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Twisted Stitch

Beginner Knitting Lessons, Part 8.

Let's consider the topic Twisted Stitch in more detail. The understanding of what the twisted stitch is means a lot for neat and masterful knitting. However, in multiple knitting books and the Internet sources this topic is covered insufficiently. As a rule, the methods of making a twisted stitch are described in many books. But the twisted stitch it is not a stitch knitting method, but its configuration. So, let's see what does the twisted stitch look like in our picture:

 A common stitch is on the left, twisted stitches are on the right.

A common stitch is on the left, twisted stitches are on the right.

As you see, the loops of a common stitch are parallel. The twisted stitch has its loops crossed to the left or to the right.

How the twisted stitches are made? When knitting the stitches of the next row, the loops of a stitch stay parallel or turn around and twist.

The Rule: To twist a classic stitch you need to knit it through the back loop. To twist a twisted stitch, knit it through the front loop.

Some descriptions may contain such terms as "twisted knit stitch" and "twisted purl stitch". Since classic stitches are more frequently used in knitting, these terms mean knitting the stitch through the back loop of a knit or a purl stitch.

Twisted Knit Stitch

A knit stitch knitted through the back loop is a "granny's" knit stitch. When knitting a stitch through the back loop, a classic stitch is turned and twisted.

Twisted Knit Stitch

Twisted Purl Stitch

To make a twisted purl stitch, catch it through the back loop and knit in a classic method.

Twisted Purl Stitch: Catch the stitch through its back loop

Twisted Purl Stitch: Catch the stitch through its back loop

Twisted Purl Stitch

Can we knit a twisted stitch in a "granny's" method? Yes, we can. The stitch will also be twisted. But the new stitch, the one you'll have on your needle will be not a classic stitch but a twisted stitch. As a rule, it is unwanted.

If it is difficult for you to knit a purl stitch through the back loop in a single step, you can make it stage-by-stage. Catch the back loop of the stitch with your right needle from the right to the left, the same way as described above, slip it off the left needle, turn and return to the left needle (while obtaining a twisted stitch). After that, knit the purl stitch as usual.

Why did we focus on the twisted stitches to such detail?

The descriptions and patterns imply your knitting in a classic way. In case of mixing up both methods, it is quite possible that some stitches will come out twisted (where you don't need them) and the pattern will become distorted. Thus, always knit in classic stitches, if not stated otherwise in the description. Let's remember our sample from the previous lesson.

Twisted Stitch: a broken line of twisted stitches came out due to our shifting to the granny's stitches in the right side row, and twisting the stitches while knitting them through the back loop.

A broken line of twisted stitches came out due to our shifting to the "granny's" stitches in the right side row, and twisting the stitches while knitting them through the back loop.

In addition, when making round stockinette stitch using granny's method, the cloth will come out distorted due to the fact of continuous twisting of stitches to one side. The same effect may be produced when knitting other patterns.

A sock knitted using twisted stitches came out to be distorted

A sock knitted using twisted stitches came out to be distorted

However, there are cases when twisted stitches are quite reasonable. Knitted in these stitches, the cloth comes out more dense and less stretchable as compared to classic stitches. This property may be used in knitting of bars using garter stitch.

Be sure to study out this topic. Learn to better recognize classic and twisted stitches.  Experiment. Make a sample in a garter stitch using "granny's" knit stitches only. Look close – the stitches come out to be twisted. Compare your sample with that one previously knitted in classic stitches. The picture shows the sample made in classic stitches (at the top) and the twisted stitches (at the bottom).

The picture shows the sample made in classic stitches (at the top) and the twisted stitches (at the bottom).

Tips:

  • always make your stitches in a classic way if not stated otherwise in the description or if not trying to get a particular effect;
  • don't use the "granny's" method for the round stockinette stitch: in this case, the stitches will continuously tend to twisting to one side and your knitting will become distorted;
  • use twisted stitches where they improve the work quality.
Crochet Lessons
Crochet Lessons The Double Crochet Stitch
Crochet Lessons The Slip Stitch
Knitting Lessons How to Bind off and Cast off
Crochet Techniques
New Stitch Patterns