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I had pondering working on some more pared down designs for a while. When I found out that Twist was being “re-launched” I thought that it was a perfect time to explore some of my own new avenues.

Rather than throwing the “baby-out-with-the-bathwater” I took the approach of drawing on my earlier work, but giving it a new “twist” (ha). The idea of the shaping within cable patterning was something that I had wanted to explore further since researching the “Shape Up” article for the Spring 2016 issue.

Streamlining the silhouette shaping by incorporating it as part of the patterning, then making it the highlight of a simple, elegant garment makes perfect sense.

I often have a person or idea of someone in mind when I’m designing. In this case I was imagining somebody with effortless style, who can throw on a simple piece and make it look like a million dollars. In my mind’s eye they are probably French or akin to Grace Kelly, Kate Middleton, or similar. Of course in my fantasy world it’s what I aspire to be. Whereas in real life I am quite the opposite….more likely to be in jeans and sneakers tripping over something than gliding through the world. I was thrilled that when the issue launched Marnie MacLean described this sweater as something she saw Audrey Hepburn wearing with a pair of slim cigarette pants and ballet flats…the exact image that I had in mind.

With this archetype in mind and my thoughts on combining pattern and shaping I set about sketching. In opposition to tailored elegance a raglan sleeve says casual, loose fitting and sporty. I loved the idea of that juxtaposition. I have also been looking at ways of making a better fitting raglan – how to avoid that some times ugly bunch of fabric that happens at the armpit in regular raglan shaping. So here was my chance to combine all these ideas in one project.

For more info on sleeves in detail see my article in the Winter 2016 issue:

Scarrington came to be about the details. Understated details drawn from dressmaking or tailoring that hopefully delight once they are pointed out. Here are some of the things that I included.

  • A folded hem at both hemline & cuff; keeping the simple Stockinette running right from the edges while still preventing any roll that the fabric might have.
  • A simple small stand-up collar that references the hems.
  • Uncomplicated stacked horseshoe cables.
  • Compound shaping for the raglan sleeve;
  • Beginning with armhole shaping (like for a set-in sleeve) prevents the extra bulge of fabric at the underarm. The rest of the shaping is incorporated into the cable patterning. 

Cables that diminish in size as the sleeve cap narrows. This acts to give the upper part of the sleeve a cup shape that is closer to our anatomy than simply reducing the stitch count at the seams - like a darted sleeve cap. Visually this is also more pleasing, as the patterning is continuous – rather than the seams “eating” into the cables.

The name Scarrington is taken from a small village near to where I grew up. In this teeny place, outside the old forge is a huge pile of old horseshoes – 17 feet high. It is made from horseshoes discarded by the blacksmith, as horses were re-shod between 1938 and 1965. It seems an apt name for a design featuring tapering columns of horseshoe cables.

It can be seen here in these screen shots from Google Maps.

Today we have a post from Amanda Scheuzger, designer of Helenium. This was originally published on her blog.

Helenium, my latest sweater design, was published in the Fall 2017 issue of Twist Collective.

The idea for this design came about a year and a half ago, when I was working on another sweater with a brioche ribbing detail. I was a few rows into the brioche section when I felt the need to add some patterning to that design (I’m pretty sure I was inspired by photos of amazing brioche shawls on Instagram).  It was way to late in the process to change that design, so I tucked the idea away to be explored later. When the opportunity to submit a sweater for Fall 2017 issue of Twist Collective came long, I immediately thought back to that seed of an idea from a year ago. Here is my sketch.


This was the first time I would attempt to design a brioche motif, so I went straight to my favorite brioche book, Knitting Fresh Brioche by Nancy Marchant. I highly recommend this book, by the way. It not only covers the basic stitches, but also includes information on increasing and decreasing, reading charts, fixing mistakes, and lots of brioche stitch patterns.  It took me a few tries to get the flower motif just right, here is my initial swatch (left) and the final motif (right):


I chose to use straight single color brioche for the cuffs and bottom edging so knitters new to the technique could start with the easier stitch and get some practice before moving on to the 2-color brioche with shaping increases and decreases. I wanted to keep the body simple so the yoke would really be the focus of the sweater. 


When you are working brioche, yarn choice is important. One that is slippery or heavy might stretch too much, a toothy or wooly yarn is best. The bloom and halo of Hikoo Kenzie look beautiful in brioche, especially after you block it - this is one of those yarns where the stitches really even out after blocking.

One last thing - fixing mistakes and dropped stitches can be intimidating in brioche knitting, but it really isn't so hard. There are great resources available that walk you through picking up dropped stitches or fixing missed yarn overs (see my gush about Nancy Marchant's book above). If the mistake is a wrong leaning decrease, try fixing it with duplicate stitch - this is much easier than tinking 20 rows of brioche (I know this from experience).

