Change of Color with Stripes and Design
There are many patterns in our free pattern library that incorporate stripes and fun intarsia designs. Here are a few designs that you may recognize from our afghan patterns. Let’s go over the basics in working with color changes and creating designs.
EXAMPLES OF CHANGE OF COLOR
Crayon Box Throw uses basic horizontal stripes. These can be worked in any amount of rows, which will determine how thick the stripe will be. The colors begin at start of a row and go to the end of the row. Horizontal stripes can also be used to create a border at bottom and top of the knitted piece.
Vertical stripes are a bit different in that they are created with selected stitches and repeated on the same pins in each row. With each row, the stripe grows longer.
They can also be used in just a few rows to create checker board designs.
Painted Desert Afghan, uses vertical and horizontal stripes for the 2 color design and the border. We used wide stripes to create the side panels. The 3 panels were sewn together with the invisible stitch.
Checkerboard is created with vertical stripes for several rows and groups of stitches in one color, and then, by shifting the rows to different stitches, for several additional rows. They can be created with just 2 colors or many. If you are just exploring this concept, I would suggest starting with just a couple colors. Tangled yarns can be frustrating-but we can talk about ways to assist with this when we start Intarsia .
When we designed this large afghan, the New Daisy Afghan , we used a 2 color design by adding colors into the knit creating intarsia flowers. The 2 color side panels were knit separately and all three strips were sewn together using invisible stitch.
In our Little Chickie Blanket, you can see how colors are used within the knit to create the ‘Chickie’. Also vertical and horizontal stripes are used for the letters and the 2-tone stripe section. This little blanket was knit is 3 strips, but the change of colors makes it look like squares. The border was added as a separate piece and sewn on using invisible stitch. This sewing stitch is illustrated in Part III tutorial.
So what does ‘Intarsia’ really mean? According to wikipedia, it means a knitting technique used to create patterns with multiple colors. In single knit, the main color is traditionally dropped behind the peg of a different color as in a slip stitch. So at end of color design, the backside is a maze of yarn colors. In double knit, its a bit different as the color changes are made between the 2 rows of stitches, so they are most often not seen; but, the really great thing about double knit, is that the color design is seen on both sides. This is why double knit intarsia afghans and scarves are so beautiful.
Basic Horizontal Stripe: We are working with blue and want to create a white stripe. Pull the white thru the 3rd stitch in center of loom, just under the last row. Keep the blue yarn attached as we will only make the white stripe about 3 rows wide. Then we will continue with the blue again. You will see in the photos that the blue yarn is moved slightly with each row, so it doesn’t get caught up in the white row.
Work 3 rows with white yarn. Once complete, lay white aside and work rows with the blue. By keeping both yarns attached, we will be ready when we want to start some vertical stripes. If you plan to do more than 3 or 4 rows of a color stripe, it may be best to cut the blue, tie white to blue at 3rd stitch, and then work with new color. Then lay both yarn tails down and continue.
Once you weave and hook over the desired number of rows with the white stripe, lay the white aside and continue with the blue yarn.
Continue with the blue knit for as many rows as desired, and maybe change back to the white for another stripe, or maybe tie in another new color.
For now, let’s work 2 rows of the blue. Keep both colors attached, because from here, we will be able to go right into some vertical stripes.
Here is an example of a scarf with horizontal, vertical, and checkerboard.
In this scarf, it is the same process as with the blue and white yarns. We have blue knit with a 3 row white stripe, and then 2 rows of blue. Now, let’s create vertical stripes to match the vertical stripes in the Checkerboard Scarf.
Vertical Stripes: Start vertical stripes by weaving the blue around 2 stitches, skip 2 stitches, blue for 2 stitches, skip 2 stitches, and continue to the end of the piece. See below example of full circular. The row is worked in stockinette stitch, skipping the pegs where the white yarn will be worked in. The white yarn will fill in the stitches that were skipped.
Now add the white yarn in stockinette stitch.
You can see the previous row is already done. By repeating this row with both colors, you will have vertical stripes growing with the knit.
Now, you may be wondering if we could do these vertical stripes with the white yarn in b/b stitch (back to back weaving). When you are working only 2 stitches of a color, that is a good option also. Or you may work the blue in b/b, and then weave the white in stockinette. I think you are beginning to see how this can be expanded into multiple color designs.
