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June 2, 2008

It's the final countdown

If you are humming the background music to Gob Bluth's magic act right now, you are fine and dandy in my book.

But, I'm talking about something that fills me with even more glee.

A few months back, I was asked if I'd be willing to contribute to a brandly spanking new online magazine. I feel like I can't really do justice in describing all this magazine aims to do, but for the designers, in short, it offers the best of the worlds of self and magazine publishing. As a customer, you can expect gorgeous, high quality and affordable PDF downloads, of pieces designed by some of your favorite independent designers. These patterns will be beautifully photographed, expertly laid out and meticulously tech edited.

Am I doing a good job getting you excited about this magazine? Probably not. Instead, bookmark the Twist Collective site and see a new teaser image of a projects from the premier issue.

Twist.jpg

Just roll over a number and see the center image change to another Twist Collective graphic.

I have to tell you, I've seen a couple shots of the finished pieces and I think there will be something, maybe a lot of somethings for everyone. And, even better, each pattern will be available individually, so no more buying a whole magazine for a single design, you like.

Is this designer excited? Do bears poop in the woods? That'd be a big old "yes" right here.

June 16, 2008

The unblogable list just keeps growing

If you were to look at my Ravelry notebook, you'd notice a lot of projects that are super top secret. (If I showed them to you, I'd have to kill you, and nobody wants that.)


Sadly enough, this doesn't even represent the full list of unbloggables. Two are to come (awaiting yarn) and one two-part pattern isn't represented (didn't get a good swatch shot before I sent it off.)

So, that means I've been very busy and haven't much to show for it around here.
But, in the next month and a half, or so, I expect to have a new self published pattern for you, which will reveal the whole behind these two little pieces.

Swatch1 Swatch2

And, the premier issue of Twist Collective will be out with this bad boy.

IMG_0188.JPG

The rest will come in its due time. So funny too, I had this grand idea that I'd work on all self published stuff this year. How silly I am. I have been trying to do more of my own designs, but the opportunities that have arisen, to work on other projects, have just been too good to pass up. In the end, I think it's all worked out for the best.

That said, with several patterns being tech edited right now, and other patterns due very soon, I've been so entrenched in numbers and details that I needed to give myself a little break yesterday.

That's when El Matchador, some Spunky Eclectic merino and I, had ourselves a luxurious few hours while watching Deadwood on DVD.

IMG_0015.jpg


These are the singles spun not-too-tightly, using a supported long draw method. I plan to ply it pretty tightly once I've spun the 4 ounces I have. I think this will retain the softness without being too prone to pilling. The colorway is called Sage and it's an amazing mix of greens and browns, ranging from deep leafy green to red and yellow ocher. The picture really doesn't show the color well. You'll just have to take my word for it.

I'm eager to finish spinning up the remaining fiber, yet also feeling mentally refreshed enough to dive back into my deadline work.

In unrelated news, my parents arrive on Wednesday when we will belatedly celebrate Father's Day with my now-legitimate-no-longer-step father. Huzzah! And to add to the fun, my mom and I will be at the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene on Friday and, maybe, Saturday. If you'll be there too, please say "hi." I have a feeling my wallet will be substantially lighter after leaving the event.

November 13, 2008

Dietrich

The new Twist Collective is up and I think you'll agree that it's a fantastic issue. There are so many great designs by so many great designers.

My own contribution is Dietrich

dietrich_page.jpg

Photos copyright Caroline Bergeron All Rights Reserved

Layout by Twist collective.

Dietrich is a simple felted cloche with a subtle, asymmetrical brim. When I told Kate I really wanted to adorn it with a feather, she said it was a great idea and said she had just the feather, if I hadn't picked one out already. I think she did an amazing job styling it. I love it.

The only problem with designing felted items is that you can't know if you got it just right until it's too late to undo what you've done.

The hat starts big and floppy

dietrich1_pre felting.jpg

The first version had a VERY dramatic brim, which is fun, but not as practical, so I knit a second version, that you see in the pattern shots, and kept the original to play with.

dietrich1_embroidered2.jpg dietrich1_embroidered3.jpg

Using a simple back stitch, I embroidered some vines around the brim. I found a ribbon that picked up the shades of the embroidery and added that as well. I think it's cute and I'll definitely find more excuses to embroider on knitting.

Dietrich not your thing? There's oodles of great content over in the winter edition, so go on over and check it out.


December 10, 2008

Taking my own advice

You know, sometimes I talk all knowingly about how there isn't one right needle and you should swatch and blah blah blah, but you know what? I love metal needles. I use them almost exclusively. I like that they are smooth and fast and many have sharp little points. It's all about efficiency to me. Wood needles seem slow and plodding to me, like swimming in molasses. Plastic needles range, but are often just too grippy for my taste and certain brands are all wobbly bendy.

But you know what? I've been hating this sleeve I'm working on for a particular pattern. It's lace, worked in the round, on a small circumference. The lace requires working 3 stitches together, and every other row, those three stitches shift, which means that stitches have to be moved between needles. Worse, it's laceweight black yarn worked on big ol' needles.

needles.jpg

I tried two circulars, but the problem with this method is that it's nearly impossible to move stitches back and forth between needles at such a tight circumference. One, essentially, has to use a cable needle or spare DPN. Talk about inefficient.

So then I moved to some metal DPNs. I'm sure there'll be gasps of disgust but I have absolutely no issues knitting with Susan Bates DPNs. The really small ones are a bit bendy, but anything above a US#1 seems to work fine and they come in pretty colors. Who could complain? Unfortunately, working with laceweight yarn and these heavy needles was almost as bad as the 2-circs. The weight of the needles was so great that I couldn't maintain a comfortable tension on the yarn. This got even worse between needles, forcing me to maintain a constant death grip on the yarn while also fearing that the needles would make a run for it. I finally had to admit it, I was using the wrong needle. I'm a stubborn woman.

I went over to the local craft store, picked up some cheapo bamboo needles, and it's been smooth sailing since. The wood's grippiness keeps all the needles in place and the weight is light enough that the thread isn't pulled from my fingers as I work. I'm not a convert, I'm just reminded that sometimes I have to step out of my perceived comfort zone.


And since my 1970s ripple afghan has received so much attention, here she is again, albeit a bit rumpled. Oh, there are also a couple of dogs next to her.

IMG_0018.JPG


Thea seems to think she's a cat.

January 14, 2009

Bijou

I have been working on this project since June, so it's with more than a little excitement that I finally show you my newest pattern in Twist Collective, called Bijou.

Bijou
1. Bijou - Red, 2. Bijou - Black, 3. Bijou - Red, 4. Bijou - Black
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Available in 12 sizes with two different sleeve options, this piece is knit in the round, from the bottom up, and is totally seamless.

The red version is shown knit in my size with no ease. The black version is knit a size larger and has about 3" of ease.

As always, let me know if you have any questions. I love to get feedback.

March 1, 2009

Dulce De Leche

The spring issue of Twist Collective is live and guess who has a little pattern there.

Dulce De Leche pattern
Photo copyright Caroline Bergeron

It's called Dulce De Leche and it's made with 1/2 N 1/2, a wool/milk blend. The piece features flattering body darts and subtle gathering at the neckline placket and sleeve hems. The garment is worked from the bottom up, in the round, with no seams. The set-in sleeves are worked from the top-down, also without seams.

Dulce De Leche pattern Dulce De Leche pattern
Photos copyright Caroline Bergeron

If you are interested in the pattern, you can purchase it here.

July 13, 2009

Twist Collective Fashion Show at the Tigard Knitting Guild

For any of my readers who might be local, or even local-ish, I'm very pleased to announce that I'll be MCing a fashion show for Twist Collective at the Tigard Knitting Guild, this Thursday at 7pm.

Twist Homepage

If you are already a member, wonderful. I hope you'll be able to join us. But even if you don't have a membership to the guild, they graciously allow you to attend as a guest, twice, completely free of charge. So if you've been thinking about joining, now might be a good chance to give the guild a test drive.

You'll see pieces from all of your favorite Twist contributors including another local's work, Ms. Chrissy Gardiner, designer and author of Toe Up!

I can't tell you how overwhelmed I am with the beauty of the pieces I'll be showing and I only hope I'll do them justice at the event.

"Trunk"

I would love to have some friendly faces to cheer me on and maybe laugh as I try to pronounce Poffertjes, so if you will be around, do drop in.

Apropos nothing, here's Thea sleeping.

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July 18, 2009

Because when it's 90 degrees what you want to wear is wool

Thursday was the Twist Collective fashion show, I hosted at the Tigard Knitting Guild. It was also a bejillionty-six degrees, in the shade and still, my volunteer models agreed to wear thick wool sweaters and twirl in front of a full house knitters. I can't tell you how much awesome is contained in that guild. So to everyone there, I am sending a big dog hair covered thank you.

Here are a few of the many pictures my dear friend, Erica (not a knitter!) took. Another big thank you to her. Anyone who would brave that heat to take pictures of something she has absolutely no interest in, is a true true friend, in my book.

Twist Collective Fashion Show at the Tigard Knitting Guild
1. Silly faces while answering questions, 2. Ardent and Willow-Withe, 3. Bernhardt and Sunflower, 4. Uhura and Cleo, 5. Through the Keyhole and Lotus Leaf Mitten, 6. Primrose Path and Postwar, 7. Dulce de Leche and Postwar, 8. Ice Fantasia, 9. Bijou and Sleepy Monkey, 10. Stormsvale and Poffertjes, 11. Petals and Licorice Stick Socks, 12. Broderie and Postwar, 13. Cherry Fizz
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Did I mention that everyone who helped me volunteered and that it was a gatrillion and eleven degrees? Yah, lots of awesome.

In all honesty, it's mostly a blur. Once I'm in "go" mode, I'm flying on adrenaline and what I remember after is pretty vague, but I think the show went really well and that people got to see just how amazing the various garments are in person. Photos never give you a full picture of what the garment is like and seeing things on different body shapes makes it easier to imagine how they'd fit you. I know I walked away wanting to queue almost everything I saw.

