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Twist Collective Blog

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.



Fall Colors

Julia here. Sorry I've been out  touch; it's been busy as we get ready for fall in two weeks.

As is our custom, we've been dropping hints about the fall issue as the time approaches for the site launch. Here's a new one. This is a look at part of our process I don't think we've shared before, how we think of our different "stories" in terms of color.  After we pick from the submissions, Kate gets out the sample books to assign yarn to patterns, and she thinks long and hard about how to let colors work together to make coherent collections for each of the photo shoots.  I don't know if you've ever noticed that color hangs together for each story or not, but at least you know that we think of it that way. I don't know how she does it, but I always admire the end result. I think this issue has particularly delicious palettes.


What else can you tell from this little abstraction? Count the blocks. Hm: Four stories. About 30 patterns. The biggest issue we've done so far. Really.

I think you're going to like it.