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Tanis Gray

The lovely Fairfax is Tanis Gray's first design in Twist Collective. Tanis is a prolific designer, featured in a number of magazines and books. Today she shares with us why this gorgeous spring pullover will always remind her of Santa Claus. You can learn more about Tanis on her website (from which this entry is cross-posted), or follow her on twitter.

I’ve been dying to have a design in Twist Collective since the first issue came out.

I submitted a proposal last year and promptly forgot about it until I got an email letting me know my design had been accepted! Super excited, I waited patiently for yarn to arrive in the mail. Kate chose one of my favorites, Classic Elite Solstice. A top-down raglan (my favorite) with bits of lace running down the 3/4 sleeves, picot hems and a huge, fold-over cowl; Fairfax is a great winter-to-spring pullover. Download the Fairfax pattern here.

Cowl closeup

I design a lot. The funny thing about my designs is I always associate each of them with what was going on while they were coming into existence. Or,  way back in BC (Before Callum, my son) what I was watching on my computer while furiously knitting into the night. The days of late night knitting and TV watching are mostly over, and have been replaced with feedings and diaper changes, but I still have that association.

Side view

The best way to learn a lesson is to make a mistake once and hope to never repeat it again. For example, touching a hot stove, agreeing to babysit sextuplets alone, going against your gut or eating all the cookie dough batter before it makes it into the oven. Or in this particular case, deciding to go see Santa on Christmas Eve. “What the hell were we thinking,” you ask? Excellent question. We dragged our feet on whether or not to take C to see the man in red for weeks. I thought Santa might scare him, or the lines would be insane, or the mall would be too hot, or I’d want to find the stereo piping holiday music on repeat and beat it with a baseball bat a la Office Space. Yet Christmas Eve rolled around and I decided that Callum would only have one first Christmas, so we had better do it.

Back view

We went to the smaller mall and thought we’d be the only idiots who waited until the last-minute. Perhaps you heard the thwak that was my head hitting the wall over and over when we got in line and were told it was a 2.5 hour wait. While C slept peacefully in his stroller most of the time, my husband called his sister and mom to come keep us company and to entertain him. I on the other hand, grabbed my knitting bag and started to work, happy to have long ago mastered the art of knitting while standing, a skill i developed through years of knitting on the NYC subways.

Cowl detail

The Twist Collective deadline was such that my sweater had to be in the mail on December 26th in order to make it to Kate in time to be photgraphed. Two and a half hours of knitting in line later-- I knew I’d be able to finish it, block, and write the pattern by the appointed hour. This sweater will forever be associated with standing in line, waiting for Santa. And yes, I learned my lesson. We’ll be in line next time on the first day he arrives.

As for Callum, he was a champ through and through.

Callum and Santa