So that's about the long and short of it. To see all the pictures including many of me making goofy face while I talk, you can see the whole set here.

And you can purchase any of the Twist patterns here.

August 15, 2009

Pas de Valse

So guess who has a new pattern out in the fantastic Twist Collective? Me! Did you guess that already? Is it weird when one answers her own rhetorical questions?

Anyway, the pattern is called Pas de Valse, and it's available in 12 sizes from 30" (to fit 28" bust) to 63" (to fit 61" bust).

Pas de Valse

My hope is that this will be a really versatile piece that will be both flattering and comfortable. It's also a fantastic canvas for showing off a special shawl pin -- just saying.

As always, I'm thrilled to be contributing to Twist and humbled by the beautiful pieces my colleagues have created. Go check out all the pretty now.

April 2, 2010

Damariscotta

The Spring/Summer 2010 Twist Collective is up and it's visually stunning and filled with amazing designs. I was lucky enough to have two submissions accepted and will do a blog post for each.

The first piece is Damariscotta.

Original Damariscotta Sketch

Named for a hard to pronounce but lovely little town in Maine, near where my dad's family has land. I'll sometimes fly out to Maine to go to the Fiber Frolic with my mom, and we'll all stay at a little cabin that my dad built on the land there.

June 2009 -- Maine

Having grown up in New England and having spent plenty of time in Maine, I associate the area with a love for the ocean, a rather pragmatic sensibility and clean and structural design. I strove to capture those qualities in this top.

Damariscotta

The piece is knit from the top down with instructions for an entirely seamless construction, right down to the double-knit hems that are grafted closed. I've also included instructions for people who might run at the sight of the words "graft" or "double-knit" so don't despair if that's not your cup of tea.

I also think this piece would be magnificent with a simple lace border around the hem and sleeves, instead of a finished hem shown. A wee bit of single crochet would prevent any curling and it would turn this simple piece into something worthy of a pretty pencil skirt and heels.

While I love the idea of a deep angled square neck (image it over a pretty little lace tank,) I knew that wouldn't suit everyone and that is why I chose the top-down construction instead of my preferred method of knitting bottom up. Keeping in mind that the single crochet will pull in the neck a little, one can simply throw the live stitches onto waste yarn and try the piece on to determine the most comfortable and flattering neckline depth and width.

Damariscotta

Once you work the neckline you like best, you can shape the torso to follow every curve or leave out the shaping altogether for a more relaxed fit. The sleeves can be worked the same way, and can easily be lengthened to fit your climate and preference.

So that's Damariscotta for you. I hope that those of you who like the design will enjoy knitting it, and if it's not your style, I have no doubt there's another piece in this edition that will catch your eye.

Check out this and all the other beautiful patterns in the Spring/Summer 2010 edition of Twist Collective, by going here.

April 18, 2010

Styling Dietrich

The asymmetrical brim on Dietrich adds a little unexpected twist to a classic hat shape. The warm felted merino is soft enough to wear against the skin and great for keeping out those cold gusts of wind.

What could be a better pairing than a fitted pea-coat for this fun little hat? The double breasted styling adds a little extra warmth against those chilly winter gusts and a soft creamy scarf is a versatile accessory even as the months get a little warmer. Chocolate brown knee high boots jump puddles and slush in style and a pleated plaid skirt can be worn almost anywhere. Work your hat in a color that matches your existing winter coat or choose something complementary but contrasting for a little brightness through those grey months.

April 20, 2010

Styling Bijou

Bijou, with its delicate lace, slightly ruffled sleeves and fitted body darts, is sweet by nature so when I imagine styling this, I am inclined to play with expectation.

A pleated chiffon skirt is an obvious accompaniment to this dainty design, but black leather accents and shocking yellow detailing give the look edge. The black chiffon caplet bridges the divide between the extremes.

Lose the accessories and choose a simpler shoe for the office or daytime event, or break out the black eyeliner and your favorite up-do to make this a stunning evening look. As with almost any sweater, though, this piece is easily at home paired with jeans and thrown over a comfortable tank. I think, with a little creativity, this special piece could get plenty of regular use.

April 22, 2010

Styling Dulce de Leche

Dulce de Leche is a henley inspired shirt with feminine detailing. This piece could be equally comfortable grocery shopping or out on a date, but when I think about wearing this piece, I imagine cool ocean breezes on a hot day and the sun beating down on me.

Someone recently lamented the return of palazzo pants. Frankly, I refuse to acknowledge that they were ever out of style, but I also won't rule out the viability of a kaftan in the right situation, so call me Mrs Roper and get off my lawn, you whipper snappers.

[Ahem]

Paired with soft muted palazzo pants, sweet floral flats and a large brimmed sun hat, I think Dulce de Leche can be carefree and comfortable while remaining flattering and feminine. Accessories are chosen for their bright colors in different hues but a similar intensity to the pullover. The only thing missing from this resort getaway look is a comfortable chaise and that guilty pleasure book you don't want to be seen reading in public.

May 2, 2010

Styling Pas de Valse

The whole idea behind Pas de Valse is versatility and as you see it in the Twist Collective shoot, it's a perfect piece to throw on when you are wearing your favorite pair of jeans. A piece like this is great for those transitional seasons when it's not quite cold enough for a jacket but you want just a little more warmth than what you need inside.

The whole look of the garment changes depending on how you close it (or not) and what you layer it over. A comfortable tank, linen blend pants, flats and a few colorful accessories, seem like a perfect combination for a day in the city, checking out your favorite boutiques and museums. If it gets a little warm, this light and airy cardigan tucks easily into your tote.

At night on a cool summer evening, wrapped over a shimmery mini-dress with sparkly accessories, this garment becomes a flirty coat to throw on while you flag down a cab to bring you to that favorite dance club. Pull the oversized shawl collar tightly around you to keep off the chill.

May 10, 2010

Styling Damariscotta

It's easy to dismiss Damariscotta as just a knitted t-shirt, best thrown together with cargos or jeans. I think that's a fine choice but misses what a great layering piece this top can be.

The cotton blend fabric and short sleeves are an ideal combination for hot summer days spent, at least in part, in a chilly office or other climate controlled building. Pair this tee with a fitted jacket and wide legged pants and accessorize with bright shoes and a matching neck scarf. I have a closet filled with black, grey and tan suit separates, and layering them over a bright top and vivid accessories is a wonderful way to bring color and variety to an otherwise monochromatic ensemble. When the work day is over, switch out the jacket for a cardigan and have a great, put-together look for anything from dinner and drinks with friends to a parent-teacher meetings at your child's school.

On the weekends, you can play up the form fitting darts with a full skirt and a tank top underneath that displays just a bit of lace at the neckline. Wedges, an anklet and a floral pin or hair accessory hint at a bohemian aesthetic. This look is polished while still remaining comfortable and versatile.

Because Damariscotta is so customizable as you knit, you can really make this piece fit your lifestyle. As I've said before, I'd love to see the hems on this piece, worked in a simple scalloping lace stitch which would really highlight the feminine qualities of the garment, but you could also work a bit of ribbing, instead, take out some of the shaping in the body and raise the neckline for a more casual look. So how would you style this piece?

BTW, if you want to play around with styling this piece or any other piece, I've written up some tips for getting started using Polyvore, over at the Twist Collective blog.

May 18, 2010

Styling Cecchetti

Cecchetti might have been inspired by garments worn to warm up for a challenging dance class, but the shimmery silky yarn knit at a very loose gauge is delicate and divine and just begs to be worn for a special occasion.

A fitted pencil skirt and sky high heels emphasize the long lean lines of the piece. Paired with shoulder dusting earrings and a simple pashmina, the look is elegant and, let's face it, very very sexy. Not everyone (yours truly included) can bear the thought of hours in stilettos but I think one can achieve the same aesthetic with lower heels and a long and fitted skirt with an tantalizing slit up the side or back.

August 1, 2010

New Twist Collective

If you haven't heard the news, the new Twist Collective is up. I feel really proud to be a part of this edition. My dear friend Julia has the cover design and rightfully so, because it's gorgeous.

And speaking of gorgeous, my friend Mary-Heather not only has a brilliant design in this edition, but she also modeled an entire story.

My modest contribution to the edition is Tolovana about which I'll post more soon.


Photo copyright Caro Benna Sheridan

For now, go go go, go look at the edition, it's a fantastic one, I might even be so bold as to say it's the best to date.

September 9, 2010

Tolovana: the making of

I put a lot more time into planning my wedding shawl than I did my actual wedding and to be honest, that's not saying much because my wedding planning amounted to sending an email to my closest family, booking a hotel room, getting a license and hoping for the best. If only knitwear design were so easy. Though, to be fair, I find designing pretty fun but would be entirely content to never plan another wedding.

So to start, I pulled out my entire collection of stitch dictionaries looking for motifs to pair together. I didn't have a strong sense for what I wanted but I knew I wanted to take what I learned from designing La Cumparsita and expand on it, making a project that had more details, and a strongly scalloped hem. I ended up choosing only a single motif and scaling it up and down to form three versions, a border and transitions between each.

At the same time, I started to think about yarn. I wasn't sure what I was going to be wearing but I thought red might be pretty so I ordered three Grafton Batts from Amy.


sweet batts are sweeter with candy

It was a little challenging but I did my best to work all three batts as one to maintaining the color transitions these batts are so well known for.

I ended up with about 1100 yards of rich glorious fingering/sport weight singles and began the swatching and knitting and charting and calculating. I was cranking along and doing great until I actually decided to start looking at dresses.

I suppose this my have been an acceptable reason to consider a white or ivory dress, but as I am already a brilliant shade of "fish belly" and since *ahem* the symbolism associated with wearing white most certainly wouldn't apply to me, I was determined to wear some other color and some other color I found. It just turns out that blue-green doesn't actually go terribly well with red and burgundy.


so sad, don't let the door hit you on the way out

At this point, spinning another 1000 yards or so of fiber just wasn't going to be an option, but I had some purple Handmaiden Seasilk burning a hole in my stash that was more than up to the task.

