Humble Pie

After watching Stell's video on holding yarn for Swedish Tvåändsstickning (i.e. Twined Knitting), I thought for sure my oh-so-mysterious stealth project would be done in no time. It's not a very big project, and at my normal knitting pace, I would have expected the entire thing to be done in 2-3 sittings at most. Boy was I wrong!

We should bless all the dear Swedish, Norwegian, and other women who placed such a premium on their family's warmth that they developed and practiced this technique. Prior to finding Stell's video, I had completed the ribbing (which was a breeze using both hands) and had gotten just 2 rows into the body of the piece. Since finding Stell's video, I've worked on the hat two more times—with healthy knit sessions each. Am I done? Judge for yourself:

Alas—at this pace, I'm far from finished. It is truly humbling to do this work!

In all fairness, I should say that the knitting moves along much faster than before I found the video and figured out how to hold my yarn. While I'm surprised by how long this little project is taking, I'm still very happy with it. The fabric is thick and luscious. In fact, I wonder if it might not be a little too warm for our normal Seattle winters. More than that, I'm learning a really useful technique and practicing some skills that I know will serve me well on future projects.

Twined knitting is not the same as double knitting. The reverse side of your stockinette stitch has an almost herringbone affect.

Moreover, you'll notice that it kind of looks like it's knit side-to-side on the back.

You have to look carefully here to distinguish the ribbing from the body, so here is the WS again, with a guide to help you.

Remember that twined ribbing doesn't look like we expect ribbing to look. Instead, it looks like the wrong side of normal stockinette stitch (all purl bumps up), and the ribbing's identical on both the right and wrong sides.

In the next image, you can see that the piece is turned right-side-out again. At bottom left is the ribbing, then the body of the piece (RS), then within the needles you see the WS of the twined stockinette.

Cool, no?! Another shot showing all the components—this time (L-R) it's WS of ribbing, WS of stockinette, RS of ribbing, RS of stockinette.

And another chance to check out the difference between the rib and stockinette on the wrong side.

The Taos yarn is not plied, which I think adds to my knit time a bit because the working yarns twist together as I twine and need untwisted so much that they sometimes felt together a little bit and I have to pull them back apart. So in addition to the technique, I also focus considerable attention on the integrity of the yarn itself. I suspect twining works a little better with a plied yarn. It is quite pretty, though. I like the way Taos's striping is interrupted by the alternation of the working yarns.

As I've mentioned, I saw the twining method as a good practice step before trying to knit one sock inside another—a technique I'm interested in learning so I can prevent second-sock syndrome when I'm working DPN, top-down patterns. For the ribbing section, that definitely is the case. However, the stockinette section does not require the same manual technique and isn't really applicable to the my ultimate, extreme sock goal.

Here's hoping that the next time you see this project, it's finished!

1 comment:

soknitpicky said...

Wow! Just reading about all that makes my head spin :-) I'm really intrigued 2 by the 1-sock-inside-another idea. I don't knit socks, but I am fascinated by that concept. Look forward to reading your experiences