Receive HTML?

Joomla Extensions powered by Joobi


Please fill out the information below to subscribe to our newsletter.
First Name
Last Name
Email Address*

headshot of Meghan JonesI hope you enjoy this post from Meghan Jones, first time Twist designer who brought us the lovely Besom cardigan this issue. Check out her tips for choosing the colors you love, and arranging them to your desired effect. You can also find this post (and more about Meghan) on her blog, here






full shot of sweater front



I have a new pattern just published with Twist CollectiveBesom is my first design with Twist and I couldn't be more pleased with the result!

A worsted weight cardigan that is simple and striking, Besom lets the colors do the talking by creating dynamic movement in the otherwise static design. The edges are faced and seamed for a clean and finished look and the pattern has a wide range of sizing; 34 (39 ½, 43, 46 ½, 50, 55 ½, 59, 62 ½)” / 86.5 (100.5, 109, 118, 127, 141, 150, 159) cm bust circumference. The cardigan is worked in the round and steeked (which means worked with extra stitches, sewn and then cut open) and the button bands are picked up and added at the end. This means that all the colorwork is created in the round and there are no wrong side rows within the patterning areas.



side detail



What I really wanted to achieve with this design was a color gradation that was simple and fun, which emphasized the pattern and inspired the knitter to try something new. I wanted to design a stranded pattern that was great for a knitter who is new to Fair Isle. The type of design where you perhaps don't need a chart after the first round of dots and it is easy to spot a mistake if you make one.







The colors for this garment are what really make it special.  Besom takes advantage of the wild new neon pink that has recently become available and uses it center stage as the main star of the pattern. Of course not everyone is into neon pink so why not change it up? Set a course for color and let's talk about what might also look great in this design.


What makes the color work for this garment is the movement from the darkest color/shade on the outside edges to the lightest color/shade on the inside edges. This means that for the same 'look' as the original you should start with an outside color that is vastly darker in shade,meaning that if you squint your eyes the color is basically removed and one looks darker than the other. This combined with a main color that is similar in shade to the lightest pattern shade gives the pattern it's signature look. When you squint your eyes at the lightest color it should be close to the main background color, they can blend or almost blend together in front of your eyes.



Squinting your eyes reduces the amount of color information your eyes can receive and improves your perception of light and dark. This is called the color value, you can also use a transparent red color value finder such as this one.



original color scheme and a similar scale with blues



Above you can see the colors present in the original sample, the dark purple moves into a more gray dull purple, into a muted pink and finally into the bright pink, the background of this garment is the dove grey heather. But what if you like blues better? And what about that neon green? The second colorway idea The Blues Scale moves from the darkest blue, though two lighter blue shades into the neon green. If you squint your eyes at these two suggestions you can see that the bottom shades are pretty close in shade (meaning that they appear almost the same with squinted eyes) the second to top shade on the blue scale is slightly lighter than the pink scale but the neons sit at about the same intensity.




pale on white, neon on dark



Now these two color ideas are opposites, the first one is all muted browns and pinks on a background of white. As you can see the darkest color is definitely dark and very obvious and the lightest color blends in seamlessly with the background. This palette will give you a much more defined outer edge and a much subtler inner 2 rows of dots. In the original sample the inner 2 rows are the bright pink, and even though they are about the same shade as the background they are much more intense in color saturation. In this Muted color scale the lightest color is barely different than the background and will make those lines of patterning less visible.


The use of the gently gradating color in this garment and attention to the shades and intensity of the lightest and darkest create the depth and movement in the piece. 


The Electric Neon color scale to the right is the complete opposite of the original sample. It has such a dark background color and bright intense neons that the dot colors sit on top of the background. This is a fun colorway idea no mistaking that, but it will give a very different effect than the other color scales. You can see on the Muted color scale that the shades are far more integrated while on the Electric color scale they are very defined and sit forward to the eye. A Besom Cardigan created with the Electric color scale will not have the depth or movement that the original has. All the colors of all the dots will sit within the same depth of field for the eyes and will seem to 'float' above the darker background.



brights on grey



brights on dark




While we are talking about depth of field let's take a look at how we can reverse the depth of field in the cardigan pattern. The top two scales above both have a color gradation that works within the original parameters of the design. The bottom colors are much darker than the background and the lightest color is similar in shade to the background. But what happens when the darken the background? The lightest colors become much lighter and are the focal point, whereas the darkest colors blend in much better with the background and are less obvious. This reverses the movement of the colors, instead of anchoring at the bottom and moving into the top the colors will anchor at the top and move into the bottom. You can manipulate this to change what areas of your body the garment will put focus on.

If you want to draw attention away from your waist but still work the patterning put your highest contrasting dots on your hips, if you want to draw attention away from your hips put the highest contrast on your waist. 



grey on brights



grey scale on deep colors



What about reversing the colors and neutrals? Work the dotted design with a transitioning palette of neutrals from black to grey and use a solid color for the background.The uppermost examples of this have the highest contrast at the outer patterning just like the sample. The lower left example has the highest contrast at the top which is opposite to the original. The lower right example uses a mid-ground red which has contrast with both the lightest and darkest shades on the grey scale. This will create visual contrast on both the edges and the inner rings while still having movement within the choices.




yoke detail


If you want to draw attention away from your waist and your hips skip the lower patterning completely and just work patterning on the bottoms of the sleeves and the yoke. Place your highest color contrast on the inner rings to place emphasis on the bust and forearms which slims the waist and hips. Or to draw attention to the face and neck place the highest contrast color closest to the edge of the garment which will naturally attract the eye there. 
I hope this post has inspired you to get creative with your color choices, and knit up a Besom Cardigan for yourself. Below you will find information on where to get the pattern and yarn for this project. 
All the yarn referred to in this post is Dale Garn Freestyle, the yarn that was used for the sample. Below is the full color card of Dale Garn Freestyle, and you can purchase this yarn from Mango Moon and Dale Yarn here. Below is the complete color card for Dale Yarns. 