The final shawl is incredibly delicate and actually snagged quite dramatically right before the wedding. But really, what's a wedding without at least one moment of panic? The fibers smoothed out as easily as they snagged, but it was clear to me that this would always be a special occasion sort of wrap, not one to to throw around my neck before heading out to the city.

When Kate asked me if I'd like to publish the pattern in Twist Collective, I jumped at the chance. Instead of the delicate seasilk we decided to go for two uniquely different yarns and offer two variations of the pattern.

The green version is worked in Sundara Sock. The lace has larger expanses of stockinette for a warmer, denser feel. This is the version I'd use as my all purpose, scarf/wrap on chilly winter days. It's washable, strong, tightly spun and the colors are rich, yet it unfurls into a beautiful shawl that looks great wrapped around your shoulders while you are out on a dinner date.

The violet version is more true to the original, and worked in Sundara Silky Merino which offers the drape and sheen of the prototype with a little of that merino resiliency I love so much. The more delicate and open version of the lace pattern makes it a great option to wear for more formal occasions, but it's not so delicate that you'd be afraid to put it to good use.

It was really a fun design to come up with and as someone who knit the pattern twice (I did hire a sample knitter to knit the third one) I found it really enjoyable too. This may have something to do with my fond feelings for the whole project but I do hope that others will find it equally enjoyable. If you are interested in knitting Tolovana, you can get it here. And of course, don't forget to check out all the other beautiful patterns available at Twist Collective.

November 16, 2010

Mata Hari

The Winter 2010 edition of Twist Collective is live and it features 31 patterns, along with some fantastic articles.

I'm pleased and flattered to have been asked to contributed to the Designer's Choice section. We were asked to come up with a design we would love to wear and model it for the section. My design is called, Mata Hari and features a plunging v-neck in back and a wide scoop neck in front. The garment looks just as good worn backwards and an optional bow adds just a touch of fun to the piece.

Mata Hari Mosaic
1. Mata_Hari0716, 2. Mata_Hari2011, 3. Mata_Hari1762, 4. Mata_Hari1421

I plan to write more about this piece later. For now, I hope you'll take a few moments to check out this beautiful edition.

April 1, 2011

Raina

The new Twist Collective is live and for my friends and family still digging themselves out of snow drifts just to check the mail, it's a fresh, springy, breath of fresh air.

This is another stunner of an edition, with many names you probably already know and love and a few new folks as well. My design is Raina.

This piece is worked in Madelinetosh Pashmina so it's incredibly soft and a delight to wear. The lace trim at the hems, long lean ribbing and body darts, all make for an elegant and feminine fit, while the short sleeves, long length and modest scoop neck make it as comfortable as a favorite t-shirt, to wear.

Raina132

I hope you'll take a few moments to flip through the great new edition of Twist Collective. If Raina isn't your style (or even if it is) there is so much more to see and love.

April 13, 2011

Twist Blog Post

Some of you may have gathered that my role at Twist Collective extends further than designing, especially if you are contributors, yourself, or happen to look at the masthead.

In December, I went to New Mexico with owner/editor/publisher/designer/etc Kate Gilbert to do the Two for Tea shoot and have just posted a blog post on the Twist site chronicling our adventures.

See the post here.

I always love behind-the-scenes style posts and I hope you like them too. If there are other topics you'd ever like to hear about at Twist, feel free to let me know in the comments.

August 1, 2011

Fall 2011 Twist Collective is Live

The new Twist Collective is live and it's beautiful. I have seen these patterns from their thoughtfully laid out submissions right up to their final tech edited PDF. I've read the articles from their early drafts to their polished finished composition. I feel personally invested in each and every piece's success and receptions from knitters.

There's a lot to love in this edition, including two beautiful garments from my dear friend, Julia Trice, and a must read article on seamed knitting, by Sandi Rosner. And while I think all the articles are fantastic, I'd be remis if I didn't direct you to this story, where you'll struggle to decide which is more endearing, the story itself or the beautiful illustrations.

Of course, I've made my own contribution to this edition (beyond my work behind the scenes), about which I plan to do a separate, more in-depth post. Make sure you cruise by my his and hers pattern, Doppler.


Photo copyright Jane Heller

Originally conceived as just a men's garment, with an asymmetrical ribbed pattern to keep the knitting interesting but not too fussy, I added in a women's version too, sized proportionally for women's standards, with just a hint of waist shaping. Both patterns come with both the crew and turtleneck instructions, so you can really tailor this garment to your preference.

I know it's simple, without the excitement of some of the myriad designs also available in the edition, but I hope it'll be a wardrobe staple for those who choose to knit it.

Now stop reading my blog post and go check out this amazing new edition.

September 20, 2011

Math, science, history, unraveling the mystery...

...that all started with the Big Bang (Theory).

Leo and I haven't had cable television for about the past 5 years. There was so little we actually wanted to watch that we weren't really getting our dollar's worth. We do have Netflix and Hulu set up and, of course, all 3 of the local PBS stations, and that works fine for us, however we are somewhat reliant on other people to let us know if there's anything we should be watching on Netflix, and it was my parent's suggestion that we watch The Big Bang Theory, that ultimately led to my most recent Twist Collective design, Doppler.

Maybe I shouldn't admit that. The show isn't known for it's cutting edge nor stylish fashion and this clip that spawned my design may make you wonder how many glasses into a bottle of wine I was when inspiration hit.

Nonetheless, after seeing this costume, I had this idea of a men's sweater, with an asymmetrical ribbed pattern that radiated out from one shoulder. To be honest, from what I've seen, men's garment patterns don't sell quite the way women's do. It could be that they generally require more yarn or that more knitters are women and only knit for men on occasion. It could be that men frequently prefer garment styles that are a bit boring to knit. Or it could be something else altogether, but regardless, it seemed to make sense to offer this pattern both for men and women.


My original submission sketch and swatch

After talking with Kate, we decided that not everyone would be keen on the turtleneck so a second neckline option was in order too. This meant that the final pattern offered 11 women's sizes, 12 men's sizes and 2 neckline options for each. Now that's a-lotta-pattern to write. The tech editor may never forgive me.

Doppler_women_030

The garment is worked from the bottom-up, totally seamlessly, including the set-in sleeves, and once the set-up row for the ribbing is done, the stitch pattern is established and you can just knit away.

It was a lot of work cranking out two full sized garments in just over a month, but I managed to pull it off with enough time to get a few shots.

Leo looks mighty good in the men's version.

doppler-for-men_07

doppler-for-men_25

But, I think I give my handsome guy a run for his money.

Doppler_men_onmarnie_009

I hope that people who knit this pattern will find it a great wardrobe staple. The two Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarns were both a joy to work with and next to the skin soft as well. Check out Doppler and all the other great designs in this season's edition of Twist Collective

November 15, 2011

Theano and Zosia


The new Twist Collective is live. I know I say it every season and I mean it, I am honored and humbled to be a part of such an amazing magazine.

My two patterns this season are

Theano


And Zosia


As always, I'll talk more about the designs in a follow-up post. For now, go see everything in this beautiful edition, including all the amazing articles.

April 20, 2012

Did you see the new Twist?

I have two garment patterns in the newest Twist Collective.

The first is Lacewing, a feminine little tee, with a very adjustable neckline. It's worked in Kollage Corntastic and is trimmed with butterfly motifs around the hem and sleeves. I hope this is the sort of garment that people knit and love to wear because it's both flattering and comfortable. There's a bit of waist shaping, but not so much as to be clingy, and strategically placed lace meant to add femininity without being revealing or impractical. The pattern features tutorials for two types of picot cast ons that will be nice and stretchy so the hems form those beautiful scallops.


The second piece is Regent. This is the sort of garment I love both wearing and knitting. It's worked in a Catherine Lowe merino/silk blend, and features deep fluted ruffles around the entire cardigan and has a flattering curved hem. The optional tie can be used to cinch in the waist, but wearing it loose or with a purchased belt, works just as well. While I love ruffles, I always worry that they start to look clownish if one isn't careful. I wanted to make sure that these fell gracefully around the body. I think this is really wearable in a dark neutral shade, but imagine this worked with something a little more shimmery and it's perfect over a summer dress. Work it in a functional 100% wool, and you can wear it around the house in the fall, instead of turning up the heat.


Of course, these are just two of many great new patterns available in the edition. You've got to see some of the gorgeous socks, shawls and many more garments. I know there's no pleasing everyone, but it's hard for me to imagine that anyone couldn't find something they love in the edition. So check out the whole magazine, including all the great articles, here.


As a side note, I've contacted Carol, whose number was randomly chosen in the Kate Atherley book giveaway.

Thanks to everyone who left a comment. It's always reassuring to find out that crafting and cooking failures are pretty universal for people who do either.

August 11, 2012

Fall 2012 Twist Collective

The new edition of Twist Collective is live. It has been for a few days. I should know, I was there when it happened.

To me, this edition is all about timeless, wearable items, and I'm at a loss to pick a favorite.

My contribution is Treillage.

treillage_073

It features lots of dense cables and fabric covered buttons made with leftover quilting scraps.

Thea doesn't care for it.

treillage_023

See the magazine page here
The details page is here
And the ravelry page is here

And don't forget to check out the whole edition, including all the great articles.

June 2, 2008

It's the final countdown

If you are humming the background music to Gob Bluth's magic act right now, you are fine and dandy in my book.

But, I'm talking about something that fills me with even more glee.

A few months back, I was asked if I'd be willing to contribute to a brandly spanking new online magazine. I feel like I can't really do justice in describing all this magazine aims to do, but for the designers, in short, it offers the best of the worlds of self and magazine publishing. As a customer, you can expect gorgeous, high quality and affordable PDF downloads, of pieces designed by some of your favorite independent designers. These patterns will be beautifully photographed, expertly laid out and meticulously tech edited.

Am I doing a good job getting you excited about this magazine? Probably not. Instead, bookmark the Twist Collective site and see a new teaser image of a projects from the premier issue.

Twist.jpg

Just roll over a number and see the center image change to another Twist Collective graphic.

I have to tell you, I've seen a couple shots of the finished pieces and I think there will be something, maybe a lot of somethings for everyone. And, even better, each pattern will be available individually, so no more buying a whole magazine for a single design, you like.

