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Yarn Works
This project was spun as a Z-twist yarn from a wool fleece. I envision these fingerless mitts as the ideal handwear for the Vallkulla—the women who spend their summers in the cool highland forests of Sweden, grazing and tending their milk cows and goats— so I named them after these hardy women. If you don’t have any animals to milk, they are also great for any cold-weather activity in which you need to have your fingers free. Consider knitting a pair for winter spinning! They are especially well suited for drop- spindle spinning since the cuff material makes a great surface for wrapping your fiber supply while it waits to be drafted.

The Twined Knitting Technique
Hold both strands of the working yarn (one from the cen- ter of the ball and the other from the outside of the ball) in your working hand and separate the strands with your index finger. (Even though, historically, stitches are typi- cally “thrown” when knit in twined knitting, I’ve found it doesn’t matter if you “throw” the stitches with your right hand or “pick” with your left. Either method can be modi- fied to create the same results.) Knit the first stitch with one of the strands. To knit the next stitch, pick up the other strand and wrap it clockwise over the first strand and knit. Then pick up the first strand again, wrap that clockwise around the strand just used for the second stitch, and knit the next stitch. Keep alternating strands in this manner for each stitch. If you are knitting correctly, the back (wrong side) of your work will have an even “twining” of stitches that run in the same direction.
Purled twined stitches are worked in the same man- ner, but with both yarns held to the front of the work as with a normal purl stitch. The yarns are wrapped clock- wise around each other with the new yarn coming under the yarn from the previous stitch.
The mitts are begun with a long-tail cast-on. Although this cast-on method isn’t a traditional twined-knitting cast-on, it works well in this pattern. I chose to use both a simplified cast-on and a basic pattern of knits and purls that I typically teach to my students because they give the beginning twined knitter a more expedient first experience in this fairly time-consuming knitting technique. I’ve found that after learning these basic twined techniques, the knitter gains confidence to advance to learning other twined cast-on methods and unique pattern stitches, such as chain paths and crook stitches.

Yarn Management
It’s much easier to knit in the twined style if you put your ball into a “yarn bra,” available at many yarn shops. You can also make your own from cut-up lengths of panty- hose or from netting that is used as packaging material at grocery or liquor stores.
Your working strands will become twisted around each other, making it necessary to stop at the end of each row to untwist your yarns; an easy way to do this is to put a needle through the ball of yarn (anchoring the yarn ends) and let the ball spin until the twist is undone.

About Twined Knitting
Twined knitting is a technique believed to have orig- inated in Sweden, where it’s called tvåändsstickning (two-ended knitting). The technique creates a fabric of double thickness. Historically, it was popular in the northern, forested regions of Sweden, where dense woolen wear was needed for the cold, snowy winters. In twined knitting, both ends of a ball of yarn are used at the same time. Stitches are worked by using one end for one stitch, then the other end for the next stitch, and continuing to alternate the ends throughout. A center-pull ball of yarn is neces- sary so you can work with both ends of the yarn.
It is best to use a yarn that’s been plied in the Z direction (clockwise) for twined knitting because the direction of the plying complements the twist inherent in this knitting technique. (S-plied yarns untwist when knit with the twined method.)

wined Diamonds (multiple of 9 sts)
Rnd 1: *K3, p1, k1 keeping yarn from previous purl st on RS, p1, k3; rep from * around.
Rnd 2: *K2, [p1, k1 keeping yarn from previous purl st on RS] twice, p1, k2; rep from * around.
Rnd 3: *K1, p1, k1 keeping yarn from previous purl st on RS, p1, k1 moving yarn from previous purl st to WS, p1, k1 keeping yarn from previous purl st on RS, p1, k1; rep from * around.
Rnd 4: *P1, k1 keeping yarn from previous purl st on RS, p1, k3 with both yarns in back, p1, k1 keeping yarn from previous purl st on RS, p1 and take yarn to back; rep from * around.
Rnd 5: Rep Rnd 3. Rnd 6: Rep Rnd 2. Rnd 7: Rep Rnd 1.
Pattern Notes
• The size may be customized in increments of approxi- mately 11⁄2" (4 cm) by increasing or decreasing the cast- on count by 9 stitches.
• For ease in reading the pattern, instructions are written as standard knit or purl or variations (such as decreases or increases), but all stitches are worked in the twined- knitting style.

