Tag Archives: Robin Melanson

twist collective spring 2013

16 Apr

What a delight to switch on my laptop Sunday morning and discover that there was a brand new edition of Twist Collective to peruse over my birthday breakfast! Patter-wise this issue is a bit thin on the ground for me. There are a few things I find interesting, but nothing I’m gagging to knit. Article-wise, this one was fascinating. Spring and summer are difficult times to design for, but well-written articles are year-round.

To begin with the patterns, I really like the looks of Rebecca Blair’s Eliza jumper and Emmy Petersson’s Alvinda cardigan. They both take advantage of the breeziness of a simple lace pattern in a light sport-weight yarn. I also think both would be adorable converted into henleys. Don’t you think Eliza would be super-cute with a little column of buttons?

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I also enamored by Iris Wildsmith’s Galliera tam. Not only does she have the best name ever (she’s a smithy of the wild!) but she has great aesthetic.

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Finally, Michaela Moores’s Castanea is amazing! The stole is beautiful, but the giant circular shawl is spectacular. I love the yarns chosen for the sample patterns; the colours really make the stitch pattern sing.

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On to the articles: I really recommend taking a look at Robin Melanson’s feature, ‘The Error of Our Ways: A Knitter’s Guide to Fixing Mistakes‘. It offers both excellent solutions to common problems and a great pictorial guide that demonstrates clearly what these issues look like and how to fix them. I’ve always been fairly fearless when it comes to dropping down and fixing things in situ rather than ripping back six rows to sort a mistake out.

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All you really need to be able to do it without damaging your work is to follow one of the best tips she gives: learn to read your knitting. This tip is repeated in Sandi Rosner’s article on lace, but it is well worth learning how-to whatever your project. It’s a bit tricky in the first repeat of a new pattern or chart, but it saves endless heartache in the end if you sit back, spread out your work and read the stitches after every few rows/rounds. You catch errors much more quickly, plus it’s really lovely to just be able to admire the results of all that effort you’ve put into your work!

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The other article that really caught my attention is Leslie Petrovski’s essay on plant-based fibres, ‘In the Weeds‘, which gives both a historical perspective of how these fibres have developed in human hands and their advantages/disadvantages over animal fibres. It’s a very interesting read. I’ve never been particularly into plant-based yarns, as I find the inelasticity of cotton yarns difficult on my hands (and the very thought of hemp and linen gives me arthritis). As I get deeper into working with colour and knitting jumpers and cardigans, I’ve got deeper into exploring how different sheep breeds and other animal-based yarns react to different stitches and contours. Plus sweaters and cardigans designed in cotton or linen always seem to be too tunicy and mother-earthy or just somehow less agile than those designed for wools. But this has made me reconsider some of my prejudices and has made me really keen to get my hands on some linen. It might open up a whole new world for me.

Does anyone have any recommendations for plant-based yarns?

All images taken from Ravelry and the Twist Collective site.

new twist collective, spring 2012

18 Apr

How much do I love the shawls in the latest Twist Collective? More than I have words for. But I’ll give it a go.

Janel Laidman’s Elysium is just so, so gorgeous. This shawl is just so unusual, so unlike all the other shawl patterns out there at the moment. I love how round and dextrous the pattern is.  It’s really not like anything I would normally go for, but I find myself increasingly drawn to it (and seeing as I dreamt I was knitting it last night, I feel it might have to be the next project I cast on.)

Susanna IC’s Stellaria is really lovely, too. I love her classic crescent shaping and while I generally am not hot on garter stitch, she works it so that you can wear your shawls front or back, up or down and they always look good.

Although I can’t imagine ever managing to complete one, Kerry Milani’s Paon is breathtaking. She immediately gets a Genius stamp. The pattern is pretty and delicate, the shaping is exquisite and the sheer size is extraordinary. Compared to it, Brenda Patipa’s Satsuma is just a mere slip of a thing, but I really like how directional the lace is. Very different to the other shawls here, but pretty in an almost Metropolis way.

Apart from the shawls, Robin Melanson’s Sylvatica and Amy Christoffers’s Lanata are two tops I can really see myself wearing.

Usually I like my knits to be heavy on the cables, but both of these tops make good use of lace in a primarily unobtrusive way. I’ve got the Acer Cardigan lined up, but I’m starting to think Lanata might come first. Regardless, I want to have Sylvatica ready for the first day of school.

What are your favourites? Are you aching to test drive the soles on Lingonberry? Let me know in the comments!

(All pictures by Jane Heller, slurped from Ravelry.)

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