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Robin MelansonToday Robin brings us behind the scenes on a photshoot from the Spring/Summer Twist. Read about how our families get involved with the little details, and how we go on adventures in unseasonable weather to bring you these garments and stories.

When you flip through the magazine, you see only the finished product, not the immense amount of time and work that goes into creating the images we use to entice Twist readers to knit the designs we publish.

Bloom Cover image

This is a peek behind the scenes of the Bloom layout in the Spring issue of Twist. I have recently started working with Kate Gilbert as a production assistant on Twist. I had worked with Twist previously as a designer, but I am now living in Montreal and the opportunity arose to be involved in the production aspect of the magazine, so here is my first Twist photo shoot experience....

We were fortunate to be able to do a spring shoot on location, which is usually not possible due to our uncooperative Quebec weather and the amount of lead time needed before the issue is published. However, March is still rather un-spring-like here (as in there is an awful lot of brown, a little bit of green, and a whole lot of muck). So, to enhance the spring-like atmosphere, we made giant crepe paper flowers in bright juicy colors.

There are several steps involved in making crepe paper flowers. The first step is to run all over the city sourcing supplies, including the local building supply store (where you can see that in addition to being a knit designer, I am also quite handy with a hacksaw). These unstylish pipes would later be transformed into magnificent flower stems.

Robin with a hacksaw

The next step is to conscript all family members into the Paper Flower Workshop:

The Paper Flower Family Workshop

Here is Kate’s husband, Fred, exhausted on the floor after a long evening of cutting out petals and wrapping metal pipe in floral tape (at which he excels). Notice how he is not visibly chained, and I swear we did feed him. Children are also adept at assembling small parts, though we have no photographic evidence.

The photographer, Jane Heller, has a great location for us to shoot on, which is in the country but only about an hour from the city. With the car stuffed to the seams with pretty sweaters, paper flowers,and lovely models, we headed out of the city (it’s a wonderful city, but it’s always nice to have a nature interlude).

Jane fired up the tractor (we ride in style at Twist), I stared down the horse so he wouldn’t make a break for the open gate, and we went off into the woods for the field where we were planning to shoot. By this time, I was dying to know if Jane would let me drive the tractor.

Riding in style

It looks like a pleasant day but the poor models were frozen – we wrapped them up in parkas and blankets between outfits to try and keep them warm.

Beauties, huddling together for warmth

Thinking warm thoughts

You’ve seen the spread so you know the result of most of what went on for the next several hours.

While we were packing up to go back through the woods, I finally worked up the nerve to ask Jane if I could drive the tractor (we had just met after all), and OMG SHE SAID YES!

Robin, taking the wheel

Here Jane is pointing out the throttle. That little lever you see near my knee is the choke. This tractor was old school. I would have also liked to have a try at the old Soviet tractor in the background, with the pink basket on the front, but it was not to be.

Adventures with farm equipment

So I got to drive it all the way back through the woods to the farm, where CBC radio was also there, recording a show. I also learned a valuable lesson. CBC sound technicians do not like it when you drive a tractor all up in their business, with the throttle open way too far for second gear, while whooping with excitement that you are, in fact, driving a tractor.