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Knitting the Twisted Stitch

Oct 20, 2010
Bavarian Tulip Mittens by Judy Alexander

The Proverbial Cap by Meg Swanson
Alpen Socken by Judy Alexander
A note from Kathleen: One of the things that keeps knitting interesting and fresh is learning new techniques and stitches. In Interweave Knits we bring you inspiring designs, but also lots of new learning opportunities with each issue.

One of those opportunities in the Fall 2010 issue is Meg Swanson's in-depth article about twisted stitches. This type of knitting is made up of traveling stitches and cables, using just one stitch crossing over another. The catch is that knit stitches are worked through the back loop, creating tighter stitches that stand out more from the background stitches than regular cable and traveling stitches do.

Knits features three patterns that showcase twisted stitch knitting, the Bavarian Tulip Mittens and Alpen Socken by Judy Alexander and the Proverbial Cap by Meg Swanson.

Knits editor Eunny Jang to tell you more (and show you more in a video tutorial!) about this technique.

Twisted-Stitch Knitting

I have always loved twisted stitches—those intricate, delicate motifs of curving and crossing knit columns. There is something so satisfying about them—a logical, tidy order to their beauty. In the Fall 2010 issue of Interweave Knits, we featured several little twisted stitch projects—great samplers for the technique.

But how do you knit them? Treating them and knitting them as 1/1 cables is cumbersome and inefficient, especially with the fine gauge and high stitch count of your typical twisted stitch project.

Enter Meg Swansen, knitting publisher and knitter extraordinaire.

Way back in February of this year, I received a copy of Schoolhouse Press's new translation of the classic book Überlieferte Strickmuster (Twisted Stitch Knitting) by Maria Erlbacher, a catalog of nearly 200 traditional motifs. Meg and I decided that the Fall 2010 issue of Knits was the perfect place to run the definitive article on twisted stitch technique, with instructions and little tricks to make knitting twisted stitches easy and efficient.

In the article, Meg outlines twenty-four different combinations of movements and stitches—all the way from working the stitches carefully without a cable needle to working them in one quick, efficient movement.

As a bonus to the article with full instructions, I demonstrated some of the movements on the new series of Knitting Daily TV. Check out the exclusive preview below:

Get out your needles, your yarn, and grab a copy of Interweave Knits Fall 2010 to try out this gorgeous technique—it's easier than you think!

Interweave Knits is all about giving you the knowledge and tools to make beautiful things—make sure you don't miss an issue.

Happy knitting,

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GrannyJudy wrote
on May 24, 2014 1:04 PM

Is it possible to do twisted knitting in rows?  

MarthaF wrote
on Nov 6, 2010 2:25 PM

What is the number of Knitting Daily TV that the Twisted-stitch knitting with Euny is shown.   I have the book of Twisted Knitting by Maria Erlbacher, now I would like to purchased the video.   I have watched the preview, and now would like to see more of the techniques.    

ZassZ wrote
on Oct 23, 2010 11:27 AM

Hi Kathleen,  

I wanted to call your attention to "Swanson".  It's Meg Swansen with an "e" not an "o".  Even in search results for schoolhouse press it turns up spelled incorrectly but on her patterns it is spelled with an e, as well as in Vogue Knitting and Wikipedia.  Even Amazon's advertisements spell it wrong.  Just though you would want to know for future reference.  

EllenH@28 wrote
on Oct 21, 2010 7:33 PM

Nice technique but can you please slow down!  All your videos go so quickly that they don't help me much at all.  The needle is much quicker than the eye.

MIcheleM@29 wrote
on Oct 21, 2010 7:32 PM

thanks for taking a moment to demonstrate twist technique...reading

instructions has caused me to take a lot of time repeating ...

MIcheleM@29 wrote
on Oct 21, 2010 7:32 PM

thanks for taking a moment to demonstrate twist technique...reading

instructions has caused me to take a lot of time repeating ...

aednarb wrote
on Oct 21, 2010 10:39 AM

Very helpful! The second method she shows for the twisted stitch is now my favorite!

salying wrote
on Oct 20, 2010 9:00 PM

Hi there.  I wasn't sure how to contact you, but I wanted to let you know of an interesting podcast I heard.  It is on  A scientist working on hyperbolic mathematics (what Einstein used to describe his theory of special relativity) discovered that she could crochet this hyperbolic world.  This is fascinating because the hyperbolic world is very hard to visualize.  Check it out!  (email me at if you can't find it.)

DianeD wrote
on Oct 20, 2010 6:32 PM

I just love the look of the twisted knitting but would it be possible to show the "throw" method of knitting as well as the "pick" method (for those of us that have not yet mastered the art of "picking".     Thank you and keep up the good work.  I'm always looking forward to the next email/issue and newletters.  

Chelo wrote
on Oct 20, 2010 5:05 PM

I want to learn the twisted stich, please let me know where is Pattern for the hat


KIMB wrote
on Oct 20, 2010 3:52 PM

I had so much fun making this hat, it was a good challenge, now that I have found all my earlier errors, I am ready to make the improved version!

on Oct 20, 2010 8:42 AM

Hi Amy:  After 3 attempts to make the twisted stitch hat pattern and much ripping out, I finally got the technique down  and am having fun with the hat.  Now, I am up four inches and am having to dfecrease and keep pattern in check.  Here is where I am having much dirficulty and where to do my decreases.  If you  can either demostrate on a you tube demo and write the pattern out, stitch by stitch, I can then finish this beautiful hat.  I am having much difficulty in understanding where and how the decreases happen.  Thankyou so very much.