Friday, January 12, 2018

Twined Knitting, volume 3

OK, I finished those z-ply twined mittens. Half-mittens, actually.

Here they are:

[twined half-mitts]

I am very happy with them. The fabric is amazing: very dense, yet still soft and pliable. I love the surface decoration you get with this technique - it involves nothing more complicated than carrying the floats on the front of the work, rather than on the back (the floats are never more than 1 stitch long). 

While the outside of the knitting doesn't look that different from regular stockinette, the inside is quite different:

[inside view of twined knitting]

All those twists create little ridges on the back of the work and make it thick and lofty. I'm sure this would make amazing slippers! 

I find that my gauge is quite different with this technique: it's much tighter. So although the mitts were supposed to be husband-sized, they ended up being 2 sizes to small and therefore are now mine! So I've done another pair, using standard s-ply yarn (Palette from KnitPicks, which is fairly loosely plied fingering and a little finer than the Hygge Tveband), and I explored colourwork rather than texture. I upsized them and cast on 80 sts to make them bigger.  Here's the result:

[two-colour twined mitts]

These were fun to make as well - I really like the combined effects of colourwork and texture. Using colours that are close together (grey and white) makes the mitts a little less eye-popping. 

Since I used s-ply yarn, I twisted the two strands counterclockwise to unply the yarn as I knit. I see that I can't tell from the finished fabric that the initial yarn was s-ply rather than z-ply, and I didn't find the twisting action more difficult in one direction vs. the why did the old-timers decide that z-ply yarn was preferable to s-ply for this technique???

I think it may have something to do with the yarn management. I found that while the yarn tangles with z-ply yarn, I could at least knit a few rounds of mitten before having to let the ball spin to get rid of the twist. Not so with s-ply yarn! After half a round, I had to spin the ball. Somehow the twist stays way up high, near my knitting hands, and gets nasty and tight really quickly. 

My younger son is about to head off for a 4-month internship in Saskatoon, and has requested a pair of full mittens in order to be able to cope with the -25C weather. So I'm off to produce another set! This time, I will try two-at-a-time, to see if I can get that working. 

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