Twist Collective Blog
Anniversary Blog Post: Fiona Ellis
Today we welcome Fiona Ellis to the blog to share her experience with 10 years of Twist!
Anniversaries are often a time for reflection, for looking back and remembering where you were when aren’t they?
I have a particular interest in celebrating this special Twist milestone anniversary. As I am terrifically proud to have been working with Twist for all 10 of those years. I was with them right from the very start and have published a total of 34 patterns with them and feel honoured to have been featured in almost every single issue.
When Kate dreamed up the idea for Twist in was in the early days of PDF pattern downloads and nobody was doing royalty sharing with designers at the time. It was a ground-breaking idea and I remember wondering how it was going to work. In spite of this I totally believed in Kate and so I jumped at the chance to work with her team on this exciting new project.
As the launch date rolled around, during the summer of 2008, I was traveling in Italy…I know it’s a tough life eh? So on the day that the very first issue went live I had to find an Internet café to be able to see it on-line. It’s difficult to imagine now, not having a phone in my pocket, allowing me to access all the things that we now almost take for granted - boy how things have changed! I was so excited to see the first issue, and then….super excited to see that my design “Bonnie” graced the cover of that premier issue! I was just thrilled to bits!
Bonnie is one of my most popular patterns and it is a design that I’m still really proud of. I love the Celtic knot cable, the asymmetric pattern placement and the non-identical sleeves. It showcases design elements that I like to return to on an on-going basis, trying to discover new ways to interpret them. You can read more about my love of Celtic knot cables here: [https://www.twistcollective.com/collection/blog/138-design-process/740-gwendolyn75]
Twist has always been about seeking out designs and patterns that have a unique stamp of the designer on them. They have provided designers with a forum that enables us to showcase our ideas and have those ideas portrayed in the most beautiful fashion. They have encouraged many newer designers, which in turn give the knitter access to a wider variety of ideas.
Looking back over all the designs that I have done for Twist I can observe my evolution as a designer and I am also aware of which ideas and themes I am drawn to.
You can read my answers to the 5 questions posed during the 5th anniversary period here: [https://www.twistcollective.com/collection/blog/133-five-for-five/1521-five-questions-with-fiona-ellis]
It has been, and continues to be, a wonderful experience to work with the whole team at Twist. It’s been hugely successful for me as a designer on both an artistic and financial level - both elements that Kate was trying to address as she set out to breathe life into this endeavour. Many Congratulations on your 10th anniversary Twist…I look forward to continuing to work with you as you build on your amazing success!
Anniversary Blog Post: Marnie MacLean
Today we welcome back Marnie MacLean to share her experience with 10 years of Twist!
Glint, a sparkly new capelet, perfect for an anniversary party
It’s been 10 years but I still remember when I first learned about Twist Collective. Kate and I had been following each other’s knitting blogs for some time and were already internet friends. She emailed me to say that she wanted to talk to me about something confidential and asked if she could call me.
When she told me she was starting a new online magazine with an entirely different business model, featuring many designers whose work I admired, I was chuffed to be invited to contribute. At the time, I was just starting to move from amateur design to professional and I hoped I’d be up for the task.
Ten years and about 40 designs later, I’ve had had the great privilege of being a part of almost every aspect of Twist Collective’s production cycle at one point or another.
I’ve learned so much being a part of this amazing magazine, and I’ve worked with some of the most brilliant and creative people in the industry to boot.
I couldn't be happier to help celebrate 10 years with all the knitters, designers, editors, writers, artists, support staff, photographers, models, advertisers and so many other who have made this magazine possible.
Anniversary Blog Post: Briggs and Little
Today we welcome Briggs and Little to the blog to share some thoughts on Twist Collective's 10th Anniversary!
Briggs & Little Woolen Mills Ltds experience with Twist Collective could not be any more positive if we had scripted it ourselves. The SYLVI, designed by Mari Muinonen and created with Briggs & Little Atlantic Red was featured in the 2008 Winter edition, which was only the second issue of the magazine.
This gave Briggs & Little international exposure like we had never had before. Located on Route 635 in Harvey, New Brunswick, Canada, Briggs & Little almost missed that opportunity due to the long delivery time to Finland by Canada Post. In a desperate move to get the yarn to Mari in Finland we had to ship from the USA and as they say “The Rest Is History”. We understand that even today after 10 years the Sylvi is still the number one selling design from their site.
We immediately formed a strong relationship with Kate and her mum Cynthia and to this day truly appreciate the opportunities they have afforded us in presenting our yarns to the world stage. There have been many amazing designs using Briggs & Little yarns since the Sylvi and for this we owe a huge debt of gratitude to these two ladies and their world class group of designers that make Twist Collective the “Class Act” that it is today.
Thank you for sharing “us” to the world. Briggs and Little Woolen Mills Ltd are for sure the most dedicated and appreciative fans of “Twist Collective”.
Designer Post: Primp
Today we welcome Merri Fromm to the blog to share her thoughts on creating the Primp cardigan!
