Knitted Hat with left and right twist stitches
I knit this hat using the Sitka Spruce Hat pattern by Tin Can Knits. Many thanks to Tin Can Knits for doing the 12 Days of Christmas pattern downloads. It’s a special treat for hobby knitters on a budget like me. Yarn used: Caron’s Simply Soft in Vanilla. In keeping with my theme of minimalism in the craft of knitting I used yarn which I had purchased a few years ago.
Left and Right twist stitches (LT and RT) are mini cable stitch patterns. These twist stitches add texture to a variety of knits and because they involve 2 or less stitches for the pattern no cable needle is required.
Benefits of doing twist stitches:
In “Why Crafting Is Great For Your Brain: A Neuroscientist Explains” several health benefits of crafting with a friend are mentioned. The versatile craft of knitting has several health benefits too (1). I found knitting with twist stitches helped most with mindfulness and focus. So how do the benefits mentioned apply when one is knitting alone and doing the twist stitches? I’ve listed the benefits* on the left and my comments on the right.
- Mindfulness – Yes, this was an exercise in mindfulness. You can’t watch TV while you knit or think of other things when you are doing the twist stitch round. All you can do is keep repeating 2LT, 2RT, etc. The minute your mind wanders you end up making a mistake. The knit rounds were a break where the mind could relax and think of other things.
- Focusing attention and thoughts on a task – Definitely
- Mental challenge and problem solving – Since I was following a pattern, the challenge was more to knit the twist stitch patterns without making mistakes.
- Development of hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness and fine motor dexterity – Yes, to hand-eye coordination but I have to say that doing the twist stitches did cause hand fatigue for me. Even for a small project such as a hat I had to take breaks and could only do a certain number of rounds in one sitting.
- Teaches patience and perseverance – Yes doing the twist stitches does teach patience because this is my second hat. The first hat I messed up and instead of tinking (knitting backwards) and redoing the rounds I decided to start over with a new yarn. To help with not having to frog my knitting again I put a couple of lifelines and counted each knit round to make sure I had the same number of stitches.
- Facilitates memory formation and retrieval – A chart was included in the pattern for reference but for each twist round memorizing the pattern repeats helped in my knitting speed
- Social connection – This was a solitary activity for me but I am connected to the online knit community.
- Learning and teaching – Learning – yes. Teaching – I don’t think so unless sharing my knitting experience counts as teaching?
- Encouraging active creativity – Not so much since I was following a pattern.
- Gives a sense of pride and achievement – I guess I can now say I know how to do twist stitches.
I found that there were some health benefits to doing the twist with knit stitches. Is that your experience too my fellow knitters?
*The list (in italics) taken from the article “Why Crafting Is Great For Your Brain: A Neuroscientist Explains” has been rearranged here according to relevance to knitting twist stitches