Do the Twist: The Left Twist Stitch

I think cables are gorgeous, but I don’t always have a cable needle hanging around. That’s where the left twist knit stitch comes in handy.

Some knitters refer to this stitch as the mock cable stitch because it has the twist of a cable without actually using a cable needle.

Left Twist Stitch

The twist is worked in pairs, knitting the first two stitches on the left needle out of order, only dropping them from the needle when both stitches have been knitted. If you can knit, purl, and knit through the back loop, this stitch will be super easy for you.

The Left Twist Stitch pattern

Let’s take a look at the written instructions first.

Left Twist (LT): Knit through the back loop of the second stitch on your left needle without dropping it from the needle. Bring your right needle to the front and knit the first stitch on your left needle as you normally would. Drop both the first and second stitches off the left needle.

Cast on an even number of stitches.

Row 1: (RS) LT across row.

Row 2: Purl.

Let’s break down how the left twist stitch works.

Step 1: Make sure you have an even number of stitches on your needle. Knit through the back loop of the second stitch on the needle by inserting your needle through the back.

Knitting Needles
Step 2: Knit, and leave the stitch on the left needle.

Left Twist Stitch
Step 3: Bring the right needle to the front of your work.

Knit Stitch
Step 4: Knit the first stitch on the needle as you would a normal knit stitch.

Dropping Stitches
Step 5: Drop both stitches off the left needle at the same time.

Knit Twist
Step 6: One twist is complete! Stick the needle into the back loop of the second stitch on the left needle to begin your next twist.

Twist Stitch
Step 7: Repeat the twists across the row. or try one of the variations below.

Variations on the twist

This stitch looks great no matter how you use it. Try knitting a k2p2 rib, twisting the knit stitches in every right-side row. You’ll have an interesting rib that looks way more complicated than it actually is.

Experiment with plain stockinette stitch between twist rows, like I did in my swatch. You can get a stripe effect or play around to make the twist imitate cables on your favorite sweater.

Accessories worked up entirely in twist stitch are also visually interesting. Take a look at this A Bigger Twist scarf pattern as one example.

Knit Scarf

You can also make the twist toward the right. It’s worked the same as the left twist knit stitch, except that you knit the second stitch on the left needle as you normally would, as opposed to knitting it through the back loop.

This Socks for Stannis pattern uses both left and right twists. It’s also a great example of how different twist stitches can look when you knit them in a lightweight yarn with a tighter gauge.

Knit Sock

Want to make some legit twists? Try Custom Cabled Pullovers with Carla Scott and you may never mock a cable stitch again! Or go Irish with your cables in Carol Feller’s class.

For more knitting fun, come back to the Bluprint blog tomorrow! We’ll be taking a look at reversible stitches.

How do you like to add twists to your knitting?

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