Twisting Stitches

Soooo…I was knitting with a friend yesterday and I noted that she was twisting her stitches – some crazy teacher taught her to knit through the back loop instead of the front. I had a really hard time explaining what the difference was – of course when I knit both ways and showed her you could see the twisting but her own stockinette looked fine becausue the whole project was knit that way.

Can someone explain to me what the the difference is – i.e. why she would want to correct it? Thanks :smiley:

Was she doing combination knitting?! I’ve heard it’s VERY FAST

I used to twist my purl stitches by wrapping them the wrong way. It doesn’t matter so much in rectangular knitting, but if you have to increase or decrease the changes will look funny unless you untwist the stitches first. And that can be a pain.

So wait…what’s the difference between combination knitting and twisted stockinette??

I think the difference is that you untwist with the next row.

Here’s the scoop:

Assume a needle is pointing right. The stitches sit on it with one leg in front and one in back. One of those legs is closer to the tip of the needle than the other. That’s the leading leg. The other leg is the trailing leg.

When the front leg is the leading leg, you knit by entering the stitch from the left of the leading leg, passing behind it. You purl by entering the stitch from the right of the leading leg, passing behind it.

When the rear leg is the leading leg, you knit by entering the stitch from the right of the leading leg, passing in front of it. You purl by entering the stitch from the left of the leading leg, passing in front of it.

In either case wrapping the yarn clockwise will result in the stitch having the leading leg in the rear on the next pass. Counterclockwise wraps result in the leading leg ending up in front.

Combination knitting wraps the knits counterclockwise and the purls clockwise. Therefore, previously purled stitches have their leading legs in back, and are properly knit as described above for rear-leading-legs.

To twist a stitch you simply reverse the above instructions. That is, to twist a stitch that has a front leading leg, follow the instructions for the rear leg, and vice versa.

:spades:[size=2][color=blue]The Mod Squad was here[/color][/size] :thumbsup:

I wrap all my stiches clockwise and this always causes my stiches to have the leading leg in front. I love the look when the stiches appear to have a twist. I will give the examples provided a try.

My aunt, who knits conential, wraps clockwise and knits into the trailing leg. It appears that not only the way we knit but also which leg we knit into and how we wrap can make our knitting more of a personal style! I think that is SO COOL!!!

Sooo…Ingrid’s guess made a lot of sense…but what happens when combination knitters knit in the round?? Or in garter stitch, for that matter? Are all of their stitches twisted because there is no purl row to untwist them??

In standard Western knitting, whether English or Continental, the leading leg is always in front. Therefore, unless you want to twist a stitch, you only use the leading leg in front instructions given in my earlier post.

In combination knitting, the leading leg might be in front (if the stitch was knit on the previous row) or it might be in back (purled in the previous row). The knitter has to look at each stitch and decide which way to work it.

That sounds more onerous than it is. Any experienced knitter notices the difference in feel when a stitch is facing the other way on the needle. In fact, combination knitters are less likely to make a mistake in ribbing because the stitches practically scream “knit me” or “purl me” by feel alone.

So, to answer your question more specifically, when knitting stockinette in the round or garter stitch flat, most combined knitters do what looks like western combined knitting.

Some folks get so hung up on entering a stitch through the back loop that they try wrapping the yarn clockwise so that the back leg leads. This works too, but it’s actually harder to do since you have to concentrate on doing something backwards from usual.

I have a pattern that calls for a twisted garter stitch…i have no earthly idea how to do it except for the following directions:

“All rows are knit through the back loop of every stitch.”

First of all, do I go up through the back stitch or down if I’m on a knit row?

Secondly is there any difference in the way I should do this on a purl row?

and finally…is there some video that I can watch this???

Here’s the Ktbl video:

For twisted garter, you’d just knit every single stitch just like that. :smiley:

Just to add my 2 cents – fwiw – I discovered recently that I was accidentally wrapping the wrong way when purling (I knit Continental-style) … I know I haven’t always done that, but somewhere along the way, I started doing it w/out realizing it, and I discovered it in the middle of a baby sweater. :doh:

Anyway, when I began my quest to figure out why my stitches were coming out twisted, I re-discovered Amy’s videos for purling in all the ways available. In the course of that I read that visually impaired or blind knitters tend to use combination-style knitting because they can more easily feel what kind of stitch they’re working on.

I thought that was really interesting … I hope someone else does, too, otherwise it’s just boring. :shifty:

Can someone tell me how to increase when you are a combination knitter? I love knitting and perling combination. I think my rows are nice and even and good results, but I am confused about how to increase. I’ve been trying to knit front and back in the same stitch and that actually looks ok on the right hand side, but on the left hand side at the end of the row, it doesn’t look good. I checked out the book “Knitting in the Old Way” and it does show the variations of kntting really clearly, but what I couldn’t figure out was how to increase and decrease.


It may be helpful to “untwist” the stitch before increasing. Does that make sense? :thinking:

OK…so even on the purl side I do the knit/twisted, right??? :lol:

There is no purling in garter stitch, it’s just knit stitch, both the right side and the wrong side. UNLESS you are doing garter stitch in the round, which would require purling, and you would need to have the beginning of the round marked.