Is this designer excited? Do bears poop in the woods? That'd be a big old "yes" right here.

June 16, 2008

The unblogable list just keeps growing

If you were to look at my Ravelry notebook, you'd notice a lot of projects that are super top secret. (If I showed them to you, I'd have to kill you, and nobody wants that.)


Sadly enough, this doesn't even represent the full list of unbloggables. Two are to come (awaiting yarn) and one two-part pattern isn't represented (didn't get a good swatch shot before I sent it off.)

So, that means I've been very busy and haven't much to show for it around here.
But, in the next month and a half, or so, I expect to have a new self published pattern for you, which will reveal the whole behind these two little pieces.

Swatch1 Swatch2

And, the premier issue of Twist Collective will be out with this bad boy.

IMG_0188.JPG

The rest will come in its due time. So funny too, I had this grand idea that I'd work on all self published stuff this year. How silly I am. I have been trying to do more of my own designs, but the opportunities that have arisen, to work on other projects, have just been too good to pass up. In the end, I think it's all worked out for the best.

That said, with several patterns being tech edited right now, and other patterns due very soon, I've been so entrenched in numbers and details that I needed to give myself a little break yesterday.

That's when El Matchador, some Spunky Eclectic merino and I, had ourselves a luxurious few hours while watching Deadwood on DVD.

IMG_0015.jpg


These are the singles spun not-too-tightly, using a supported long draw method. I plan to ply it pretty tightly once I've spun the 4 ounces I have. I think this will retain the softness without being too prone to pilling. The colorway is called Sage and it's an amazing mix of greens and browns, ranging from deep leafy green to red and yellow ocher. The picture really doesn't show the color well. You'll just have to take my word for it.

I'm eager to finish spinning up the remaining fiber, yet also feeling mentally refreshed enough to dive back into my deadline work.

In unrelated news, my parents arrive on Wednesday when we will belatedly celebrate Father's Day with my now-legitimate-no-longer-step father. Huzzah! And to add to the fun, my mom and I will be at the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene on Friday and, maybe, Saturday. If you'll be there too, please say "hi." I have a feeling my wallet will be substantially lighter after leaving the event.

November 13, 2008

Dietrich

The new Twist Collective is up and I think you'll agree that it's a fantastic issue. There are so many great designs by so many great designers.

My own contribution is Dietrich

dietrich_page.jpg

Photos copyright Caroline Bergeron All Rights Reserved

Layout by Twist collective.

Dietrich is a simple felted cloche with a subtle, asymmetrical brim. When I told Kate I really wanted to adorn it with a feather, she said it was a great idea and said she had just the feather, if I hadn't picked one out already. I think she did an amazing job styling it. I love it.

The only problem with designing felted items is that you can't know if you got it just right until it's too late to undo what you've done.

The hat starts big and floppy

dietrich1_pre felting.jpg

The first version had a VERY dramatic brim, which is fun, but not as practical, so I knit a second version, that you see in the pattern shots, and kept the original to play with.

dietrich1_embroidered2.jpg dietrich1_embroidered3.jpg

Using a simple back stitch, I embroidered some vines around the brim. I found a ribbon that picked up the shades of the embroidery and added that as well. I think it's cute and I'll definitely find more excuses to embroider on knitting.

Dietrich not your thing? There's oodles of great content over in the winter edition, so go on over and check it out.

December 10, 2008

Taking my own advice

You know, sometimes I talk all knowingly about how there isn't one right needle and you should swatch and blah blah blah, but you know what? I love metal needles. I use them almost exclusively. I like that they are smooth and fast and many have sharp little points. It's all about efficiency to me. Wood needles seem slow and plodding to me, like swimming in molasses. Plastic needles range, but are often just too grippy for my taste and certain brands are all wobbly bendy.

But you know what? I've been hating this sleeve I'm working on for a particular pattern. It's lace, worked in the round, on a small circumference. The lace requires working 3 stitches together, and every other row, those three stitches shift, which means that stitches have to be moved between needles. Worse, it's laceweight black yarn worked on big ol' needles.

needles.jpg

I tried two circulars, but the problem with this method is that it's nearly impossible to move stitches back and forth between needles at such a tight circumference. One, essentially, has to use a cable needle or spare DPN. Talk about inefficient.

So then I moved to some metal DPNs. I'm sure there'll be gasps of disgust but I have absolutely no issues knitting with Susan Bates DPNs. The really small ones are a bit bendy, but anything above a US#1 seems to work fine and they come in pretty colors. Who could complain? Unfortunately, working with laceweight yarn and these heavy needles was almost as bad as the 2-circs. The weight of the needles was so great that I couldn't maintain a comfortable tension on the yarn. This got even worse between needles, forcing me to maintain a constant death grip on the yarn while also fearing that the needles would make a run for it. I finally had to admit it, I was using the wrong needle. I'm a stubborn woman.

I went over to the local craft store, picked up some cheapo bamboo needles, and it's been smooth sailing since. The wood's grippiness keeps all the needles in place and the weight is light enough that the thread isn't pulled from my fingers as I work. I'm not a convert, I'm just reminded that sometimes I have to step out of my perceived comfort zone.


And since my 1970s ripple afghan has received so much attention, here she is again, albeit a bit rumpled. Oh, there are also a couple of dogs next to her.

IMG_0018.JPG


Thea seems to think she's a cat.

January 14, 2009

Bijou

I have been working on this project since June, so it's with more than a little excitement that I finally show you my newest pattern in Twist Collective, called Bijou.

Bijou
1. Bijou - Red, 2. Bijou - Black, 3. Bijou - Red, 4. Bijou - Black
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Available in 12 sizes with two different sleeve options, this piece is knit in the round, from the bottom up, and is totally seamless.

The red version is shown knit in my size with no ease. The black version is knit a size larger and has about 3" of ease.

As always, let me know if you have any questions. I love to get feedback.

March 1, 2009

Dulce De Leche

The spring issue of Twist Collective is live and guess who has a little pattern there.

Dulce De Leche pattern
Photo copyright Caroline Bergeron

It's called Dulce De Leche and it's made with 1/2 N 1/2, a wool/milk blend. The piece features flattering body darts and subtle gathering at the neckline placket and sleeve hems. The garment is worked from the bottom up, in the round, with no seams. The set-in sleeves are worked from the top-down, also without seams.

Dulce De Leche pattern Dulce De Leche pattern
Photos copyright Caroline Bergeron

If you are interested in the pattern, you can purchase it here.

July 18, 2009

Because when it's 90 degrees what you want to wear is wool

Thursday was the Twist Collective fashion show, I hosted at the Tigard Knitting Guild. It was also a bejillionty-six degrees, in the shade and still, my volunteer models agreed to wear thick wool sweaters and twirl in front of a full house knitters. I can't tell you how much awesome is contained in that guild. So to everyone there, I am sending a big dog hair covered thank you.

Here are a few of the many pictures my dear friend, Erica (not a knitter!) took. Another big thank you to her. Anyone who would brave that heat to take pictures of something she has absolutely no interest in, is a true true friend, in my book.

Twist Collective Fashion Show at the Tigard Knitting Guild
1. Silly faces while answering questions, 2. Ardent and Willow-Withe, 3. Bernhardt and Sunflower, 4. Uhura and Cleo, 5. Through the Keyhole and Lotus Leaf Mitten, 6. Primrose Path and Postwar, 7. Dulce de Leche and Postwar, 8. Ice Fantasia, 9. Bijou and Sleepy Monkey, 10. Stormsvale and Poffertjes, 11. Petals and Licorice Stick Socks, 12. Broderie and Postwar, 13. Cherry Fizz
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Did I mention that everyone who helped me volunteered and that it was a gatrillion and eleven degrees? Yah, lots of awesome.

In all honesty, it's mostly a blur. Once I'm in "go" mode, I'm flying on adrenaline and what I remember after is pretty vague, but I think the show went really well and that people got to see just how amazing the various garments are in person. Photos never give you a full picture of what the garment is like and seeing things on different body shapes makes it easier to imagine how they'd fit you. I know I walked away wanting to queue almost everything I saw.

So that's about the long and short of it. To see all the pictures including many of me making goofy face while I talk, you can see the whole set here.

And you can purchase any of the Twist patterns here.

August 15, 2009

Pas de Valse

So guess who has a new pattern out in the fantastic Twist Collective? Me! Did you guess that already? Is it weird when one answers her own rhetorical questions?

Anyway, the pattern is called Pas de Valse, and it's available in 12 sizes from 30" (to fit 28" bust) to 63" (to fit 61" bust).

Pas de Valse

My hope is that this will be a really versatile piece that will be both flattering and comfortable. It's also a fantastic canvas for showing off a special shawl pin -- just saying.

As always, I'm thrilled to be contributing to Twist and humbled by the beautiful pieces my colleagues have created. Go check out all the pretty now.

July 13, 2009

Twist Collective Fashion Show at the Tigard Knitting Guild

For any of my readers who might be local, or even local-ish, I'm very pleased to announce that I'll be MCing a fashion show for Twist Collective at the Tigard Knitting Guild, this Thursday at 7pm.

Twist Homepage

If you are already a member, wonderful. I hope you'll be able to join us. But even if you don't have a membership to the guild, they graciously allow you to attend as a guest, twice, completely free of charge. So if you've been thinking about joining, now might be a good chance to give the guild a test drive.

You'll see pieces from all of your favorite Twist contributors including another local's work, Ms. Chrissy Gardiner, designer and author of Toe Up!

I can't tell you how overwhelmed I am with the beauty of the pieces I'll be showing and I only hope I'll do them justice at the event.

"Trunk"

I would love to have some friendly faces to cheer me on and maybe laugh as I try to pronounce Poffertjes, so if you will be around, do drop in.

Apropos nothing, here's Thea sleeping.

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April 2, 2010

Damariscotta

The Spring/Summer 2010 Twist Collective is up and it's visually stunning and filled with amazing designs. I was lucky enough to have two submissions accepted and will do a blog post for each.

The first piece is Damariscotta.

