Friday, November 13, 2009

Twist and shout

As I mentioned yesterday, the stitch pattern that is featured on my subway socks, (and on the bamboo angora gauntlets, and on the Penny for Your Thoughts caplet) is one that has 4 twisted pairs of stitches ever other R (row or round)--each sock has 4 pattern repeats, (16 twisted pair per sock!)

Half of the twisted pairs, are right twists, the other half are left twists.

Right twisted pairs are pretty easy--

First --by a twisted pair I mean a 2 stitch cable (stitches 1 and 2 get repositioned to 2 and 1) –the sort of cable that is MOST OFTEN done by first knitting stitch 2, then stitch 1, then letting both stitches the “old” stitches fall of left needle.

--these are also called Right CROSS (and Left Cross) since there is also a twist stitch can mean a stitch that is intentional knit twisted (most often by knitting though the back loop)

I learned the stitch as ‘twisted pairs’ --and well that is how I think of then!—even though many knitting book or instructions don’t use this term—and instead use the term Crossed stitches. (Right cross and left cross)

Right twisted pairs are pretty easy.

Yarn in back (as it would normally be for working a knit stitch)
Needle in front (again as it normally would be for a knit stitch)
Stick needle into stitch 2 (not stitch 1) pull a new stitch (loop forward) on to right needle)
Then pivot needle and stick it into stitch 1 and work that stitch.
Finally let both of the worked stitches fall of left needle, (snug up yarn as needed, cause working the stitches out of order can make the new stitches too loose)

Sounds hard—but try it—it’s not nearly as hard as you’d think.

But the left twisted pairs?—Well that’s another story

Yarn in back (as it would normally be for stocking knit)
Bring needle to the back (as for a purl!)
Thread the tip of the needle between stitch 1 and 2 –and then stick the tip into stitch 2
(Huh? Yup, it is knitting contortion!—oh, wait, you are not a contortionist? Too bad!)
Make a stitch(that is, bring a loop of yarn through stitch 2, back it out of the space between stitch 1 and stitch 2, (another act of contortion!)
Then bring needle to front, and knit into stitch 1

Try it... (And shout! This can not be done!) Well it can be done—but--it is a royal PITA—and doing this with size 2 needles on a moving subway?—well—nuff said!

So what do knitters(who are not knitting contortionist) do? Well lot of things! There are several tricks for working the left Twisted pair/left cross stitches.


1—Turn the stitches (as if you were doing a SSK)
Return them to left needle
Bring needle to back of work,
Knit into stitch 2 --into the back loop! Which is just sitting there! No contortions required!
Pivot needle forward, Knit into stitch 1 (again, through the back loop)
Let the 2 worked stitches fall of left needle.
A twisted pair, with no twisted stitches, and no contortions. It's almost easy!

2-- Bring needle to back of work,
Knit into stitch 2 (into the back loop—(which will twist this ‘underneath’ stitch!))
Pivot needle forward, knit into stitch 1. (Through the front loop (i.e. normally))
Let the 2 worked stitches fall of left needle.

The stitch under the cross is a twisted stitch, but since you can’t see it, it doesn’t matter! But this method is slightly tighter (tension/gauge) than a standard stitch, and if you have a lot of twisted pairs, it could effect your gauge.
And if you are a tight knitter, forgetaboutit!

3—(Norah Gaughan style—I don’t know if she conceived the idea, or just uses it—but she is the person I learned it from(not in person, alas, but from her books!)
Start by working a SSK—a standard SSK--but don’t let the worked stitches fall off left needle.
Then, knit into stitch 1 only—again. (This is top of the 2 stitches that have been worked together)
This will ‘correct count’ and position the correct stitch on top creating a look identical to a twisted pair.
Then let the worked stitches fall off left needle.

(She uses the same process for a Right Twisted pair—K2tog, then K into top stitch –only--again—to maintain correct count—then let both stitches fall of left needle)

Since none of the stitches are twisted, it doesn’t negatively impact gauge –and it looks virtually identical. Take a magnifying glass to the work and study it, and you can see the difference—but not otherwise!

Me? Well since I normally knit combo—if I am working flat, my stitches (all of them!) are in the correct position for a SSK so the left twisted pair is not too hard to work. (And the right twisted pair remains easy enough)

If I am working in the round (the gauntlets and the socks) I just work the two stitches of the twisted pair ‘wrong’ (I wrap the yarn the wrong way—purl wrap) for these two stitches on the “plain’ row. This sets them up with a reversed mount (and I don’t need to reposition them before I work a style 1 twisted pair.)

Since when knitting in the round, the right side of the work is always facing me, knowing which to stitch to work ‘wrong’ isn’t much of a challenge.

Of course, if I had planned ahead, I would have a bunch of images of all these techniques—but—I over slept this AM (just 5 minutes!) but enough to not have any spare time for taking photos!

I was a bit tired because I went swimming last night—at one of the new Park Department pools-(one that was planned and built when NYC was positioning itself as a candidate for hosting the Olympics.)

The pool and other facilities are incredible. (Not 1, but 3 Olympic size pools) there were a few hundred in the water—and the pools were empty!
There is a full size skating rink too, in the same building, and across the street, an indoor gymnasium. There is a fee to use the facilities ($75 a year--but I am old enough for senior citizen discount ($10 year!)

And I didn’t really swim, but did a water aerobics work out.

1 comment:

gayle said...

Thanks for all the options! I'll be testing them later. I've been using the k2tog-then-knit-the-first-st for the right twist, but hadn't found an easy equivalent for the left twist that looked right. That SSK version sounds promising.
As usual, thank you!