Wednesday, May 21, 2014

YES YOU CAN. On fixing a twist.

Technical note:  I understand the videos below don't work if you're using an iPad to view this page. You'll need to be on another type of computer. Limitation of Blogger and how it posts videos. Sorry!

I read a blog post this morning about working in the round. It was written to be an introduction to working on circular needles, and an encouragement for those who are struggling with it.

I love working in the round myself. Less purling! Faster! Hats! Socks! Cowls!

Although it's overall helpful, the writer says something that I fundamentally disagree with: that a twisted round is unfixable. This is a common belief: that if you join with a twist, it's a catastrophic, unfixable mistake.

Quite the opposite. It's entirely fixable. And so easy to fix that I've actually stopped checking for the twist before I join. Frankly, if I'm casting on many stitches onto a long circular, or coping with the porcupine that is a set of DPNs, I focus my energy on holding the needles in a way that's comfortable, and getting a good join.

Once I've worked my first round, I then check for a twist and fix it.

A round with a twist: no need for panic.
Yes, that's right. I fix the twist.

There is a 'but', and it's a reasonably big one: you can only fix the twist in the first round. After that, it's set. But that's ok - just get into the habit of checking for a twist after the first round is complete, and you're good.

Cast on, join your round as normal, and work all the way around.

Once you hit the start of the round, lie the work down and check for a twist.

If it isn't twisted, move on smugly.

If there is, just fix it! The video below shows you how.  In words: fix it by swinging the point of one of the needles through the middle of the round.

video

What you're actually doing is transferring the twist to the cast on edge. This is why you can't do it later on in your work, as the twist will be visible in the fabric. But a twist in the cast-on edge isn't visible.

Yes, this also works on a circular needle or magic loop. It's a slightly different way of looking at it, but what you're doing is just moving the twist along the needle until you hit the tip, and then "run" the twist off.

video

And then, either way, move on smugly.

You're welcome. ;-)

17 comments:

tumpedduck.com said...

To what address should I send the award for winning the internet for today? This is absolutely awesome.

I don't know that I can quit checking for twist, but now I won't be quite as stressed out about it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great tip. I usually don't have a problem joining in the round but now I can fret a little less.

mike and chenoa said...

Mind blown. Joining long cast-ons in the round is so stressful--not any more.

Beth Aalberts said...

I think I have done that before a long time ago when I was very new to socks and I didn't care I just went on ahead, because I didn't know what I had done.

Erin said...

Well that just blew my mind. Seriously – how have I not known about this before? I think I need to go lie down...

Maxine said...

This is the best thing I've ever heard in the area of knitting. You must be a genius!!!!! Such a simple and easy solution to a nightmare of a problem for knitters.
P.S. Saw you this morning on Knitting Daily on my PBS channel. Great tips on socks. Thanks for all you do for the knitting world.

yarnladee said...

While I will probably always check for a twist this incredibly awesome technique will give me so much more confidence when knitting in the round. Thank you just seems too simplistic a phrase to express. Is there a knitting Nobel prize?

Robin said...

WOW! I'm excited that someone with vision could figure this out and was willing to share with us. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Sarah E. White said...

I did actually know this, but I was talking about when you don't notice it for an inch or so, as shown in the picture on that article. In which case there is no way to fix it. Thanks for sharing this, though!

Robin Lisek said...

This is so exciting as twists have always been a problem for me, especially when making hats. I think I have to get something started and try this out right now.

Jenn C. said...

It's also good to note that it is possible to introduce a twist into the knitting in the first round (since all you're doing is adding a twist to the single strand of yarn holding the piece together at that point), so it's also a good idea to do a quick check for twist before heading into round 2.

Virginia Smith said...

I've done this many times, and you're right, it's totally invisible!

Anonymous said...

I can't see the video! Was it removed for some reason? There is just white space : (

edenne said...

Love, love, love this! Thank you.

Eliza 422 said...

I didn't realize I was already doing that - I do magic loop, and I always sort of straighten it all out when I finish the first round of knitting. I usually don't have a twist, but sometimes I have worked my round like you showed.
Now I know what I'm really doing. Cool!

Christine Richards said...

wow! all the instructions for socks make it sound like a twist when casting on and joining are the kiss of death. i've never managed to twist because i've been so careful about it, now i see i DON'T have to be so careful, that it's a totally recoverable mistake if caught right away. thank's SO much for sharing this incredibly simple technique!

Judy said...

A friend just sent me a link to this post - how wonderful!! I've had this problem more times than I care to admit….and now you've solved it! Thank you so much……and you posted it on my birthday! I think yours was the best gift this year!

xxoo