More on Twined Knitting

I am really loving this twined knitting. I have finished the other mitten:

and I’m designing and knitting a pair for my DH. So what exactly is twined knitting?

From the back cover of Twined Knitting: a Swedish Folkcraft Technique, by Dandanell, Birgitta; Danielsson, Ulla; Hansen, Robin Orm (Translator) :

"Twined knitting, or tvaandstickning, is a venerable Swedish folk knitting technique which creates an unusually dense, durable, and exquisitely patterned fabric. Twined knitting has been used historically for mittens, caps, gloves, stockings, and jackets. Knitters today are finding that the extra skill and care demanded by this fascinating technique are justified by its heirloom-quality results.”

Basically, it’s a really old technique that involves using 2 strands of yarn from the same ball (the center and the outside) usually knit in the round. It makes a really warm and durable fabric that is more elastic in the width and not so elastic in the length. You can’t twined knit too tightly, which is perfect for me because I always knit tight!

For information on the history of twined knitting:

And for a starter tutorial on twined knitting:

It’s a bit tricky at first, but once you get into a rhythm, the knitting moves along nicely. The two most decorative stitches used in twined knitting are the “crook stitch” and “chain path”. These stitches are made by carrying one of the strands of yarn in front of the work. Here is a close up of both stitches in the mittens:

The diamond pattern on the hand of the mitten was made with crook stitches:

Twined knitting was originally done with a multi-stranded Z twist yarn (click here for info on Z vs S twist). Most commercially available yarns we knit with are S twist. I used an S twist yarn for the class mittens and I really like the way the finished product feels. But of course I need to know if it really makes a major difference, so I am going to try a couple of pairs of mittens in a z twist yarn. I could only find two companies carrying z twist yarns: The Wooly West Mora yarn and Black Water Abbey .

I am using the Mora yarn right now (fingering weight) and have ordered some Black Water Abbey worsted weight yarn. It will take a couple of months for my complete analysis, but I’ll keep you posted…

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