Original Damariscotta Sketch

Named for a hard to pronounce but lovely little town in Maine, near where my dad's family has land. I'll sometimes fly out to Maine to go to the Fiber Frolic with my mom, and we'll all stay at a little cabin that my dad built on the land there.

June 2009 -- Maine

Having grown up in New England and having spent plenty of time in Maine, I associate the area with a love for the ocean, a rather pragmatic sensibility and clean and structural design. I strove to capture those qualities in this top.

Damariscotta

The piece is knit from the top down with instructions for an entirely seamless construction, right down to the double-knit hems that are grafted closed. I've also included instructions for people who might run at the sight of the words "graft" or "double-knit" so don't despair if that's not your cup of tea.

I also think this piece would be magnificent with a simple lace border around the hem and sleeves, instead of a finished hem shown. A wee bit of single crochet would prevent any curling and it would turn this simple piece into something worthy of a pretty pencil skirt and heels.

While I love the idea of a deep angled square neck (image it over a pretty little lace tank,) I knew that wouldn't suit everyone and that is why I chose the top-down construction instead of my preferred method of knitting bottom up. Keeping in mind that the single crochet will pull in the neck a little, one can simply throw the live stitches onto waste yarn and try the piece on to determine the most comfortable and flattering neckline depth and width.

Damariscotta

Once you work the neckline you like best, you can shape the torso to follow every curve or leave out the shaping altogether for a more relaxed fit. The sleeves can be worked the same way, and can easily be lengthened to fit your climate and preference.

So that's Damariscotta for you. I hope that those of you who like the design will enjoy knitting it, and if it's not your style, I have no doubt there's another piece in this edition that will catch your eye.

Check out this and all the other beautiful patterns in the Spring/Summer 2010 edition of Twist Collective, by going here.

April 22, 2010

Styling Dulce de Leche

Dulce de Leche is a henley inspired shirt with feminine detailing. This piece could be equally comfortable grocery shopping or out on a date, but when I think about wearing this piece, I imagine cool ocean breezes on a hot day and the sun beating down on me.

Someone recently lamented the return of palazzo pants. Frankly, I refuse to acknowledge that they were ever out of style, but I also won't rule out the viability of a kaftan in the right situation, so call me Mrs Roper and get off my lawn, you whipper snappers.

[Ahem]

Paired with soft muted palazzo pants, sweet floral flats and a large brimmed sun hat, I think Dulce de Leche can be carefree and comfortable while remaining flattering and feminine. Accessories are chosen for their bright colors in different hues but a similar intensity to the pullover. The only thing missing from this resort getaway look is a comfortable chaise and that guilty pleasure book you don't want to be seen reading in public.

April 20, 2010

Styling Bijou

Bijou, with its delicate lace, slightly ruffled sleeves and fitted body darts, is sweet by nature so when I imagine styling this, I am inclined to play with expectation.

A pleated chiffon skirt is an obvious accompaniment to this dainty design, but black leather accents and shocking yellow detailing give the look edge. The black chiffon caplet bridges the divide between the extremes.

Lose the accessories and choose a simpler shoe for the office or daytime event, or break out the black eyeliner and your favorite up-do to make this a stunning evening look. As with almost any sweater, though, this piece is easily at home paired with jeans and thrown over a comfortable tank. I think, with a little creativity, this special piece could get plenty of regular use.

April 18, 2010

Styling Dietrich

The asymmetrical brim on Dietrich adds a little unexpected twist to a classic hat shape. The warm felted merino is soft enough to wear against the skin and great for keeping out those cold gusts of wind.

What could be a better pairing than a fitted pea-coat for this fun little hat? The double breasted styling adds a little extra warmth against those chilly winter gusts and a soft creamy scarf is a versatile accessory even as the months get a little warmer. Chocolate brown knee high boots jump puddles and slush in style and a pleated plaid skirt can be worn almost anywhere. Work your hat in a color that matches your existing winter coat or choose something complementary but contrasting for a little brightness through those grey months.

May 18, 2010

Styling Cecchetti

Cecchetti might have been inspired by garments worn to warm up for a challenging dance class, but the shimmery silky yarn knit at a very loose gauge is delicate and divine and just begs to be worn for a special occasion.

A fitted pencil skirt and sky high heels emphasize the long lean lines of the piece. Paired with shoulder dusting earrings and a simple pashmina, the look is elegant and, let's face it, very very sexy. Not everyone (yours truly included) can bear the thought of hours in stilettos but I think one can achieve the same aesthetic with lower heels and a long and fitted skirt with an tantalizing slit up the side or back.

May 10, 2010

Styling Damariscotta

It's easy to dismiss Damariscotta as just a knitted t-shirt, best thrown together with cargos or jeans. I think that's a fine choice but misses what a great layering piece this top can be.

The cotton blend fabric and short sleeves are an ideal combination for hot summer days spent, at least in part, in a chilly office or other climate controlled building. Pair this tee with a fitted jacket and wide legged pants and accessorize with bright shoes and a matching neck scarf. I have a closet filled with black, grey and tan suit separates, and layering them over a bright top and vivid accessories is a wonderful way to bring color and variety to an otherwise monochromatic ensemble. When the work day is over, switch out the jacket for a cardigan and have a great, put-together look for anything from dinner and drinks with friends to a parent-teacher meetings at your child's school.

On the weekends, you can play up the form fitting darts with a full skirt and a tank top underneath that displays just a bit of lace at the neckline. Wedges, an anklet and a floral pin or hair accessory hint at a bohemian aesthetic. This look is polished while still remaining comfortable and versatile.

Because Damariscotta is so customizable as you knit, you can really make this piece fit your lifestyle. As I've said before, I'd love to see the hems on this piece, worked in a simple scalloping lace stitch which would really highlight the feminine qualities of the garment, but you could also work a bit of ribbing, instead, take out some of the shaping in the body and raise the neckline for a more casual look. So how would you style this piece?

BTW, if you want to play around with styling this piece or any other piece, I've written up some tips for getting started using Polyvore, over at the Twist Collective blog.

May 2, 2010

Styling Pas de Valse

The whole idea behind Pas de Valse is versatility and as you see it in the Twist Collective shoot, it's a perfect piece to throw on when you are wearing your favorite pair of jeans. A piece like this is great for those transitional seasons when it's not quite cold enough for a jacket but you want just a little more warmth than what you need inside.

The whole look of the garment changes depending on how you close it (or not) and what you layer it over. A comfortable tank, linen blend pants, flats and a few colorful accessories, seem like a perfect combination for a day in the city, checking out your favorite boutiques and museums. If it gets a little warm, this light and airy cardigan tucks easily into your tote.

At night on a cool summer evening, wrapped over a shimmery mini-dress with sparkly accessories, this garment becomes a flirty coat to throw on while you flag down a cab to bring you to that favorite dance club. Pull the oversized shawl collar tightly around you to keep off the chill.

September 9, 2010

Tolovana: the making of

I put a lot more time into planning my wedding shawl than I did my actual wedding and to be honest, that's not saying much because my wedding planning amounted to sending an email to my closest family, booking a hotel room, getting a license and hoping for the best. If only knitwear design were so easy. Though, to be fair, I find designing pretty fun but would be entirely content to never plan another wedding.

So to start, I pulled out my entire collection of stitch dictionaries looking for motifs to pair together. I didn't have a strong sense for what I wanted but I knew I wanted to take what I learned from designing La Cumparsita and expand on it, making a project that had more details, and a strongly scalloped hem. I ended up choosing only a single motif and scaling it up and down to form three versions, a border and transitions between each.

At the same time, I started to think about yarn. I wasn't sure what I was going to be wearing but I thought red might be pretty so I ordered three Grafton Batts from Amy.


sweet batts are sweeter with candy

It was a little challenging but I did my best to work all three batts as one to maintaining the color transitions these batts are so well known for.

I ended up with about 1100 yards of rich glorious fingering/sport weight singles and began the swatching and knitting and charting and calculating. I was cranking along and doing great until I actually decided to start looking at dresses.

I suppose this my have been an acceptable reason to consider a white or ivory dress, but as I am already a brilliant shade of "fish belly" and since *ahem* the symbolism associated with wearing white most certainly wouldn't apply to me, I was determined to wear some other color and some other color I found. It just turns out that blue-green doesn't actually go terribly well with red and burgundy.


so sad, don't let the door hit you on the way out

At this point, spinning another 1000 yards or so of fiber just wasn't going to be an option, but I had some purple Handmaiden Seasilk burning a hole in my stash that was more than up to the task.

The final shawl is incredibly delicate and actually snagged quite dramatically right before the wedding. But really, what's a wedding without at least one moment of panic? The fibers smoothed out as easily as they snagged, but it was clear to me that this would always be a special occasion sort of wrap, not one to to throw around my neck before heading out to the city.

When Kate asked me if I'd like to publish the pattern in Twist Collective, I jumped at the chance. Instead of the delicate seasilk we decided to go for two uniquely different yarns and offer two variations of the pattern.

The green version is worked in Sundara Sock. The lace has larger expanses of stockinette for a warmer, denser feel. This is the version I'd use as my all purpose, scarf/wrap on chilly winter days. It's washable, strong, tightly spun and the colors are rich, yet it unfurls into a beautiful shawl that looks great wrapped around your shoulders while you are out on a dinner date.

The violet version is more true to the original, and worked in Sundara Silky Merino which offers the drape and sheen of the prototype with a little of that merino resiliency I love so much. The more delicate and open version of the lace pattern makes it a great option to wear for more formal occasions, but it's not so delicate that you'd be afraid to put it to good use.

It was really a fun design to come up with and as someone who knit the pattern twice (I did hire a sample knitter to knit the third one) I found it really enjoyable too. This may have something to do with my fond feelings for the whole project but I do hope that others will find it equally enjoyable. If you are interested in knitting Tolovana, you can get it here. And of course, don't forget to check out all the other beautiful patterns available at Twist Collective.

August 1, 2010

New Twist Collective

If you haven't heard the news, the new Twist Collective is up. I feel really proud to be a part of this edition. My dear friend Julia has the cover design and rightfully so, because it's gorgeous.

