Sunday, August 16, 2009

Twist and Shout

The first anniversary edition of Twist Collective launched today. Yowza! Wowza! and any other "owza" that comes to mind. Talk about hitting it out of the park! I must say, When Twist first launched, I wasn't sure how an online knitting magazine would appeal to my senses. After all, getting that publication in my hands and sitting back with a nice glass of wine to turn the pages had become a ritual. I can say that the inaugural issue was beautiful and for the most part, the other issues this year have delivered too. The photography is enticing and the patterns are beautifully laid out. I like buying patterns online however - buying more than one or two at a time becomes a costly exercise. Therein lies the problem with the Fall 2009 issue of Twist.

I want EVERY freaking pattern in the darn thing.

When the sneak peeks were released a couple of weeks ago - I fell hard for the Low Tide Ripples pullover. I have in stash some Ivy Brambles merino super wash in a beautiful lilac colourway called Aster. Now that the issue's been released, I also really want: Ysolda Teague's Vine Yoke Cardigan. This is gorgeous and that Karabella Soft Tweed I have that was intended for the Sunrise Circle Jacket (I've long since gotten over wanting to make that) could be beautiful in this design!!!! Given the wine-centric focus of this blog, I think a "Vine Yoke sweater" is a must. Audrey in Unst won't be at the top of my queue right now but that photography is brilliant! The red sweater against the blue brick wall...stunning. Mimico rocks and I love the shades of blue. Cottage Garden is another favourite and so is Paula. My Lisa Souza Baby Alpaca silk in the Mother of Pearl colourway may work for this. Loreli would look wonderful in that Silky Malibrigo I have stashed. Papineau is drool worthy and I'm itching to try the new St. Denis yarn. Twigs and Leaves cardigan maybe would work for something in stash. I love the rustic look and the leather tie. Last but not least, Marnie McClean's Pas de Valse really shows its stuff in the thumbnail images sporting different ways to wear this cardigan. I love it but can I stand that much stockinette???

Speaking of Marnie McClean, I have some pictures of Bijou which is her design from the Winter 2009 issue of Twist. I'm making this out of a strand of my friend Hope's hand spun hand paint (say that 10 times real fast) and a strand of my lace weight. Here is Judy modeling the body thus far. The shaping is wonderful. It's the first time I've used short rows to create bust darts and I'm a convert! The only thing with hand painted yarn is that short row shaping creates a wee bit of pooling. I don't think it detracts from the design here. In fact, I think it creates a wider band right where I'd like to look slim so I'm quite happy. I will now begin the lace portion of the yoke so the fun begins!!! Stay tuned ladies and gents - I'm on a deadline with this one so time is of the essence.

So thank you Twist for an issue that will be spoken about with the same reverence as Rowan 10 and 20. I want them all but I can't buy them all at once. Damn! At $7.00 per pattern, only serious contenders will make the cut.

My son overheard me looking at the issue this morning. As I looked at each design I swore under my breath because it became clear to me that I was loving them all. When he asked what was wrong I tried to explain why liking them all upset me. "Honey, what if you walked into a video game store and EVERY game there was great and you wanted it? That's what this feels like to me". "No problem," he countered. "I would buy the one I wanted first and then get the others one by one. I would assume they would still be there when I wanted them."

Ah, it sucks when the student surpasses the teacher doesn't it? Thanks Grasshopper.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fantasy Island
Forgive my infrequent posting to this trusty computer was fried by a lightening strike mid July and then I left for my yearly sojourn to visit my dad on Vancouver Island. In addition to looking forward to spending time with my father, BC has been basking in the sun regularly this summer whilst we here in Ontario have been enduring a summer that sucks beyond all reason. I was also extremely excited to be meeting up with two dear "comrades in yarns" on Salt Spring Island. We had planned a day of visiting with each other and haunting fibre shops - specifically Treenway Silks and Jane Stafford's studio.

On the appointed day, my father deposited me on foot at the ferry dock to revel in the sunbathed deck during the 20 minute voyage to Salt Spring. As I gazed over the railing at my destination - I felt the pull of the three things I was longing to see.

I had just treated myself to the Kowloon cardigan by Connie Chang Chinchio. This pattern is a treat and working on it during the ferry ride was a pleasure. Gail picked me up at the ferry and we trekked over to the other ferry dock to collect Mel who'd come in from Vancouver. We had a lovely morning visiting over lattes and then located Treenway Silks. I was set on acquiring a beautiful silk scarf kit for weaving in blacks and ivories and they did have it in stock. We stopped for some lunch in town (it was a scorching hot day!) and then set off for Jane Stafford's weaving studio. We arrived about 2 hours before closing but Jane had stepped out to take a friend of hers to the ferry. Thank goodness we had Gail with us who whipped out her ace negotiating skills and convinced the woman minding the shop to let us in to "browse". Kid meet candy store! Looms in every corner and beautiful cottons, bamboos (looks just like silk) and books and toys galore. Since we took so long browsing, it happened that Jane arrived back from her errand and we spent another hour or so picking her (very substantial) brain about weaving. My bucket list includes going back to her studio for a workshop! What a wealth of information she is. I bought the yarns to make this Huck lace scarf from an old issue of Handwoven.

After a lovely dinner and glass or two of wine, it was time to take the ferry back to the island. We enlisted a fellow traveler to take a picture of the three of us. The ride back was wonderful complete with warm summer breezes, twinkling stars and beautiful scenery.

The rest of the trip was just as wonderful. We fished and caught some Spring Salmon. Nothing tastes like salmon cooked the day it's caught! I had a lovely Pinot Noir with it.

I did some knitting on the Kowloon cardigan and bought some beautiful Czech glass buttons in Victoria with a rose shade to complement the berry coloured Flaxen yarn. I'll post more about this project later. I'm loving it.

Before we could turn around twice it was time to go back to reality - and the rainy weather. My thought is to haul out these beautiful yarns, cook a piece of that lovely salmon and turn on the Ott light to approximate the BC sun the next time the dreary weather gets me down. Just maybe I can re create a little piece of my wonderful trip.