Sunday, February 13, 2011

Double-knitting and what I've learned

So, somehow I was on the ball yesterday and after recently posting about double-knitting, I went ahead and tackled the new-to-me technique. Here are a few things I learned about it and about the process. 

1. It's a bit tricky, but really cool to see how the fabric is created on both sides!
2. It's a slow going process.
3. I did not find the way she holds her yarn in the tutorial helpful (even though it is explained very well! It's just not what works for me).
4. I can learn to purl the continental way AND learn double knitting all at once!

I've always wanted to master continental knitting because so many of my friends knit that way. I hear it's faster and I do appreciate the economy of motion versus the English or 'throwing' style of knitting. Because I've done some fair isle knitting and other color work, I am pretty comfortable with the knit stitch in the continental style. BUT, purling has always slowed me down and kept me from becoming a continental knitter. 

Yesterday as I was going through the tutorial on double knitting, I realized that I could just hold the 'back' color in my left hand, using the continental style of purling to work those stitches. It's great! I'm learning two new skills at once and I'm starting to really get this style of purling down. I know after I make this scarf for my husband I will have had enough practice with it to feel confident about starting a new project knit all in the continental style.

So, the method I'm using for my double knitting is this. Hold the FRONT color (meaning for that row, the first color of the row) in your RIGHT hand, and knit those stitches as usual, wrapping the yarn around the stitch in the English knitting style. Hold the BACK color (the second stitch of the row will be in this color) in your LEFT hand (you will probably want to wrap it around your pinky finger for some tension). When you go to knit the second or back color, bring BOTH yarns to the front (as described in the previous tutorial). Purl this stitch with the color in your left hand in the continental style. Then move both yarns between the needles, back to the back of your knitting and continue to the next knit stitch. This is the rhythm you will work in for the rest of your row.

Here is a photo of me knitting the FRONT stitch.

And here is a photo of me purling the BACK stitch. Notice, both yarns are in front.

I hope this helps if you are going to try out the double knitting technique along with me. It isn't the fastest technique around, but I think this scarf will be really wonderful and double sided and lovely for my husband. It's always fun to learn something new and that's what I love about knitting. I've been knitting for 9 years now and there's still so much to learn! Good luck and let me know if you try out this technique. I'd love to hear about it!

1 comment:

Jessi said...

I'm just learning to knit - and am almost done my first project :)