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Twisted (a tutorial)

December 29, 2009

This is a short tutorial on how to do the twisted stitches used in my soon-to-be-released Aragorn scarf pattern. Several of the testers have asked for help on how to do these stitches without a cable needle. My method is not the way you will normally see it executed, nor is it the only way to do cabling without a needle but this method was easiest for me to wrap my thick skull around.

T2R (Right twist stitch)
Here is the standard definition of the stitch

Slip first stitch onto cable needle, hold to back. Knit the next stitch through back loop then purl the stitch on cable needle.

Now here is how to work that stitch without the cable needle.

Slip both of the stitches involved in the twist purlwise onto the right needle.
(I know that most tutorials do not do it this way. This is just the method that works best for me. Feel free to use whatever method works for you)


Place the tip of the left needle into the back of the first of the two slipped stitches.


Place your thumb under the two slipped stitches, lightly pinching the stitches to prevent any runaways.


Now for the scary part. While pinching the base of your stitches between your thumb and forefinger, remove the right needle from these two stitches.
Don’t panic, keep breathing. No need for hyperventilating. Your thumb will keep the free stitch from escaping


Quickly catch the live stitch with the tip of the right needle.


Slip this stitch back onto the left needle. Now your stitches are rearranged and you are ready to knit.


Knit the first stitch through the back loop. And purl the second stitch.

You have now completed the T2R without the aid of a cable needle.

Are you ready to try the left twist?

T2L (Left Twist)
Here are the standard instructions for the stitch.

Slip stitch onto cable needle, hold to front. Purl next stitch then knit stitch on cable needle through back loop.

Now here is how I do it without the aid of the cable needle
(Same caveat as before: I know that most tutorials do not do it this way. This is just the method that works best for me. Feel free to use whatever method works for you)


Slip both of the stitches involved in the twist purlwise onto the right needle.


Place the tip of the left needle into the front of the first of the two slipped stitches.


Place your thumb under the two slipped stitches to prevent any runaways.

Now for the scary part. While pinching the base of your stitches between your thumb and forefinger, remove the right needle from these two stitches.
Don’t panic, keep breathing. No need for hyperventilating. Your thumb will keep the free stitch from escaping


Quickly catch the live stitch with the tip of the right needle.


Slip this stitch back onto the left needle. Now your stitches are rearranged and you are ready to knit.


Purl the first stitch. And knit the second stitch through the back loop.

You have now completed the T2L without the aid of a cable needle.

A couple of tips that will help you out. You might want to place your finger on the second stitch of the pair when you work the first stitch. This helps keep the second stitch from slipping off your needle while working the first stitch.

You can actually work the first stitch of the combination without ever removing the right needle after repositioning of the stitches if you have your yarn on the proper side of your work.

One final photo, if you happen to need to rip back, here is the proper orientation for those twisted stitches to be on the needle.

Notice that the stitch is crossed at he base instead of being open as a normal knit stitch would be.

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