And speaking of gorgeous, my friend Mary-Heather not only has a brilliant design in this edition, but she also modeled an entire story.

My modest contribution to the edition is Tolovana about which I'll post more soon.


Photo copyright Caro Benna Sheridan

For now, go go go, go look at the edition, it's a fantastic one, I might even be so bold as to say it's the best to date.

November 16, 2010

Mata Hari

The Winter 2010 edition of Twist Collective is live and it features 31 patterns, along with some fantastic articles.

I'm pleased and flattered to have been asked to contributed to the Designer's Choice section. We were asked to come up with a design we would love to wear and model it for the section. My design is called, Mata Hari and features a plunging v-neck in back and a wide scoop neck in front. The garment looks just as good worn backwards and an optional bow adds just a touch of fun to the piece.

Mata Hari Mosaic
1. Mata_Hari0716, 2. Mata_Hari2011, 3. Mata_Hari1762, 4. Mata_Hari1421

I plan to write more about this piece later. For now, I hope you'll take a few moments to check out this beautiful edition.

April 13, 2011

Twist Blog Post

Some of you may have gathered that my role at Twist Collective extends further than designing, especially if you are contributors, yourself, or happen to look at the masthead.

In December, I went to New Mexico with owner/editor/publisher/designer/etc Kate Gilbert to do the Two for Tea shoot and have just posted a blog post on the Twist site chronicling our adventures.

See the post here.

I always love behind-the-scenes style posts and I hope you like them too. If there are other topics you'd ever like to hear about at Twist, feel free to let me know in the comments.

April 1, 2011

Raina

The new Twist Collective is live and for my friends and family still digging themselves out of snow drifts just to check the mail, it's a fresh, springy, breath of fresh air.

This is another stunner of an edition, with many names you probably already know and love and a few new folks as well. My design is Raina.

This piece is worked in Madelinetosh Pashmina so it's incredibly soft and a delight to wear. The lace trim at the hems, long lean ribbing and body darts, all make for an elegant and feminine fit, while the short sleeves, long length and modest scoop neck make it as comfortable as a favorite t-shirt, to wear.

Raina132

I hope you'll take a few moments to flip through the great new edition of Twist Collective. If Raina isn't your style (or even if it is) there is so much more to see and love.

August 1, 2011

Fall 2011 Twist Collective is Live

The new Twist Collective is live and it's beautiful. I have seen these patterns from their thoughtfully laid out submissions right up to their final tech edited PDF. I've read the articles from their early drafts to their polished finished composition. I feel personally invested in each and every piece's success and receptions from knitters.

There's a lot to love in this edition, including two beautiful garments from my dear friend, Julia Trice, and a must read article on seamed knitting, by Sandi Rosner. And while I think all the articles are fantastic, I'd be remis if I didn't direct you to this story, where you'll struggle to decide which is more endearing, the story itself or the beautiful illustrations.

Of course, I've made my own contribution to this edition (beyond my work behind the scenes), about which I plan to do a separate, more in-depth post. Make sure you cruise by my his and hers pattern, Doppler.


Photo copyright Jane Heller

Originally conceived as just a men's garment, with an asymmetrical ribbed pattern to keep the knitting interesting but not too fussy, I added in a women's version too, sized proportionally for women's standards, with just a hint of waist shaping. Both patterns come with both the crew and turtleneck instructions, so you can really tailor this garment to your preference.

I know it's simple, without the excitement of some of the myriad designs also available in the edition, but I hope it'll be a wardrobe staple for those who choose to knit it.

Now stop reading my blog post and go check out this amazing new edition.

September 20, 2011

Math, science, history, unraveling the mystery...

...that all started with the Big Bang (Theory).

Leo and I haven't had cable television for about the past 5 years. There was so little we actually wanted to watch that we weren't really getting our dollar's worth. We do have Netflix and Hulu set up and, of course, all 3 of the local PBS stations, and that works fine for us, however we are somewhat reliant on other people to let us know if there's anything we should be watching on Netflix, and it was my parent's suggestion that we watch The Big Bang Theory, that ultimately led to my most recent Twist Collective design, Doppler.

Maybe I shouldn't admit that. The show isn't known for it's cutting edge nor stylish fashion and this clip that spawned my design may make you wonder how many glasses into a bottle of wine I was when inspiration hit.

Nonetheless, after seeing this costume, I had this idea of a men's sweater, with an asymmetrical ribbed pattern that radiated out from one shoulder. To be honest, from what I've seen, men's garment patterns don't sell quite the way women's do. It could be that they generally require more yarn or that more knitters are women and only knit for men on occasion. It could be that men frequently prefer garment styles that are a bit boring to knit. Or it could be something else altogether, but regardless, it seemed to make sense to offer this pattern both for men and women.


My original submission sketch and swatch

After talking with Kate, we decided that not everyone would be keen on the turtleneck so a second neckline option was in order too. This meant that the final pattern offered 11 women's sizes, 12 men's sizes and 2 neckline options for each. Now that's a-lotta-pattern to write. The tech editor may never forgive me.

Doppler_women_030

The garment is worked from the bottom-up, totally seamlessly, including the set-in sleeves, and once the set-up row for the ribbing is done, the stitch pattern is established and you can just knit away.

It was a lot of work cranking out two full sized garments in just over a month, but I managed to pull it off with enough time to get a few shots.

Leo looks mighty good in the men's version.

doppler-for-men_07

doppler-for-men_25

But, I think I give my handsome guy a run for his money.

Doppler_men_onmarnie_009

I hope that people who knit this pattern will find it a great wardrobe staple. The two Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarns were both a joy to work with and next to the skin soft as well. Check out Doppler and all the other great designs in this season's edition of Twist Collective

November 15, 2011

Theano and Zosia


The new Twist Collective is live. I know I say it every season and I mean it, I am honored and humbled to be a part of such an amazing magazine.

My two patterns this season are

Theano


And Zosia


As always, I'll talk more about the designs in a follow-up post. For now, go see everything in this beautiful edition, including all the amazing articles.

April 20, 2012

Did you see the new Twist?

I have two garment patterns in the newest Twist Collective.

The first is Lacewing, a feminine little tee, with a very adjustable neckline. It's worked in Kollage Corntastic and is trimmed with butterfly motifs around the hem and sleeves. I hope this is the sort of garment that people knit and love to wear because it's both flattering and comfortable. There's a bit of waist shaping, but not so much as to be clingy, and strategically placed lace meant to add femininity without being revealing or impractical. The pattern features tutorials for two types of picot cast ons that will be nice and stretchy so the hems form those beautiful scallops.


The second piece is Regent. This is the sort of garment I love both wearing and knitting. It's worked in a Catherine Lowe merino/silk blend, and features deep fluted ruffles around the entire cardigan and has a flattering curved hem. The optional tie can be used to cinch in the waist, but wearing it loose or with a purchased belt, works just as well. While I love ruffles, I always worry that they start to look clownish if one isn't careful. I wanted to make sure that these fell gracefully around the body. I think this is really wearable in a dark neutral shade, but imagine this worked with something a little more shimmery and it's perfect over a summer dress. Work it in a functional 100% wool, and you can wear it around the house in the fall, instead of turning up the heat.


Of course, these are just two of many great new patterns available in the edition. You've got to see some of the gorgeous socks, shawls and many more garments. I know there's no pleasing everyone, but it's hard for me to imagine that anyone couldn't find something they love in the edition. So check out the whole magazine, including all the great articles, here.


As a side note, I've contacted Carol, whose number was randomly chosen in the Kate Atherley book giveaway.

Thanks to everyone who left a comment. It's always reassuring to find out that crafting and cooking failures are pretty universal for people who do either.

April 13, 2013

New Twist Collective is up!

TC cover.jpg

The new Twist Collective is live and it is easily my favorite Spring/Summer edition and an all around beautiful edition by any measure. As always, I'm proud to be a part of it. Check out all the great patterns and articles.

Mothra_Stewart_done_15

You can find my pattern, Lyssia, here, and on ravelry, here.

November 18, 2012

Non-fatal red shirt

We all know that in the first Star Trek series, wearing a red shirt, especially if you were a person of color, was a pretty fatal proposition. Don't leave the ship, unnamed security officer, just don't.

But then came The Next Generation. The prime directive stayed the same but the red shirt got a serious upgrade.

Jean-Luc-Picard-jean-luc-picard-24183235-675-859.jpeg
Hubba!

Riker was making it work, too.

I've never claimed to be a true sci-fi nerd (whatever that means,) but I was a huge fan of TNG, so when I was assigned some rich red yarn for my Winter 2012 Twist Collective project I didn't need a holodeck to picture my favorite starfleet captain. For sure, I wasn't going to mimic the color blocking and shoulder pads, but I loved the angular lines and slim fit. It had to be something wearable and practical and flattering, all at once.

And so was born Picard.



Photo Copyright Carrie Bostick Hoge

Picard is a top-down seamless raglan with short row shaping around the neck. This construction makes it really easy to modify the garment as you go, especially if you are a little tight on yarn. Once you get going, the stitch pattern is easy to memorize and flows smoothly into the hem ribbing. A little detailing on each sleeve cuff brings it all together.

Picard_2

I finished the garment with buttons, but this would be a great design for a separating two-way zipper or even hook and eye, if you prefer.

If you like this pattern, you can view the magazine page here, the shop page here, and the ravelry page here.

And if you want some reading to pair with your TNG themed knitting, be sure to check out this blog.

August 11, 2012

Fall 2012 Twist Collective

The new edition of Twist Collective is live. It has been for a few days. I should know, I was there when it happened.

To me, this edition is all about timeless, wearable items, and I'm at a loss to pick a favorite.

My contribution is Treillage.

treillage_073

It features lots of dense cables and fabric covered buttons made with leftover quilting scraps.

Thea doesn't care for it.

treillage_023

See the magazine page here
The details page is here
And the ravelry page is here

And don't forget to check out the whole edition, including all the great articles.

