Knitting Inspiration - New Year, New Skills Part 2 - Double Knitting.
I’m not sure why I haven’t tried double knitting yet. I mean, it’s relatively easy for anyone who is familiar with stranded colorwork, it produces reversible stockinette fabric, and it’s incredibly warm. I think the notion of knitting twice as much for the same yardage of fabric scared me off at first and I never really revisited the idea of double knitting since.
Research helps to negate fear of new things, right? Right. Let’s do a bit of that.
Double knitting is a form of knitting in which two fabrics are knitted simultaneously on one pair of needles. The fabrics may be inseparable, as in interlock knitted fabrics, or they can simply be two unconnected fabrics. In principle, an arbitrary number n of fabrics can be knitted simultaneously on one pair of knitting needles with n yarns, as long as one is careful.
Oooo, this is starting to sound quite mathy. Exactly my kind of scene!
There are several methods for double knitting, including flat knitting on double-pointed knitting needles; after one row has been worked with one yarn, the knitter slides the stitches to the other end of the needle and begins the same row with the next yarn. Only half the stitches are knitted with any one yarn; the rest are slipped. After both passes are done, the knitter then turns the work and begins another row.
Another common method is to alternate a knit stitch of yarn A with a purl stitch of yarn B. Since the yarn is held to the back for a knit, and to the front for a purl, this results in two sheets of stockinette stitches, with the wrong (purl) sides facing each other. Switching colors ties the two sides together for a single double-thick fabric. This method is often used for elaborate two-color designs, as there are few constraints on how the colors may be used. The finished item from this method is reversible, each side holding the negative image of the other.
So far this makes perfect sense to me. I especially like the part about being able to do colorwork patterns without having to account for floats, which allows for ambitious lunacy like that green scarf. I could definitely use some visual aids, however, so let’s see what the internet can give me.
Casting on is a good place to start. For an especially lovely edge try an invisible cast on.
Oh, this is perfect! A whole set of extremely clear photo tutorials to cover the basics of double knitting.
That seems like enough information to get me started. I just skimmed across something in my research that mentioned cabling while double knitting, but that seems like a bit much right this second, so I’ll pretend I didn’t see it.
Sources are, as always, in the captions. For those of you who employ some sort of wizardry to use tumblr on your mobile device, they are also below.
Botanical Doubleknit Capelet