To create a checkerboard design, work the vertical stripe like above for 3 or 4 rows, the white loops over white, and blue over blue. Then alternate colors. Now do 3 or 4 rows of blue where the white stitches were, and the white where the blue ones were. See photo. This will shift the vertical stripes into checkerboard like on the brown scarf above. But lets look at how the weave will be different if we use some b/b stitches for clarity.
As you can see, the white stitches in back/back stitch look pretty much the same as stockinette only a little looser.
The best time to use the b/b weaving is within a piece of knit creating a small design.
Weave the white over b/b, 2 stitches, move across to next white stitches until all white stitches are covered.
Weave over the white stitches in stockinette in blue for a full circular so that all pegs are covered. Hook over. Repeat. Remember in doing any design, be sure to cast on amount of stitches to complete the sequence. Here, we just want even amount of stitches, so the 2-stitch vertical stripe or checkerboard design comes out even.
When doing a knitted piece with a small design in it, you will tie on the color of design, close to where the stitches begin. Work the color stitches in that row in b/b stitch. Lay yarn down, and pick up main color and work in stockinette stitch. Work each row, one at a time, using the color sts when required keeping the yarn attached until the design is complete. Tie to working yarn and cut. Weave in the color yarn tail.
We will dive into intarsia with graphs and multiple colors in another tutorial. Next month, we will shift focus and see a few new double knit stitches that everyone of all skill levels can enjoy.
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Shaping the Knit
Yay, you completed your double knit scarf last month! That’s really so cool, because you did the basic cast on with anchor yarn, changed stitch patterns with the Stockinette stitch and the Rib stitch. Hopefully, you finished off both ends and have it ready to wear, when needed. Well, some folks still need their warm wearables handy with the snow still flying in parts of the country.
Your current abbreviations learned are:
Stockinette stitch=St stitch, or K stitch= knit stitch. (same stitch),
Rib stitch=Rib stitch
Decrease=dec, or DD=double dec
Regular row=a row with no increase or decrease
So today, I want to share with you the basics of increasing and decreasing, so you can make lots more fun items in double knit. What can we make, and when will you use the inc and dec? Let’s look at some different situations, and what will the pattern say? The best way to explain the shaping is to just make something with these techniques, for example, a hat to match your scarf. With a double knit hat, we usually make it on a long loom so that we can get the entire length going around the head, all in one piece. This way the cast on, with the anchor yarn edge, will be at the top of hat, and then, just gather the top with the anchor yarn. But sometimes that method creates a hat that is very bunched up at the top, or sits on your head like a paper sack pulled down.
I am using the 18-All-n-One-Loom as the 10″ Knitting Board would be limited, for this example. The All-n-One Loom has 48 pegs, and my hat will need 56 stitches. So, we can just make this in 2 pieces, each will have 28 sts. OH no, you say, sewing? Maybe I did it on purpose, because I wanted to show you how the invisible stitch can be just that…invisible. So with our hat, we are going to make it in 2 shaped pieces and sew them together with invisible stitch. Each piece will look something like this.
Here is the hat front or back, they will be the same. We will start the piece at brim and work with rib stitch and stockinette. We will do dec across the center and, on up to hat top. We will use the dec at beginning and end of each row as well as randomly across the entire row.
#5 yarn and the All-n-One Loom, set at smallest spacing is used in sample. This will produce a size small hat to fit head circumference of approximately 21-22″. You can make a larger hat by using the mid spacing of the All-n-One Loom. If you are using the 28″Loom, maintain the smaller setting. For a deeper hat, work 12 rows of rib st and 12 rows of stockinette st. Our sample measures aprox 9″ deep.
Cast On 28 stitches in stockinette stitch. Work in Rib stitch for 10 rows.
Change to Stockinette stitch and work for 10 rows. For a deeper hat, change to 12 rows of each stitch. This will add 1″ in depth. We will go thru the series of a dec row before completing our hat panel.
Decrease at ends of loom and across the loom: A basic dec is same as term (k2tog) or knit 2 sts together as one. This is what we are doing. When you combine 2 sts, you are creating an empty peg and the peg next to it has 2 loops. If you leave the pegs empty and continue weaving over them, you will create an open hole as with an eyelet design. On the other hand, if you move the sts together and eliminate the empty peg, you are reducing the amount of stitches, and making the knit width narrower. This is what we want to do to shape the hat around the head.
