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Twist Collective Blog

The Twist Team: Kate Gilbert

When we go to trade events, talk with customers and do shows, people often ask us what we do, what our titles are and how we work together. At the end of each edition is our Masthead, which lists everyone on staff and their title, along with the many people we are thrilled to thank for their contribution to the edition.

In this series of blog posts, which you can read, in its entirety, here, we'll be introducing you to some of the people who help make this magazine possible. As always, we would love to continue the discussion and get your feedback on this or any other blog post, over on Facebook.

Kate GilbertKate's official title, here at Twist, is "Editor-in-Chief and Publisher," but she's not afraid to roll her sleeves up and get her hands dirty, when it comes to making an edition.  At any given point she's involved in managing the live site including the current edition, producing an upcoming edition and planning the edition to come after that: a whole year's worth of work being juggled at any given time. She's the creative voice and vision behind the magazine and she still manages to find some time to design.

Below is a short interview Kate and I had. If you want to find out more, be sure to check out our other new series of blog posts covering the process of creating an edition

MM: What do you see as your primary responsibilities as the Editor and Publisher of the magazine?

KG: It's hard to come up with one thing because I do a bit of everything. I chose what's going into each issue (with help), assign yarns, style things for shoots, come up with shoot concepts and run the shoots, communicate with designers, photographers, editors, readers, do layouts, program pages… Short story: I do a bit of everything. But thank goodness I have a fantastic team who works with me because I couldn't do it alone. Little known fact: I end up modeling most of the socks.

MM: What is the most rewarding thing about your role?

KG: When I open a package an there's a beautiful knit, that's really fun. And then the real cherry on top is when knitters love it and I am proud of how we've photographed it and laid it out.

MM: How do you manage to design each season?

KG: The bonus of being in charge of the magazine is that I can miss the deadline by weeks and not get yelled at. And I can make sure my design is in the very last shoot. But sometimes, it means that I design and knit something in under two weeks. Some of you might remember the two week sweater challenge I started on twitter in order to knit Peregrine. Unfortunately, my last minute projects have earned me the nickname "Late Gilbert" with a couple of staff members. Marnie (the sweater) was finished the night before we shot it.

shawl held by kate's dad
Tolovana held aloft by Kate's dad

MM: You have probably learned a lot about producing a magazine in the past 4 years. What has been the biggest surprise for you?

KG: The honest truth is that I had NO IDEA how much work it was going to be. I think I've learned to delegate more. And to let go of an issue once it's out. The nice thing about a magazines (as opposed to a book) is that you get another chance to try again if something didn't work as you had hoped. I've also learned not to read what people say TOO much because it will just keep you up all night long.

MM: What do you wish more people knew about the magazine?

KG: Well, I always want more people know that the magazine exists, for starters! Even nearly four years later, it's not uncommon that I see tweets that say "how did I not know about twist collective before now!?!?" So tell your friends please! Also, each pattern purchased really helps us out and keeps the magazine going. And each time you tell an advertiser you found them in Twist, that's good for us too.

shawl held by kate's dad
Kate's daughter models
Ringo and Elwood

MM: You always have a huge list of people you thank at the end of every edition. Who are all those people?

KG: The core team is really small, but we rely on tons of people to get each issue out; testers, models, locations for shooting. My dad always helps with random stuff; he's built me a tent to shoot swatches in and held up sticks that had shawls draped on them. I have friends who put credits on photos and loan me clothes for shoots. And my daughter likes to pitch in by sorting yarns and picking out the ones she thinks are prettiest (usually pink and/or sparkly ones). She keeps designing socks so who knows?! Maybe she'll end up my partner one day!

MM: How many of the people who work for Twist, have you met in person?

KG: Very few, or at least not very often. Marnie and I have only met in person twice. I've seen Daryl, Sandi and Eric once each. I've never met most of the Tech Editors, nor Mary Joy. Irene is the exception. She's been a good friend of mine for fourteen years now. And my mom, obviously. She's known me longer than anyone! One day we'll have to have a Twist Collective retreat or something. We'll meet in the middle. How does Iowa sound?

