Knitting is an ancient craft that has been passed down through generations. It is not only a hobby but also a form of self-expression and creativity. If you are an avid knitter looking for a new challenge, or a beginner wanting to learn a new technique, double knitting might be just what you need. In this article, we will explore the art of double knitting, step by step, so you can master this intricate and fascinating technique.
What is Double Knitting?
Double knitting is a unique knitting technique that creates a reversible fabric with two distinct layers. Unlike traditional knitting where you work on one side at a time, double knitting allows you to knit both sides simultaneously. This results in a double thickness fabric that is perfect for items such as scarves, blankets, and even garments.
The secret behind double knitting lies in using two colors of yarn and alternating between them to create the different layers. The right side of the fabric will show one color, while the wrong side will show the other color. This technique opens up a world of design possibilities, as you can create beautiful patterns and textures on both sides of your work.
Getting Started: Materials You’ll Need
Before diving into the world of double knitting, you’ll need to gather a few essential materials. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Yarn: Choose two contrasting colors of yarn. Ideally, pick a lighter and a darker color to create a more striking effect.
- Knitting Needles: Use needles that are appropriate for the weight of your chosen yarn. Circular needles are recommended for larger projects.
- Tape Measure: This will come in handy for measuring your gauge and determining the size of your finished project.
- Scissors: You’ll need a good pair of scissors for cutting the yarn.
- Tapestry Needle: A tapestry needle is essential for weaving in loose ends once you’ve finished your project.
Step-by-Step Guide to Double Knitting
Now that you have your materials ready, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of double knitting:
Step 1: Casting On
Start by casting on an even number of stitches using both colors of yarn. Make sure to leave a long enough tail to weave in later. You can use any cast-on method you prefer, but a long-tail cast-on or a provisional cast-on work well for double knitting.
Step 2: Set up the First Row
Row 1: Hold both yarn colors together and knit the first stitch with the light color yarn. Then, without turning your work, purl the second stitch using the dark color yarn. Repeat this pattern across the row, knitting one stitch with the light color and purling one stitch with the dark color until you reach the end of the row.
Step 3: Knitting the Second Row
Row 2: Again, hold both yarn colors together and knit the first stitch with the dark color yarn. Purl the second stitch with the light color yarn, and continue alternating across the row. Remember to always work the stitches on the right-hand needle as established on the previous row.
Step 4: Continuing the Pattern
Rows 3 onwards: Repeat Rows 1 and 2, following the established pattern. As you progress, you will start to notice the distinctive double-knit fabric taking shape.
Step 5: Shaping and Decreasing
Double knitting allows you to add shaping and decreasing techniques just like in regular knitting. To decrease, simply knit two stitches together of the same color on either side of the stitch marker. Experiment with different decreases to create unique designs in your double-knit fabric.
Step 6: Binding Off
When you’ve completed your project, it’s time to bind off. Use a stretchy bind-off method like the tubular bind-off to ensure a clean and flexible edge. Remember to bind off using both yarn colors for a consistent finish.
Q1: How long does it take to learn double knitting?
A1: The time it takes to learn double knitting depends on your knitting experience and skill level. If you are already familiar with basic knitting techniques, it should be relatively easy to pick up. With practice, you’ll be able to master this technique in a few weeks or less.
Q2: Can double knitting be done in the round?
A2: While double knitting is traditionally done back and forth in rows, it is possible to adapt the technique for knitting in the round. Circular needles are recommended for larger projects like scarves, blankets, or even garments.
Q3: Which yarn weight is best for double knitting?
A3: The beauty of double knitting is that it can be done with any yarn weight, from super bulky to lace weight. Choose the yarn weight that best suits your project and the desired drape and thickness of your fabric.
Q4: Can I use more than two colors in double knitting?
A4: While double knitting traditionally uses two colors, you can certainly experiment with more colors if you’re feeling adventurous. However, keep in mind that adding more colors can increase the complexity of the pattern and may require more concentration and attention to detail.
Q5: What are some popular double knitting patterns?
A5: Double knitting opens up a world of design possibilities, and there are countless patterns available for you to explore. Some popular double knitting patterns include geometric designs, intricate lace motifs, and even pictorial representations. Let your creativity run wild and see where your imagination takes you!
Double knitting is an intriguing technique that allows you to create stunning reversible fabrics. With two layers of knitting, you can explore endless design possibilities and create unique patterns and textures. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter, giving double knitting a try will undoubtedly expand your knitting horizons. So, grab your needles, choose your colors, and embark on a double knitting adventure today!