I got a note yesterday from someone who commiserated at the slow going doing a piece so full of left twist and right twist 1×1 cables, and who wanted to know if there were other ways to do them.
There are several ways to go about it. Some are documented in B. Walker’s stitch treasuries, others elsewhere. The first and most obvious is to do a plain old 1×1 cable, slipping the stitch that needs to go in back onto a cable needle or spare DPN, working the one that needs to land on top, then returning the slipped stitch to the active needle and working it, too. Nice and neat, but time consuming.
Some people have a knack for working these small cable crossings without using a cable needle or other aid to hold any stitches. This works best in a nice, cooperative and slightly sticky wool, but with practice can be employed in most other materials, too. Famous Wendy is especially good at it, and has a nice tutorial on no-needle cables on her website. Although it is employed there for a 3×3 cable, the same principle holds for a simple 1×1 twist. Grumperina also has an illustrated no-cable-needle tutorial. Her method is slightly different and works well, too.
But being a klutz and prone to dropping stitches, I prefer some of the other less adventurous methods. My irrational preference here is sort of like people who prefer to keep their fingers on the keyboard while using a word processing program, disdaining use of the mouse in favor of key command sequences.
Here are a couple of other ways to make 1×1 twists. B. Walker advocates the second method described below for each (the ones I attempted to illustrate). As with most cases in which there are several ways to accomplish the same thing, experimentation is always a good idea. Different methods will give different gauges and depending on the materials used, may have an effect on fabric drape and loft. If you’ve got a pattern that’s heavily dependent on LT and RT, take a moment to play with the various ways to accomplish them when you are swatching. You may find that one of the many ways to produce them works best for your project in hand.
Left Twist (LT) Methods – Rightmost stitch ends up on top
- Identify your two-stitch unit. Skip the first stitch and knit into the back of the second, then knit the skipped stitch through the back of the loop and slide the entire unit off your needle.
- Identify your two-stitch unit. Skip the first stitch and knit into the back of the second, then knit BOTH stitches together through the back of the loop and slide the entire unit off your needle
Knitting into the back of the second stitch
Right Twist Methods – Leftmost stitch ends up on top
- Identify your two-stitch unit. Skip the first stitch and knit into the front of the second, then knit the skipped stitch and slide the entire unit off your needle.
- Identify your two-stitch unit. Knit both stitches together, but do not remove them from the left needle. Knit the first stitch again, and slide the entire unit off your needle.
Knitting both stitches together
Knitting the first stitch again
Both completed twists (placed a couple of rows apart, they make up the C shape in the center of the mini-swatch)
Great tutorial! I’ve tried the no-cable needle method, and am also too klutzy for it to work for me. I suppose it would get better with practice, but I just hate those stitches sliding away from me.