Nothing strikes fear in a knitter more than the words “establish 1×1 ribbing pattern.” k1, p1, usque ad mortem. An inch of 1×1 ribbing seems to drag on for days – dishes pile up, trash overflows, your children paw through the pantry like little wild-eyed raccoons because dinner has been forgotten, all while you numbly and doggedly k1, p1, determined as you are to finish the damn cuff already so you can get to the good stuff.
And at the end, when you finally finish that last row, and hope strikes a match in the dark cavern of your wasted heart, you look at your work. You squint at it, and hold it up to the light. Your stitches are a bit wobbly, aren’t they? It’s not quite as neat as you’d like. The whole cuff, this mountain you’ve spent a lifetime climbing, is decidedly wonky.
I can’t make 1 x 1 ribbing any more appealing to you unfortunately, and in all honesty this trick I’m about to share will make it even more un-fun, and even slower to execute, but I can help you knit a much neater 1×1 cuff!
SO WHAT IS TWISTED RIB?
It’s really quite simple! Instead of k1, p1, you knit 1 through the back loop, then purl 1 through the back loop.
In the photo above, I’m inserting my right needle through the back of my stitch to knit it.
Purling through the back loop is a little trickier, but you’ll get the hang of it! Insert your right needle through the back loop of the stitch to be purled by going behind it, then through it, as you can see above.
If you’re a little confused, no worries! Here’s a tutorial video so you can watch me make both stitches.
I personally rarely do the twisted 1 x 1 rib as I prefer the somewhat imperfect charm of regular 1 x 1 rib! But I do admit it can create an interesting texture and a more polished cuff!
I find the back loop purl annoying so I usually do my twisted rib with only back-loop knits! I think it comes out just as nice and a bit stretchier.
Another tip I’ve heard, but always forget when I need it, is to knit your cuffs inside-out. A lot of people have a tighter purl than knit, so if you look at the inside of a regular cuff, you might find that the knit columns are neater there. If so, it might work to knit the cuff in regular rib, then do a wrap&turn on your first regular round to flip it inside-out.