Guest Author - Lisa Linnell-Olsen
When is a twisted stitch a problem and when is it a design element in knitting? If you are trying to get your knitting to lie flat, but are unintentionally creating cables, read on for some general advice on how to fix this problem.
Many beginning knitters learn the their knitting doesn't look right sometimes if they insert the knitting needle incorrectly into a stitch before knitting it. A knit or purl stitch will always be mounted in a particular way on your knitting needles. How it is mounted and than knit or purled into will determine whether it become twisted, and which direction the twist faces.
Correcting Problem Twists
If your knitting is coming out twisted, with rows looking like single rows of cable work when it should be flat, you need to make sure the stitch mount is correct before you knit or purl the stitch. When you look at a stitch on your needle, the right side of the stitch will either be on the front side or back side of the needle, while the left side of the stitch be looped over the opposite. If you have been twisting your stitches, you will need to change the way the stitch is mounted on your needle before you knit or purl into it.
Step 1 Insert the tip of the right needle into the stitch as though you were going to knit or purl the stitch, but only slip the stitch right now!
Step 2 The stitch mount should have changed. For example, if the right side of the stitch had been on the front, it will now be on the back of the needle. Pass the stitch back to the left needle, while maintaining the new stitch mount.
Step 3 Now try knitting or purling this stitch. This simple fix often will give you the proper mount so that you will not twist your stitch when you are trying to make a flat fabric.
If this doesn't work, or twists the stitch even more, during Step 1 try inserting the right needle from the opposite direction. For example, if you had inserted the needle from the front of the stitch, try inserting it from the back instead.
Knitters hold their needles in many different ways. There are even many variations in how needles are held among dedicated Continental knitters, or in Eastern Uncrossed knitters. What matters is that you are able to hold your needles comfortably and produces the stitches you are trying to make.
With a little practice and experimentation, you should be able to not only knit or purl untwisted stitches, but understand yarn enough to deliberately make twisted stitches. When twisted stitches are meant to be included, they are a great design element, adding a cabled look, unique fit, or specific drape in knitted fabric. Taking the time to learn to overcome problem twisted stitches is worthwhile, since the experience leads you to a new skill later on!
There are many different ways that knitters hold their needles