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  • Jaime

Tips and Techniques: S-Twist Interlinking

Today I am compiling all the info on S-Twist interlinking from the last five Tips and Techniques videos. These videos are a great start to learning about using both S-twist and Z-twist interlinking in your sprang to create texture and designs.








So what is the difference between S-twist and Z-twist interlinking?


Very simply, these terms refer to the slant of the threads. And these terms are not limited to just sprang, S and Z are used throughout the fiber craft world to differentiate between the two directions a thread can slant. They are also sometimes used to describe the direction of the twist in yarn.



S and Z are used because the middle slant of each letter relates to the slant of the thread.


On the image to the left, I have added the letters S and Z over the sprang so you can see how the slants of the letters correspond to the slants of the threads.


If you work a sprang warp all in Z-twist (the most common from of sprang), then the top half of your warp will be Z-twist slant and the bottom half will be S-twist slant. This is due to how sprang creates a mirror of the pattern on the bottom of the warp. If you flip your sprang warp over, then the top half would be S-twist and the bottom would be Z-twist. This is simply because if you were to flip the letter Z around, it would have the same slant as S and same if you were to flip the S around.


Ok, I think that is enough of what S and Z twist are, let's move onto how to use them in your sprang designs.



How to work a warp of all S-twist interlinkings


The first thing you need to know how to do is to work a warp in all S-twist interlinkings. You should be familiar with the movements of S-twist before you try to make any designs using both S and Z twist.


Row 1: Drop 2 front threads, pick 1 back thread. Drop 1 front thread, pick 1 back thread (this constitutes a single interlinking) to last three threads. Drop 1 front thread, pick 1 back thread. This is a shift row.

Row 2: Drop 1 front thread, pick 1 back thread to the end of the row. This is a basic row.


As you can see, S-twist interlinking is the opposite of Z-twist interlinking. In Z-twist, you pick up a back thread first, then drop a front thread. In S-twist, you drop your front thread first, then pick a back thread. This creates the slant that matches the letter S.


Watch the video to see how the threads move.





How to switch from Z-twist to S-twist interlinking


Ok, now that you know how to perform S-twist interlinkings, you can move onto learning the maneuvers needed to switch from Z-twist to S-twist interlinking on a warp. Then how to switch from S-twist to Z-twist. I have separate videos for each of those, but they are pretty similar maneuvers.


To practice the Z to S twist maneuver I recommend making a narrow band that is half Z-twist and half S-twist. This will allow you to practice just one new maneuver at a time. However, you could practice both the Z to S and S to Z maneuvers in the same warp by working a narrow band of S-twist on a background of Z, or work half Z and half S part way down the warp and then switch to half S and half Z (you would just to changing which slant you start your row with).


Here are the instructions for making a half Z, half S twist band.


Row 1: {shift row} When you are at the point where you want to switch to S-twist, make a special maneuver by making a S-twist interlinking with the next two front threads. You will do this by passing the second front thread over the first and dropping it to the back. Keep the first front thread that was passed over in your right hand with the other front threads. Finish the row by performing S-twists to the end of the row.


Before continuing to the next row, take a moment to look at your warp. You will notice that there is a bit of a divide about where you made the switch from Z to S twists. At that divide there are two front threads that have been dropped to the back with no back thread between them. I will be calling these the dividing threads from here on.


Row 2: {basic row} Work Z-twist interlinkings until you have worked the first of the dividing threads and the next two front threads are located on either side of the divide. You will work a special maneuver with those two front threads, but on this row it will be a Z-twist special maneuver. Do this by passing the second front thread behind the first, keep it with the other front threads in your right hand and drop the first front thread down to the back.


Continue working these two rows, on shift rows make a special S-twist maneuver with the two front threads and on basic rows make a special Z-twist maneuver with the two front threads. You need to swap between these two maneuvers to keep your dividing line between Z and S twist straight down your warp. If you were to work all your special maneuvers as S-twist, you would have a diagonal line between the Z and S that would eventually reach the right side of the warp, and all of your warp would be S-twist. Obviously this is something you may want to do as a design at some point, but for now, we are making a sprang band that is half Z and half S.


Here is the video on changing from Z to S twist:




How to change from S-twist interlinking to Z-twist interlinking:


Changing from S-twist to Z-twist requires a slightly different special maneuver. Rather then making the special maneuver with the front threads, we will be making it with the back threads.