November 26, 2013

Twist Collective Winter 2013 is Live

Twist Collective Winter 2013.jpg

The new Twist Collective launched last night and there's a lot to love. Check it out here. Everything in the edition is probably brand new to you, but I've been looking at these designs for months, and I know it's a strong edition when I'm still really excited about so many of them. I hope you will all like them too. As always, you can expect some great articles as well. I think my personal favorite might be the one on darning, but it's a hard choice. They are each fantastic in their own way.

You'll find my pattern in the Petite Patrie story. Ptolemy is a half circle shawl, featuring true lace (lace worked on right and wrong side rows) and a beaded scalloped border. The pattern is based on Elizabeth Zimermann's Pi Shawl formula in which the number of stitches doubles at a distance twice as far as the last doubling of stitches. The beads, while entirely optional, add just enough weight to the hem to ensure the shawl hangs nicely.

ptolemy_z_500.jpg
Photo © Linus Ouellet

I love that Twist styled it in a way that makes it look appropriate for daily wear. I use my shawls all the time and I want knitters to feel like they can work their knits into their daily life, too. Well, presuming your daily life doesn't involve a lot of live stock and/or heavy machinery. There are times when a shawl is a chic liability.

When I snapped my own shots, before sending it off to Twist, I went a little more dressy.

Ptolemy_13

Since I started sewing again, I've made a fair number of dresses and their sole purpose for existing has been as styling tools for my knitting. My life is not terribly fancy, but this is how I imagined most people would want to use such a shawl.

I hope you'll take a few minutes to flip through the edition and see if there's anything you like. If nothing else, you have to take a look because there's a pattern named, Pixie Farts. If you like Ptolemy, you can check out the magazine page, the shop page and the ravelry page.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the edition, so feel free to leave a comment below.

August 15, 2013

5th Anniversary Edition of Twist

fall13_TwistCollective-1.jpg

Twist has been around for 5 years with 17 editions and I've just published my 19th pattern with them (20th, if you count the fact that Doppler is offered in both a men's and women's version).

In some ways, I feel like I've been working for Twist for a much longer time, yet in other ways, it feels like it's all just flown by. But if there's one thing I'm positive about, it's that I am a better designer today, for my experience working for and with Twist Collective.

I think fall editions are always really exciting. While knitting is great year round, depending on where you live, summer can feel too hot for even the lightest piece and winter can be so bitterly cold that everything is hidden under layers of protective outwear. But autumn is the goldilocks zone for knits. I hope you'll agree that this edition has a great mix of projects, regardless of your skill, climate, or style.

My piece, this season, is Foxcroft, a shawl collar pullover with argyle style cables running up the front and back.


Photo Copyright Jane Heller

Don't you love the model? She's the photographer's mother and I think she's radiant.

There's tons more in the edition, so I hope you'll take a look. Oh and keep an eye on the blog, twitter, facebook, and ravelry group, because we still have more anniversary prizes to give away.

June 20, 2013

Designing Lyssia


Photo Copyright Jane Heller

I created the original submission for Lyssia, over a year ago so I don't remember what originally led me to the idea, but I do remember grabbing a nice big ball of Cascade 220 superwash and knitting the entire ball of yarn into a swatch.

GinormousSwatch.jpg
Swatch of unusual size

Actually, I really need to back up a step here, because I didn't just magic those motifs on the needles, they required some pre-planning in Illustrator. Like Deciduous and Cercis, I wanted to create motifs of knit stitches that popped forward on a purl background, but knitting is a bit particular about that. You can stack knit stitches in columns, next to columns of purl stitches and the knits come forward. You see this with ribbing. But what happens when you have horizontal rows of knit stitches between horizontal rows of purl stitches? The knit stitches receed as you see in garter stitch. That means that, for my purposes, stitches could move up and they could move right to left with cable crosses, but I couldn't have perfectly horizontal rows of knit stitches and maintain the bas-relief effect I was going for. And while cable crosses work great for moving stitches side to side, there is a limit to how far you can cross stitches before they begin to pucker and change the gauge of the fabric, so I was limited to crossing no further than 2 stitches over 2 stitches when absolutely needed and I primarily moved stitches only one stitch over, in either directions, to ensure an even fabric. With these limitations in mind, I created the largest motif and then tweaked it to make the two smaller versions.

If you look at the monster swatch above, you may notice, especially with the smaller motifs, that I had originally put purl stitches just inside the outer edge of the motifs. I think it worked OK in the largest motif but really didn't look right in the smaller sizes so the final pattern has only knit stitches filling the motifs.

After swatching, I had three ideas for how I could use the motifs. Because the swatch ended up looking like half a cape, when I was done, that ended up being my first inclination. I also imagined using only the smallest motif to create a yoked design.

Capelet.jpg YokeCardigan.jpg

But the idea I most hoped would be picked up was the third design idea I had, where the motifs would be sprinkled in a seemingly random pattern around the garment.

Cardigan.jpg

This would be the most challenging of the three designs. I had to make sure that the layout I chose for the butterflies would look uniformly well placed in all sizes, without making the pattern unnecessarily long. Those are the sorts of challenges that keep designing interesting when they don't drive me to drink.

I could have done layouts for each size or range of sizes but instead, I decided to base butterfly placement on way points in the garment. The big butterfly is centered on the side, just above the hem, another motif hits right below the neckline and a few stitches away from the placket, another is centered on the shoulder, next to the front neck. I made a schematic of the largest and smallest size and drew, to-scale outlines of the motifs, so I could see if my plan would look balanced at the two extremes. That sounds like a lot of work, but I ended up using the small version for both a reference graphic in the pattern and as the basis for the schematic, so that little extra effort didn't go to waste.

As fun as all the knitting and designing was, my favorite part has been seeing the projects popping up in ravelry. In the end, that's what designing is really about.

August 8, 2014

Heyday in the new Twist Collective

The new edition of Twist Collective came out, last week. Did you get a chance to see it? If not, grab a cup of your favorite warm or cold beverage, and take a few minutes to flip through its virtual pages, because there are so many fantastic pieces. I feel like I can't even pick favorites because I like so many of them for so many different reasons. The shawls, in particular, are really inspiring. Every last one is a winner and they look like they'd be a heck of a lot of fun to knit, too. And if you are a mitten person, especially if you are a colorwork mitten person, I really think you'll love what the designers have come up with. And of course, there are tons of garments, some socks, hats, mitts and cowls. So go take a look.

My piece is called Heyday. It's a sort of yoke/raglan hybrid, with body darts and a split neck. Just a few short rows over each sleeve, help shape the yoke around the shoulders. A simple cable/bobble pattern is worked around the hems and yoke and the neck is finished with some basic crochet. If you are a knit-only person, you can always substitute i-cord.

heyday

Worn open, the split neck makes a flattering v-neck, tied close, the neck is more of a ballet style, with a keyhole opening. Since the garment has so few details it's really a breeze to alter. Do you want to eliminate the split? Just work the yoke in the round. Do you want to make the neck narrower? Add more decreases rounds. Wider? Take out some decreases. This is really a piece you can customize and make your own.


heyday tied closed


My original swatch and proposal, even suggested subbing the small bobble for a glass bead. I didn't think Sundara's stunning Sport Merino Two in this richly hued colorways, needed any extra adornment, but for a subtler colorway like one of her Vintage shades, a little glimmer might be just the thing.


heyday original sketch


I really enjoyed both designing and knitting this piece. It's my first yoke-ish design and I was happy to see it come together without any big challenges. It's always a risk, taking on a new construction, under deadline, but I couldn't think of a better way to show of that swag-like stitch pattern.


heyday back


If you like this design, you can find out more about it in the following locations:



And you can find the yarn here with new colors coming all the time. I would love to know what your favorite piece in the edition is. Can you pick just one?

November 24, 2014

Twist Collective Winter 2014


Well, what can I say? The new Twist Collective is out and I'm over the moon. Not only do I have two pieces in the edition, but one made the cover. There have been 21 editions of Twist and I've been in all but one of them and my first cover was edition 19, so I consider it a very special honor to make the cover even once. And of course, it helps that James Brittain took the beautiful photos that Kate carefully styled. Every pattern in the magazine is the result of the hard work of a small group of talented people. I feel so fortunate to get to work with all of them.



Of course the magazine is full of brilliant designs. I keep wanting to tell you what my favorites are and then I realize there are too many I love, in different ways, for different reasons. I think it's definitely worth making a few passes through the edition.


And of course, don't miss the articles. Lela Nargi's article on Carol Milne's glass sculptures is not to be missed. Barbara Gregory, whose work is always exceptional, talks about the merits of mosaic knitting. Franklin Habit and Clara Parkes both bring their wit and wisdom to their columns, and don't miss Amy Kings final installment in her goat rearing adventures.


Here's where you can get all the details on my two pieces.


Intaglio


 



Magazine

Shop

Ravelry

Abyss

 

Magazine
Shop
Ravelry

April 27, 2015

Zaida

Regardless of what the calendar would have you believe, it's been Spring in Oregon since February, when the first daffodils started poking their heads out of the ground, but it wasn't truly Spring for me until the new Twist Collective went live about a week ago.

If you haven't had a chance to check it out, there's plenty to love. Whenever I write these post, I think I'm going to list my favorites but them I go and look at the edition and I can never narrow it down. There are just too many beautiful pieces from so many talented designers. As a designer, being immersed in other people's fantastic work is both inspires me and pushes me to try to do better. Even after 12 years of designing, I still find myself learning new things with each project.

My contribution, this season is Zaida.


Photo copyright Fanny Jacob-Lafontaine

I would consider this one of my more ambitious designs. There are no visible cast-on or bind-off edges. Any cast-on edges are provisional and any bind-off edges are grafted. It was a lot of fun to design and I hope it'll be equally fun to knit.

I also have an article about Provisional Cast-Ons in the edition.

I demonstrate four different methods and discuss why I might choose one over another. There's also a tips and troubleshooting section to help you get the best results with your provisional cast-ons.

There are plenty of other great articles in the magazine and, of course, tons of great patterns, so I hope you'll take some time to flip through the edition and check it all out.

