Now Join, Being Careful Not To Twist…

Those words elicit a groan from any of my knitting students who have accidentally twisted the join on Maria, Gretel or Liesl and realized 2 or 3″ into their knitting that they are making a moebius garment! Here is a really easy way to avoid that painful discovery.

Start with the two-strand CO. Notice how difficult it is to see if the knitting is twisted or not:

Instead of joining immediately, turn and simply work back and forth for the first few rows (what would be rounds). The aforementioned garments each begin with Garter st which is much easier to work flat anyway (knit every row rather than purl a round, knit a round).

After at least one row, join, making sure the RS is facing out and begin working in the round. Even if it is after one row (as in the photo below), you will have more than just a CO edge to help you see whether or not you have twisted your knitting.

You will have to do a tiny bit of seaming to finish but it’s well worth it to avoid an unintended Moebius!


  1. Joan

    great great tip. thanks for that. I did exactly that when I started the Liesl. TWICE. It is especially difficult when you have a lot of stitches.

    Where do I join yarn on a garment liike the Liesl? I made it blue linen, and one of my joins is right in the front, with the yarn end poking through all the time.

    thanks, Joan

    • Always join new yarn at the side of the garment, never front or back. Use duplicate st to work in the tails and DO leave at least a 1-2″ tail, this keeps the yarn in back where it belongs!

  2. Heather

    A small quibble. It is not a moebius, which has a 180 degree twist, but a full 360 degree twist. A moebius requires a long circular needle, so you can double it around, and a special cast-on to make the resulting object have only one side instead of two. You can’t knit one by accident, although you could sew one by accident.

  3. Jenn

    I think that i have a twist in mine does that mean i have to take it all out or is there a trick to in twisting it…I wish i woul dhave noticed it before now!

  4. Carol

    Thanks for this tip! I’m glad to have found it-didn’t know that the Gretel starts with garter stitch.
    Is it normally difficult to knit the first row of cast on using the long tail cast on method? This is my first time using it-I have been doing the cable cast on forever.

  5. Tracey

    Hi-I’m getting ready to cast on Belle, and the directions recommend Judy’s magic CO. I’ve never done it, but videos have been helpful. The question is how do I join in the round? Do I flip the needles 180°? I can’t see how to join because the working yarn would then be on the left. Do I knit the first row, then join (having to do a seam fix later on)?

    • Hi,
      Knitting one row before joining also works with PCO. After just one row of knitting you won’t really even need to seam-

    • Tracey

      OK, thanks Julie! Here we go…

  6. Linda Quick

    I’ve been doing this for a couple of years and now I’ve learned from you that it is a perfectly acceptable method for not twisting yarns. I thought I was just being lazy. Thanks 🙂

  7. Stephanie Stokes

    Where is the tutorial for bias bind off that you mention?

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