It is easiest to compare conventional and Distitch fabrics by looking at simple Stocking stitch. The comparisons carry over to other stitch patterns.
In conventional knitting, the loops of one row are pulled through the loops of the row below it. That is, each new stitch is formed using one stitch, from the current row alone (1). The star () indicates the place where the knitting needle is inserted.
In Distitch knitting, the loops of one row are pulled through the loops of the two rows below it. This means that the new stitch is formed using two stitches, one from the current row and another from the previous row (2).
By the same principle, knitting into three stitches, one each from the current, previous and pre-previous rows, will give us Tristitch knitting (3).
Although the Tristitch technique is not the subject of this book, it is mentioned here to help illustrate the principle of Distitch structure.
At first glance Distitch fabric looks similar to conventional knitted fabric. However, Distitch makes for tightly arranged stitches with elongated legs. As a result we obtain a denser, more robust fabric, with the gauge compressed vertically, and stretched horizontally.
Working the stitches in this way produces an interlocking V-shape pattern resembling herringbone or wheat-ear patterns (2).
To spot the difference between conventional knitting and Distitch knitting, look at the close-up photo of DS Heel stitch: the Distitches are much wider and thicker than their neighbours, the conventional stitches.