Knit Study No. 2: S-twist

Two overlapping vertical prints on white paper, lying on top of a grey backdrop. Each print has a rectangular design of stockinette knitting stitches on top, and a depiction of a horizontal strand of yarn below. The left print is black; the right print is green with subtle green/yellow coloring.
  • $40.00+
  • 8×10"
  • 15

The black edition is printed on white cotton paper using oil-based ink. One paper edge may be cleanly cut; the remainder will be either hand-torn or the natural deckle edge.

  • 8

The green edition is printed on thick cream-colored cotton paper with a custom blend of oil-based ink, and is hand-colored with watercolors. Each print has four deckle or hand-torn edges. Prints are sold unframed.

Select a variation

This print is my nerdy ode to the knitting detail of yarn twist direction. Ever since learning to spin yarn, I’ve begun to notice how the direction of yarn twist affects the appearance of knitted fabric. Hopefully you’ll be as intrigued as I am by the details!

“S-twist” (as opposed to “Z-twist”) refers to the direction of twist of the plies that make up the yarn strand. A strand of yarn is made out of multiple “plies” twisted together in one direction, and each ply is made out of short fibers all twisted together in the other direction. These opposing twists mean that the final yarn is “balanced” – it’s stable and the fibers won’t come untwisted as you manipulate the yarn. The direction of final twist in the yarn determines whether the yarn is “s-twist” or “z-twist”: if you can draw an “S” shape overlaid on a vertical piece of yarn and the diagonal spine of the letter is slanted in the same direction as the most obvious direction of twist, then your yarn is “s-twist”!

A knit swatch of stockinette stitch has a characteristic all-over pattern of V’s. However, because of the twist of the yarn, the arms of each V are asymmetric. One arm will show off the clearly defined stitch, while the other will squish into its upstairs and downstairs neighbors (it’ll look a bit like a long uninterrupted column).

I created two limited editions of prints using this linoleum block. Each edition is handprinted using oil-based ink on cotton paper. Each print is an original hand-pulled creation, and therefore there will be slight variations between prints. All prints are sold without a frame.

This work is part of a larger series of knitting-inspired prints. See Knit Study No. 1.