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Today's post is brought to you by Fiona EllisFiona Ellis, who is basically an incontrollable volcano of creativity. She has a million ideas, and we here at Twist are lucky to help realize a few of them. Ruddington is Fiona's stunner from our most recent issue, and the subject of today's post! If you live in Toronto (home of many lovely Twist designers, and this here bloglady too), then you probably know about the yarn shop The Purple Purl, which picks a lovely garment to do a knit-a-long with a few times each year. Well folks, Ruddington has been chosen as their next KAL, so if you're a local who has been thinking about casting this pretty girl on, this might just be your moment.




back detail



I often joke that if Picasso had his blue period then I can certainly have my..…(insert latest obsession) period. In my post about Farthingale I talked about how this thinking has me designing in series. I frequently work in series and when I flick back through my notebooks /sketchbooks I love to see the first entry that I made about when the inspiration hit. I especially love it when that initial spark went on to become several published designs.

I thought you might like to see some of them:

a) “I wonder how many cable ideas I can come up with beginning from the same starting point / set-up”?

Here are some of the designs I generated working on that idea. I’m still working on this series but the short answer to that is - lots.


These all started out the same!

The blue swatch in the photo became Granville. This idea also became the basis of one of my hands-on workshops called Morphing Cables.


b) “I wonder if I can create vertical lines (or yoke effects) in stranded colourwork while still working back and forth or round and round in the regular fashion”

Yes you can make the patterning have a vertical effect rather than the traditional horizontal stripes seen in most Fair Isles. You can also create borders and strong colour block effects just by switching which colour is used for the ground. The swatch at the bottom of the photo became Athabasca.


colorwork swatches


c) Sometimes the spark for a series comes from things other than knitting techniques - amazingly I have many other interests like movies & books. These are designs ideas generated after reading “Pillars of the Earth” which led  to research around the subject matter of cathedral building. The yellow swatch became Chartres


pillars of the yarn


Which leads me to Ruddington,




which was born out of my series sparked by posing the question: “I wonder if I can create cables that appear like the ribbons threading through a corset, or mimic the effect of shoe laces”.


laced up swatches

In this photo the caramel swatch became Ruddington and the white one became Farthingale.


cable detailsleeve detail


My latest obsession, which I have a feeling will lead to a series of very colourful ideas, is really a return to an old one (as it goes back to my teenage years): David Bowie. I have seen the exhibition “David Bowie is” three times (I did say it was an obsession). So watch this space for some new oddities...