Woman’s small (medium, large) Instructions are given for smallest size, with larger sizes in parentheses. When only one number is given, it applies to all sizes.
FINISHED MEASUREMENTS Circumference: 6 (71⁄2, 9)" [15 (19, 23) cm] at wrist
Length: 61⁄2 (71⁄4, 73⁄4)” [16.5 (18.5, 19.5) cm] or as desired

Z-plied wool yarn: 135 (167, 201) yd [123.5 (153, 184)
m] /3.5 (3.9, 4.7) oz [89 (110, 133) g]
• Commercial yarn equivalent: DK weight, preferably plied Z
• Size 4 (3.5mm) double-pointed needles or size needed
to obtain gauge
• Waste yarn
• Tapestry needle
• Stitch markers (optional)

24 sts and 24 rnds = 4" (10 cm) in twined knitting.
Adjust needle size as necessary to obtain correct gauge.

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© 2022 W. J. Johnson / Creative Publishing International · Reproduced with permission.
  • Step 1

    Make a slip knot with both ends of the yarn (one from the inside of the ball, one from the outside) and put it
    on a dpn. Using long-tail method and both ends of the yarn, CO 36 (45, 54) sts (not counting the first slip knot). Remove the first slip knot and distribute the sts evenly onto 3 dpns. Mark beg of rnd and join, taking care not to twist sts.
    Knit 1 rnd.
    Purl 1 rnd.
    Knit 1 rnd.
    Work 7 rnds, repeating the 9-st Twined Diamonds pat 4 (5, 6) times around.
    Knit 1 rnd. Purl 1 rnd. Knit 6 rnds.

  • Step 2

    Inc rnd: *K18 (23, 27), kfb, knit to end of rnd— 37 (46, 55) sts.
    Rep Inc rnd 7 (9, 11) more times—44 (55, 66) sts. Knit 4 (6, 8) rnds even.
    Next rnd: K18 (23, 27); place the next 12 (15, 18) sts on waste yarn for the thumb; CO 4 (5, 6) sts (the “gap” sts) using both strands and long-tail CO; knit to end of rnd— 36 (45, 54) sts.
    Knit 6 rnds or until piece measures 3 rnds short of length desired.
    Purl 1 rnd.
    Knit 1 rnd.
    BO in twined sequence by using every other strand in the BO.

  • Step 3

    Transfer the 12 (15, 18) thumb gusset sts to 2 dpns; join yarn and knit across thumb gusset sts, then pick up and knit 2 sts before the gap sts, 4 (5, 6) across the gap, and 2 sts after the gap sts—20 (24, 28) sts. Note: The additional sts on each side of the gap sts help close the space between the gap and the thumb gusset and provide more ease in the thumb.
    I usually pick up at least half of the gauge stitches-per-inch when shaping a thumb. These sts are decreased on next rnd. Next rnd: K11 (14, 17), [k2tog] twice, k2 (3, 4), [k2tog] twice, working last dec with first st of next rnd; mark new beg of rnd—16 (20, 24) sts.
    Knit 6 rnds or until thumb is 3 rnds short of length desired.
    Purl 1 rnd.
    Knit 1 rnd.
    BO all thumb sts in twined sequence. Weave in all ends.

  • Step 4

    Work as for Right Mitt to Thumb gusset

  • Step 5

    Inc rnd: K16 (21, 25) sts, kfb, knit to end of rnd— 37 (46, 55) sts.
    Rep Inc rnd 7 (9, 11) more times—44 (55, 66) sts. Knit 4 (6, 8) rnds even.
    Next rnd: K16 (21, 25); place next 12 (15, 18) sts on a holder for the thumb; CO 4 (5, 6) sts (the “gap” sts) using both strands and long-tail CO; knit to end of rnd—36 (45, 54) sts. Redistribute sts evenly on needles as necessary. Complete as for Right Mitt.

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