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Fiona Ellis

Today's post is brought to you by Fiona Ellis- knitter, designer, author, and teacher extraordinaire! Today she shares some moment from Knit Camp (already sounds like paradise, right?), as well as some reflections on Twist's role in creating exciting partnerships in the knitting world.

Dear knitters, I just got back from teaching at The Needle Emporium’s Knit Camp where I always have a wonderful time; great students, lots of yarn, delish meals, time to kick back and knit as well as class- time, but most importantly a whole three days of being among our people.

This year one of my fellow guest instructors was Beth Casey, owner of Lorna’s Laces. I have used Beth’s yarn for several projects in the past and this year we were both part of the three-way collaboration when we came up with Soakboxes.  But before this past weekend I have only ever met her briefly in person before. So it was wonderful to spend time getting to know her and her business philosophy. It is this kind of meeting that sparks all sorts of cool new ideas and projects….so keep your eyes open for future projects.

It got me thinking about how Twist Collective has acted as a kind of matchmaker between the wonderful yarn companies whose products are featured and I (and probably many other designers).

This spring I was traveling a lot and so when it came time to take delivery of yarn for up-coming projects my whereabouts became a factor. This was how Twist Collective set up Felicia Lo, owner of Sweet Georgia Yarns, and I on a kind of blind date in Vancouver. You can read about it here on her blog:  I was so happy to be able tell her all about Breckenridge (worked in her yarn) before the Fall issue went live. But you will have to wait until the winter issue of TC to see what came out of the yarn handed off during that meeting.

Also springing out of the relationship from working together on several projects for Twist, I was invited to teach at the Green Mountain Spinnery  Knitters in the Green Mountains weekend. This turned out to the birthplace of “The Human Cable”. Eric (one of the co- owners at GMS) and I devised a performance piece using unsuspecting victims (I mean volunteer students) to play the part of the stitches involved in a T5B cable cross. It turns out to be a great teaching tool as well as a whole lot of fun. So in my world I like to say: “What happens at camp, doesn’t always stay at camp”…but there are several photos from this past weekend that I really hope don’t surface on the Internet.

Knitters Girl Gang

Twist Collective very kindly sent gift certificates as prizes for camp here are two of the lucky winners pictured with Julie Schilthuis, owner of The Needle Emporium & myself.

PS: GMS have fellow Twist designer Amy Christoffers teaching at this year’s retreat.

Here are some more photos from Knit Camp-

View from Camp classrooms 

View from the classrooms

photo credit: Julie Schilthuis

Me teaching my “Tints, Tones & Knit Two (colours) together” class.


photo credit: Julie Schilthuis

Instructors offering encouragement to human swifts

Thurs eve’s ice breaker/get to know the participants include knit related games here Beth Casey, Josh Bennett (the 3rd guest instructor) and I encourage our teams being human swifts (against the clock)- I’m removing my team mate’s socks because they were causing too much friction.


The prize winners Carole & Wendy with Julie


Beth Casey taking a pic of me while I take one of her

Someone is growing quickly and ready to take the sweater I promised you.


Spunky's getting big

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 love me a good henley. Most of the ones in my wardrobe are really old, really soft, and "borrowed" from cute boys I know (or used to know). Maybe that's why henleys always seem a little masculine to me (even if like Sapwood, they are girl-shaped, and in a soft color, and have lovely feminine detailing) or maybe somewhere deep in my subconscious I knew that the henley shirt began as a men's rowing uniform. I think there is something sweet, and cozy, and just a little bit insouciant about tossing a boyish shirt over something really girlie. If you wanted to bring out that old-school henley edge, make yours in navy, heathered grey, or an oatmeal tone. These first outfits, in this robin's egg shade, may border on twee- but there's nothing wrong with looking unapologetically adorable once in a while.

Sapwood, girlie

This is definitely a top that plays well with others; it's a great layering piece. In the looks above, the top kind of dresses down the dresses, takes them into definite daytime territory. But I also want to show you that even though a henley always looks a tiny bit "undone", you can still wear it and look put-together. Observe:

Sapwood, fancified

This is pretty dorky, but that whole set was inspired by the movie Pleasantville- the cool greys really make the colors pop right out at you. I think Sapwood would be right at home in a prim 50's inspired outfit, over your gym clothes in yoga class, with a sweet frock, or over your most worn-in jeans. How would you wear your Sapwood?

Amy HerzogToday's post is brought to you by Amy Herzog, and it can also be found on her blog. Her contribution to our most recent issue, the lovely Sapwood henley, is the focus of this post, but Amy has also contributed a number of other lovely designs to our pages. Her garments are always feminine, timeless, easily adapted to different body types and shapes, and cleverly executed.  This sweater has become a staple in Amy's own wardrobe- think about adding it to yours as well!

When the most recent issue of Twist Collective came out, I remembered how much I loved the relaxed design of my sweater in the collection, Sapwood. It may sound weird to remember how much I liked a design, but Sapwood was knit during the utterly crazy last days of the book, when everything was a total blur. I was switching back and forth between my day job to book editing to the photoshoot like a zombie–it’s no wonder my memory was a little on the hazy side!

Sapwood PlacketSapwood shoulder

Sapwood is like gourmet comfort food in sweater form. It’s easygoing and relaxed, with a bit of a tailored edge. It works well dressed up or down, and the sweater’s shaping makes it super flattering and easy to adjust for your body’s quirks. Looking at the pictures, I found myself wanting a Sapwood of my own!

Sapwood sleeveSapwood back

Unfortunately, designers don’t actually get much time to knit sweaters for themselves… …and even less time to knit already-released sweaters for themselves. I’m full up on deadline knitting this fall, in preparation for my book release next spring. So what’s a girl to do?

Well, despite being utterly embarrassed about it, I hired a sample knitter (the wonderful Margaux and gave her modifications for knitting the pattern to my figure. I asked her to knit the pieces, and then did the blocking and finishing myself. The result? I have a brand new sweater that I totally adore.

Amy's Sapwood

I’ve worn it both with a nice skirt, for work, and dressed down with jeans and a tank top, like this. I’ve worn it hiking, I’ve worn it driving the kids around. It’s comfortable and easy-peasy and looks great. (The yarn is superwash, too, so it’s even easy care!)

Sapwood contains a buch of my favorite sweater elements to wear. The scoop neck, with a little henley placket, gives me just enough coverage and allows me to use some special vintage buttons:

Vintage buttons

The back of the sweater is plain, which makes for great reading/tv knitting, but the sleeves include a little lace panel. It’s a pretty touch without being too sweet. And the 3/4-length sleeves are perfect pushing-up length, which is how I always seem to wear my sweaters.


I made my usual modifications to this pattern–lengthened the body by 1”, and added an inch or so of vertical bust darts to the front.This accommodates my longer-than-average torso and gives me room in the bust without drowning my shoulders. They’re worked by working waist increases every other RS row until 5 additional increases have been worked–I decreased those extra sts into the neckline as described in my last post on Trimmings.

All in all, Sapwood has become something of a staple so far this fall. I look forward to many more years of wearing it!

Robin takes action against a hostile mallard.


Robin chases a mean duck