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head shot of designer Fiona Ellis.Today's post is from Fiona Ellis, designer of countless garments in Twist. Her eye for details is impeccable. Today she tells us about the little details that make garments special; both the ones we buy and the ones we make. She was inspired to write this after a Facebook post by Twist contributor Franklin Habit about his newest suit.



I always watch the Oscars to see what the stars are wearing. It is an influential affair which tends to set some of the major fashion trends especially in terms of popular colors. I follow to get a general overview of the "feeling" or mood that is being set. This year overall everything seemed pared down and un-fussy. This is when construction and details really shine. These details of course go in and of vogue and last night I picked up a focus on the hip area with several gowns having peplums. But it got me thinking about a conversation that I had with a friend at a New Year's eve party.


This friend is a scientist and not somebody I would expect to be interested in fashion but he does likes to dress well. He was marveling at how you can tell if a suit is “bespoke” by checking to see if the cuff has working buttonholes or not. I was thrilled to hear that people outside of my fashion-focused world still pay attention to these types of details. I am a big advocate of couture details and the bespoke suit has a fair number of it’s own.

After our conversation I did a little on-line research looking for information on bound buttonholes to send to him and discovered things that I hadn’t paid much attention to before now. The suit with working buttonholes is apparently called a “surgeon’s cuff” stemming from the necessity of a surgeon to be able to roll up his sleeves, especially in a military setting to say remove a bullet. I also never knew that there is such a thing as cuff buttons referred to as “kissing buttons” meaning that they are touching and ones spaced slightly further apart known therefore as “non-kissing buttons”.

There were also blog post discussions considering whether it is showing off or just “de rigueur” to leave a cuff button un-done to show that the buttonholes do in fact work and thus demonstrating that it’s a hand made (read expensive) suit.

As knitters we are big fans of the details that elevate our projects, setting them apart from the now ubiquitous cheap manufacturing practices found in store bought garments. I know that I, along with many designers, go to a lot effort to coming up with unique details for our patterns. And in general I think many knitters will go to the extra effort to work just the right buttonhole or shaping decrease. But I’m wondering if we have signals (like leaving a button undone) that we use to bring these details to the attention of other hand knitters? Here are some examples of the little details from Twist Collective sweaters that make our handknit garments just right.

Seaming details on Keynote:


closeup of cabled side and raglan seams on a lavender cardigan

Cuff detail on Thorntower:

tilted garter cuff detail on Thorntower, a bronze  asymmetrical cabled cardigan


Cuff detail on Ruddington:

closeup of cabled cuff detail on ruddington, a wine colored cabled cardigan


Shaping details on Bevel:


diagonal ribbing on Bevel, a fitted cabled pullover with a deep v neck


Cuff detail on Athabasca:

closeup of colorwork cuff on Athabasca, a stranded pullover with a high henley neckline and vertical columns of stranded patterning.


Cuff detail on Viridis:


detail of welted edging on cuffs and lower egde of viridis, wrap cardigan with lace front panel


Edging on Astra:


wavy cable edgings on Astra, a simple tunic with cable and welt details


Gores and rippled edges on Brookline:


shaping gores create an a-line shape and a rippled icord edges the cuffs and lower border of this cream colored cardigan

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 Twistfans! Friday doesn't mean the same thing to me as it does to most folks, since I almost always work on the weekend, and while most folks dread Mondays, I almost never work on those! It is a topsy-turvy world. Regardless, I still look forward to Friday, and one of the reasons is this dedicated time to talk about knitting and fashion.


This week's featured sweater is Tuin, and she is a stunner.


Back view of Tuin turtleneck sweater. The main color is deep blue, and there is colorwork around the round yoke, and the upper yoke and neck are white.


The shape is classic, the yoke is stunning, and today it was extremely windy and I wanted to be wearing three of these in layers.


blonde model with a side braid is wearing the Tuin sweater, jeans, and tall green rainboots, in front of a stone wall with a red barn doorcloseup of the neckline, yoke, and the smiling face of the model.


A few folks have made this already, and with gorgeous results. Some knitters have kept the main color steady throughout the sweater, and only had the stranded details in a contrasting color. This option makes for a top that is a little more neutral, because the contrast is less striking. Either way, Tuin is a looker.


An easy shape and turtleneck are a natural fit with jeans, but I wanted to see what would happen if I put Tuin with some skirts, and you know what? I think it works beautifully.


tuin styling


With cute flats and earrings with a little sparkle, I think this pretty top can take you just about anywhere.

How will you wear Tuin?

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, fashion fans! It's been snraining in Toronto, snowing and raining alternately, or sometimes, seemingly, at the same exact time. It's what Homer Simpson would call "lousy smarch weather" and seems both like winter's last jab, and the tender beginnings of springtime. 


We're doing something a little different this week, and I have to admit, it's out of my comfort zone! We're looking at a men's sweater.


side-view of Sigulda on a male model. The sweater has a crew neck, colorwork around the yoke, and then a textured, waffley stitch for the body and sleeves. The main color is navy, and the colorwork is bright blue and cream.


This sweater is a classic. With such squishy texture, who wouldn't want to wear this? The yoke patterning is bold but not too busy. I love the geometric patterns, and I think these colors might be perfect, though I would also love to see it in foresty greens or shades of grey. Those choices would keep the sweater pretty neutral and timeless. If you are into a kitch factor, a bright ski-sweater primary combination would be striking and gorgeous.


