At the Kitchener Waterloo show I had a great question. How to make an infinity scarf with double knitting and graft the ends together. I had never actually thought about how this would be done. Double knitting in itself is fascinating to me so I will post a few videos about the basics then talk about the advice I gave her!
The basic principle of double knitting is to get two right sides. If you search double knitting patterns on Ravelry there are all sorts of patterns for general double knitting, but there are also double sided colourwork as well! I think these patterns are really interesting and absolutely the coolest thing ever! I have a strong dislike for things that are extremely ugly on the wrong side.
This video is of a Kitchener stitch bind off. This will give the basic knowledge of a bind off used for double knitting, but what we are trying to achieve is a seemingly uninterrupted stitch all the way around. For example, if one side is blue and the other side is purple the stitches on your needle will alternate between blue and purple; every other stitch will be a different colour. I suggested that she separate out the blue and purple on two different needles. Do the same thing on both ends and graft the blue stitches to blue stitches and purple stitches to purple stitches.
I explained this the best I could at the show and I hope it worked out. I also thought this was an uncommon and extremely useful question!
Now we get to the part where people are curious! How does your gauge affect the colours you are knitting with? Terms like ‘pooling’ will no longer hold fear for you here!!
When I went to Vogue Knitting Live in New York, one of the classes I took focused on using dip dyed yarn to make a pattern. There was no switching of yarns or anything, just math. This technique makes the yarn pool in a pattern. The best example I have of this is the snuggle sack I made my nephew when he was born.
The yarn was variegated within itself and my gauge just happened to be the magic number to make this pattern appear. I didn’t do it on purpose and when someone asked me how they could replicate it, I wasn’t able to answer their question. Another one that happened more recently was this pair of Paul’s socks.
They look striped, but that is just the gauge I hit. When I started the second sock, it wasn’t pooling the same; it turns out I had cast on a different number of stitches. Those two socks looked very different and that is what clued me in to my mistake!
Sometimes this isn’t always a mistake though. If you’re knitting a sweater and the body is 200 stitches, your sleeves are only going to be 40 stitches (these are rough ball parks, not in reference to a specific pattern). This means the body will look radically different from the sleeves.
This swatch has a different amounts of stitches from the sock above, but it is the same yarn. If you’re counting on the yarn to pool the same, you’re going to have to do some fancy math. In this instance, what I would do is to attach two balls of yarn to the body of the sweater and alternate balls every two rows. This will allow the pattern to be truly random and if you do the same on the sleeves, the colours should be mixed up enough that you won’t be able to notice a difference.
There are much easier ways to get around this. If you’re using a variegated yarn, you can always pair it with a solid colour. The solid colour will break up any unfortunate pooling. I bought some yarn online once; I thought it was mostly blue with a little bit of variegated colour in it. When I ended up getting it, the yarn was completely variegated. I got a sweater’s worth of the yarn and if I made a regular stockinette stitch sweater, it would have looked like a rainbow threw up on me. Needless to say, I have thought long and hard about what I am going to do with this sweater. I am going to make it a pattern of variegated with a solid. Now I just need the time to get around to doing it!
Mosaic Knitting, or Slip Stitch Knitting is a way to knit with two colours but not carry a float. Usually when you are working a Fair Isle pattern, you carry the float behind the colour you are currently working with. This effectively gives you two layers of wool and a very warm garment. While this is great for those cold winters, what about pieces you want to wear in the fall, spring, or early summer? You definitely don’t want to be wearing an extra thick garment then! Enter Mosaic Knitting.
As is the case with a lot of techniques, it is easier than it looks! I also found this post about Mosaic Knitting and found it really helpful! Barbra Gregory wrote this article for Twist Collective and there are many great examples along with very excellent writing.
There are so many shapes and patterns you can make by simply slipping stitches, it is truly unbelievable. I really can’t wait to give it a try; I’ve never done this technique before, but I can tell, it’s going to be good!
Finally time to reveal my super-secret project that I have been working on for so long! It was a baby blanket for Liane. I normally don’t knit things for people, especially not for events, but I saw this blanket and couldn’t resist. It was so beautiful I had to grab the pattern and cast on. It is really hard to work on something so intricate without the recipient seeing it. I had to be quite judicious with my knitting time.
I bought the actual yarn itself while I was with Liane, we were looking at the Purple Purl for gender neutral yarn so she could make some booties. I looked at it and thought it would be really good for this particular blanket, because it was gender neutral, but on it’s own it was too dark. However paired with white for the snowflakes… it would be perfect.
I did try to find a white yarn that had a little bit of a sparkle to it, but nothing presented itself to me in a timely manner. The best thing I could find was a fine thread of sparkly yarn that was to be held double with your working yarn. It wasn’t too bad, but the sparkly thread could have been a bit softer; as it is for a baby I thought softness and super wash were very high priorities.
If you’ve checked my Ravelry page for this project you will notice I started this in January. That is 100% correct. It wasn’t too bad to knit because I love colour work, but hooooooly cow, do not knit if you’re not on the ball. The chart is 80 rows and something like 150 stitches and it isn’t a memorable pattern. When I tried to print out the chart it came out as two pages and way too small to read. I had to open it on my computer and put two overlays on the chart. I just added a line above and below the row I was working on. After a while, I ended up moving the second overlay down a little bit so I could partially see the row I had already worked; this way I could tell when I was getting off pattern. I also zoomed way in so I could only see ten stitches at a time, then I would scroll to the left. It was nice and big and much less confusing than looking at the whole chart itself.
I really enjoyed this blanket, but the knitting gods preserve you if you lose your place or get off pattern. I was really lucky because I only knit the chart from my laptop and those overlays didn’t move unless I moved them. If it were a post it note situation, I don’t know what would have happened.
Now that I am done this blanket, I am going to work pretty hard core on my grandmother’s sweaters; I have one back and two sleeves done. That is 3/8 of the way there… someone remind me not to write out a fraction of how far along I am until I finish the next two sleeves. As I typed it I felt like, ‘what?!?! I’ve been working on them for so long!!! This can’t be right! I have to be further along than this!’ At which point I went to lay down with a cold cloth over my face.
I am going to get through this sweater! It might be the middle of summer by the time I finish it, but I will get it done!!! A few rows here and there add up to quite a bit!
I am actually quite excited about today’s Technical Tuesday because I previously didn’t know this technique existed. I’ve made several striped hats and I always had that one stitch which was slightly off from the rest. I can’t wait to actually work this technique the next time I make a hat!
This video kind of starts in the middle and gives you a good idea of what this technique looks like on a finished object! Every time I have explained how to make a striped hat to someone I’ve just told them to carry the yarn up the middle of the inside. This might be a little bit more difficult to explain, but it would look so much better!
This video started right from the beginning so there are no questions about how to get started. I would have put this one first, but the other video gives a really good description of what helix knitting is and what it ends up looking like!
If anyone has tried this technique, what did you think of it? I think it would be awesome and cannot wait to try it! I’m going to have to pick out some colours for a hat now!