Sometimes, you want to just bring in the ends with a dec at each end, or some shapes, like a neckline will ask you to dec at just the front end, or back end of loom. When you want a more sharp curve like our hat, we will use some dec rows that will have multiple decreases all across the knitting. It all does the same thing-make the knit smaller in width.Remember, the dec stitches must be done to both boards for a basic process.
We have created empty pegs on both boards by moving loop on peg 2 to peg 3. It is always best to do a dec or inc from inside the knit rather than at the first stitch. There will be times when you will work from peg one, but that is usually for ruffles and intricate little items.
Once you have all the open pegs you need to reduce the size of the knit, start at center of loom and move the pegs over towards center. If you are working with an empty peg that has the 2 loops, be sure to move both of them to next peg. Sometime there will be more than one peg to jump over, and it will be a tight stretch. Just go slow and careful, so that the loops are on the intended pegs.
In the photo above, you can see 6 empty pegs on each board. They are ready to be moved over. They all need to be adjacent to each other in order to weave the next (shorter) row. After this row is complete, you will have just 22 sts instead of the 28 sts that you cast on. Be sure to weave over all pegs to complete the row.
It can be a bit of a stretch as you move the loops over to close in the empty pegs. Once they are all moved, weave over the pegs and hook over, being careful to lift both loops when working the double loops.
Remember, if you leave the loops spaced out, and weave over them, without moving them together, you will create eyelets.
Continue the shaping of the hat: We are working from L side of loom.
Decrease row #1-Lift loop #3 and place it on peg #4, both boards. Place loop #8 onto peg #9, both boards. Place loop #13 onto peg #14, both boards. Notice they are all laying towards center. Now, place loop #16 onto peg #15, both boards, and loop #21 onto peg #20, and then loop #26 onto peg #25, both boards. Your dec is done. Now, carefully move the loops over until they are all adjacent to each other and you now have 22 sts. Check carefully to be sure you do not have empty pegs. Sometimes, when moving the double loops on one peg, it helps to move one at a time, so you don’t accidentally lose one of them. Weave over the 22 sts and hook over.
Work 2 regular rows in stockinette.
Dec #2-Lift loop #3 onto peg #4 on both boards. Do this to both ends of loom. You are dec by 2 sts.
Work 4 regular rows in stockinette.
Dec #3- Lift loop #4 onto peg #5 and loop # 9 onto peg #10. Do this to both boards. Lift loop #17 onto peg #16, and loop #12 onto #11. Do this to both boards. We are decreasing by 4 stitches. Now there are 16 sts on loom.
Work 2 regular rows in stockinette.
Repeat dec row #2. Work 1 regular row.
Repeat dec row #2 again. Work 1 reg row.
Dec #4-decrease by 3 sts. Lift loop #3 onto peg #4, both boards, both ends, and one dec in center of knitting. There are 9 sts remaining. Work 1 reg row.
Repeat dec row #4-so that you now have 6 sts remaining. Work 1 reg row.
Dec 1 st at each end of loom on both boards. Work 1 reg row.
Dec 1 st at each end of loom on both boards, and bind off the last sts. THIS PIECE IS DONE.
Now, make a 2nd piece exactly the same-it will go so much faster than the first.
You now need to sew them together using the invisible stitch. If you look at the outer edges of the hat pieces, you will see where you want to do the sewing-right on the outer edge, so that you can just pull the pieces together. I like to pin the pieces in place before beginning. You can do this with some nice smooth double pointed knitting needles, or, find some very smooth toothpicks.
Do the sewing with matching yarn, aprox 3′ long. Use a darning needle to make the stitches. The yarn used in the sample is a contrast color yarn. This was done on purpose, so you can see the stitches, and then see how it disappears once pulled snug into the knitting.
The bind off of each piece can be done before the sewing, and remove the anchor yarn, or you can leave them in until after the sewing. I will use this method, so we can have one continuous bind off all around the hat.
Start sewing at one corner of hat at anchor yarn by simply tying the yarn about 1″ from bottom edge. Bring yarn up thru the knit to the starting point for sewing.