Me, I think everyone should wear whatever they want, whether those clothes were initally designed or intentioned for a certain gender or set of humans. Part of what is so exciting about knitting garments is that you can make them fit your body (or the body of the person you're knitting for), perfectly, even if that body doesn't at all resemble the model in the photos. We have a women's version of Sigulda too, and the differences between the two are pretty slight. A different neckline, a some waist shaping. Use the shape that works for you.



Both gendered versions of Sigulda. The female model is standing in front of the male model. Her sweater is the color of oatmeal, and the colorowork is red and orange. Hers has a turtleneck, and otherwise the sweaters are the same. The paid is standing on a dirt path with trees in the background


Also, though we publish more patterns for women than for men, the men's section of our shop is bigger than you might think. Take a peek!


Two outfits with the Sigulda sweater. on the left it is with sneakers and camo pants. o the right, with a plaid shirt on top, slim jeans, and dark brown boots


This was my first time styling men's outfits on Polyvore, so be gentle, sweet readers. It was hard! I practice styling for women by getting dressed every single day (sometimes more than once in a day) but I don't have a lot of experience picking outfits for men. Also, the clothing images in Polyvore are all imported by users, and the vast majority of those are women, styling for other women. So the selection of stuff to pick from is really limited! I think these are pretty nice, but I would also love to hear what you think of them!


How will you wear Sigulda?

Thayer Preece parker headshot. She has long curly brown hair and is holding a plate with cake on it

Thayer Preece Parker is the author of today's post. She tells us all about her inspiration and design process for the lovely textured top Tarian. Thayer has contributed two other wonderful patterns to our pages. You can find this post, and more about Thayer on her blog, here.





Model is wearing the featured sweater, which is an off-white, long sleeved pullover with a crew neck and textures stitch patterns. The sleeves are long and have thumbholes. The model is a young white girl with long blonde hair, and is standing with her arms crossed over her chest.


I was very happy to have the chance to work with Twist Collective again on my latest sweater design, Tarian. Tarian is a cozy pullover that features several different stitch patterns and one of my favourite sleeve options–thumbholes!


I’ve always felt that the sweaters I knit and design should be really wearable–the sort of thing that would look right at home with the sweaters you’ve bought at stores. My design inspirations these days therefore almost always come from shapes or details that I’ve seen in fashion magazines or on store shelves, so that the shapes and elements are representative of current fashions.



closeup of the model's midsection and right sleeve. In her hand she is holding an old fashioned camera. There is a latticework pattern on the main body of the sweater, inward facing chevrons in  a panel across the hips, and ribbing below that.


One element that I added were the longer sleeves with the thumbholes. I’m the sort of person who is always cold, and I always try to buy or make sweaters with very long sleeves so I can pull them down over my hands for maximum coziness. I have a couple of athletic fleeces that have extra long sleeves with thumbholes in them, so that you can have super long sleeves but still be able to use your fingers. I love them so much that I knew I wanted to incorporate that element into one of my designs asap, and this seemed like the perfect one!


For those of you who aren’t as big a fan of the long sleeves as I am though, the pattern also includes instructions for finishing the sleeves at a normal length without the holes. In addition, although I like my sweaters fitted, I know that not everyone does, so it also includes instructions both with and without waist shaping, so that you can really make the fit and detail of this sweater your own!


This was exactly how Tarian came about–I saw a multi-textured sweater in a shop that I loved, and I set out to make my own version, using stitch patterns and design elements that represented what I would like to wear in a sweater of that type. After a bit of experimentation in swatching, I came up with the patterns that you see in the images above and below.


closeup of the model's midsection and arms to show the various textured knitted panels on the sweater


The yarn that Twist had me work with was a fuzzy alpaca blend, Valley Yarns Stockbridge, which made the sample sweater extra cozy. This sweater would look great in a number of different yarns though–pure merino for awesome stitch definition, cotton for a warmer climate, or the blend that I plan to use for my own version–a merino silk yarn for a bit of shimmer to those stitches!


Of course with it being the middle of summer here in Australia, I won’t be thinking about warm wool pullovers for a little while, but I’m looking forward to getting one of these babies on the needles this autumn!


For more details and pictures, or to buy a copy of the pattern, please check out the pattern page on the Twist Collective website or Ravelry!

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.


The first thing I saw this morning when I turned off my alarm and opened my Facebook page (yes, sometimes I check Facebook before even being vertical), was a post from my friend Liz, which said "Happy Palentine's Day! I love every last one of you, friends!"


It totally disarmed me. I tend to be a bit of a grump about holidays, especially if I feel like those holidays are telling me what to do (I don't much like being told what to do). So I am going to spare all of you my soapbox talk today, and declare you (yes you)  my Valentines/Palentines.


Phew. Okay. Now that's out of the way, let's talk about clothes!! Check out today's sweater. She is a beaut.


Model is thin and blonde, wearing a light aqua knit hoodie with cables along the buttonbands and up over the hood. The buttons are made of light wood.


Garter edges, pretty cables, and a  hood. Piscataqua is basically perfect. Let's have a closer look at some of those details, and oh gosh the back is pretty.


closeup of the cables on the hood, which are like figure eights.closeup of the inverted v-shape cable medallion on the lower back of the sweater


Okay so there is one thing I shamelessly love about Valentine's, and that is the combination of red and pink. I know it's sometimes thought of as a fashion faux-pas, but I think those colours look lovely together, and they both look perfect with this minty sweater. You may not be surprised that I went full-on girl with this styling set.


three outfits with this sweater, all with pink and red acessories


How will you wear Piscataqua?