Even though I've been knitting for a long time, there are still knitting techniques that are a mystery to me. Twined knitting is one of those techniques that's on my to-learn list.
You've probably noticed twined knitting and had no idea that those stitches were purposefully twisted to create such a unique-looking piece. Twined knitting, or two-end knitting, is created with two strands of yarn -- one from each end of the skein. (See why it's sometimes called two-end knitting?) And there's one other thing that makes it unique: the stitches are twisted between each stitch.
History of twined knitting
Twined knitting was developed in Scandinavia and dates as far back as the 17th century. Sweden is known as the center of twined knitting, mostly because of a recent discovery of a pair of very interesting gloves. In the 1970s, a unique glove was found and determined to be from the 17th century. After taking a closer look at the knitting, researchers realized that the glove was knit using the twined knitting technique. Today the glove can be seen at the Dalarnas Museum in Sweden, not far from where the glove was found.
Characteristics of twined knitting
Remember that I told you twined knitting was founded in Scandinavia? If you know anything about Scandinavian countries, you know how freezing cold the winters can be. Because twined knitting uses two strands of yarn, the finished piece will be thicker and warmer than knitting that's just knit with one strand. (If you lived in Scandinavia, you'd want to discover warmer knitting techniques, too!)
Twined knitting also creates a fabric that's a bit stiff and doesn't have a lot of stretch. This means the firm, finished knitted piece is great for decorative embroidery.
It's possible to use multiple colors in twined knitting, or you can just use one color if you choose. As long as you're using two strands at once and twisting those stitches in between, it's twined knitting.
Where you'll see twined knitting
Because twined knitting uses two strands of yarn, it creates knitted pieces that are a bit thicker and heavier. Where would you expect to see a heavier, thicker knitted fabric? Why, mittens of course! The use of two strands of yarn ensures that mittens are both durable and warm.
You'll also see twined knitted in other winter accessories. Anything that's intended to keep you warm can be knit using the twined knitting method: socks, scarves, hats -- anything goes. The twined zig-zag socks pattern, pictured above and available on Craftsy, is just one example of putting twined knitting to good use. Toasty toes!
Twined knitting involves twisting the strands of yarn between stitches, so you can imagine how time consuming it must be. For that reason, you probably won't see a lot of larger items that use the twined knitting technique.