her shoulders so I coul take a picture. Becca: Update your ravelry photos, girl! Show off those wonderful FO's!


Somebunnylove Kim's Vivian, knit as a duster, closed with a shawl pin.


A much talked about Sylvi by SeaandMe Kate. Everywhere I went in my own gray one, people asked if I had seen this one too.  It wasn't until we stood in line for about an hour for Artichokes French that I finally saw her.


Yet another great Vivian by Habsgirl Sarah.  I was beginning to think perhaps Vivian was the Rhinebeck sweater this year, each of them unique and lovely on their knitters. I had little idea it was so adaptable, with zippers, buttons, hood or collars. I did a little dance for Ysolda.


ZimbleK Karen's wonderful Heroine .  It was the day for warm sweaters, and she looked cozy.


And Spindlbratt (aka Twist contributor Margaret Atkinson) in Jaali. Margret was intent on her lunch, so the photo was not as flattering perhaps as I would have liked, but she let me take one anyway.  On Sunday, she was wearing a beautiful Audrey that she knit in indigo colored Cotton Comfort that look like velvet, but I didn't get a photo (sorry). Thanks so much, Margaret!

More Rhinebeck to come.  Stay tuned.

Swatching: Argyle Jacket


by Jenn Jarvis

originally posted to her blog, Nipperknits.

I’m totally inspired by color. I love designing colorwork of all kinds: fairisle, stripes, intarsia. Color really influences me, but this is both good and bad. I know when I’m looking at patterns, I’m either completely inspired or turned off based on the colors and yarns chosen by the designer. I thought I’d do a little swatching experiment for all those other people like me, who may have gotten bogged down a little on the color way of the Argyle Jacket. I like the bright colors, and I know other people do as well, but it’s definitely not for everyone. So, for a few more ideas, a little bit of inspiration, or just something to get you thinking about a pattern you wrote off based on color, here is my swatch project:

One could go with a pretty basic argyle look: Black / White / Red. Classic, bold, slimming. I think it would look amazing in the Jacket’s silhouette.


A play on one color is always nice. Could be bold, could be subtle depending on your color choices. I chose blues (cobalt is always tempting to me), but you could try it with reds, grays, oranges, browns, any color that strikes your fancy. This was actually one of my original color-story suggestions for the jacket.


I have a fascination with this mid-century, 50’s and 60’s, Mad Men-esque color-story. Browns, tans, robin’s egg blues… This was my take on that. Mix and match these colors; all the different combinations look good together. This seems like a remarkably appropriate colorway for the Argyle Jacket. Couldn’t you just see it in Mad Men?


But even if you’re not into this grouping, think of other time periods you like. What are the colors for the late 60’s? The 70’s? The 20’s or 30’s? Are you inspired by those? What about art periods? Rich Renaissance colors, anyone?

This one is fun (and season appropriate!) Not only do you have color contrast, but also textural contrast as the orange crossbars are in angora. That little bit of fluff makes it pop even more. Don’t be afraid to mix materials! The fluffy yarn would also look great in the diamonds with smooth crossbars.


The next two swatches are examples of a pretty current color-story: grays with greens. I’m seeing it everywhere lately. This swatch is also a good example of texture contrast, but in a much less contrasting color. You can still see the fluff of the mohair, but it’s much more subtle in this colorway.


Of all these swatches, this is my favorite (though that gray / black / orange is a close second). I don’t know why, but I’m thoroughly taken with this color-story. The contrast of those grays with the bright lime just draws me in so much. In fact, I’m designing a sweater in a similar color-story now. Be on the look-out for that. 


So! My suggestions: Actively think about color. Consider playing with one color in different shades, high contrast colors for a bold look, low contrast colors for a subtle look, think of shades one considers with different time periods or artists, play with mixing yarns for a textural contrast, try tweed or silk for different textures. Take pictures of the world around you and be inspired by color! Look at patterns you never considered before with a new eye.