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Lately, I've been seeing knitters who have taken patterns from the magazine and put their own signature on them, repurposing charts and seeing things differently, so I'd like to share a few.


Ysolda Teague's Little Birds chart is a popular option, destined to become a classic.  Not only have people played around with the colour combinations (personal fun favourite is a blackbirds on red version), but they've made other things incorporating the chart as well.  Here's the vest Jo (jojowheeler on ravelry) made for her darling son:



And the hat that weezalana made for her birdwatching Mother-in-Law:


and mittens Annika's (Annika72 on ravelry) knit as a way to swatch colour combinations with a purpose before she launched into the sweater as a whole.



Mary Ann Stephen's Sleepy Monkey Blanket is beginning to proliferate as well.  Here's a pillow Cathleen (ravelry link) knit in the pattern, monkeys on both sides, if you're asking. I hear a rumour there's a full blown baby sweater in the works with this one too.  I'd love to see that when it's done if that knitter is reading.



Speaking of baby sweaters, Aasa knit a sweater using Stephanie van der Linden's breathtaking sock pattern, Harika, to great effect.



And last, but certainly not the least, is Chappy Mom Deb's fabulous blanket which she envisioned from Mari Muinonen's Sylvi pattern the moment she saw it in the magazine.




Personally, I would love to have the time to knit a pair of Sylvi socks, toe up, choosing a 32 stitch wide section from the bigger chart, a couple of those irresistible flowers embracing the ankle, and I have even got the toe started in some stash Cherry Tree Hill, but my plate is full at the moment.  Perhaps these will come together for me sometime this summer.  In the meantime, feel free to play with the idea (or any other pattern repurposing) if you are so inclined, and send me a picture.  

TNNA is an interesting place for yarn lovers because it is the brutal mechanics of the industry laid bare, and much of the romance can get a little bruised in all the naked light of the business end of things.  Yarn companies display their product for yarn store owners rather than the public, and many owners have built up an immunity to the yarn fumes because of their constant exposure, so they're looking for the extra strong stuff. The new, the soft, the colour, all must be irresistible for them to believe in it.  However, the show seemed upbeat, and the smiles liberally and evenly spread among the stylishly dressed and comfortably shod on the floor.  I think as a leading indicator for the country as a whole, the show's message was something like "steady as she goes."

There aren't any photos in my camera from the floor because that would. be. against. the. rules, but I do have a few examples of why I should always take my camera with me to things like this, even though my phone boasts a 3 megasomething capability.  Here's Spinning Loft Beth, Spunky Eclectic Amy King, Spritely Goods Steph, and Brooklyn Handspun Marie in the lobby.


We also had fun catching up with Beth Casey of Lorna's Laces before the Buffalo Gold party. I liked Beth before I met her because I interviewed her about a year ago over the phone when I was profiling Kate for Interweave Knits (fall 2008 issue, fyi). Beth has a great voice, like a late night radio DJ, and she answered questions and cracked jokes to the background music of yarn sloshing around in an enormous dyebath. In person, I bonded with her immediately because we are about the same height, and she told me where I could find great jeans just like hers (Gap, naturally). It's all about the inseam, baby.


I find TNNA physically demanding because food, water, and Jeni's ice cream are something one has to stop in the middle of everything to fetch, and so I ate hardly at all, and drank even less water, flirting with dehydration were it not for the whack of mediocre hotel coffee I fortified myself with both mornings.

big girl cake

We were so famished Friday night working in our hotel room until 2 am that Kate and I filched leftover "big girl" cake from her mom's cooler.  We used a pizza box as our serving platter and considered how we could proceed without a knife. Before I managed to tear it apart with my bare hands, Kate found some dental floss to slice it with, so we devoured the thing with disputable politesse only to discover that it had a minty fresh aftertaste.


One of my favorite voices from our Ravelry forum turned up in her freshly finished Botanical Lace Cardigan, from the summer issue.  Jocelyn (jocelyng on Ravelry) was all smiles every time we passed her sporting her cardigan in Cotton Fleece, and it's no wonder because it looks terrific on her. Here she is outside the Buffalo Gold party, where we hung out, a wee bit intimidated by the crowd inside, but had a lovely time chatting with people as they passed in and out with their drinks. I took a few pictures for people who wanted a record of their meeting Ysolda, and got to know NewSarah, who is taller than she looks in her Ravelry video, and every bit as charming as you hope that she is for real. But so it is with so many of the yarn folk once you meet them in person: charming, funny, quick with a joke, and yes, ultimately susceptible to the yarn fumes, even after all these years.

Julia here.

In case you haven't heard, Twist Collective is on the road this week, with fashion shows in New Jersey, British Colombia, and mental yarn shopping in Ohio.

Irene will have the Box of Sweaters on Saturday, June 13th at Knitknack in Maplewood, New Jersey starting at noon. She'll also have Twist Collective tape measures with her for sale, so if you've been craving a little piece of swag, this is your chance.

Rachael will be with the OTHER box of sweaters at Three Bags Full in Vancouver, British Columbia June 16th from 7 tp 9 pm, RSVP requested. Check out their website for that information and to let them know you're coming. No worries: Sylvi by Mari Muinonen will be at both shows. One of them is the one I knit for myself in the Briggs and Little Atlantic colour, Dark Grey.

Kate and I will be at the TNNA show in Columbus, Ohio from Friday to Sunday. If you're on the floor and see us go by, please say hi and tell us you read the blog.  It will make us so happy, we'll give you a Twist button.  From our experience last year, I know how important that button accumulation can be over the course of the show. 



Here's my own personal collection from last year. You can see that I really made the rounds, picking up my cool and complimentary badge holder from Namaste, a prized strawberry Starburst from Be Sweet, and all manner of buttons and badges from knitty, Ravelry (see my Bob pin?), Lucy Neatby, Amy O'Neill Houck, and Potter Craft (who had a gorgeous booth, I must say).  It makes me feel all authentic and stuff. This year Kate and I will be touching all the yarn and refreshing our mental files, getting reacquainted with our advertising and yarn supplying supporters, and looking for the best stuff to share with readers for the coming year.  I can't wait.

It has come to my attention that many people have been referring to the Tidbits section as advertising, saying (for example) that they had seen the spinning wheel cupholder ad in the latest issue.  I must protest quickly on this matter, that Tidbits is actually an editorial section of the magazine where we call attention to cool things we like, products, yarn, stuff in general that the directors at Twist Collective feel our readers should know about. 





While we do care to represent products from our advertisers, at least half of any issue's Tidbits selection comes from elsewhere, and we take care to photograph the items with the kind of flair we hope characterizes the magazine as a whole. I am sorry if that hasn't been clear, and apologize to both the vendors represented in the section, and to the readers who may have felt, albeit incorrectly, that they were being had.

I now return you to our regularly scheduled program.


Knitters . . . start your needles and get ready for a summer of knits. The latest issue of Twist Collective is up and waiting for you. Come browse for lace, socks, tanks and cardigans to knit with summer in mind.