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, knitters. I am writing this to you *super* late, and it's because today is my BIRTHDAY and I had a really slow morning and an exceptional brunch before remembering that today is also a Style Friday-day! 

 

I've been thinking a lot about dressy clothes lately, because I have a dear friend's wedding coming up, and also this time of year there are a fair number of occasions for which I can wear sequins. To be honest, I advocate for the wearing of sequins even on completely unfancy occasions, because they're beautiful, and also because they're quite warm! It became real winter this week here in Toronto, and I need all the tiny reflective plastic discs to insulate my cold body. 

 

 

full view of modelled shawl, fanned out behind a girl, outside

 

 

We're looking at Farro this week, and gosh I love a big shawl. They're great to stash in your office for those days when you just need to wear a blanket to get your work done, they're basically a whole extra warm layer under a coat without adding a ton of bulk, and they can also be a stunning accessory in a dramatic outfit. 

 

 

lace detail

 

 

I also love a mix of lace and cables, and Farro has it all, not to mention the absolutely delicious, drapey sheen of this 50/50 merino silk.  YUM. I'll take mine in Sea Green please. 

 

I hope you have some fancy occasions coming up, and I hope you wear something epic, and a gorgeous handknit shawl on top. 

How will you wear Farro

 

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.


 

It snowed here this week. Just a little, in the mornings, but it did snow. After a pretty generous fall, I think the weather for getting cozy has finally arrived. 

 

Thank goodness we have wool; specifically, really pretty wool, and smooshy brioche. Hello there, Helenium

 

brioche yoke

 

 

I mean, come on! Have you ever seen something so pretty? Helenium's cozy yoke, full sleeves, and bum-warming length will keep you warm when the snow really flies, plus you'll look real good. 

 

 

cuffs and hem

 

 

I'm becoming a fiber nerd, and my eyes got big like saucers when I looked up the fiber content of this yarn. I want to touch it. I want to knit with it, and I want to wear it on my body. This is HiKoo Kenzie, my knitterly friends, and it is 50% Merino Wool/ 25% Nylon/ 10% Angora/ 10% Alpaca/ 5% Silk Noils. It has a tweedy quality and a halo and also really lovely stitch definition.  Basically it is made of unicorn hair and phoenix feathers.Right now my strong desire is to make this in a variant on my house colours, a deep charcoal and a golden ochre (probably kiwifruit and greysalt of the Kenzie colourways). 

 

You might have guessed that I'm on a Harry Potter train these days. It's true, I just finished reading the first book to my date, after which we immediately watched the first movie, and on my own time I'm listening to the audio of the fourth book, and recently watched the third movie. Of course, I am relistening to the corresponding episodes of Witch Please along the way. This isn't really important, except to say that for *years* I wished for the ability to read and knit at the same time, and friends, audiobooks have finally given me this most desired superpower and I am INTO IT. 

 

 

full view, grey sweater with floral brioche yoke, modeled on a thin brunette woman standng outside

 

 

Know what else I'm into? Overalls, friends. Overalls. I got two pairs online and they might be the best things I have ever worn. I was tempted to make all of the outfits with them, but I know you are not all freelancers who can wear whatever you want all the time, or who just like dressing like a toddler-grandma. So then, I thought about office holiday parties, and shopping for presents, and here you go. 

 

How will you wear Helenium

 

 

 

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.


 

 

I know that the extended summer we had this year is probably a harbinger of the coming environmental apocalypse, but I have to admit that staving off the first snow until the middle of November is probably my favourite harbinger. 

 

The upside of the chilly weather that has finally arrived is that I find myself VERY MOTIVATED to knit. I finished two languishing sweater projects in the last few weeks (one of which is my own design) , and have made serious progress on two shawl projects. Esther Perel is keeping my excellent company during these adventures, and next on my listening list is the third Harry Potter book and then the accompanying episode of Witch Please.  I hope you are finding time to knit, especially if your projects are from the pages of this lovely magazine

 

Speaking of Twist patterns, have you taken a close look at Safdie

 

 

 yoke detail on Safdie, a yellow sweater with a ribbed yoke, modeled by a woman with dark brown hair and light brown skin, outdoors with blurry trees in the background

 

 

I dig the pretty yoke, the line of eyelets at the rib-edge, the split hem, and the bracelet sleeve. 

 

 

sleeve and side detailback

 

 

This lovely yarn is a combo of merino, cotton, linen, and silk, which means it's cozy enough to keep you warm when the snow flies, and also light enough to wear in warmer months. Is this witchcraft (or maybe stitchcraft)?? Probably. 

 

Safdie is a great casual top to wear with jeans or leggings, like your favourite sweatshirt. She can also hold her own as a dressier top, or with trendier pieces. See? 

How will you wear Safdie

 

 

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