Every Friday we feature one of the garments from the magazine in a post about styling. We suggest different ways to wear the garment in question using mock-ups from Polyvore. We encourage readers to tell us what they think about these outfits via our Facebook page or Twitter, and if folks want to make their own outfits, please tweet them at us with the hashtag #twiststyle. You can find all of the Style Friday posts here.



A lot of things happened this week, knitters. I celebrated my birthday (by singing with this pretty cool choir).  I knitted something that looks like it was commissioned by Lisa Frank. I started a small business. I bought myself a pair of fancy shoes (that I first saw while making outfits for Philodendron), and signed up for an online business class with an amazing businesslady. It was a good week, but gosh, I'm so happy that Friday is here. 


Plus now we get to talk about fashion, and this sweater is making me all googly-eyed. Hi there, Carlu.



cable details



I love cables. I love them forever. I love simple ones, like those columns of consistent twists that frame the more complex panel in the center. I love twisty turny complicated ones. Mostly I find that the payoff in visual impact is always greater than the complexity of the actual knitting. I confess, I like to be impressive.



collar detail



I think this split collar detail is really lovely. I'm a person who fears the turtleneck, and also I overheat easily, so I might even split this deeper and put a placket on it so it could be opened up. As is, the neckline is - dare I say - rather fancy? It has a little Nehru feel to it.



side detailback cables



Can we talk about this yarn for a second? I know that a color having a clever name doesn't necessarily mean that the color is more beautiful than if it was called medium blue, but it legitimately does make me more likely to buy it. This principle also works on me for cosmetics, especially nail polish. Indigodragonfly never skimps on the wordplay and nerdy references (this one is Tardis). Also the yarn it delicious and lovely to work with. I have a scarf made from a color called Also, I can kill you with my brain and I chuckle about it every time I wear the thing.


Okay. I know what you really want. OUTFITS! Voila! Three of them, all with fancy shoes and very very fancy purses. Coming from a long line of magpies, it is my personal belief that the month of December was invented for sequins. I know not everyone wants to look like a disco ball (though I can't truly understand why), so I kept the sparkle on the accessories. Shine on, wooly diamonds.




three outfits with sparkly purses


How will you wear Carlu?

Today we are throwing back to a pattern from the first ever issue of Twist Collective! It's one that appeals to me as a garment, but also because of the concept behind the design- the barter system. 


Kate and her friend Daniel designed things for each other (a sweater knitted for him, a dress sewn for her). You can read about their design processes in these two blog posts



Kate and Daniel wearing their creations



I never knit commissions for money, but I often knit as part of trades. I have gotten vintage leather, giant paintings, frozen homemade pierogi, and financial advice in exchange for handknits. So I obviously love this idea. 


I also think this sweater, named for it's recipient Daniel, is rather dapper. 



collage of Daniel sweater pics



The diagonal ribbing looks clean but not boring, and the collar can be worn flopped over or snug and upright (for when the north wind blows). 


Daniel is definitely worth a second look. 



Daniel in his studio



Every Friday we feature one of the garments from the magazine in a post about styling. We suggest different ways to wear the garment in question using mock-ups from Polyvore. We encourage readers to tell us what they think about these outfits via our Facebook page or Twitter, and if folks want to make their own outfits, please tweet them at us with the hashtag #twiststyle. You can find all of the Style Friday posts here.



Happy Friday everyone!! This week has been unseasonably warm, but nonetheless, I am all over the wearing of wool socks and sweaters. I relish this time of year, before it gets horrible-cold. I'm still riding my bike around town! I can't believe this is what December is like. I know climate change is bad, but this week I love it. Hi there El Nino, *wink.


To me, Racine is alllllllll about the POCKETS!



cream sweater with cabled pocketsback cables



The reverse stockinette background makes for a rustic background for the stunning, large scale cable on the pockets and back.



back and shoulders



A bulky yarn like this makes a wonderful squishy fabric for a fall jacket, or a layering piece under a parka if you live in a place where the temperatures dip really really low. This is a blanket you wear, and you look good while doing it.



buttons and body



I want to wear this over one of the long stretchy tank tops I sometimes wear in the world an sometimes sleep in- what in my little community of scrubby femmes gets called a "pyjama dress" (because it's both), maybe with some really tall socks, laying about on a snowy day and reading a really fantastic book. But you could also wear Racine with really, really cool shoes.



three outfits



How will you wear Racine?

I used to buy sock yarn for shawls all the time, and then use the leftovers to make hexipuffs for that blanket pattern that was super trendy a few years ago. Now that I'm really into making socks, I gaze at the pretty yarns in my blanket and feel sad about all the socks I don't have. Socks, people!! SOCKS!!! I want a million pairs of perfect little sweaters for my feet.


Here is a lovely sock pattern from Winter 2010. Remember Sin Miedo?






I love traveling twisted stitches, and a classic heel flap and gusset construction.



side sockback



I also appreciate how the ribbing at the top flows right into the cable pattern, and even the toe and heel don't seem like an interruption to the flow of the cables.  This is a lovely, well designed sock. I'm really feeling greens right now, and have a great goldy-green cake of sock yarn that I think would be very happy snuggled up in this pattern. I hope you decide to make yourself a pair, or maybe someone you love for a holiday gift! Happy #throwbackthursday!