Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Double the Fun

There are so many wonderful techniques to learn when you knit and crochet so we would like to explore some of these with you each month on this blog.

The first fascinating technique we are going to look at is Double Knitting.  A double layered, reversible piece of fabric is produced by simultaneously knitting the front and the back on one set of needles. Most often you will use it for colour work using two yarns.  The back of the fabric is a mirror image of the front.


Here is an example of a lovely coaster.

It sounds complicated but it really isn’t and there are lots of wonderful, cosy patterns on Ravelry to try out.

The most important thing is to set up your stitches correctly, which is where the cast on is critical.  One method is to cast on the stitches with the two yarns doubled up which gives the braided effect you can see in the picture. If your pattern has 20 stitches for one side then you cast on 20 stitches. Then when you come to work the first row you need to decide which is going to be the colour for the front and which for the back from the two loops that represent each stitch. You knit the front stitch in colour A and then purl the back stitch in colour B with both yarns coming to the front of your work on the purl stitch. So in the design you see here, we knitted in green and then purled in red. After the first row you will have 40 stitches in work.

This video shows you how to do it. 

Another technique is to cast on 20 stitches in just one colour.  Then on your first row knit into the front of the first stitch in colour A then purl in to the back of the same stitch in colour B and repeat across the row. Again, after the first row you will have 40 stitches. Using two colours helps you to identify which stitches belong to which side.

Another top tip is to think about the effect you want to create at the edge of your work.  We like the braided effect so we knit the first and last stitch of each row using both yarns together. You might also like to consider slipping the first stitch of each row for a different effect.

When you knit a pattern in double knitting you will have a chart like this to work from.  You will in effect be knitting each square twice.  Once for the front and again for the back in the second colour. The white squares refer to your dominant colour for each side and the black squares for the second colour to create the pattern.

We found this video very useful. 


Casting off is very straightforward.  You will need to knit each pair of stitches  (front and back) together as you go either with both yarns or just one colour, depending on your cast on. Whichever method you use you might find it easier to knit through the back of both stitches.


You might find that your tension is looser when you knit in this way but that is perfectly normal and the tension will have been taken into account in your pattern, but it is well worth doing a tension square when you are trying out this technique.

We hope this has given you a taste for double knitting.  If you do try and have any problems do let us know and we will get our knitting agony aunt to help you.



29 comments:

  1. me encantan vuestro blog y sobre todo los productos los utilizo a diario

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  2. Wow, great tutorial, hope I learn this tecnique so I can make even more beautifull works :)
    Thank you

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  3. Trying Double Knitting was one of my resolutions this year - really must give it a go!

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    1. Do let us see what you come up with.

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  5. I love this blog post on double knitting, I think this will be my next project to learn. I've just learnt to knit on circular needles, my friend showed me how to, after years of me trying to teach myself, and now I'm addicted to it! I always use Knit Pro single point needles and now I can circular knit, I'd love to win the selection of three fixed circular needles I've just seen on your monthly email, as I'm sure they'd be just as wonderful to knit with! Natalie x

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  6. I love double knitting, it's such a fun way to knit :)

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  7. I've never really read too much about double knitting before but this post explains it really simply and the linked video tutorials are great! Learning this technique is definitely going to be my next project!

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  8. My next project is a double sided headband in a Fair Isle pattern. I've been putting it off, but these videos have really helped.

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  9. I didn't realise you had a blog! Great find to brighten up my Thursday 😃

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  10. Interesting post. I'm addicted to all sorts of colourwork, and this is one of the few techniques I haven't tried.

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  11. I've never tried double knitting but it's certainly very effective. It's definitely going on the to-do list! :-)

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  12. Definitely something to try this year.

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  13. Fascinating! Another interesting technique to try :)

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  14. Double knitting is fun, but challenging. I've only made one pot holder. I'd love to make a double knit hat someday for the thickness and reversibility.

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  15. I've never heard of it before now, but it looks good, and I'd like to try it. Thanks for the tutorial x

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  16. Double knitting really isn't as difficult as you might think/fear. It really intimidated me the first time I tried to do it. I've now completed seven double knitted hats in sock yarn, on 2mm needles.

    I find the trick to making it simple is keeping the yarns separate on my index finger (continental knitter) with a hairband around the tip of my finger with each colour on either side!

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  17. My friend made a fabulous double knit scarf, and it's inspired me to give double knitting a go! This post is really helpful, thank you!

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  18. I had written 'Learn double knitting' in an old notebook of mine, and found it a few days ago! For some reason it got missed. Thank you for the great post and helpful tips

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  19. Double knitting is on my list of "Skills to Learn". :)

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  20. I have been knitting for many years but have only recently heard of this technique. Really want to try it now.

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  21. I really like the look of double knit project. I would like to try it one day

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  22. This is something new for me to learn and try - once this cardigan is finished!

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    1. Hi Caz
      You have won a prize for commenting on our blog.
      Please send us your address by email it to knitproeu@gmail.com
      Have a lovely weekend.

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  23. I have knitted a couple double knitting projects. I enjoyed knitting them.

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  24. Would be great to learn how to do it! But really it doesn't look easy….

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