This is ready to sew together. With darning needle, start on one edge and grab the cross stitch inside the edge. Without pulling it tight, grab the cross stitch inside other edge. Keep following the seam by alternating from one edge to the other. After working for about 2″, you can gently pull the working yarn to bring the 2 edges together. See the pale yellow yarn sewn loosely, and then see how it totally disappears in the next photo.You can gently shape the top of the hat to be rounded or flat across the top, just with the sewing.
Once you have sewn the hats pieces together, you are ready to do a nice finish on the hat brim. This will be a simple crochet bind off as shown in Part I of Double Knit 101. The bind off will connect the 2 pieces with a seamless finished edge. Remove the 2 anchor yarns. Weave in any yarn tails, trim excess and your hat is ready to wear. Add adornments if desired, like a little round flower.
Basic Increase preview-Making a circle.
Cast On 3 sts stockinette. Place anchor yarn.
Work 1 reg row.
Inc from st #1 to peg #2, both ends and both boards. Work row.
Work 1 reg row.
Continue with inc row, now moving stitch #2 to peg #3, and 1 regular row until you have 13 stitches.
Work 2 reg rows.
Inc row, continue till you have 15 sts.
Work 3 regular rows.
Complete in reverse using the dec instead of inc.
Keep working until you are back to 3 sts.
Bind off at both anchor, and loom.
So how is the basic Inc done in double knit? Pretty much like the Dec except move the 1st stitch out to new empty peg. You have an empty peg between st 1 and st 2. Instead, pick up the loop behind the adjacent peg (this is the last row dropped off) of peg #3. Place that loop onto the empty peg. You now have a new stitch on that empty peg. If you do this to both sides and both ends, your next row will have 2 more stitches. With 5 stitches, now do the inc rows from stitch #2 to peg #3.
Cast on 3 sts. Move stitch #1 to new peg creating empty peg. Same on both boards and at both ends.
Now you see row with 7 stitches. We are lifting the loop from the previous row to place on the empty peg for the new stitch. Next photo shows the new stitches. Weave this row and hook over.
We can go into more detail for the inc process next month, when we will be talking about some color additions, and intarsia designs. We will want to cover buttonholes, for sure. After that some new exciting stitches. Join us here!
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Check out DOUBLE KNIT Part I for beginning of the series.
Double Knit made simple, part II. Last month, we began with an overview of what double knit is and, why it works so well. Today…how to get started with the double knit basic cast on, and then cover some basic stitches. We will get into colorwork and cables in a few months.
For illustration, we are workng on the 10” Knitting Board and have it set for 2cm spacing between the pegs from rail to rail. This is the mid spacing on the wood blocks. This loom has 24 double pegs, but we are going to use 14 stitches for illustration. Place cast on in the center of loom. I have chosen a pretty yarn in #5 weight, Big Twists Yarn in 100% acrylic. This is a 2 ply yarn and works well in loom knitting.
Remember that in double knit, we want to use both sides of the loom, so that our resulting knit is interlocked.
Let’s begin…Place slip knot on the first peg on the back board. When we refer to first stitch, it is the first stitch used for the cast on, not always the first on the board.
We are doing the basic wrap for cast on. From the first peg on back board, wrap the 2nd peg on front board. Wrap across the loom and skip every other peg. Continue until you have the amount of stitches desired. Wrap around the end pegs, and work back to first peg, covering all skipped pegs. You will end at peg on front board directly across from first peg.
You now have a ‘full circular’ on the loom. You are ready to place an anchor yarn.
The anchor yarn is not a requirement, but you will see how easily it makes the first row, and controls all the stitches. Most times the anchor yarn will be removed when you get done with the knitting, and you will finish off the cast on stitches with a nice crochet edge. Other times, the anchor yarn stays in and becomes a drawstring to gather the stitches together like in the crown of a hat. It is also useful to help pull down the first few rows of knitting and keep the tension even. A pattern will tell you when to use a contrast color of yarn for the anchor since it will be removed, or, to use a matching yarn that will remain in the knitting for another use.
You will notice that the anchor yarn only covers the stitch area and the ends drop down between the boards. It works best if you make it long enough to tie under the board. This way, it is not accidentally pulled out.
