Twist Collective is an online knitting magazine, created to showcase the work of knitting designers and writers. In Twist, you will find thoughtful and innovative design, styling and photography. It's a great place to browse for inspiration and ideas, as well as find excellent technical advice and how-to's.
Twist uses an innovative business model which sets it apart from newsstand magazines: all the issues (including all past issues) are free to enjoy. The knitting patterns in each issue are available to purchase as instant downloads. Pattern prices range from $5-7. Designers are paid a generous royalty from each pattern sale; it's a model that promotes a healthy freelance design industry. It means that buying a pattern from Twist means you are directly supporting a freelance designer.
Twist is published three times a year: Spring/Summer, Fall and Winter. Each issue contains about 30 original knitting designs.
Kate Gilbert is the editor in chief of Twist. Kate is a prolific knitting designer herself, you can see her design portfolio on Ravelry.
Designs by Megan Goodacre
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|A little reflection on the creative process|
Designing knitting patterns for publication has a strange contradiction; on the one hand, knitting itself is a methodical, labour-intensive, and (if we're lucky) meditative act. Although we might visualize the finished item to keep ourselves motivated, we have to focus on the present in order to avoid mistakes. There's no Undo command in knitting, so we have to Knit in the Moment. On the other hand, knitting design has to follow the calendar of the publishing industry. Designers, advertisers, printers, writers are all thinking in the future tense, often a year in advance.
Which is all good, it keeps things moving, and really forces you to finish ideas, projects. But I find that I don't often have time to reflect on the process. I was flipping through a magazine just now, and didn't recognize one of my own designs for a second, because I've already moved on in my mind to new design ideas.
So I thought this might be a good excuse to reflect and share a little of my creative process for Dylan, which was in Twist Collective Fall 2011.
|Twist Collective Winter 2011|
Perfect sunny morning for a leisurely perusal of Twist Collective Winter 2011. Some beautiful designs in this one. Here are three that speak to me right away; I think it's the emphasis on construction, classic shapes, and the simple but sophisticated use of stitch texture. Look at the transition from the ribbing to the body on Corinth. Reminds me of delicate Gothic architecture. (Yes I know, "delicate" and "Gothic" sounds like an oxymoron, but at its best, Gothic design emphasizes airiness and soaring heights with slender vertical ribbing and pillars. Hurrah art history class!). Jaina and Corinth are both lovely examples of how to use hand-dyed yarns. And the angora in Oscillate really makes it a "sweater girl" sweater.
|Twist Collective Fall 2011 is out!!|
Twist Collective is such a fun browse. Beautiful photography and so many juicy patterns. Each edition has mini "stories" with imaginative visual themes. The Fall 2011 Edition includes Spirited Away, City by the Bay (shot in San Francsico), Ma Belle Guitare. You get to live vicariously through the photography. I feel really honoured to have a pattern in such cool company. Ma Belle Guitare features the Corrina Rose Band from Montreal (you can listen to them here, lovely!), who model the knits. Ma Belle Guitare photography by award-winning Jane Heller (she also has an Etsy shop where you can buy archival reprints of her work, which is gorgeous). Canadian music, Canadian photographer, Canadian wool, it all warms my Canadian heart.
Dylan is a simple, trench coat, double breasted, worked in a nice fat gauge. Yes, I know, it's a whole jacket, which can seem like a lot. But it really isn't at that gauge, and the editor of Twist (Kate Gilbert who is also a talented designer) tweaked my original sketch to simplify the finishing. It's probably the same number of stitches as a pair of finely knit socks (okay, okay, that's exaggeration, but you get the idea).