Row 1: {Shift row} Work S-twist interlinkings until the point where you want to change to Z-twist. At this point work a special S-twist maneuver with the next two back threads by passing the second back thread over the first. Keep the first, passed over back thread in your right hand with the other front threads and allow the second back thread to drop to the back. Finish the row with Z-twist interlinkings.


Again, time a moment to look at your warp. Just like when changing from Z to S, there will be a natural divide where you make the switch from S to Z. However, this time there will be two back threads brought to the front with no front thread dropped between them. These are your dividing threads for S to Z twist changes.


Row 2: {basic row} Work S-twist interlinkings until you have worked the first of the two dividing threads and the next two back threads are located on either side of the divide. Work a special Z-twist maneuver with the next two back threads by passing the second back thread behind the first and retaining it in your right hand with the other front threads. Allow the first back thread to drop to the back.


Continue these two rows to create a band of half S and half Z twist interlinkings.


Here is the video on how to work S to Z twist:




Ok, now let's make some designs using S and Z twists! This is where it gets really fun. When you work the border between S and Z twist on a slant, a raised line of threads will appear. These subtle lines can create some really interesting designs, although do note that you can only create S and Z designs on diagonal slants.


How to create an S-twist diamond:


The easiest way to get started in making S and Z designs is by making a S-twist diamond on a background of Z-twists.


The diamond will grow outwards one row at a time, so be sure that you have enough room on your warp to make the size diamond you want.


Row 1: {can be shift or basic row} work Z-twist interlinkings until you reach the point where you want your diamond to start. Make a single S-twist interlinking by dropping the next front thread down, passing it behind the next back thread from right to left and then pick it back up into your right hand. Continue working Z-twist interlinkings to the end of the row.


Take a moment to look at your warp and notice that there are two sets of dividing threads after you made the single S-twist interlinking. There is a set of front threads that drop to the back with no back thread between them and then to their left, there is another set of dividing threads, these ones are back threads brought to the front with no front thread dropped between them.


Row 2: Work Z-twist interlinkings until you work first thread from the first set of dividing threads. Work a special S-twist maneuver with the next two front threads, then work a special S-twist maneuver with the next two back threads. Work Z-twist to the end of the row.


You'll notice that because your dividing threads are sitting side by side, you make two special maneuvers side by side as well. when working an isolated section of S-twist, there will always be two special maneuvers; one to make the switch from Z to S and one to make the switch back from S to Z.


Row 3: Work Z-twist interlinkings until you work the first thread from the first set of dividing threads. Work a special S-twist maneuver with the next two front threads, then work a single S-twist maneuver, then work a special S-twist maneuver with the next two back threads. Work Z-twist to the end of the row.


Continue working the special S-twist maneuvers to increase your diamond; with the two front threads when switching from Z-twist to S-twist and with the back threads when switching from S-twist to Z-twist.


As long as you continue to make your special maneuvers S-twist, your diamond will grow outwards. When you are ready to create the bottom half of your diamond, you will switch to Z-twist special maneuvers. Working the special maneuvers as Z-twist will gradually narrow your diamond until you are back to working just Z-twist interlinkings.


Here is the video on making an S-twist diamond:





I have one last S-twist technique to share with you. This is slight variation on the S-twist diamond from above, except that the slant between Z and S twist is not as steep. The finished result is not as clean the the regular S-twist diamond, but makes a different shape. This is my favorite way to make tree designs in sprang using S-twist.




I used this technique to create the subtle tree designs on the sweater in the image to the left. The design looks better on a solid color then on this variegated yarn.





Row 1: The first row is the same as for a regular S-twist diamond (see above)

Row 2: Work Z-twist interlinkings until there are two front threads remaining before the first set of dividing threads. Work a special S-twist maneuver with the next two front threads (so not the two front threads on either side of the natural divide, but the two front threads just before the divide). Work two S-twist interlinkings, then work a special S-twist maneuver with the next two back threads, which will be the two back threads just after the second set of dividing threads. Work Z-twist to the end of the row.


Continue working your diamond in this way, work the Z to S special maneuver with the two front threads just before the first divide and then work the S to Z special maneuver with the two back threads just after the second divide. In this way you will make a slant that skips over two threads each row rather then one.


Decrease your diamond by working special Z-twist maneuvers with the two front threads just after the first divide and the two back threads just before the second divide.


Here is the video on making an more slanted S-twist diamond:



I don't have as many examples of S-twist designs as I would like, but here is what I do have:








Well that is everything I have to share on S-twist interlinking and designs for now. I do hope I am able to post some patterns that use S-twist designs in the future.


Happy crafting!


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