At this point, you are ready to add another row of weaving. Work it just like you did the first row. Wrap the first peg and down the the 2nd peg on front board and continue across the stitches wrapping every other peg. Turn around at end, and wrap the pegs going back towards first peg. There will now be 2 loops on each peg, and the anchor yarn is between. Let the anchor yarn assist you when you ‘hook over’ this cast on row. Hooking over is just the term used to describe the action of lifting the bottom loop over the top. See below.
With knit hook, lift bottom loops over top loops and off pegs. Take loop up and over, and drop it off of peg. You will do the ‘hook over’ on all stitches on both boards. Hint: In order to keep the sides of the knit even, do the hook over as in the photos from Left side of knit to about center of the stitches. Then go to the Right side of knit and work to the center, so that all pegs are completed. Just vary the center point, so that you do not create a line in the knit. This will keep edges even. Work pegs on other side of loom also.
After you do the ‘hook over’ on all stitches, you can just push them down in center between the boards, and pull down gently on the anchor yarn. Your stitches are now Cast On. You are ready to work in Stockinette or Rib stitch, or any other that you will learn.
Stockinette stitch: This is the basic stitch and forms a smooth knit on both sides. It is done exactly like the weave of the cast on row.
The Rib stitch: To create a rib pattern, the weave is just slightly different. Let’s look at the cream yarn to see the difference. Wrap the back board on first peg and then down to the 3rd peg on front board. You can see the angle is more extreme than with stockinette. You are working from peg 1 to peg 3 by skipping the first 2 pegs on front board. Continue with this angle and wrap every other peg to end of knit. Wrap the yarn around the end pegs and return. The first stitch is consecutive with the end pegs. Then you will be working all empty pegs.
As you return to first peg, you will see that you are still working from peg 1 to peg 3, and then, every other. The first 2 pegs will be wrapped consecutively. Just be sure to cover all pegs. You will also notice that you are working at opposite angle with the weaving. This is what creates the ribs. You will find as you work the stitch pattern, your stitches will create pairs of stitches for each rib.
Once you get back to the first stitch, all pegs should have 2 loops. The ‘hook over’ process is the same as the Stockinette stitch. Continue with the Rib weave as long as desired or according to your pattern.
Back to Back Stitch: Sometimes, you want to just add a few stitches for accent or make the entire knitted piece in a simple stitch referred to as the Back to Back stitch. It takes only one pass of the loom for each row. Just weave front to back on the pegs of each stitch.
The finished knit will look similar to the Stockinette, but may be a bit looser. We will use it later, in color work.
BIND OFF: So enough for our basic stitches, let’s learn how to take the knit off the loom, Bind Off. We need to bind off at the loom, and then, at the anchor yarn of the Cast On stitches.
Start on the end of the loom opposite the yarn, or the back end. You can go ahead and cut the yarn leaving a few inches of ‘yarn tail’. The yarn tail is usually about 3-4″ long and will be used to knot the last stitch.
Insert the crochet hook into the first stitch on back board. Lift it off the loom. Then, pick up the first stitch on the front board. You have 2 loops on the crochet hook. Pull the loop closest to the hook thru the other loop. Now pick up the next loop on the back board. Pull the loop closest to hook thru the other loop. Pick up the next loop from the front board. Pull one thru one. Continue this process, alternating front board and back board until you have the last loop on the hook. Now, you are at that yarn tail, so you can pull it thru the last loop and gently tighten.
Now, we are looking at Cast On stitches with the anchor yarn. We want to put a nice even finish on this end also.
Start at end opposite the yarn tail. Pick up just the first 2 loops. Pull the loop closest to the hook thru the other loop, just as you did on the loom Bind Off. Continue across the knit until you reach the last loop and use the yarn tail to knot the edge.
You can just use your fingers to assist with moving one loop on the crochet hook thru the other loop.
Once the ends of your scarf are finished with the Crochet Bind Off, just weave the yarn tails into the knit. Take the crochet hook up thru the 2 layers of knit so that the hook comes out close to yarn tail. Draw the yarn into the knit, carefully, so that even the knot is tucked away, out of sight. Then just remove the crochet hook by taking it out the end with the hook. This way, you will not snag the knit.
With what you have learned about double knit, you can create your first completed item. YAY!! How about using the stitches to do a new scarf.
