Twined knitting is a traditional Swedish knitting technique also known as two-end knitting. The basis of this techniques is that you are knitting with two strands of yarn that you twine around each other as you knit. The “two-end” name is because people often use two ends of the same cake of yarn – taking from the inside and the outside of the cake. This can also be done with two different yarn, especially if you want to introduce color knitting into the equation, but it seems to be done traditionally in one color using textures for the design element. The attraction of this technique is thicker, warmer knitted fabric, which around this time of year sounds like a good idea to me!
I recently got two books on this technique – Two-End Knitting by Anne-Maj Ling, and New Twists on Twined Knitting by Laura Farson.
Two-End Knitting is a straightforward book that gives you a good overview of the technique, some traditional stitch patterns, and some pretty bare bones garment and accessory patterns. Although this book was originally published in Sweden in 2002 and in the US in 2004, it has the look of an older book. There are a few photos of completed items toward the front of the book, and the rest of the illustrations are line drawings. The drawings are very detailed and do give you a good idea of how to accomplish the techniques. The stitch patterns and a few mitten patterns are charted on graphs. The garment directions give you a general method for knitting and construction and let you choose your own stitch pattern. This isn’t a bad thing, necessarily. Just know going in that there isn’t much hand-holding in this book. However, it is an interesting technique and looks like it is well worth a try!
The second book was published only a few years later in 2007, but looks and reads more like a modern knitting book.
New Twists on Twined Knitting adds a more modern colorwork aspect to the technique, but does also feature some traditional one color, textured projects. There are color pictures of the projects throughout, and detailed patterns are given for the each project. The techniques are illustrated with very clear line drawings, and the instructions go into a lot more detail, including things like fixing mistakes. There is also more of a range of patterns here, including socks and bags, in addition to hats and mitts. This book does not include any garment patterns though, so if you are thinking about a twined knitted sweater or skirt, Two-End Knitting will be your huckleberry.
They each have their own strengths and weaknesses, but both are good books for adding this technique to your repertoire and making a few extra-toasty knitting projects.