Tuesday, 23 October 2012


Tvåändsstickning is a Swedish knitting term for twined knitting or more literally "two-end knitting", where the knitter uses the inner and outer strands from the same ball of yarn,  twisting the strands between each stitch. It is different from other stranded knitting techniques. The twists build an extra layer of thickness behind the surface of the work, making twined knitting firmer, more windproof, and more durable than stocking stitch.  You can also use one strand in front and one strand in back to make 3D surface designs. Ideally yarn that is 'S-spun and Z-plied' is used as 'S-plied' yarns keep twisting and twisting tighter in the same direction and you lose some of the loft of the yarns and they really twist around each other (like when making twisted cord). It's hard to find 'Z-plied' yarns to buy but it would certainly be easy enough to spin some up by spinning counter-clockwise and plying clockwise - the opposite of most of the spinning we conventionally do.

Twined knitting was originally devised as a reinforcing technique on knitted items that would be used as work clothes, gloves or mittens or other repetitive uses that would normally wear out the woolen fabric. Sweater sleeves would be knit using this technique and once worn out, would simply be replaced with new sleeves.

On Saturday, I took a twined knitting class with Donna Kay of Tree of Life Designs. Ours was only one of several technique classes she was teaching at Rhinebeck.
We didn't have any 'homework' other than to bring 3.25mm dpns. She provided the 3ply sport weight yarn.

First we did a three-strand, long-tail cast-on using two strands of the white and one strand of the contrasting colour.  Then Donna lead us through the basic stitches and some of the decorative 3D stitches including Latvian Braid (which I now know is a type of twined knitting).  We had a particularly adept group of people because everyone was able to complete or almost complete the sample cuff in the time allotted.
Once I got home, I found the appropriate Dale of Norway Heilo yarn (as recommended by Donna) in my stash and began the Larus & Ardea pattern from Winter 2008 Knitty.

I'm pleased with how quickly these are knitting up and look forward to wearing them over black 'magic' stretchy gloves.

Yesterday I blocked the Holden Shawlette that I had finished binding off in the lineup at Rhinebeck. Careful blocking is important to display the lacy beauty in its optimum form. First I wove blocking wires through the eyelet along the 'hypotenuse' (longest side) and up the spine.  I then pinned the ends in place measuring to make sure both sides were the same length.
I then pinned the centre picot of each fan and feather feature along a line with t-pins and then pinned out each individual picot in a curved format with stainless steel (rustproof) dress pins. 
It really didn't take all that long and the final result is certainly worth it.

This pattern is perfect for beginning lace knitters, yet fun and satisfying for experienced lace knitters. It can be made larger by simply doing more repeats of the feather and fan edging before the picot border and beads can be easily added. It's a great shawl for using solid or tonal yarns. I like how it shows off the 'bling' in the Turtlepurl Yarns Moon Beam yarn and it requires also only uses one ball of sock yarn.

I think there will be some more Holden Shawlettes in my future.


  1. Hi Geri. I bought a twined knitting book last year and will get to work trying it! I love the look of the twined knitting and you make it sounds so easy :-)

  2. Which one did you get? I'd be happy to coach you through the basics if you ever want to get together (meet halfway between our houses?).

  3. I got Two-End Knitting by Anne-Maj Ling.
    I would love to meet up with you somewhere Geri :-)