Making Twists

Twists are diminutive cousins of the cable. A twist consists of 2 stitches — 1 stitch crossing over its neighbor. You can twist in either direction: left over right or right over left. To make a 2-stitch twist, you can use a cable needle to take 1 stitch to the front or back while you knit the other stitch. But there's another way to accomplish the crossing that doesn't require a cable needle, saves time, and is easier to do.

The stubborn stitch on the left edge

Often, the left-end knit stitch on a rib or in a cable is noticeably larger than the other knit stitches. When you move from a knit to a purl stitch, the yarn travels a tiny bit farther than it does between two knit or two purl stitches, resulting in this looser stitch. You can remedy this problem by working the first 2 purl stitches after the cable tighter than normal. After you knit the last stitch, insert your needle into the neighboring purl stitch and give a good tug on the yarn before wrapping and making the stitch. Do so again for the next stitch. This technique helps tighten up the last cable stitch, but don't let it tighten up the rest of your stitches.

If you find that you still have a sloppy knit stitch on the left edge of your cable, try this trick: On the right side, work the last knit stitch of the cable. Bring the yarn to the front, slip the next (purl) stitch, and continue on. When you come to the slipped stitch on the next wrong-side row, go into it as if to knit and, at the same time, go under the unworked strand on the right side. With the tip of the LH needle, bring the slipped stitch over the strand, transfer the newly formed stitch to the LH needle in the ready-to-work position, and knit it.

Twisting to the right

To work a twist to the right, follow these steps:

1. Slip the 2 designated twist stitches one at a time from the LH needle to the RH needle.

Always slip a stitch as if to purl unless your instructions tell you to do otherwise.

  1. Move the tip of the LH needle behind the RH needle, pass up the first slipped stitch and enter the second slipped stitch from left to right, as in Figure 11-9. Leave the tip of the LH needle in the slipped stitch.
  2. Gently slide the RH needle out of both stitches, leaving the second stitch on the LH needle hanging.
  3. Bring the tip of the RH needle around to the front and insert it into the hanging stitch (see Figure 11-10).
  4. Transfer this stitch to the LH needle.

Both stitches are back on the LH needle, with the second one overlapping the first to the right.

Knit both stitches in the usual way.

Slide needle out

Figure 11-9:

Insert the LH needle through the second slipped stitch from left to right.

Slide needle out

Figure 11-9:

Insert the LH needle through the second slipped stitch from left to right.

Hanging stitch

Figure 11-10:

Insert the RH needle tip into the hanging stitch.

Hanging stitch

Figure 11-10:

Insert the RH needle tip into the hanging stitch.

Twisting to the left

To work a twist to the left, follow these steps:

  1. Slip the 2 designated twist stitches one at a time from the LH needle to the RH needle.
  2. Move the tip of the LH needle in front of the RH needle, pass up the first slipped stitch and enter the second slipped stitch from left to right (see Figure 11-11). Leave the tip of the LH needle in the slipped stitch.
  1. Gently slide the RH needle out of both stitches, leaving 1 stitch hanging.
  2. Keeping the RH needle in back of the LH needle, insert the tip of your RH needle into the hanging stitch (see Figure 11-12).

^ Pick up hanging stitch

Figure 11-12:

Pick up the hanging stitch.

Figure 11-12:

Pick up the hanging stitch.

5. Transfer this stitch to the LH needle.

Both stitches are back on the LH needle, with the first one overlapping the second to the left.

6. Knit both stitches in the usual way.

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