4KCBWDAY2 A Mascot Project

4KCBWDAY2 A Mascot Project.

Your task today is to either think of or research a project that embodies that house/animal. It could be a knitting or crochet pattern – either of the animal itself or something that makes you think of the qualities of that house.

Alternatively it could be a type or colour of yarn, or a single button. Whatever you choose, decide upon a project and blog about how and why it relates to your house/creature.

Whilst writing about my chosen house yesterday I came to the realisation that though I am always trying to stretching myself to try and learn new techniques to further my knitting skills and to find the best way to tackle any knitting challenge, I hadn’t actually learned a new form of knitting for some kind. This is partly because ‘types’ of knitting are finite, and after lace, cables, colour work, etc, there are only so many others to try before splitting forms of knitting into further categories blurs the definitions so much as to make them indistinct.

One knitting style I have been thinking of for some time, however, is twined knitting. I have read about twined knitting a number of times when reading about Scandinavian knitting traditions, and became quite interested in the subject when I bought the book ‘Northern Knits’ by Lucinda Guy.

With this is mind I set about researching and learning about how to knit twined knitting. I read up on the basic stitches and how to knit the decorative elements. For those readers who don’t know what twined knitting is, it’s a form of knitting that involves knitting alternate stitches with two balls or ends of yarn, and twisting the yarns per each other before each stitch to entwine them together. This give a beautiful fabric with less stretch but more resilience than stockinette, though the overall effect looks much the same. It’s absolutely perfect for items that need to be both warm and hardwearing, such as mittens.

As the yarns need to be twisted between each stitch it means that working with two differently coloured yarns will either give a narrow vertical strip or one-stitch checkered pattern to the finished item, something that I thought I might be able to explore using some wonderful Zauberball goodness.

But after about 12 rows of knitting I am struggling to see if the benefits of this style of knitting (added warmth and resilience) justify the extra work. The twined knitting is actually pretty quick to knit once you get the rhythm, but having to stop and untangle the yarns (which necessarily become twisted together de t the action of twining them together) really stops the relaxing flow of my knitting so that I can’t sit back and enjoy knitting a few rows in front of the TV as I keep having to stand up to try and let the knitting untwist itself (which is not always easy do to the single ply nature of the Zauberball yarn and it’s wish to cling to itself as it unwinds, leaving the fibres matted together).

I’m a little bit further on with the knitting from when this picture was taken, but I feel a bit torn now. It’s a simple skill and one that I do like the results of as it’s pretty much indistinguishable from stockinette – but that’s also part of what is holding me back and making me wonder if I should just rip it out and find something new to try (I still haven’t given double knitting a go!) and something that has a little more return for the time invested. What say the readers? Persevere or find a new skill to play with?

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23 thoughts on “4KCBWDAY2 A Mascot Project

  1. It seems like a useful technique to have under your belt and something that could come in handy when you require a sturdy fabric but want the stockinette look, and I do love the thin coloured stripes, but if you’re losing interest I’d say give double knitting a go instead! You say it’s easy to do and if you figured that out in just 12 rows, and you were purely interested in learning the technique, it will be easy enough to pick right back up when you need it. (but I say that as someone so firmly in House of Bee I’m growing a stinger.)

  2. You milady, are pure awesome. Just saw your comment on my blog and you are absolutely right about the stitch – I had never seen that before and now I am super excited to be able to use it!

    Thank you so much 🙂

    Also for organising blog week, of course 😉

  3. I can only agree with Tecrin (yes, I’m a bee as well…) I worked with several strands of yarn before when I knitted a hat with cables in a different colour and I used an extra strand of yarn for each cable (4 braids with two cables each…). I know what detangling means and it really destroys the calmity of knitting. So if the extra work is not reflected in the special beauty of the work, rip it out and start something that makes you feel better! There is nothing wrong with that.

  4. @kathatravelling: the thing it, I reallY LOVE stranded colour work, and I think the bit that is getting to me is that the extra twisting of the yarn seems to serve no real purpose. Stranded colourwork naturally produces a thicker fabric due tot he carried tar. The main difference with the twined knitting seems to produce a denser, less elastic fabric. I can see that the fabric is lovely, but the effort:return ratio doesn’t seem quite right.

  5. @donnarosa: No, it’s not the colours that are bothering me (in fact, I snipped off a bit of the darker pink because I liked these two shades together, and the contrast is higher in ‘real life’ as cameras can often make a bit of a show about photographing shades with a high red inclusion). It’s not the effect that I don’t like, it’s the process.

  6. I’ve been wondering about twined knitting since I got The Principles of Knitting last year and found a chapter on it. Interesting to hear your experience.

    I’d say ditch it if you aren’t enjoying it and can’t see the point. As a fellow monkey, I know there is a certain stubbornness about learning a new technique and not letting it get the better of you, but sometimes it is best just to acknowledge the technical brilliance and agree that it is completely useless!

  7. Double knitted mittens are pretty warm too. It’s a fun technique. You can make it a bit more challenging if you incorporate a design. If you alternate the direction of the twists (clock wise – anti clock wise) there’s not too much untangling. I made these as my first double knitting project: double knitted mittens .

    Now I’m making a double knitted tabletsleeve.

  8. I’m probably outing myself as a Monkey when I say: give it one more try? But maybe with a different yarn? One with a slightly higher “I don’t care if I ‘waste’ it” quotient?

  9. Knit with one color in each hand, so you’re effectively “picking” and “throwing” at the same time. Keep one ball of yarn on your left side, carrying it over your left hand, and the other on your right side, carried of your right hand. Voila, no tangles. 🙂 That’s how I do all of my 2 color knitting.

  10. @Sophia:.I think you’re essentially misunderstanding the point of twined knitting. The yarns are supposed to be twisted together between stitches, always in the same direction, so you can’t keep one yarn dominant. That’s what makes twined knitting different from stranded colorwork.

  11. I think that you’ve done enough to understand the technique, and it’s fine if you decide you don’t want to continue it. I feel that way about most intarsia, for example.

  12. I just started my first real double knit project, a shawl. Will be very warm I’m sure but I’m having the same trouble with the rhythm of it as you are with twined knitting. Sill planning to persevere!

  13. It looks good, I like the vertical striping. I have to say life is too short to work on something that you don’t enjoy, although it might be worth doing a little more, I often feel meh about the first inch or so of a sock leg but love the sock once I get further in. Is it possible to alternate the direction you twist the yarns to avoid getting tangled up at the yarn supply end?

  14. I always thought double knitting and twined knitting are very similar, except that you end up with two sides of “pretty fabric” with double knitting, and only one side with twined knitting. But I only tried double knitting.

    You tried it. If you don’t like it, try something else. You don’t have to like everything, right?
    If you really want to master this technique you can always try again later, maybe with a different (and maybe plied?) yarn.

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