Get loom and yarn, knit hook, and crochet hook in hand. Cast on 14 stitches in Stockinette stitch, add anchor yarn, and continue for about 12 rows. Then with no change of pace, just start the next row in Rib stitch. Work in Rib stitch for 12 rows. Then start next row in Stockinette stitch. On and on you will go, until you look down and have a great scarf. You may decide to work the scarf using 20 or 22 stitches. That’s your choice. Then bind off stitches at both ends.
Now, let’s look at how our two stitches look as a stitch pattern. Remember, our stitch pattern was 12 rows of Stockinette stitch, 12 rows of Rib stitch, and repeating all the way down. A scarf can be made as long as desired and this one could be really long if you used a full skein (ball) of yarn and knit it with just 14 stitches. Or maybe you decided to make it wider and shorter. That’s the fun of being creative with our double knit.
The photo (below) shows the double knit edge of the scarf. It is always easy to count your completed rows by counting the stitches along the outer edge. The next photo (below) shows how to pick up the horizontal cross stitch on the edge of double knit when you want to sew 2 edges together with an invisible stitch. We will cover both of these topics next month along with some increase and decrease techniques to add shape to the knit. HAPPY KNITTING!
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Introduction to Double Knit – Part I
The hobby of knitting, at one time, was simple. You would pick out a yarn; it was most likely a worsted weight in assorted colors. With just 2 needles and some guidelines, you could be making a scarf. Then the yarn selection began to grow and over the years, we saw all the new fibers and combinations that were being offered. It was no longer just a Worsted World. The huge, biggie yarns are really trending now, and a lot of fun. We also have boucle and eyelash, sock and glitter. Just look at all the great color combinations on the store shelves. Then, there’s all the different size needles and the circular needles and accessories like stitch holders, markers, gauge guides, darning needles, gauge counters, double ended, ring markers, blocking wires, row counters, as well as all the different sizes of each one.
Then, we add knitting looms in all shapes and sizes with double knit and single knit, and knit in the round, and knit panels, long circular, adjustable, rake, sock, and on and on. It’s no wonder a person gets confused when they say to a friend, “I want to learn to knit, but I have never been able to figure it all out.”
As we go along and time passes, we keep seeing more new gadgets, and helpful tools. We ask a question and get an earful of knitting terms, complex explanations, and a helpful person saying, “its so easy and quick, anyone can learn to knit.” So you decide to buy a book, and find that there are over 350+ book titles with the same promise, “its so easy to learn this way.” So, you go to the internet and start reading, and joining groups and blogs and picking out patterns that you like, and save them. Then, there’s those terms again and the abbreviations, and the charts, and the gauges, and the various cast ons, bind offs, skip this and skip that, and finally you decide its just too confusing.
So after all the time and money spent, you want to come out with something, so you knit a scarf. You don’t like it- so you give it away, and feel good about yourself. You put the ‘stuff’ away, until later, when you may decide to try it again.
Has anyone been down this road before? Maybe 10 years ago, or, maybe just recently? I guess it’s like anything else you enjoy-it becomes a hobby for you, and your favorite pastime. It relaxes you, and you continue learning from all the media, knit friends, and personal experience. But for those just starting out, we are going to attempt to take some of the confusion out of just one form of knitting– double knitting on a loom! We are going to start from scratch, so that ‘anyone can learn to do double knit’. See, I said it too! So, let’s breakdown all the terms and uncertainty as we go. I’m Pat Novak and have been doing double knit on a loom for 15 years after designing and knitting with 2 needles for 5 years. But, its so amazing how much has emerged; I get confused with all the new and wonderful things and ideas I see coming out of other knitters. There are amazing designers out there. It’s sure a hobby that you never outgrow, or ever run out of new ideas and designs to learn. So, hopefully, once you get the basics, you will enjoy the journey of a continuing loom knitting education, from all sources. We want to offer these articles with the basic info, the ground roots, to get you started out, with lots of success.
What is double knit?
You hear the term when looking at fabric, or in clothing-it is called double knit jersey. It means that the fabric is woven with 2 layers of thread, which makes it stretchy and durable. It’s the same in knitwear that is double knit; you create a fabric with 2 layers of yarn that is woven together. Remember that-it’s woven together, or interlocked. It can be bulky and thick, or thin and lacey. Being interlocked is different from a knitted circular tube. This is why you do not get a knit side and a purl side to your knitting. The result is the same knit side on both back and front creating a reversible fabric. So, for the afghan or scarf, it can flip around and have the same look on both sides. This is especially beneficial when you add colorwork to the knit. This will come later.