October 1, 2015

Two months of recap and Helios for sale

Did you all catch the eclipse? Portland weather is often cloudy and overcast so whether or not we'll get to see an astronomical event is pretty much a crap-shoot. We didn't have any luck with the last meteor shower and it with a bit of haze near the horizon, things didn't look good for the doomsday-moon event, but once it got a little darker and the moon rose a little higher, the show was spectacular.

moon.jpg

It's been a pretty crazy couple of months at the day job—so much so that I never got to tell you about new edition of Twist. I hope you've all seen it already, but if you haven't, I have a pattern and and article.

My pattern, Fortuna, is a half-circle shawl made up of three whole and two half repeats of a sort of free-form cable and lace pattern. Every row of the repeat is different so it's not mindless knitting, but in the DK-weight yarn, it knits up pretty quickly.

The Twist photography, as always, is stunning but I wish it were easier to capture the magic of the silk yarn I was assigned. The cables, stockinette, reverse stockinette and eyelets all reflect the light in subtly different ways and the intense sheen of silk can really play up those variances. The best example I was able to get was on my blocking board, taken at a steep angle.

This is definitely a yarn that is best appreciated in person. It was a pleasure to use. I wrote more about the shawl and offered some styling suggestions over on the Twist blog, a few weeks back. See the post here.

You can check out Fortuna in the Magazine, Shop and on Ravelry.

My article is on tubular cast-ons.


Tubular cast-ons (left) next to conventional cast-ons (right)

When used in the right places, tubular cast-ons can give garments a professional finish. Using this cast-on for cuff-down socks, and ribbed hems on sweaters, hats and other garments, produces a flexible and tidy edge. It's a great tool to have in your arsenal. Check out the whole article here.

Lastly, Helios is now available for purchase as an individual pattern download or as a printed pattern from MagCloud.

It was so great watching all the participants in the KAL, knit their piece over the past few months. A big thanks to all the members of the KAL and to Melanie at Black Trillium for her beautiful yarn and for organizing the knit-along.

December 3, 2015

Twist Collective Winter 2015 Edition

I hope you've all seen the Winter 2015 Twist Collective that went live a couple weeks ago. My designs for the edition, is featured in the "I think I'll stay home" shoot which might as well be called the "Marnie's life if she were better dressed" shoot because I'm a shameless homebody who spends most of her time in her pajamas. In fact, I'm writing this post from the comfort of my big red robe and fuzzy slipper boots, right now. And, as is my wont to do, I'm sipping tea from my favorite mug that is nearly as big as my head.

See, I'm just like the shoot only, sllliiiightly less well dressed. Don't you agree?

iana_b_500.jpg

The shawl is a modified half-circle design, featuring just enough beads to add a little weight and drape. I love beads, but I find they slow me down when I'm working so I prefer to use them sparingly. I chose a deep aubergine shade to pop against the lilac color of the shawl, though I think gray or silver would be a really nice alternative option, for a subtler effect.

iana_b_500.jpg

While I include instructions for a standard knitted picot bind-off, the sample is shown with my suggested bind-off. It's worked with a crochet hook using very simple crochet stitches and some pre-strung beads. I love this option for lace because the bind-off basically cannot be worked too tightly to block the piece out well.

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but blocking lace shawls is one of my favorite parts of the shawl-designing process. It seems like magic; turning a crumpled mass of fabric into something airy, orderly and filled with unexpected detail. Twisted stitches, beads and nupps all pop and yarnovers and decreases scallop the edges in subtle or dramatic ways. But a tight bind-off can ruin the effect and knitters often can't tell how loose the bind-off needs to be until the piece is ready to be blocked. By then, hundreds of stitches may have been bound off, the yarn has been cut and ends woven in. It can be pretty disheartening.

The crochet method joins a small number of live stitches together with loops of single-crochet chains that provide more-than adequate flexibility to block out the shawl as aggressively or lightly as desired and unlike a too-loose standard bind-off, the edge is neat and tidy no matter how lightly the shawl is blocked.

Not a crocheter but willing to give it a try? The pattern includes a tutorial but if you want more detail, I've got an article for that.

crochet_hdc_step1-yarnover.jpg

Crochet really is my first crafting love and this season, I take you through the basics of holding the hook and yarn, and working all the basic stitches. Crochet is knitting's best friend and knowing how to do both will open new finishing and embellishing options for your projects and designs. It may take a little time to get comfortable with it, but crochet is a great tool to have in your arsenal. If you've never crocheted before, I hope you'll give it a try and if you just need a refresher, I hope the article will get you back on track. I even point you to some existing Twist patterns that already feature some crochet. You won't lack for projects to put your crochet skills to work.

And lastly, I have a companion article to last season's article on Tubular Cast-Ons.

tubular_intro_swatches01.jpg

Just as a tubular cast-on gives those edges a professional finish, a tubular bind-offs produce flexible and attractive edges that elevate the quality of the work to a more professional level. Learn to work a standard tubular bind-off and how to adjust the bind-off for knit-two, purl-two edgings like ribbing and moss stitch.

I feel so fortunate to be a part of Twist Collective each season and I never cease to be impressed with the great articles and designs my fellow contributors bring to each edition. Even if you don't like my additions to the edition, I hope you'll flip through the magazine, read the articles and browse the shop.

April 12, 2016

Flechir and some oldies but goodies

The time between the Winter and Spring/Summer editions of Twist Collective are always the longest span of the publication year and it means I'm the most anxious to see the Spring/Summer edition go live. Spring/Summer 2016 is up and it's got some beautiful new patterns, great articles and a little...ahem...twist. Kate picked 12 of her favorite older Twist patterns from a variety of designers and had them reknit in new yarns and colors, then packaged them all together at an incredible discount. How does 58% off sound to you? Even if you already own half the patterns, you still manage to save a little money buying the set, and if you've bought fewer than that -- or none at all -- this is an amazing value. I managed to snag two slots in the collection.

First up is Regent which I love in the deep blue-black Catherine Lowe yarn and in this more rustic, creamy-colored alpaca blend. I think this substitution really highlights how a garment can be redefined by the yarn choice. In the original yarn, it's suitable enough for an evening out. In the alpaca blend, it's more casual and can take you on your errands or snuggle up on the couch with you on a cold day.

regent_z_500.jpg

 

Next up is Picard and Kate kept the nod to his red shirt with bright red buttons. The original yarn had exceptional stitch definition, making the pattern really pop. The white yarn is similarly great for showing off twisted stitches but that pale color makes them stand out even better, and with a neutral color choice, the buttons can be little gems instead of being simply functional.

picard_z_500.jpg

 

Last, but hopefully not least, here's my new shawl design. Flechir is a 3/4-circle shawl worked from the top-center, out, then each scallop is finished individually. This means your best choices for yarns are ones that are not obviously variegated. The tweedy Northern Lights yarn used here is perfect. Up close, the yarn is several individual shades but they all blend into a harmonious whole from afar.

Here's the gorgeous photos from the magazine.

flechir_z_500.jpg

And here is one of my own photos showing the shape of the shawl. Since it's a 3/4-circle, the shawl falls in soft ruffles when you wear it or you can wrap it snuggly around your shoulders.

flechir02.jpg

What more photos and get all hte details? Check them out:

Regent: Magazine | Ravelry | Here
Picard: Magazine | Ravelry | Here
Flechir: Magazine | Ravelry | Here

And don't forget to check out the rest of the edition here.

 

 

September 19, 2016

New new new

I can't believe an entire month has passed since we launched the new edition of Twist. Between losing Panda and seemingly-unending home repairs that started in May with an attempt to get the house repainted and turned into an endeavor that required a carpenter, roofer, electricians and new decks, all before the painting could even begin, it's been hectic, to say the least. My poor little blog never stood a chance.

But the new edition of Twist is still waiting for you, if you haven't seen it yet and as always, I feel genuinely privileged to have a place in its virtual pages.

My first of two patterns is Lithograph a half-circle shawl design worked in twisted stitches and lace. For the submission process, I made a mini-prototype to show how the increases would blend into the background of the latticework.

lithograph_prototype.jpg

The final shawl is worked in Lisa Souza's Polwarth Wool and Silk yarn which is a breeze to work with and so lovely to touch. The silk gives it plenty of drape while the wool gives the piece some substance. It's a perfect choice for this pattern.

shawl in the garden

My second design is Antrea, a beanie, slouch and cowl pattern suitable for anyone. Knitters are probably aware of the general submissions process for patterns and they see the end product, but in between those points, yarn companies, designers, and the members of the publishing and editing team, all try to wrangle a zillion moving parts to make the magazine. Yarn is often being shipped to other countries and then the sample shipped back to tech editors in a third country before being handed off to the publisher for photography and anywhere in there, a missed deadline or late delivery can throw the process off kilter. So was the case with the yarn for Antrea. It was originally scheduled to go overseas, went missing, alternate yarn was shipped and the orphaned yarn, finally tracked down, needed a home. Having finished up Lithograph fairly quickly, I volunteered and was told that I may only receive one color so I should plan a design that didn't require two different shades.

A bit of virtual graph paper and a few hours of playing and I had a cable pattern suitable for a unisex set that could be worked in a single color or with a contrasting color in the ribbing.

antrea slouch and cowl antrea beanie

The SweetGeorgia Superwash DK is super soft and springy with great stitch definition so the pattern pops even in a darker shade. The hats can be worked in a smaller or larger circumference and fine-tuned with a tighter or looser gauge. One skein of each color will make either hat and the cowl in opposing colors dominance.

There's one more bit of new that you've probably noticed if you're friends with me on Facebook, I have a little bit of art with me all the time now.

tat_front.jpg
Oregon Grape blossoms

This beautiful piece was created by Ashton Allen at No Hope No Fear and it's even more beautiful than I could have imagined it would be.

tat_side.jpg
California Poppies, Mayflowers, and Violets

Each flower is the state flower for somewhere I've lived with a hummingbird in back because, well, hummingbirds are pretty.

tat_back.jpg
Lilacs and Anna's Hummingbird

Barring any unexpected issues, it'll be colored in November and the tattoo will be complete. I love everything about it and can't stop looking at Ashton's beautiful artwork.

About twist collective

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Marnie, speak! Good girl. in the twist collective category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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