Twisted stitches are a common knitting mistake that happens to beginners as well as advanced knitters. In knitting, twisted stitches are ones that do not sit properly or neatly on the knitting needles. There are two types, the kind you make by accident and the kind that you create on purpose. If it’s a mistake its best you correct it as soon as you notice or it will spoil the look of the finished patterns. Though sitting irregularly on the needles, the twisted stitches create beautiful knitting stitch patterns such as a twisted stockinette pattern. However, this blog is all about fixing the twisted stitch.
Firstly, twisted stitches happen first when you knit into the wrong leg of your stitch. Secondly, when you wrap your yarn the wrong way. Third, when you put your knit stitches back on your needles after having taken them off. For example, on a cable needle or while changing the needle size. And, last for all the reasons. This can happen if you are working with single-pointed needles or circulars for a flat project or going in rounds with double-pointed needles or versatile circulars.
So, let’s take a look at twisted knit stitches. You can also take a look at common knitting mistakes that beginners make and how to fix them.
Anatomy of a Knit Stitch and how they should ‘sit’ on your knitting needle
When you look at your work (knitted fabric) from the knit side or the purl side or the right side (RS) or wrong side (WS), the right leg of each knit stitch should ‘sit’ in front or toward you and the left leg in the back, away from you. Whether you are knitting continental, English or other styles with any needle, you still might have a twisted stitch on hand.
In the Western/English knitting technique, the right leg is also known as the ‘leading leg’ and is the stitch that you will knit and purl into while the left leg is known as the ‘trailing leg.” All your stitches must sit in this way unless you want to make it look otherwise.
What are Twisted Stitches?
Any stitch that is not sitting as we mentioned above is twisted unless you are instructed in a pattern to specifically ‘knit into back leg’. To knit regularly, you must assume that you will be knitting into the front, right leg.
Prevention is the easiest way to fix any knitting mistake. So, to avoid twisted stitches always knit into the leading leg which in Western/English knitting is the right leg. Also whether you knit or purl, always wrap the yarn counterclockwise. Twisted knit stitches also happen when you pick a dropped stitch so always make sure that when the stitch is put back on the needle it is sitting properly.
The best to catch the twisted knit stitches is similar to all other common knitting mistakes - as you are working them so that you can immediately fix them. Even if you notice the twisted stitch after a few rows or rounds you need not be disheartened.
In knitting, there is a fix for all mistakes. If you catch your twisted stitches while knitting them, simply turn the yarn in a way so that the loop sits correctly on the knitting needles. If you find them later, mark the twisted stitch with a stitch marker.
If you find them later on, you can do one of the following.
Drop Down (A Forced Dropped Stitch)
If you have noticed the twisted stitch after you’ve gone a long way, then mark the stitch and make it drop off the needle. This is a forced dropped stitch so be careful to drop the stitch that is twisted and no other. Before dropping it down make sure to use a lifeline to protect the other stitches. Follow the steps of fixing a dropped stitch and put the twisted stitch correctly back on the needle. Use a repair hook to pick up the dropped stitch and put it correctly back on the knitting needle.
A clever name as the knitting technique is, Tink is simply ‘knit’ spelled backward. It is simply unknitting. This a good cure if you are just a few stitches away from the twisted stitch. You basically unknit the stitches till you get to the twisted stitch and put it back correctly on the knitting needle.
If the name tink wasn’t already clever enough, the knitting connoisseurs decided ‘rip it, rip it’ sound stitches sound like a croaking frog. Hence the name ‘frogging’ for when we take our work off of the needles and just start ripping. Make sure to insert a lifeline to save your stitches. With frogging, the two biggest challenges are not going too far and not twisting stitches again as you put them back on your needle.
Now you shouldn't have any trouble finding it when it happens. Twisted stitches are just a part of your crafting journey. If the twisted stitches do not stand out much, you can let them be. After you complete the project you can give it a proper blocking. Wash and with proper blocking tools pamper your project. The yarn blooms and hides minor inconsistencies.
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