A Book Review for Knitters Who Love Traditional Knitting Patterns: Twisted-Stitch Knitting

Traditional knitting patterns continue to inspire modern knitters with their charm and intricate stitchwork. Discover the fascinating world of twisted-stitch knitting with this book review, which appeared in the January/February 2009 issue of PieceWork.

twisted-stitch knitting

Twisted-Stitch Knitting: Traditional Patterns & Garments from the Styrian Enns Valley
By Maria Erlbacher
English edition, Pittsville, Wisconsin: Schoolhouse Press, 2009. Softbound, 204 pages, $28. ISBN 978-0-942018-30-1.

In twisted-stitch knitting, knit stitches are “worked into the back loop, producing twisted stitches which are more pronounced. . . . Motifs are created by crossing twisted knit stitches to the left or right over other stitches.” The twisted-stitch patterns presented here are ones that knitters in the Styrian Enns Valley of Austria have been passing down since the eighteenth century. One of those knitters, Thekla Zeiler (1883–1960), is responsible for about 150 different motifs, many of which are included here. Laying her needles aside, Zeiler also worked as a farmhand, day laborer, and ski instructor. Author Maria Erlbacher, who has herself taught the technique, has dedicated herself to furthering the work of Zeiler and the other knitters who created this Austrian folk art.

The book’s Techniques section offers clear illustrations, black-and-white photographs of swatch details, and directions for reading the charts. Following are charts and detail photographs for 174 patterns, including Burning Love in a Triangle, Alpine Path, and Pieced Chain with Plum Pit. Projects for men’s, women’s, and boy’s stockings, a vest, and cardigans for men, women, and children are accompanied by step-by-step instructions, charts, schematics, and process photographs. The author’s tips and encouragement are invaluable.

This is a substantive must-have for knitters who love traditional patterns. They will find the possibilities for utilizing the technique nearly endless.

—Andy MacKenzie

Read 5 more great book reviews in our blog post “5 Books on Historical Knitting and Fashion Accessories.”

Find more historical knitting in the pages of Knitting Traditions!

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