Clapotis Adjustments

When I finished Clapotis a couple of days ago, I mentioned that I didn’t like the way that the stitches next to the ladder differ from each other and that I suspected it had to do with the way they twisted. I thought the key would be to mirror the twists and have the top leg on the twist either always point toward the ladder or always point away from the ladder.

Last night I swatched it up (you knew I was going to). The color is a little dark (it’s cream on forest green but the flash washed it out too much), but the detail is a lot easier to see than the last time I did a technique swatch for Clapotis.

Column 1 shows twists where the top leg leads out to the ladder. This means I do the normal twist through the back loop on the left side of the ladder stitch. In my work, this side is a little tigher and tends to curl in toward the ladder. You can see that mirroring this side makes both sides curl in toward the ladder a little (highlighted with the arrow).

Column 2 shows twists where the top leg leads out to the stockinette section. This means I do the normal twist on the right side of the ladder. I find that this edge tends too look a little more ragged (probably because of knit-to-purl tension issues) but that overall, they look flatter and more like the stockinette sections.

I haven’t decided which kind I’ll use for my next Clapotis. I think that doing as in column 1 will produce a fabric that will retain more of the curl even after blocking, at the risk of making the stockinette sections narrower. If I go this way, I might go so far as to alter the pattern in order to add another stitch to the stockinette sections so they are 6 stitches wide.

How do I mirror the twists?
A normal twist is accomplished by knitting or purling through the back loop. This causes the stitch to twist to the left or clockwise.

A mirrored twist is accomplished by twisting the stitch to the right, or counter-clockwise. To do this, slip the stitch as if to knit (this twists it). Transfer the stitch back to the left needle without twisting it further. Then knit or purl normally.

To do Clapotis
The normal pattern is: KKK T K* T
K = knit
T = twist (or ktbl)
K* = the ladder stitch: purl or “move markers and knit” (whichever you desire)

The mirror pattern for column 1: KKK MT K* T (MT = mirrored twist)
The mirror pattern for column 2: KKK T K* MT

Caveat: My instructions above assume knitting where the stitch mounts normally face to the left. If you are a combined knitter and normally knit into the back loop (because your stitch mounts face right), you already have to make accomodations for twisting. The mirrored twist I describe above will give you a twisted stitch, but it may already be how you twist your stitches.


  1. Beth S.:

    Hmmm… I’m not sure it really makes that much of a difference, and even if it does, I’m so in love with this pattern just the way it is, that I don’t want to mess with it. But I think you’re amazing for putting the time and energy into experimenting with it! And I love your posts to the knitalong. So… how’s the iPod Shuffle sock/armband coming along? Heh-heh. I was at the apple store at the mall with my son the other day and I was positively d-r-o-o-l-i-n-g over the full-size iPods. Now I just have rob a bank.

  2. Vicki:

    You’re putting so much thought into this. I started my clapotis and am using your technique of ptbl around the drop stitches and I’m happy enough with that. Although after today’s post the perfectionist in my considered ripping it out and redoing with the mirror twists. There’s always next time though :)

  3. nyclisa1216@yahoo.com:

    I am just starting my own Clapotis and I’d love to work up a swatch before getting too far into the thing and find i’m doing it wrong. Can someone advise me on where in the pattern i start to get a switch going?


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