Today's post is brought to you by a Twist knitter named Audrey. She is a lawyer living in San Francisco. You can find her on Ravelry as shkitty. She has knitted from eight Twist patterns so far, and done a super lovely job of all of them. Read all about it!
I took up knitting as a productive form of stress relief. Other things I enjoy are dancing West Coast Swing, gardening, and scratching my neighbor’s cat. My grandmother taught me to knit, purl, and cast on when I was about 6. I never made anything until about 1981, when, inspired by my college roommate’s sister, an accomplished knitter, I made a single garment, an alpaca vest that I wore until the moths ate it off me. Decades later, in July 2007, I read an article in The New York Times titled The Knitting Circle Shows Its Chic. The article talked about a new crop of knitwear designers with fashionable sensibilities. Being a fashionable gal, this piqued my interest and I investigated further. I thought that the surest way to get some real swell handknitted sweaters was to coax my mother into knitting them for me. She had been knitting afghans, and I figured that knitting sweaters couldn’t be any more trouble. I bought a couple of knitting books to entice her with, and, while waiting impatiently for her to complete her first sweater (for herself, darn it!), it suddenly occurred to me that it was theoretically possible that I might make those sweaters for myself.
I have been following Twist Collective since the very first issue. The quality of the designs, and the great technical editing, keeps me coming back again and again. So far, I have knit Acorns, Audrey in Unst (twice!), Lalou, Lavandula, Madrigal, Skara Brae, Vivian, and Wisteria.
My first Twist Collective pattern was the fabulous Vivian hoodie. When I became besotted with that garment, I had been knitting in earnest for less than a year, and Vivian was full of things I had never done before. But I was easily able to knit it because the pattern writing was clear and precise. Afterward, not only did I have a fabulous garment, but I was a better knitter. (I also learned a lot knitting Acorns. Who knew there were so many different kinds of increases!?)
Audrey in Unst was a pattern that I overlooked when the issue in which it appeared came out because it appeared to be so simple. But as I read others’ pattern notes on Ravelry, talking about its interesting construction details, I decided to give it a knit and loved every minute of it. The garment was only superficially simple. It was not difficult to knit, but the pattern was full of perfect small details, including an i-cord bind off, and short row sleeves. Each element of the pattern went together with wonderful, mathematical perfection. And it resulted in a great, wearable sweater and was a perfect canvas for the hand-dyed Madelinetosh Pashmina I used.
My most recent Twist Collective knit was the versatile Lavandula. I knit it in yummy BFL sport from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in one of their versatile nearly black colors. All that ribbing makes me feel long and lean! I wear it with either jeans or a skirt.
One of the things I appreciate most about Twist Collective is that the patterns, whether simple or elaborate, are so “knitterly.” To me this means that they often use constructions that are uniquely possible with knitting as distinct from sewing. This was true of Skara Brae. The clever top-down construction on this one wowed me. I knit it in a beautiful aubergine Kilcarra Tweed. Although the dark color somewhat obscures Skara Brae’s intricate traveling stitches, it reminds me of one of those Victorian black dresses that at first glance are so severe, but you look closely and see that they are covered with pintucks and embroidery.
The next two Twist Collective patterns up in my queue are the Praline cardigan, and the Pussy Willow shawl. Of course, I have perfect yarn for both! I know that Praline will become a wardrobe staple, and I can’t resist those unfurling buds on Pussy Willow.