Getting started doing your double knit, will require a loom with 2 rows of needles or pegs across from each other. The pegs are usually placed directly across from the other row. So, you need 2 rails that are connected at the ends. The spacing between the rails, is determined by some type of spacer, holding them in place. The amount of space between the rails determines the size of the stitches created. For example, we are showing the KB 10” knitting board. It has 2 rails, each with 24 pegs that are placed directly across from each other. The little block of wood between them is set at 1cm – 3cm apart. They are held together with long bolts and wing nuts. Each stitch in double knit requires both pegs, one on each rail. So this loom or knitting board has 24 double stitches. By weaving the yarn back and forth across both rails, the resulting knit will be interlocked, or one single double knit fabric.
Now, you are probably wondering what the fabric will look like in double knit-will it be too thick if it is double? Good question!
This all depends on the yarn chosen and the gauge of the knitting. Yarn can be used from very fine to bulky. We will show you the difference with #3 (DK) yarn (just a little thinner than worsted weight) vs #6 (Bulky/thick) yarn, and also the 2cm spacing.
But we also want to look at the comparison with different spacing between the 2 rows of pegs. This measurement between the peg rails will change the size of the stitch. With larger stitches, the knitted width can also change. For illustration, we will use the rail spacing of 1cm apart compared to 3cm apart. Then we’ll be looking at very thin yarn with 2cm spacing.
Here is a sample of working with 1cm spacing. This means there is 7/8″ between the pegs from one row to the pegs on other row. The yarn is #3 DK weight and the gauge of knitting is 4 stitches in one inch of knitting. You can see the rows on the ruler.
For a piece of knitting 4″ wide, you would cast on 16 stitches.
This is a nice tight, smooth knit great for most items.
Yarn shown is Paton’s Classic Wool, DK Superwash, all wool.
This sample was knit with same #3 DK yarn, but with the spacing of 3cm or 1-9/16″ from peg to peg. So the only difference in this and the previous one is the size of the stitches. The blue needle is marking the first stitch so you can see that there are only 2.5 stitches for each inch of knit.
So, to get the same 4″ of knitting, you would cast on just 10 stitches. If you worked with 16 stitches, you would get a wider piece of knit. You can also see in this sample that the stitches are much looser so it will create a more open weave; it is not solid, as you can see the white background behind the loops.
This setting makes really soft, loose knit scarves and shawls.
Now, let’s look at the difference with the same setting of 3cm on the loom, but use a #6 bulky yarn. The openness closes up and the knit is solid and bulky. Great when you want to achieve that chunky look and the extra warmth. As you can see, there are only 2 stitches for each inch. If you still wanted a 4″ scarf, you would only need to cast on 8 stitches.
This thick, bulky knit is really trending now in scarves and hats and warm afghans. Knitting at this gauge goes really quickly also.
This yarn is Loops and Threads, Cozy Wool, acrylic & wool
What if you want to do a lacy, open weave scarf, but you like the concept of doing it in double knit? Can that be achieved with a knitting board? Just look at these samples…is this what you were thinking about? Again, this is using the more open spacing of 2cm, which is 1.25 inches from peg to peg, but choosing to work with a very fine #1 yarn, and #2. You can achieve a very lacy look with ‘fluffy’ yarns as well in #1 and 2 weight yarns.
This yarn is Lion Brand, Sock-Ease in wool/nylon, #1. Here is same setting of 2cm with #2 sock yarn.
So, we can see that there are many looks to achieve with double knit, just as there are in single knit, and knitting with needles. This is why most patterns, that may seem intimidating at first, will always give you 4 ingredients: one is how the project will look when completed, two is the loom that was used and how it was set up, three is the yarn that was used, and forth is the gauge that was achieved, or, how many stitches = one inch of knitting. Next month, we will look at the some of the ways to cast on the loom, bind off, and some basic stitches. We will explore some little tips for getting going with the great hobby of double knitting on a knitting board loom. We’ll also look at a simple pattern using those techniques.
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