MM: If you had one piece of advice to give 2008 Kate Gilbert, before she started the magazine, what would it be?

KG: WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. You think you'll remember. But you won't.

Behind the Scenes: Setting the mood

Last year, I wrote a blog post with tips for designers submitting proposals to us. You can read it here.

As we were discussing topics for future blog posts, it occurred to us that this is a natural jumping off point for a series of blog posts on the making of an edition. Often, people only see our call for submission and then, 9 months later (give or take) a beautiful new edition is born, but in that time, there's a lot going on.

So in the first, of an as-yet-undetermined number of blog posts, we'll be discussing the behind the scenes production cycle for creating an edition. You will be able to find all the posts here.  

The first step of an edition, is setting the mood. If you flip through the pages of our magazine, you'll notice there are individual stories made up of seven to ten designs, all shot with a common theme. For instance, in our Spring/Summer 2012 edition, we pay homage both to April showers and the subsequent May Flowers.

rain date Blooms
April Showers Bring May Flowers, with a little peek at Regent, Ceylon and Caeles

In order to ensure we have designs that can be grouped together, our mood boards also feature themes. These themes may or may not relate to the final shoots. More about that in future posts. 

SPSU12 board
Spring Summer 2012 Mood Board

Our mood boards don't focus on specific garment shapes or styles. We have found that when we put a garment in a mood board, we get tons of submissions that are just variations on that design and while there's nothing wrong with that, it feels like it actually limits people's creativity instead of sparking it. Instead, we focus on feelings like, top-left: light and airy or bottom-right: texture.  We might want people to think of a technique in a new way like top-right: lace, or design for a situation like bottom-left: poolside. When an idea cannot be literally translated into a design, we find that people abstract the concept into something that is uniquely their own. It's always inspiring to see what people have come up with.

With the mood board together and instructions included, we package everything up into a PDF. We send a link to the PDF to everyone who has signed up to receive our calls for submissions, and we post about it in the Designers group over on Ravelry.

We generally give people about a month to create a sketch, swatch and brief description of each of their proposals. 

We would love to hear what you think of our behind the scenes series of blog posts, or any of our other posts. To get in on the discussion join us on Facebook.

Twist Style Friday- Nyame

Every Friday we feature one of the garments from the magazine in a post about styling. We suggest different ways to wear the garment in question using mock-ups from Polyvore. We encourage readers to tell us what they think about these outfits via our Facebook page or Twitter, and if folks want to make their own outfits, please tweet them at us with the hashtag #twiststyle. You can find all of the Style Friday posts here.




Hi again knitters! Carly here, with another installment of Twist Style Fridays. This week, Nyame, a lovely ruffled tank designed by Julia Trice.


We showed it to you in the Spring/Summer issue like this-




I really love this piece- it's a stunner on it's own, as the centerpiece of an outfit. The two ideas below started out in mind as a day outfit (on the left) and a night outfit (right), but I think if you switched up the accessories, either one could be for daytime wandering or for going out at night.


Nyame styling options


I also think that Nyame makes a great layering piece; you could wear it as a camisole under a jacket or as part of a suit. You could also wear it as a sweatervest, to add a little feminine flair to a more structured work outfit. Layering can also carry this summery top well into the cooler seasons. I hope you like these!


Nyame styling options- work


How would you wear your Nyame?

Designer Process: Lingonberry

Lorilee BeltmanToday's post is brought to you by squares! Sounds like a Sesame Street intro, right? Truly, this post was written by talented designer Lorilee Beltman, and is cross-posted from her blog. She shares how Lingonberry, a truly innovative and beautiful sock design, came from lots and lots of tinkering with knitted squares! Follow your fascinations, knitters.

