I am delighted: I learned something new.
A technique to kind of twist two stitches without changing them around as you would when knitting a cable pattern. Most intriguing!
This technique can be used to "twist" two stitches though not any more than that. It involves knitting two stitches together and then knitting one of them again - it will look as if you had parked one stitch on a cable needle, knit off the second stitch and then knit the first stitch from the cable needle.
I had not come across this technique before - I am delighted to learn something new!
The intriguing thing is that the outcome is slightly different for the Right Twist [* no it's not] (knit 2 together without slipping them off the left needle, knit the first stitch again and then slip both stitches off) than it is for the Left Twist (knit the second stitch through the back loop, then knit both stitches through the back loop and only then slip both stitches off the left needle).
The Left Twist (LT) results in the working thread slipping back out of the second stitch when you knit both stitches through the back loop. I can't see how to avoid that. The good thing is that this is not noticeable on the right side of the work.
The Right Twist* (RT) does not have the same problem because you knit both stitches together first, then the working thread goes into the first stitch without slipping back out of the second stitch. If you get me.
I tried it different ways but as I said I can't see how to avoid this.
I also tried the LT as knitting the second stitch through the front loop (not worth the effort) as well as changing the first stitch's needle mount first and so keeping that first stitch open (as opposed to twisted) but again it doesn't make enough noticeable difference and may even look a touch more wonky. Strangely enough!
This all is most intriguing. I love little itty-bitty details like that. Very glad I came across the technique.
The book (a Barbara Walker Knitting Treasury book) also suggested that some cable patterns can be adapted to be knit this way so you don't have to use a cable needle. Not sure yet if I want to try that but there are plenty of Twisted Stitches patterns in Ms Walker's Treasury books.
Update: * Okay for completeness sake I need to correct my false statement above: the exact same happens with the Right Twist as with the Left Twist. I'm an idiot. I just didn't look at it properly - the working thread does slip when this is worked in either direction. I'm really rather silly for not realising.
Still, at least I figured it out in the end.