Two-end knitting is a Scandinavian knitting technique that was almost lost. Thanks to an archeological find in Falun, Sweden, in 1974 it was revived and is now known in countries far from Scandinavia. It is hard to tell how old the glove found in 1974 is, but it was made before 1680. As the name two-end knitting indicates, both ends of the yarn are used at the same time, or one strand from two balls. The yarns are twisted around each other in the same direction after each stitch, hence the better-known name twined knitting. This technique creates a firm, durable, beautiful fabric. Twined knitting stockings were commonly used in the logging areas along the southern Norwegian and Swedish border. The stockings are firm and warm, and the more they were used, the firmer and more air-tight they became. They became almost waterproof. Mittens and hats were also made. Traditionally, the knitted pieces were done in one color. One side of the garment looks like regular knit stitches, but they are a little skewed. The wrong side shows horizontal lines. Depending on how the yarns are carried, beautiful textured patterns are created.
Arnhild Hillesland, from Ames, Iowa, is a native of Norway and has been knitting for as long as she can remember. She received her Ph.D. in Norwegian language and literature at the University of Tromsø. Since coming to the United States in 1986, she has traveled throughout the country, teaching Norwegian knitting techniques to eager knitters. Her work has been featured in issues of Interweave Knits and Cast-On.