My idea was to create that design unicorn that all knitwear designers talk about: the sweater you wear every day, all day. Over your jammies to feed the cats in the morning, with your jeans to go to the market, with a cute dress to meet friends for dinner.
I also want it worked in pieces to give the garment structure and I like the simplicity of knitting one piece at a time.
My first knitting of Primp was for me. Like many women, I am not size 8 and model thin–more typically a size Large. I have a 42 inch bust, but relatively small shoulders. I made size 45 up to the armholes and then switched to size 41. I knew the V-neck will accommodate my bust. I also added an extra 7 rows (about an inch) to the body because I know that’s where my hip is–I’m an inch longer in my torso than the standardized measurements.
I also wanted a more affordable yarn choice: my version is Cascade 220 Heathers, in Lake Chelan Heather (9451), the yarn and gauge matched beautifully.
Please check out the entire Twist Collective July issue. Its a beautiful issue with lots of great designs!
You can check out the original blog post here.
Designer Post: Montpelier
Today we welcome Marnie MacLean to the blog to share her process on creating the Montpelier shawl!
When Kate sent me the yarn for Montpelier I was overjoyed. I’ve never worked with a palette of colors like this and the yarn was softer than I would have ever guessed. There were a few factors in coming up with a design that I felt were important.
The first was that the design should use most of the yardage (1330 yards / 1200 meters) provided, without getting so close to the full amount that subtle gauge differences would result in yarn shortages for other knitters. I thought a three-quarter-circle shawl made sense for this as I can generally make a good sized half-circle shawl with around 600-800 yards so a shawl that is about 50% larger should use enough of the available yarn to make the yarn worth purchasing, while keeping the shawl radius within a wearable range.
The second thing I was worried about was combining all the colors in a way that allows each beautiful shade to shine while working them together in a harmonious manner.
Prism Marino Mia Private Palette Dyed Exclusively for WEBS comes in 6 individual shades and a multi combining all shades in one skein
I spent a lot of time trying to decide how the color scheme should flow. Should I do narrow stripes throughout? Dark against light? Green against blue? Totally random? It helped me to play around with the colors on my computer.
Combining the six individual shades in various configurations
I tend to prefer things that seem more orderly and I ultimately decided that I liked flowing from the blues to the greens in a somewhat gradient-like fashion. I was a bit unsure whether to treat the gray as a neutral barrier between or a part of the blue spectrum. The colors are so complex and interesting that they can really be categorized in multiple ways, but I felt like treating gray as a mid-tone in the blues was most appealing as the darkest blue shade was already tipping over into a deep spruce green, so it made more sense as a transitional shade.
The next step was to decide how much visual weight I wanted each color to have. The rows of circular shawls that are knit from the center-out, get longer and longer as you go which means that each skein produces fewer rows than the skein before. This means that visually, the first color used will stand out the most and each subsequent skein would appear to take up less and less space.
Deciding whether to start the color from the blue or green side of the color array
Since I love the sky blue shade, I really wanted to make that color stand out. When thinking about what the colors looked like to me, I felt like the blue-to-green progression could be a beautiful lake surrounded by lush greenery or a stunning mountain with rolling foothills.
Once I had my color order, I got to designing the stitch patterns. The blue areas would be a mix of lace and twisted stitches that might call to mind streams or hiking trails or ripples in the water. A bit of striping between shades helps to make the color changes less severe, and mimic the border to come. With the final shade of blue, the stitch pattern moves from a stockinette background to ribbing
When I moved to the green shades, I felt the colors had a less obviously flow from one shade to the next so I decided to change the color on every row and work in stripes. The stitch count is increased in several intervals to produce a gradually-widening ribbed pattern, that feels weighty enough to drape and move elegantly when worn.
But there’s still one more skein left, I haven’t even mentioned. That seventh skein takes all the previous shades and combines them into one glorious frankenskein of color. It’s the skein that ties all other skeins together and I knew it’d be the perfect way to finish off the shawl. The pattern calls for a picot bind-off which takes a little while to complete, but results in little bobbles of color all around the shawl edge that won’t constrict the ruffled effect of the fluted ribbing. It’s a great treatment for people who are prone to too-tight bind-offs.
Striped ribbed border worked in three shades of green and finished with a multi-colored picot bind-off
While I’m always glad to get my samples back a few months after publication, I’m particularly excited for this piece as it really was fun to wear for my at-home photo shoot. I think Montpelier will end up in regular rotation. And if you listen to WEBS’s podcast, you’ll know that this yarn will be coming other colorways in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled for that. You might also enjoy this blog post from the makers of the yarn who discuss the inspiration for this colorway.
Twist Collective Blog Article Count: 297
The Twist Team Article Count: 4
Behind the scenes Article Count: 3
Knitting for Ourselves Article Count: 4
Style Fridays Article Count: 271
Five for Five Article Count: 15
5 year giveaways Article Count: 33
Quick Dispatch Article Count: 36
Design Process Article Count: 102
Throwback Thursday Article Count: 77