Lingonberry Socks

My first published pattern resulted from waiting for two skeins of stashed Noro Iro to speak to me. Thinking this self-striper would look nifty knit as concentric squares, I set out to make simple squares in garter stitch, worked from the outside inward. The darn thing was only about three feet long! By a happy accident I could not find more of that colorway, and was forced to come up with a creative solution.  I reknit a few squares of two different sizes, recalculating for a five-foot scarf, which was still too skimpy. I figured I’d have a more lengthy scarf if I left out the centers. What I ended up with was something that garnered far more compliments that my original plan would have. I eventually submitted it to Interweave Knits, and it was included in a lighter weight and a summer yarn for the spring 2008 issue as Chameleon Scarf. Since then I have released it on Ravelry with instructions for fingering, worsted, and bulky yarns, and with it’s original title- Holey Squares Scarf. (photo below- Sandi Gunnett)

Squares make a scarf

Meanwhile, I kept playing with squares. For instance, when seamed, a simple hand-warmer could be made from one of these squares.

When Judy Becker’s Magic Cast On came on the scene in the spring of 2006 via, the lights went on for me. That simple handwarmer could be made more difficult, but seamless, by using a combination of long tail and magic cast ons. Aha!

Squares make mitts

The same handwarmer, using magic cast on on steroids, could be used for a mitered square mitten, again, without seams and all worked in the round. Now it was getting fun for me because I believed I was in a new territory of knitting geometry. I mean, I don’t think there’s another pattern out there where you cast on provisionally, work six directions from there, and join twice on the first round. The resulting Bobsled Mittens are found in Judy Becker’s book Beyond Toes, which is a collection of designs from folks similarly turned on by the magic. When I teach, I try to work JMCO into as many classes as possible.

Squares make mittens

The next self-imposed challenge was to work the bobsled architecture into a sock by turning the thumb into a heel. In spite of my worries over its wacky construction, I submitted it to Twist Collective where it appears in the current Spring/Summer 2012 issue. A few Lingonberry socks have now been showing up on Ravelry, and so far, I am relieved no one has had a heart attack. Some pretty, well-fitted socks have been made.

Lingonberry sock, back

For the curious, here is a link to the support video on Youtube.

Squares, who knew they could be so entertaining?

Twist Style Friday: Regent

Every Friday we feature one of the garments from the magazine in a post about styling. We suggest different ways to wear the garment in question using mock-ups from Polyvore. We encourage readers to tell us what they think about these outfits via our Facebook page or Twitter, and if folks want to make their own outfits, please tweet them at us with the hashtag #twiststyle. You can find all of the Style Friday posts here.

Carly here again for your weekly dose of fashion frolic. This time, I played with Marnie MacLean's gorgeous wrap cardigan, Regent. Especially in this delicious eggplant color, and sumptuous merino-silk blend, this sweater just drips luxury and elegance. Now, me, I am not exactly the elegant sort; I mostly like clothes that make me laugh. So my first impulse was to pair this piece with things that were a little off-kilter, like pink pants or a bubble-skirt.

Regent Styling (closed)

I love these outfits- I feel like me and elegance reached a quirky compromise. Plus that rich color really goes with eveything! I also wanted to show you how pretty Regent can look open- all ruffles and drape. So here are a few more ideas-

Styling Options (open)

Unbelted, this sweater takes on a new flavour, a sort of "I'm not trying very hard, I just happen to be fabulous" feel. I might just have to make one for myself. I asked Marnie if she might like to offer some ideas too, and she sent me these lovely options- a little more sophisticated, perhaps. 

Styling options from Marnie

I love the idea of pairing a cozy handknit with a spangled gown! Layers of luxe. You can find these outfits and more on our Polyvore page- and we would love to see you play around with them too! It's really a lot of fun- kind of like playing with paper dolls, but you have all the doll clothes in the whole world at your fingertips. Tweet your creations at us (@twistcollective, #twiststyle), or post them on our Facebook page. We want to know- how would you wear your Regent?