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February 19, 2003

All Twisted Up

I woke up this morning to find a comment on this entry about my sweater. Janet from Big Sky Knitting pointed out that it looked like my stitches were twisted.

Initial reaction: What's she talking about?! My stitches are PERFECT!

Secondary reaction: Well, just in case -- lemme look at them more carefully.

Tertiary reaction: Damnit. My stitches are twisted.

Janet was onto something when she asked if I feed yarn from my left or right hand. As you can see in the left-hand column, I knit continental style -- in other words, I feed with my left hand. I can only imagine that knitting this way is more conducive to making this type of mistake.

I tucked my knitting tail between my legs and skulked over to StitchGuide to look at the knitting video. I am embarassed -- nay, ashamed! -- to admit that I've been doing the knit stitch wrong for quite some time. At least since I started this sweater.

Jason and I are driving to Boston tomorrow night, so I'm going to grab some worsted weight yarn and needles and re-teach myself (and then re-train my hand muscles to do it on autopilot) on the drive.

I thought very briefly about ripping out the whole sweater and starting over again. But I just finished the second sleeve, and all I have left is the collar, the blocking, and the sewing. So I'm just going to leave the twisted stitches and call it "texture".

Gah. I feel like such a rookie.

Posted by shannon at February 19, 2003 11:06 PM | For related posts: Cream Cabled Sweater


I taught myself how to knit from a crummy book and my first scarf and sweater were both knit in twisted stitch. However, I've had many compliments on both, so who cares! Finish your sweater the way you've been knitting it, I'm sure it looks great.

Posted by: Krista Jo at February 25, 2003 12:59 AM

Thank you, Krista Jo! It's good to know that I'm not the only one!

Posted by: shannon at February 26, 2003 2:03 PM

I know a couple of other people who also knitted their first garments with twisted stitches (unintentionally) and I agree with Krista Jo, if it looks great (they did and so does your sweater), who cares?!

Posted by: aliosn at February 26, 2003 6:06 PM

Kim, from http://www.emptywishes.net/knitpicky, also taught herself to knit the continental way and had this "problem" at first, so you're definitely not alone. But I don't think it's a problem, really. I've seen the use of twisted stitches in stitch dictionaries. You were just doing it unintentionally. Tee hee :-)

(P.S. I sometimes twist stitches intentionally when I'm working with slippery yarns, and then "untwist" on the other row. Check out your knitting books on how to do this!)

Posted by: Becky at February 28, 2003 2:04 AM

I learnt to knit continental when I was a kid and after having a look at the video at StitchGuide, I realise that I purl the wrong way. LOL. My stitches don't come out twisted because I knit into the back of the stitch instead of the front but it makes it difficult to work on anything with a lace pattern. Now I know why I don't like lace. LOL. Just thought I'd share that some of us have been doing stuff like this for years.

Posted by: Dot S at March 3, 2003 4:00 PM

When I came back to knitting after a several-year hiatus (and before that, a several-decade hiatus), I signed up for a hat class and knit up a swatch on circular needles...and the teacher thought it was really good, except for the slanty stitches. (I knit continental style, too, although I couldn't tell you why--taught myself all sorts of crafts as a kid. I think continental style makes much more sense, ergonomically and efficiency-wise.) Makes me wonder what that scarf I did in '95 looked like...

Posted by: maureen at March 8, 2003 3:49 PM

Don't feel too bad. I was taught to knit continental style in the sixth grade (I'm 30 now). My teacher was Irish! I have always made my stitches twisted, because she did. It was only recently that I decided to take a class after picking up my needles after a few year hiatus that the teacher pointed out that they were twisted. It took me about 2 hours to re-learn how to knit the "correct" way. It definitely does make a difference in the stretch of the fabric. Thanks for your entertaining blog!

Posted by: Claribel at August 28, 2003 3:39 PM