Learning a new (well, old) technique

Asplund's picture

This is how people knitted in Sweden before "continental" arrived. The technique is called "tvåändsstickning" (two strands knitting) which even to me looks strange in print - and it's my mother tongue!

You knit with two strands, both held in right hand and twisted between each stitch. Garments knitted this way are thick and not very elastic, which makes them perfect when it's cold and windy.

The right side looks more or less like ordinary knitting, but the wrong side is completely different: it looks like rows of cords. A nice thing is that relief patterns get deeper than in ordinary knitting. I think you can see these things fairly clearly in the picture.


HuskerChub's picture

There is a book out on this

There is a book out on this technique also...Two-End Knitting, A Traditional Scandinavian Technique also known as Twined Knitting. From Basics to new Refinements and Designs —Anne-Maj Ling published by School House Press. Also in the last year or so Meg Swansen had an article in Vouge Knitting IIRC about doing this tech. using one strand in each hand or both held in the left hand I don't recall which right off, but it was traditionally thought that the tech could not be knit in her particular method.

Asplund's picture

I can recommend Anne-Maj

I can recommend Anne-Maj Ling's book - I've got the Swedish version and it's very easy to understand her instructions. She's our guru when it comes to this technique and I've been fortunate enough to take a short beginner's course and meet her. She's great fun! Asplund

If only we lived closer, I

If only we lived closer, I feel I could learn so much from you....

Asplund's picture

Well, some day we might at

Well, some day we might at least meet; sooner or later I've got to cross the Atlantic and see for myself what's on the other side!

Asbjörn's picture

This technique really does

This technique really does enhance the depth of the pattern, your sample is beautiful. I think my grandmother might have talked about tvåändsstickning but she was not a knitter so I was never shown. I had forgotten about it until just now when I read your post. I love the idea that you (and apparently others as well), are keeping old, seldom-used techniques alive. It appeals to the armchair historian in me I suppose.

In the states (perhaps elsewhere), tvåändsstickning is referred to as "twined knitting". I was surprised to find an article about it on Knitty. Beth Brown-Reinsel of Knitting Traditions also gives workshops on the technique. And for instant gratification, there's a nice (photo heavy), tutorial in English here as well as a comprehensive site in Swedish here if anyone's interested in having a go at it.

Asplund's picture

Great links! I only knew

Great links! I only knew about the Swedish site, so I'm happy and grateful I won't have to describe the technique in English. I don't think I could do it in Swedish, to be honest!

Kerry's picture

Looks like a fascinating

Looks like a fascinating technique. I look forward to seeing progress photos.

teejtc's picture

So.. Even thought you're

So.. Even thought you're knitting with two strands, do you only knit through one strand in each stitch? (i.e. do you switch strands every other stitch?)

Does the question even make sense?

Grace and Peace,

Asplund's picture

Your question makes perfect

Your question makes perfect sense! Sorry my description wasn't clear enough in the first place. There's one strand in each stitch and you keep switching. (With two colours plain knitting will therefore automatically be striped.) Asplund

albert's picture

I've heard of this. Did you

I've heard of this. Did you do this right or left handed? What effect would you get with two different colors?

Asplund's picture

Right hand - learning this

Right hand - learning this was like trying to get on a bike from the wrong side!
You can get many different effects with two colours, either simply stripes or quite complicated patterns by 1. keeping the strand you don't knit with on the right or the wrong side; 2. mixing knitting and purling and 3. combining 1. and 2.
I think I'll post a picture of my swatches rather than try to describe the results - that will be easier for you to!

albert's picture

That will be much

That will be much appreciated- tak sa mycket!