Sunday, April 23, 2017

Are my knit stitches crossed or twisted?

If someone were to ask you what is the difference between crossed and twisted stitches in knitting,  would you be able to help?  I ask because it came to me as I worked on a guild project called wingspan by maylin Tri'Coterie Designs.  This project is from several years ago and older than that from its designing. It's a really nice shawl and I look forward to finishing it sometime soon.  Because then, I can wear it.

But back to the question at hand. Let's explore this. 

Cables are crossed.  Anyone who has seen Aran sweaters, whether machine knit or hand knit, knows about cables.   The background is one stitch pattern.   There are ropes snaking around the surface that lay over each other at regular intervals.   The point where they lay over each other is the cross.  Cables are at least 2 stitches over at least 2 stitches.  They usually use a cable needle.   Some knitters are adept at crossing cables without a cable needle.    

Now for the slightly harder part. What if there's only one stitch over one stitch?   Is that a cable?   No.  But what is it? Those are called twisted stitches.  They don't use a cable needle. You would drop it if you tried to use one.  Twisted stitches are crossed when doing the actual knitting rather than before.

So that leaves crossed stitches.  What are those?   If you think of a knit stitch as a pair of pants, the top of the stitch that goes on the top of the needle is the part of the pants that goes around hips and waist.  Each leg is a leg of the stitch. Cross the pant legs at the ankle and that is what a crossed knit stitch looks like.  Crossed  stitches are formed by a combination of where in the stitch the needle is put and the direction of the wrapping of the yarn around the needle.

But there are also knit stitch patterns called cross stitch.   They are very lovely to see and fun to knit. Below is a favorite cross stitch of mine.  It's a variety slip stitch knitting.