This post began as a practical follow-on from an earlier post, in which I described how one approach to Norah Gaughan’s Twisted Stitch Sourcebook was to adapt and apply its motifs to your favourite existing designs. I followed my own advice, and before I knew it, I’d whipped up another one of these.


This is, of course, a twisted-stitch twist on my probably now familiar Carbeth pullover design.

I’ve used a motif for the sleeves which is given the name “Carp” in Norah’s book, due to its obvious, scaled appearance – hence this pullover is named Carp-beth. “Carp” is a simple and rhythmic motif with which I find myself somewhat obsessed, and have featured on another pattern I published earlier this Spring – my Catharine Macaulay socks for the Bluestockings book.

The carp twisted stitch motif looks rather different on the Catharine Macaulay socks!

It’s also this same motif, modified, which forms the basis of Thea’s innovative new designs, which we discussed here earlier this week. It’s really a fascinating stitch, not least because it looks so different in different contexts. Here is “Carp” drastically enlarged by being worked at 3.5 stitches to the inch.

The carp motif is an 8 stitch repeat, which in turn breaks down into blocks of 4 and 2 and is one of those wonderfully straightforward allover patterns which are committed to a knitter’s memory within minutes. There are, effectively only 2 ‘action’ rows, and because the motif also works in blocks of 2, it is really easy to increase in pattern. And in terms of keeping the pattern “correct”, with this design, there’s only the sleeves to worry about!

keeping the pattern “correct” over the sleeves really is simple – trust me!

If you’ve already knitted yourself a Carbeth pullover or cardigan, you’ll remember that a distinctive feature of the yoke shaping is that it is achieved by decreasing stitches over the body only. This means that once you’ve joined body and sleeves together at the underarms, you can just continue working fixed repeats of the Carp motif without worrying about the shaping – because the shoulder stitch count stays the same.

So if you have a copy of the Carbeth pullover pattern and feel comfortable adding your own twisted stitch modifications (with this motif, or any other) I really encourage you to peruse your copy of the Sourcebook, just cast on and have a go. As Thea mentioned in her post the other day, one of the great things about twisted stitches is that their effect on fabric width is far less dramatic than conventional cables, so it is much more straightforward to swap them around, or use them in place of plain stockinette.

But if you;d like to knit this sweater, just as I’ve done here, and perhaps feel a little less confident about modifying stitch counts, or shaping the sleeves, I’ve written a new Carp-beth pattern up separately, and done all the nitty-gritty for you.

I didn’t know I wanted another iteration of this pullover, but here it is, and I’m unable to take it off!

And it is certainly the weather for it! We took a trip to Ardnamurchan, Moidart, and Morar last week, and I felt that Autumn had changed quite definitively into Winter.

This pattern release marks the conclusion (for the present at least) of my own adventures in twisted stitches. If you’ve not yet had a go with this technique, I really encourage you to get hold of a copy of Norah’s Sourcebook and follow where it leads you. Who knows where you’ll end up?

December is now upon us, and this weekend I’m going to make an announcement in our newsletter with all the details of our new club, which you’ll be able to sign up for from Monday 6th. (If you’ve not yet subscribed to our newsletter, which I send out around once a month, you can do so here). Bringing together ideas, designs, and images, and involving the work of some super-talented local contributors alongside that of Tom and myself, this club is the kind of in-the-round exploration of history and place that I get most excited about! More about it very soon.

In the meantime, if you’d like to conclude your own twisted stitch journey with a Carp-beth, the pattern can be downloaded from the KDD shop or Ravelry, and we have kits in all sizes too. It’s a ridiculously quick knit if you need something cosy for the festive season!