Thursday, May 14, 2009

The difference between a Knit stitch and a Twisted Knit Stitch

Since I taught myself to knit when I was 18 (6 years ago! Holy moly!), I have periodically freaked out, suddenly sure that I was knitting wrong. The internet taught me, so I had no one to check my work! The trouble was always the same, I could never be sure I was knitting and purling through the right part of the stitch. I always thought I might be knitting through the back instead of the right way! I had watched a ton of videos, looked at pictures, and read every description, but I was still unsure. Each time, I would do my best to figure it out, (twice I decided I was wrong. Which cancelled out meaning I was right in the first place!) and content myself with the idea that at least my finished projects looked pretty.

Then I finally knit a project that called for twisted rib. I finally had to do what I tried to avoid doing all along! In order to do a twisted 1x1 rib, on the right side, you knit 1 through the back and purl on, and on the wrong side, you knit 1 and purl 1 through the back. So I made up a couple of swatches to make sure I was actually knitting correctly. My twisted rib looked like this
twisted rib 2

If you stretch it, you can see that the knit stitches are more defined than the purl stitches.

When you compare it to a regular knit 1 purl 1 rib, you can see just how much more defined knit stitches are in comparison.
normal ribbing

To get the twisted rib I had to make sure I was knitting through the back like this
twisted knit

Instead of the needle crossing over the part of the stitch that faces you, it goes in through the back

Here is how you knit a stitch without twisting it
normal knit

Similarly, when you purl a twisted stitch, you cross the part of the stitch that is furthest away from you, and it goes in from left to right instead of from right to left

Like this
twisted purl

When you purl a regular old straight stitch, it looks like this
normal purl

To be honest, I wasn’t sure until I looked at the finished swatches that I was doing it right. I thought that maybe I was knitting or purling right, but that I was twisting the other side. I thought that I might not be able to tell the difference between the swatches, and then how would I know what was wrong! But if you look at them together, you can totally tell which one is twisted and which wasn’t. With my fears allayed, I can finally knit in peace! Or wait... Am I still wrong?? :)

right side regular  ribbing left side twisted stitch ribnormal purlbing

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